Keith Richards (born 18 December 1943) is an English guitarist, singer, songwriter, best-selling memoirist, and founding member of the rock band The Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone Magazine credited Richards for "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar and ranked him 4th on its list of 100 best guitarists. Fourteen songs that Richards wrote with the Rolling Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger are listed among Rolling Stone magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The Stones are generally known for their guitar interplay of rhythm and lead ("weaving") with Brian Jones, Mick Taylor and Ronnie Wood over the years. In spite of this, Richards plays the only guitar tracks on some of their most famous songs including "Paint It Black", "Ruby Tuesday", "Sympathy for the Devil", "Gimme Shelter"", and "Angie."
On 27 April 2006, while in Fiji, Richards slipped off the branch of a dead tree (later to be reported by the international press as a coconut tree) and suffered a head injury. He subsequently underwent cranial surgery at a New Zealand hospital. The incident delayed the Rolling Stones' 2006 European tour for six weeks and forced the band to reschedule several shows. The revised tour schedule included a brief statement from Richards apologising for "falling off my perch." The band made up most of the postponed dates in 2006, and toured Europe in 2007 to make up the remainder. In a video message in late 2013 as part of the On Fire tour, Richards gave his thanks to the surgeons in New Zealand who treated him, remarking that "I left half my brain there."
In August 2006 Richards was granted a pardon by Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee for a 1975 reckless driving citation.
In 2007, Richards played Captain Edward Teague in At World's End, the third film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series. In 2011, he played Captain Edward Teague again in the fourth film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. See also List of Pirates of the Caribbean characters.
In 1965 Richards used a Gibson Maestro fuzzbox to achieve the distinctive tone of his riff on "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"; the success of the resulting single boosted the sales of the device to the extent that all available stock had sold out by the end of 1965. In the 1970s and early 1980s Richards frequently used guitar effects such as a wah-wah pedal, a phaser and a Leslie speaker, but he mainly relies on combining "the right amp with the right guitar" to achieve the sound he wants.