Keith Richards’ Heartbreaking Story Behind “Ruby Tuesday”
via Keith Richards/YouTube
The Rolling Stones’ co-founder and guitarist Keith Richards tells the story behind their hit song “Ruby Tuesday”.
“Ruby Tuesday” was released in January 1967, around that time, Richards was dating Linda Keith, a 20-year-old British Vogue model. A lot people thought the song was about her and Richards told Rolling Stone magazine,
“It was probably written about Linda Keith not being there (laughs). I don’t know, she had pissed off somewhere. It was very mournful, very, VERY Ruby Tuesday and it was a Tuesday.”
Then Richards explained:
“That’s one of those things – some chick you’ve broken up with. And all you’ve got left is the piano and the guitar and a pair of panties. And it’s goodbye you know. And so it just comes out of that. And after that you just build on it. It’s one of those songs that are easiest to write because you’re really right there and you really sort of mean it. And for a songwriter, hey break his heart and he’ll come up with a good song.”
Linda Keith became, as Richards described it, “the one that first broke my heart.” He said it took several years of “growing apart slowly” for the pair to officially call it quits. Richards then turned to music, writing the melancholic tune became “Ruby Tuesday” as a way to bid farewell to Keith: “When you change with every new day, still I’m gonna miss you.”
In 1995, Mick Jagger told Rolling Stone:
“‘Ruby Tuesday” is good. I think that’s a wonderful song. It’s just a nice melody, really. And a lovely lyric. Neither of which I wrote, but I always enjoy singing it.”
“Ruby Tuesday” is a track from Between The Buttons album. The song hit #3 in the UK and hit #1 in the US, making it The Rolling Stones’ fourth chart topper in the States.