"I can't untie the threads of how much I played up to the part that was written for me," Richards writes. "I mean the skull ring and the broken tooth and the kohl. Is it half and half? I think in a way your persona, your image, as it used to be known, is like a ball and chain. People think I'm still a goddamn junkie. It's 30 years since I gave up the dope! Image is like a long shadow. Even when the sun goes down, you can see it."
The rocker, who beat an addiction to heroin, continues, "Fame is probably a bigger killer than drugs in my game."
Richards also opens up about his sometimes contentious relationship with his bandmate of 48 years, Mick Jagger. In an interview that aired on the BBC last Sunday, he says Jagger "started at first to annoy me and then slowly enraged me."
Jagger thought he was "bigger than the Stones," explains Richards.
But their relationship has improved since the '80s. "Nobody has the perfect marriage," says Jagger, who co-wrote the tome with journalist James Fox.
"Mick and I are still great friends and still want to work together," Richards adds in an interview with Rolling Stone. They're even considering hitting the road together.
"We're whispering - I wouldn't say talking. I'm getting hints. And I'm always ready. Mick and I spoke about a month ago in New York. It's at that mumbling stage," Jagger continues. "But I had some outtakes from the last sessions we did [for A Bigger Bang] and said, 'Just to jog your memory ...' So there's interaction. You don't want to push it too hard.