As essentially the human embodiment of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle for over half a century, it’s long been assumed that Keith Richards would simply live forever, capable of surviving a nuclear apocalypse along with cockroaches and Iggy Pop.

But it turns out that even icons for debauchery have to make personal health calls every now and again, as the guitarist announced this week that he has given up drinking.

In a new interview ahead of the North American leg of the Stones’ ‘No Filter’ tour, which kicks off in Miami in April next year, Richards admitted “it was time to quit” drinking and that he has drastically cut back on his intake in recent months.

Talking to Rolling Stone magazine, he revealed he’s been restraining his drinking for “about a year now”, explaining that he “pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.”

Keith RichardsKeith Richards performing with the Stones in 2018

While the guitarist, who turns 75 years old in a few days’ time, conceded that still has “a glass of wine occasionally, and a beer,” he said that it was the right time to cut down. “It was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff.”

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Asked if it had been an adjustment to his lifestyle, Richards replied: “You can call it that, yeah. But I don’t notice any difference really – except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling [right]. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore.”

His bandmate, fellow guitarist Ronnie Wood, was sitting in on the same interview and remarked that he had noticed a change for the better in Richards.

“He’s a pleasure to work with. Much more mellow,” Wood observed. “He’s open to more ideas, whereas before I’d kind of grit my teeth and go, ‘He’s gonna give me some shit for saying this.’ Now, he’ll say, ‘That’s cool, man’.”

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