Hugo Lindgren

.

The Billboard Cover Story: Keith Richards -- 'Nobody Grows Up Until They Croak'

The Billboard Cover Story: Keith Richards -- 'Nobody Grows Up Until They Croak'

For 50-plus years Keith Richards has been rock'n'roll's spirit animal, an unmatched guitar hero and unkillable hedonist. And at 71, fresh off another bazillion-dollar Rolling Stones tour and with his first solo album in decades, the world's coolest grandpa remains as fearless as ever, holding court on everything from race relations to Donald Trump ("I find him refreshing") to the travails of superstardom: "I invented the job.

Keith Richards photographed on Aug. 5, 2015 at Drive-In Studio in New York City.

Billboard Cover: Keith Richards Says 'Nobody Grows Up Until the Day They Croak'

It has been 35 years since Richards kicked the heroin habit that made him the iconic rock’n’roll wastoid of the 1970s -- he curtailed his cocaine usage a few years later -- but there are certain vices he will not renounce. “Eh, I love my pot,” says the 71-year-old Rolling Stone, seated for lunch one Thursday in the empty back room at Il Cantinori in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.