The atmospheric black-and-white photo on the cover of "Crosseyed Heart" speaks volumes. It shows the 71-year-old Keith Richards exactly as he is: as a rock'n'roll zombie with abysmal furrows in his face, testifying to wild excesses and concentrated life experience. But also with a real, hearty smile. Nothing is set here, nothing is retouched, it is the real deal. "I don't need make-up and no soft focus", the Stones guitarist explained in the US magazine "Billboard". "Because I stand by who I am, the product of my lifestyle. And I don't have to pretend, especially since nobody would believe me anyway."
A confession that is equally valid for his music, which was again created with the X-Pensive Winos, a band around luminaries like Steve Jordan, Ian Neville and Waddy Wachtel, and with which he also recorded the previous albums "Talk Is Cheap" (1988) and "Main Offender" (1992). This time he met with the Winos in New York's Germano Studios. And for years to come. "We just weren't in a hurry, and the Stones were pretty active lately. So every few months we got together for one day and tinkered with some songs. Just in time. I have to say that I'm really amazed at how studio technology has changed. Man, this digital stuff is totally confusing me. You really feel like you're from the Stone Age."