Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and his daughter Theodora have collaborated on a children's book called "Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar." The book goes on sale in hardcover and eBook formats on Sept. 9, 2014, with the hardcover edition including an exclusive audio CD featuring bonus book content. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (the book's publisher) made the announcement via a press release on March 11, 2014.
Keith Richards (who is 70) wrote "Gus & Me" with Barnaby Harris and Bill Shapiro, while Theodora Richards did the illustrations.
This is Little, Brown Books for Young Readers' description of "Gus & Me": "Long before there was a band, there was a boy: a young Keith Richards, who was introduced to the joy of music through his beloved granddad, Theodore Augustus Dupree, affectionately known as Gus, who was in a jazz big band and is the namesake of Keith’s daughter Theodora Dupree Richards. 'Gus & Me' offers a rare and intimate look into the childhood of the legendary Keith Richards through this poignant and inspiring story that is lovingly illustrated with Theodora Richards’ exquisite pen-and-ink collages. This unique autobiographical picture book honors the special bond between a grandfather and grandson and celebrates the artistic talents of the Richards family through the generations. It will also include selected photographs from the Richards family collection."
In a press release Keith Richards commented: “I have just become a grandfather for the fifth time, so I know what I’m talking about. The bond, the special bond, between kids and grandparents is unique and should be treasured. This is a story of one of those magical moments. May I be as great a grandfather as Gus was to me."
Theodora Richards added: “When I found out they wanted me to be a part of this project, my immediate instinct was to say yes, and I am so happy I did. To be able to explore my father’s relationship with his grandfather was a gift in itself. The things that I’ve learned during this whole process have just been life affirming.”
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers executive VP/publisher Megan Tingley issued a statement in the press release: “Who wouldn’t welcome the opportunity to meet Keith Richards as a young boy? 'Gus & Me' invites readers to be in the room at the electrifying moment that Keith holds a guitar in his hands for the first time. We are excited to be bringing this vivid and moving story to children and families and proud to be publishing the debut of talented artist Theodora Richards.”
According to Little, Brown, the world English rights acquisition was made by Tingley, who will also edit the book. It will also be published simultaneously in the U.K. by Orion Children’s Books, an imprint of the Orion Publishing Group, a division of Hachette U.K.
Keith Richards' 2010 memoir "Life" won numerous awards and was an international bestseller: 2 million copies worldwide, according to Little, Brown and Company, which published "Life."
Theodora (born on March 18, 1985) is one of two daughters of Keith Richards and Patti Hansen, who have been married since 1983. Theodora has worked as a model and a nightclub DJ. According to Little, Brown, "she has taken art classes at various schools in New York City, including the New York Academy of Art and the School of Visual Arts. In order to research the images for this project, she traveled to the Richards family home in Dartford, England, and pored over family and historical photographs of Richards’ childhood."
Keith Richards and Patti Hansen's other daughter is Alexandra (born on July 28, 1986), who is also a model and a DJ. Keith has two other children (son Marlon and daughter Angela) from a previous relationship with ex-girlfriend Anita Pallenberg. Keith Richards and Pallenberg also had a son named Tara, who passed away of sudden infant death syndrome at 3 months old in 1976.
As previously reported, Angela (born on April 17, 1972) gave birth to son Otto on Feb. 6, 2014. Otto is Keith's fifth granddchild. Angela Richards and Graham Whitney (who got married in 1998), also have a 2-year-old-daughter named Ava Melody.
Keith Richards' eldest child, Marlon (born on Aug. 10, 1969), has three children with his wife Lucie de la Falaise: Ella Rose (who is 17), Orson (who is 13) and Ida (who is 4).