The Ticket

Keith Richards disses Mike Huckabee’s guitar skills

Holly Bailey
The Ticket

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Mike Huckabee has made no secret of his status as a Keith Richards superfan. As one of his final acts as governor of Arkansas, Huckabee pardoned the Rolling Stones guitarist for a 1975 reckless driving conviction in the state. Last year, the bass-playing '08 presidential contender listed Richards at the top of his list of dream guests for his Fox News show, "Huckabee."

That's why this might sting a little, Governor.

In his new autobiography, "Life," Richards kicks off Chapter 1 with a retelling of his infamous run-in with Arkansas police officers, who'd pulled him over for driving while under the influence. The band's attorney, an Arkansas native, got Richards off with a slap on the wrist: a misdemeanor reckless driving charge, even though the car Richards was driving was also full of drugs. The charge, Richards writes, ended up being "nothing more than a parking ticket."

That leads him to conclude that Huckabee's 2006 pardon was unnecessary. "There was nothing to pardon," Richards writes. "There was no crime on the slate in Fordyce, but that didn't matter, I got pardoned anyway." Rather, the guitarist writes, it was Huckabee's "political ambitions" that led to the pardon.

"Governor Huckabee also thinks of himself as a guitar player," Richards writes. "I think he even has a band."

Thinks of himself as a guitar player? Ouch.

Huckabee, who still plays bass in a band called Capital Offense, told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in '06 that he pardoned Richards after meeting him backstage at a Stones concert. Richards, he said, brought up the arrest, joking that he hoped the cops weren't still looking for him. Huckabee said he offered to take care of it, which he ultimately did in hopes of giving Richards something "positive" to remember about Arkansas.

It doesn't seem as though Huckabee's ploy worked, however. There's nothing worse than an aspiring rocker learning that his idol has kissed him off with the words, "I think he even has a band."

(Photo of Huckabee on the '08 campaign trail: Alex Brandon/AP)

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