Keith Richards and Bruce Springsteen write children’s books

(Photo: Simon & Schuster)

Timing is everything. It’s Kid’s Music Week on OpenAir and we get word that two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers have written books for children.

One’s legendary intake of booze, pills, and powders is only surpassed by his legendary riffs. The other has written some of the best anthems for the common man, and groups a quarter of his age can’t match the sheer, joy, intensity, and length of his concerts.

photo: Keith Richards

Let’s start with Keith Richards. Some pointed out that certain passages in his bestselling autobiography "Life" would make a good book for kids. And so we get "Gus and Me: The Story of My Grandpa and My First Guitar."

"Gus" was Theodore Augusts Dupree, who had played in a jazz big band; he gave Keith his first guitar and inspired a love of music. According to Richards: Dupree "sussed me out for a guitar player" at the age of 5 or 6.

"I was a Roy Rogers freak. There was a man who could ride a horse, shoot straight and play a guitar. To me that was the epitome of a hero. Nothing to shoot? Just get the guitar out. And that's how Gus got hold of my imagination." - Keith Richards

Daughter Theodora Richards provides the illustrations.

photo: Bruce Springsteen

The second comes from Bruce Springsteen. "Outlaw Pete," the inspiration for the book (and the Springsteen song of the same name) comes from another children’s book his mother used to read to him called "Brave Cowboy Bill."

Bruce says: Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins."

In the book, Outlaw Pete is a bank-robbing baby whose exploits become a meditation on sin, fate, and free will. Publishers Simon & Schuster are calling it a picture book for adults that can be read to children…

"Gus and Me" hit shelves this week. "Outlaw Pete" has a Nov. 4 release date.