Life

Source: Keith Richards, Life (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2010), pp. 52-53

Text: Dimashio’s was the ice cream parlor-coffee shop. Old Dimashio’s son went to school with us, big fat Italian boy. But he could always make plenty of friends by bringing them down to his Dad’s joint. There was a jukebox there, so it was a hang. Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, apart from a load of schlock. It was the one little bit of Americana in Dartford. Just a little store, counter down the left side, jukebox, some seats and tables, the ice cream machine. At least once a week, I went to the cinema and usually to the Saturday morning pictures, either at the Gem or the Granada. Like Captain Marvel. SHAZAM! If you said it right, it might actually happen. Me and my mates in the middle of the field, going “SHAZAM! We’re not saying it right!” Other blokes laughing behind our heads. “Yeah, you’re not going to laugh when I get it right. SHAZAM!” Flash Gordon, those little puffs of smoke. He had bleached-blond hair. Captain Marvel. You could never remember what it was about, it was more about the transformation, about just a regular guy who says one word and suddenly he’s gone. “I want to get that down,” you’d think. “I want to get out of this place.”

Comments: Keith Richards (born 1943) is a British rock musician and songwriter, guitarist with the Rolling Stones. He was born and brought up in Dartford, Kent. Captain Marvel was an American comic character, also known as ‘Shazam’, which was the magic word spoken by radio news reporter Billy Batson which transformed him into the superhero. The character featured in the 1941 serial Adventures of Captain Marvel. The anecdote could refer to the films or to reading the comic.

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