When you’re Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones, people want you.
They want stuff from you.
A hello, a handshake, maybe even a kiss.
But mostly, they want your autograph or picture with them.
They’ll chase you into bathrooms, around airports, in and out of cars, restaurants, before concerts after concerts, in and out of hotel lobbies and clubs, anywhere they can get to to sign a scrap of paper, a picture or an album.
Just to say they have something from their idol.
Something that says that moment really happened.
That someone famous and important recognized the need to connect with them.
Even if eye contact was never made.
It’s like for a brief moment, they know you actually exist.
They know you.
Which is why I have to assume collecting autographs is one of the most popular areas in memorabilia.
I have to also assume that after signing “stuff” for 45 or so years, you get well, a little tired.
So, your signature begins to change.
Not all that interested in anybody being able to read what you just wrote.
They know it’s you, right?
That’s all that matters.
From something that could be considered at least a strong B in penmanship class, to a scribble that’s hardly able to be identified.
Here’s a series of signed Keith Richards items, from the 60′s to the late 90′s.
You can see how his signature has evolved over the years.
It’s amazing he still takes the time to sign.