He played saxophone on numerous Rolling Stones recordings, including “Brown Sugar” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” He travelled with the band to the South of France, where he partied, played and worked on the songs that would become Exile on Main Street. He toured heavily with the band and was inseparably close to Stones guitarist, Keith Richards.
Aside from his work as an honorary Rolling Stone, Keys also contributed to recordings by John Lennon, Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Keith Richards’ various other projects. He toured solo as “Mr. Brown Sugar” and then as “Bobby Keys and the Suffering Bastards”. Only weeks before his health took a turn, he had rejoined the Stones on their 14 On Fire tour. The Texas native spent the last 20 years in Tennessee and passed away today – Tuesday, December 2nd 2014 – at home in Franklin, TN. He was 70 years old.
Keith Richards issued a statement today, saying he was devastated by the loss of his dear friend, whom he has also cited numerous times as his favorite musician. From the first time Keys heard an electric guitar played live (a Buddy Holly cover at a gas station grand opening near his grandparents’ home in Texas) until the day he died, he had rock & roll in his blood. Rest in peace, Bobby.