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Bobby Keys

  • American musician
  • Born December 18, 1943
  • Died December 2, 2014

Robert Henry Keys (December 18, 1943 – December 2, 2014) was an American saxophonist who performed with other musicians as a member of several horn sections of the 1970s. He appears on albums by the Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Harry Nilsson, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, George Harrison, John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and other prominent musicians. Keys played on hundreds of recordings and was a touring musician from 1956 until his death in 2014.


I can't read music. That's not where I come from musically. I come strictly from feeling, and that feeling comes from rock & roll.




When you're not on the payroll, and you want to continue the Beverly Wilshire lifestyle, but you're only geared for a Holiday Inn existence, things are gonna catch up to you.




I always loved Little Anthony and the Imperials. They were like the precursors of the Temptations. I loved their music.




Sometimes, I play a round of extremely poor golf.




If the people dig it, then I dig it. If the people wanna hear it, then I wanna play it.




We just get up there and play rock-and-roll music, man. Everybody sweats and has a good time.




You got to realize that the vision, the image, according to 1964 U.S. rock and roll standards, was mohair suit and tie, and nicey-nicey ol' boy next door.




It's pretty scripted on the road: very organised and compartmentalised, and that's the way it has to be with so many people involved in a Stones tour.




I play more rhythmically than I do a lot of notes.




I played in the high school band. I was the one baritone saxophone out of 80 other people. No one could tell whether I was hittin' the right notes or the wrong notes.




I first went on the road with the Rolling Stones in the year of our Lord, 1969. But my grandfather gave me away to a drummer when I was 15 years old.




I try to play the best I can every time I play. But there's just some folks that seem to draw a little bit of that extra special out of you.




I've never thought of my name at the top of the marquee in any particular terms other than, you know, slight bewilderment.




I play with toys. I have one plane that travels with me. It travels with the equipment.




The first session I did with the Stones was an accident. I just happened to be wandering down the hallway of the same studio.




In the summertime, I played Little League baseball; football in the fall; basketball in the winter.




John Lennon, who was a good friend of mine, he had one of the best senses of humor of any human being. And Keith Richards, fantastic sense of humor. They were smart, sharp. They had their own thoughts on matters.




I pull a lot of the stuff that I play off the rhythm tracks - and Keith Richards has been one of the main contributors to my inspirational playing.




It doesn't matter how many times I've played 'Brown Sugar', I never get tired of playing it.




I've played in bands with A-team players around. But unless they can play together, it doesn't do any good. And you can take guys who may not stand on their own up against a bunch of individuals they might be compared to, but you put 'em together, man, and they are unique unto themselves in a way that no one else can touch.




When I talk about rock n' roll, to me, that goes back to the beginning of the 1950s. Blue suede shoes and sideburns, man. Pink and black coloured clothes. Turn your collar up, comb your hair in ducktails. And the music was cool. It was a whole culture then - a different world.



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