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Keith Richards: Rock ‘n’ Roll Is ‘Good for Your Health’

Paul-Marotta, Getty Images

Ask for a list the best building blocks for a long and healthy life, and most people will tell you to eat a smart diet, get plenty of exercise and avoid stress. But as far as Keith Richards is concerned, membership in the Rolling Stones offers its own health benefits.

The subject of the 69-year-old guitarist’s vim and vigor came up during a recent interview with the BBC, in which he was asked how he responds to those who say the Stones are too old to be playing music. “I’d say, ‘What do you know about it? You’ve never tried it,'” laughed Richards. “It’s good for your health to play rock ‘n’ roll in a clean-living band like the Rolling Stones. You should try it. It’s better than church.”

Of course, Richards’ idea of “clean living” may be a bit different than most people’s. The band’s appetite for unhealthy substances was once as much a part of its mystique as the music. But Richards may have a point: According to a recent study, musicians who play in bands live longer than solo artists.

Fortunately for Richards’ health, the Stones intend to keep playing for the foreseeable future, including their first-ever headlining gig at the Glastonbury Festival tomorrow (June 29). “I’m looking forward to it because it is an iconic gig and it’s an iconic band, and finally the two meet at last,” he enthused. “In a way it’s kind of weird that at last we’ve made it to Glastonbury. It’s like building Stonehenge, right?”

Next: Top 10 Rolling Stones Post-'Some Girls' Songs

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