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Time Is On His Side

Today is Keith Richards’ 70th birthday.

To celebrate, here’s one of my favorite Onion stories of all time. Published on July 6, 2012, and datelined “Weston, CT,” the headline says it all:

Keith Richards’ Housekeeper Has Braced Herself For Finding Dead Body Every Morning Since 1976

Here’s the story. But hold your fire!

  1. I love Keith Richards. I particularly love seeing him around town in his white Rolls, and more than once at — yes, it’s true — the drugstore.
  2. The Onion is satire.

WESTON, CT — Since her first day on the job in October 1976, Keith Richards’ housekeeper Rosemary Velasquez, 64, has mentally and emotionally prepared herself every single day to find the hard-living Rolling Stones guitarist lying dead somewhere in his home.

Keith Richards

“Each morning before I leave for work, I look in the mirror, take a deep breath, and think to myself, ‘Rosemary, you could very well find Keith Richards’ dead body today,” Velasquez told reporters Thursday, adding that from the moment she was first hired by a “nearly comatose” Richards, she began steeling herself for the inevitable discovery of the guitarist’s wiry corpse in his bedroom or kitchen. “It’s never been a question of if I would find him dead, but where and how soon.”

Velasquez said her workday begins as she pulls into Richards’ driveway and braces herself for the potential sight of his stark-naked cadaver sprawled out on his front lawn. From there, after gathering her supplies, she takes a quick peek into the backyard, where she fears she will find Richards floating lifelessly face down in his swimming pool.

The housekeeper said that as she goes about her work, she takes a moment to collect herself before opening every door and pulling back each shower curtain. If a door is locked, she noted, she leaves it be and prays it’s not locked the next day.

According to Velasquez, anytime she smells an odor other than alcohol or stale cigarette smoke, she immediately imagines a scenario in which the odor gets stronger and stronger, leading her to a closet with a week-old dead body inside.

Keith Richards, back in the ’60s.

“In the late ’70s, especially, there were a few close calls where I would find little droplets of Mr. Richards’ blood leading to his bedroom, and I would tell myself, ‘Today is the day,'” Velasquez said. “He’d usually be lying there with a needle sticking out of his arm, but somehow he would always still be breathing. So I would call an ambulance.”

“I’ve had to call 911 at least 30 times since I started working here,” she added. “I have to admit, over the years there’s been a lot more gunplay around this place than I’d care for.”

Besides resigning herself to one day discovering Richards’ corpse, the housekeeper of 36 years said she has also remained alert to the possibility of stumbling across the dead bodies of his bandmates and friends. She confirmed there have been several mornings on which she’s found a heap of naked bodies in the living room, all belonging to people who were unconscious but not dead….

The story goes on from there. To read the entire piece, click here

Happy 70th, Keith!

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