Keith Richards Shows He's a Discerning Ladies' Man in His New Memoir 'Life.'

Keith Richards' new memoir 'Life' shares his value of women.

ByABC News
October 26, 2010, 4:22 PM

Oct. 27, 2010— -- Rock 'n' roll is not only about the music. Much of the legend involves the real-life feminine muses that inspired, fueled or buoyed the creative impulse that generated the sound, the beat and the riffs that marked a generation.

Elvis Presley worshipped his mother, John Lennon venerated his Yoko, and Eric Clapton created his "Layla."

Now, in his critically acclaimed new memoir, "Life," Rolling Stone Keith Richards, now 66, talks about the women who mattered to him the most. But more importantly, his descriptions of them -- and his reactions to them -- provide insights into the man that seemingly contradict his rough-hewn and sometimes distant persona.

One of the more surprising revelations in "Life" is Richards' inherent shyness with women. He had a preoccupation with "finding the right line, or one that hadn't been used before." And the tunesmith, so spot on about his music, writes, "I just never had that thing with women" and "'Hey, baby' is just not my come-on."

Despite his reservations about how to approach the fair sex, Richards had enormous success. And in "Life," the reader learns what turns Keith Richards on.

He likes strong women.

"My first impression was of a woman who was very strong," Richards writes about Swedish beauty Anita Pallenberg, whom he began eyeing at the end of 1966, nearly four years after the formation of the Rolling Stones.

At the time, she was dating his band mate Brian Jones, whom Richards describes as "a woman beater." "But the one woman in the world you did not want to try and beat up on was Anita Pallenberg. Every time they had a fight, Brian would come out bandaged and bruised."

Describing a house in the south of France which became a production site for the band, and a large number of other people, Pallenberg "became the bouncer, getting rid of people sleeping under beds and overstaying their welcome."

Richards and Pallenberg had three children together, one of whom died in infancy.

He likes artistic women. "Anita came out of an artistic world, and she had quite a bit of talent herself – she was certainly a lover of art and pally with its contemporary practitioners and wrapped up in the pop art world," Richards writes about Pallenberg, who could draw.