Holiday Reading: Yasmine Ganley

Summer to me means getting out of the city, which means plenty of road trips and plenty of road trip-tunes. I love being on the road, somewhere between destination A and B: passing fields of crops, iconic farmland and vast oceans, all while listening to your ultimate playlist.

A few weeks ago my boyfriend and I made our ultimate playlist for my studio Christmas party, which had all the favourites on it – all 10 hours of them. We realised this playlist was also ideal for the hours on the road, full of sing-alongs and think-alongs. The lyrics become somewhat more important when you’re forced to really listen to them, letting them sit alongside your own thoughts and wonders. A perfect time to reflect on the year that has been and the new year ahead.

To further delve into my appreciation for good tunes, I’ve been finishing off the book Life, the autobiography by Keith Richards, guitarist for The Rolling Stones. I was raised on The Stones and as a big fan of the band, I’ve always been told I should read this one. (Thanks for the recommendations everyone, I am thoroughly enjoying it).

It’s so awesome reading all the little stories about what was going on in his life around the times he and Mick Jagger were writing these tunes. It really adds a whole other dimension to the song when you listen to them again. For example when Anita Pallenberg and Keith had their daughter Angela, Keith was in hospital (post-drug binge), unaware of the birth happening, but picked up his guitar in his hospital bed and started singing “Angie”. Or when Mick came over to his house in France and made Keith listen to the draft of the track ‘It’s Only Rock n Roll’ – which he had initially created with David Bowie, and Keith stood there and straight away convinced Mick that this was indeed a Rolling Stones-esque track (and what the hell are you doing it with David Bowie for!).

I’m about to see The Rolling Stones play live in April this year, so you can imagine my excitement about seeing Keith Richards in the flesh after reading all his very funny and very personal stories from Life. What a dude. He comes across as a genuine and tells-it-like-it-is kinda guy. It’s a conversational read about a musical genius. He’s no-frills, no la-la – he just wants to play his guitar. An unearthing on the man who created some of the best road-tripping songs in the world.

Keith Richards, Life. If you haven’t read it already – I highly recommend it.


– Yasmine Ganley, Anyone Girl

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