Keith Richards' legendary lifestyle and personality at times may overshadow his playing, but make no mistake that the essence of Keef lies within whatever guitar he's holding at any given moment.
If you were lucky to catch The Rolling Stones on one their latest tours, one of the things that stands out the most (besides Mick Jagger's manic dancing) is the pure joy on Richards' face while playing. You can tell that after being at it for over 50 years, he's still madly in love with the music and performing live. You can't fake that kind of enthusiasm.
Oh...and he's clearly aware that he's the coolest person on stage at all times. Once again, some things you just can't fake.
Keith Richards enjoys a cigarette. Once a Post Office worker, he is now guitarist with the Rolling Stones, the first London group to draw the sharks away from the longheld Merseyside monopoly.
Keith Richards sits on a chair and plays an Epiphone hollow body electric guitar with a Coca Cola bottle next to him on November 14, 1964 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Keith Richards in concert with The Rolling Stones, performs live on stage on the TV show 'Ready Steady Go!' circa 1965.
Keith Richards sits on a chair in a recording studio and strums his Epiphone guitar in 1966.
Keith Richards records guitar parts on an Ampeg Dan Armstrong guitar for the track 'Sympathy for the Devil' at Olympic Studios in Barnes, London, June 1968.
Keith Richards performing live onstage at free Hyde Park Concert, playing Gibson Flying V guitar.
Keith Richards performing live onstage, playing Ampeg Dan Armstrong perspex guitar.
Keith Richards performing at the International Amphitheatre - 1972.
Keith Richards strums backstage during the Rolling Stones Tour of the Americas, 1975.
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger from The Rolling Stones perform live on stage at the Forest National in Brussels, Belgium on May 6, 1976 as part of their European tour.
Keith Richards performs on stage with the New Barbarians at Madison Square Garden on May 7th, 1979 in New York.
Keith Richards of the band The Rolling Stones performs on stage during a North American tour, 1981.
Rolling Stones Keith Richards getting interviewed on overseas beach, 1986.
Keith Richards and The Expensive Winos perform onstage at WTTW TV studios for a production of Center Stage in Chicago, Illinois, USA on December 28, 1992.
Keith Richards during Rolling Stones show at Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, circa 1997.
Keith Richards on stage during the band's 'Licks' tour at the Gillette Stadium on September 5, 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts.
Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones performs at halftime during Super Bowl XL between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan on February 5, 2006.
Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones performs live on stage for the first of their 50th Anniversary concerts at the O2 Arena on November 25, 2012 in London.
Keith Richards from the Rolling Stones headlines the Roskilde Festival 2014 on July 3, 2014 in Roskilde, Denmark.