I dedicate this week’s word salad to Keith Richards, who is celebrating his 77th birthday, though he doesn’t look a day over 76.9, as I type these words late Friday night.
It must be hard for friends of the Rolling Stones guitarist to come up with an original, not to mention legal birthday gift for a man who has — or at least has taken — just about everything.
One novel approach to observing the “Start Me Up” songwriter’s 77th was taken by the Children’s Museum of West Hartford, Connecticut, who named a Madagascar hissing cockroach in its collection in Richards’ honor.
The three-inch-long, male version of the insect sports an impressive head-mounted set of horns and produces its namesake sound (think of a car tire deflating in a series of rapid, powerful bursts) by forcing air through its breathing hole.
You know, like Mick Jagger.
But one possible birthday gift came to mind when I learned that The Greenbrier is offering to rent its 700 hotel rooms and all resort amenities, from facials to falconry, for the low, low, all-inclusive price of $250,000 per night on selected dates in January and February.
It would be a swell setting for a reunion of rockers of a certain age and mindset, like Rod Stewart, Billy Idol, Marilyn Manson, Courtney Love and surviving members of The Who, Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, who at one point in their lives, shared Richard’s attraction to room trashing.
Pals of Richards, who once dropped a TV from a 10th floor Los Angeles hotel room — because he could — would split the quarter-million-dollar tab, pony up for a special insurance rider, and recount their glory days in any way they deemed appropriate.
That, or host the World Indoor Paintball championship.
At this point in my life, I’m just glad to be younger than someone, and it may as well be Richards, as well as my older brother, Tracy, who shares the legendary rocker’s birthday, though in an earlier year.
Here’s hoping we’re all around for many more Decembers, until Richards’ best known song becomes “(I Can’t Get No) Respiration.”