Keith Richards has the blues ''in his bones''.

The Rolling Stones guitarist has a long-held love of the genre - which influences a lot of his music - and believes that is because he heard it so much when he was a child.

Asked how he discovered the blues, he said: ''By osmosis!.

''See, my mother, she loved jazz, she loved Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine, Duke Ellington. That was what was around the house.

''There's a lot of blues in jazz. And so, in a way, it was in the bones before I actually got to hear country blues and real blues.

''At the same age, I was starting to hear early rock and roll. It sounded perfectly normal to me... not some new kind of music. It was sort of natural.''

The 'Paint It Black' hitmaker is a huge fan of Chuck Berry - and didn't even mind when his hero gave him a black eye.

He told Planet Rock: ''We've had our ups and downs. He once gave me a black eye. It was backstage at a gig of his. He'd left his guitar out in his dressing room and I just picked it up. And he walks in, 'Nobody touches that.' Bam!! But he didn't know it was me.

'' A few months later I get this apologetic, 'Keith I didn't know it was you.' I said, 'Chuck, you did the right move, I wouldn't let nobody touch mine either!' ''