NEW YORK – Keith Richards has made a shocking confession that's going to jolt his longtime fans: The party-animal rock star has turned into Mr. Suburban.
The Rolling Stones guitar great, who will soon turn 59, says many of his great joys in life now revolve around his peaceful tree-lined neighborhood in southern Connecticut.
His big chores of the day are driving his teenage daughters, Alexandra and Theodora, to school and taking out the garbage.
"I have no fixed routine . . . I read a lot. I might have a little sail around Long Island Sound if the weather is all right," Richards tells the Oct. 17 issue of Rolling Stone mag.
"Patti [Hansen] and I go out go out once a week if there's something on in town - take the old lady out for dinner with a bunch of flowers."
Instead of going to bed coked-up at 7 a.m., that's when he's getting up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
It's a night-and-day difference from the years when Richards did so many drugs - speed, coke, acid, heroin, dope - that he had his blood cleansed.
Playing with the Stones tonight at Madison Square Garden as part of their world tour, the grizzled rocker now sticks to vodka and cigarettes.
But he doesn't want anybody to think he's calming down -- and he plans to play with the Stones for as long as he physically can.
"You keep going, and why not? You're fighting upstream against this preconception that you can't do this at this age," he tells the mag.
"But I don't flaunt it. I've never tried to stay up longer than anybody else just to announce to the media that I'm the toughest."
When asked to describe the levels of drug excess he and Mick Jagger plummeted into in the old days, Richards tells Rolling Stone: "He wasn't exactly Mr. Clean and I was Mr. Dirty."
And he says although they're a great songwriting team, their current lives couldn't be more different.
"Mick has to dictate to life. He wants to control it. To me, life is a wild animal. You hope to deal with it when it leaps at you," Richards explains. "[Mick] can't go to sleep without writing out what he's going to do when he wakes up. I just hope to wake up, and it's not a disaster."
So now that he's a little over a year away from turning 60, just what is Keith's secret to stayin' alive?
"If you want to live a long life, join the Rolling Stones," he quips.