Week in Rock

Last week, the news that Keith Richards was recovering from a bizarre fall sustained on holiday in Fiji seemed heartening. I mean, the guy is tough, and with the money and fame he’s got he should be getting access to the best in medical treatment, right? Well, it seems like this week’s story might be a little less rosy. Now, Richards is not only having to recover from the original incident, but from a brain operation this Monday as well. “Last week Keith was under observation in Auckland following a fall in Fiji and was feeling well after being examined by doctors last week,” the band’s spokesperson revealed. “However, after he complained of headaches yesterday, doctors thought it prudent to move ahead with a small operation to remove the pressure.”

On top of that, rumors surfaced in England’s newspaper The Sun yesterday that Richards might have been given another surgery to try and stop swelling in one part of his brain from outright crushing the other part. It was added that Richards might never play live again, and that the venerable group’s current tour would be aborted. However, the Stones’ publicist was quick to deny these claims, saying, “Contrary to stories in newspapers in New Zealand and the U.K., Keith Richards did not undergo a second operation. The first and only operation was done on Monday, May 8 and was 100 percent successful. There was no brain damage. He continues to improve as expected. The Rolling Stones ‘A Bigger Bang European tour’ will begin in June with details to follow shortly.”

While certainly no stranger to trouble, having been involved in many imbroglios during his time with the chart-topping pop act, this latest health setback might prove to be too much for the Stone, if the Sun-perpetrated rumors are to be believed. Hopefully, that’s not the case, since losing Keith might result in the loss of Mick within a year, as seems to happen sometimes with old couples who have been together forever. And then there will definitely be no more Stones, which is something that could be good or bad depending on whether you are in the Stones-as-old-withered-up-farts camp or not. Personally, I like to imagine them as youngsters circa 1964, complete with Brian Jones, but that’s just me. In any case, Keith, I hope you learned a couple things from this whole fiasco. First of all, 60-year-old-plus gentlemen should not be attempting to climb trees. Secondly, your heart of stone may not be breakable, but your skull certainly is.

Perennially disgruntled Oasis guitarist Noel Gallagher has again lashed out in a cranky extravaganza of shit-talking, this time with his own brother among the targets. He started off with an assault on James Blunt and the fact that the headache-inducing singer-songwriter sensation makes far more money than Gallagher himself. “Did you see the rich list?” Gallagher fumed (I imagine, since I wasn’t actually there). “I wasn’t in it for a third year running. James Blunt has supposedly got nine million quid. Right. He’s only been going a year! I’ve been going 12.” Gallagher continued with an attempt to explain where all his quid have gone. “I’ve spent a lot on sweets but I should have more than nine million quid in the bank.”

Bizarrely, Gallagher next elected to take a swipe at, of all things, Welsh people, of whom he said, “The ones you meet in London are all right but the real ones are a nightmare. For starters you can’t understand a word they say.” Come on, Noel, that’s just rude. And it won’t help your pop outfit make a comeback, either. That’s going to have to wait for the mid-’90s revival a couple years down the road. In a later interview, the guitarist directed his stream of invective at his own brother and bandmate. “For a guy who is probably one of the funniest people you will ever meet, he actually has no sense of humor,” Noel said of Liam. “He’s never told a funny joke in his life.” His final comment was: “When you take the piss he has this weird look on his face, like a dog having a – you get the picture.” Well, not really, but that might be because I don’t know what the fuck “taking the piss” is supposed to mean. I imagine it has to do with some kind of joke, or something like that. If anyone knows, please share.