Keith Richards on quitting smoking and dealing with the loss of Charlie Watts

'I didn't notice things until I started rehearsing for the tour last year and when I started working'
Keith Richards
Keith Richards Photo credit Marc Piasecki/GC Images/Getty Images
By , Audacy

You would think that as an experienced rocker, The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards would know better than to attempt to kick a bad habit while locked away from life's distractions. But apparently, he did just that, telling comedian Marc Maron on his 'WTF' podcast that he quit smoking during COVID and has emerged on the other side feeling the benefits.

Listen as Keith Richards talks with Marc Maron about music, touring, and more -- plus browse a huge list of podcasts on Audacy.

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WTF with Marc Maron Podcast
Episode 1313 - Keith Richards
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Over the past couple of years, when you were learning how to bake banana bread and work from home, Keef was doing the hard work of trying to stop smoking cigarettes, and once he began gearing up to hit the road in 2021, he knew he had finally succeeded. “I didn’t notice things until I started rehearsing for the tour last year and when I started working, I noticed I had more air in the lungs, and in the voice, and more stamina,” he admits. "You know, it ain't all it's cracked up to be," Richards laughs, "but it's better than the alternative, man."

Keith also spoke briefly about the passing of The Stones' drummer, Charlie Watts, in the summer of 2021. "Oh man, that was a blow out of nowhere... what a guy," Richards said. The loss of close friends, he believes, is not something that you deal with, but rather a part of life that "deals with you."

As the Stones are perpetually on the road, with 2022 SIXTY tour dates already set for the summer, Keith says the band is being extra careful with health protocols as coronavirus cases continue to crop up worldwide. "We run a very pro, tight ship under circumstances like that. Our whole crew... that's how you get through these things," he says. "Otherwise, bam!"

Listen to the full interview with Keith and Marc above, as well as a previously recorded interview from 2015, and take a look at The Stones' current 60th-anniversary tour plans right HERE.

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Plus, hear your favorite music on Audacy's all-new Rock stations like The Rolling Stones Radio, Classic 70s, 80s GuitarRock N’ Road, Freedom Rock, The Canyon, Arena RockWake Up and Rock, and The Roots of Rock for those who crave the early days!

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Marc Piasecki/GC Images/Getty Images