The Night Chris Jericho Met Keith Richards
In an excerpt from his new memoir No Is a Four-Letter Word: How I Failed Spelling but Succeeded in Life, wrestling superstar, podcast host and Fozzy singer Chris Jericho recalls the night he met Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards.
Describing himself as “a marginal Stones fan” during his youth, Jericho admitted he didn’t truly get into the band until late 2012, when the Stones hosted a pay-per-view concert — which was promoted by World Wrestling Entertainment — as part of their 50th anniversary tour. “Now that the Stones were one of my all-time favorites,” writes Jericho, “I started thinking about the logistics of whether I might actually be able to make this meeting happen.”
It required some gutsy juggling on Jericho’s part. His opportunity to meet Richards took place at a taping of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon that butted up uncomfortably close to his commitments at a WWE Raw event taking place nine miles across the city — and as he points out in the book, “nine miles in New York City at rush hour could take nine hours.” But ultimately, Jericho decided he had to take the risk.
“After all,” he points out, “how many chances was I going to get to meet Keith f—in’ Richards, right?”
Fallon set up the meeting, leading Jericho backstage to meet Richards — who was, true to form, leaning in the corner of his dressing room and smoking a cigarette. Told that Jericho had just performed in front of 70,000 people at the nearby MetLife Stadium, Richards responded with a droll “Far out, man,” leading to a few minutes of awkward banter that only picked up when Jericho asked Richards about his lemons.
Ice broken, Jericho told Richards how impressed he’d been when, during the PPV concert, Richards had taken his solo during an all-star guitar duel in the midst of the Stones’ cover of Freddie King’s “Going Down.”
“When it was Keith’s turn, he merely played one note, bent up the string and struck a kick-ass pose,” writes Jericho. “Then he swaggered back to the drums like a f—in’ boss with a s—-eating grin. It was the coolest thing I’d ever seen, and I asked him about it. ‘Well, everybody was playing so busy, I decided to just pick one note and stick with it. But I had to make sure it was a good one!’ he quipped before barking another barrage of his boisterous laugh.”
After shooting the breeze a little while longer, the duo posed for a photo snapped by Fallon, after which Richards offered Jericho a T-shirt — or two.
“‘What size are you, man?’ he asked. When I told him large would be fine, he said, ‘Take a medium too, just in case. Give the one that doesn’t fit to your grandma. She’ll know who I am!’”
Jericho will be hosting the first-ever Loudwire Music Awards on Oct. 24 in Los Angeles. Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi and Rob Halford from Judas Priest will be receiving special honors at this event. For complete show and ticket information, visit the Loudwire Music Awards website.