Longtime Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has quite a lot to celebrate lately!
Richards, 78, was recently able to successfully shake his nicotine habit after nearly 60 years of smoking. Richards, whose affection for cigarettes was almost as legendary and well-known as his guitar playing, spoke to CBS Sunday Morning, revealing “I don’t think about it much anymore…”
One thing Richards has on his mind? The 30th anniversary of his second solo album, “Main Offender!”
Richards’ musical repertoire expands beyond The Rolling Stones’ six decades of playing together and the 30 studio LPs the band currently have under their belts.
In the late 1980s, Richards briefly stepped outside of the Stones bubble after a period of strife with lead singer Mick Jagger and formed the band the X-Pensive Winos, including future Rolling Stones drummer Steve Jordan.
Jordan stepped in to join the Stones on tour in 2021 following the death of original drummer, Charlie Watts.
The X-Pensive Winos recorded two studio LPs with Richards, 1988’s “Talk Is Cheap” and 1992’s “Main Offender.”
Although he has only played with the band a handful of times since the early ’90’s Richards has held playing with the Winos in high regard.
For the 30th anniversary of “Talk Is Cheap,” Richards released a box set tailor-made for a Richards fanatic. The gigantic box set featured both the LP and CD editions of the album, a number of unreleased tracks, and an 80-page booklet, as per Rolling Stone.
Inside The ‘Main Offender’ Reissue
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Richards’ second LP with the Winos, “Main Offender,” has also received the royal reissue treatment for its 30th anniversary!
“Main Offender” was released on October 19th, 1992, following a period where Richards returned to the Rolling Stones to record an album called “Steel Wheels” and tour behind it.
The deluxe treatment of “Main Offender” arrives on March 18th and will feature many additional goodies for the Richards’ devotee!
According to Billboard, the box set will come with a ‘Main Offender’ tour guitar pick, bumper sticker, promotional posters, reproductions of handwritten lyrics, reprinted essays from the album’s release, and an archival envelope with exact replicas of promotional and tour material…”
In addition to the bounty of unique content, the box set will also feature “The Winos Live In London ’92,” which has never been released until now.
Just like the “Talk Is Cheap” box set, there will also be a lengthy book featuring “never-before-seen photos” from the “Main Offender” era, as per Billboard.
“One Of The Best Bands In The World”
Richards’ love for his ‘other’ band isn’t cheap.
Although the X-Pensive Winos may not be as memorable of a chapter in Richards’ career as his work with the Rolling Stones, his work with the Winos has provided a completely unique asset to his career.
Discussing the band’s chemistry and the recording of “Main Offender,” Richards said, “This is the second time around & the Winos are kind of developing- and if I can keep these guys together for as long as I can, it’s one of the best bands in the world. It’s a very intriguing band and the potential is only starting to show itself.”
The Winos’ intrigue and potential certainly lived up to Richards’ statement.
The band was able to not only withstand and survive the extremely intense environment of backing Richards on stage with Chuck Berry, the gig for which the band was assembled to play in the first place, according to the NME, and also maintain the sense of comrade a band would need in order to simply survive making records and reuniting to play live almost three decades after their last recorded project together.
The band, which also features esteemed guitarist Waddy Wachtel, legendary keyboardist Ivan Neville, and Rolling Stones recording companion Charley Drayton on bass, could be seen rehearsing with Richards in his recent aforementioned CBS Sunday Morning appearance.
Steve Jordan’s legacy of working with Keith Richards will only expand; Jordan is set to accompany the band in the studio as they complete the recording for their first album in nearly two decades.