Keith Richards is famous for several reasons: playing lead guitar in one of the most famous rock bands of all time; publicly clashing with bandmate Mick Jagger; and providing the inspiration for Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow mannerisms in Pirates of the Caribbean. Literary tastemaker is not usually counted among those accomplishments, but thanks to a recent radio interview, Richards has astronomically spiked the popularity of an old book.
When asked by BBC radio host Kirsty Young what book he would bring to a desert island alongside a complete Shakespeare and the Bible, Richards responded with Doctor Dogbody’s Leg, a 1940 collection of short stories by Mutiny on the Bounty co-author James Norman Hall.
“I chose it basically because it’s a collection of stories about this guy. He’s a sailor, 18th century, Portsmouth harbor, but he’s got one leg, and every time he turns up at the table, he gives you a different story about how he lost it,” Richards explained to Young. “And they’re all totally plausible.”
Doctor Dogbody’s Leg is long out of print, but demand has shot up at rare booksellers since the interview. In a blog post, Abebooks spokesman Richard Davies wrote that it has become the most searched-for title on the website. Davies also wrote that he wouldn’t mind seeing more of the Richards/Hall connection.
“I would love to hear this collection of stories as an audio book with Richards doing the narration. That would be fun,” he wrote. “Perhaps the book could also be a Johnny Depp movie?”