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Hard-partying Keith Richards says he's virtually given up booze

AFP-JIJI

Keith Richards, the Rolling Stones guitarist whose name is synonymous with excess, says he has virtually given up drinking.

“It was time to quit,” the 74-year-old Richards told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview.

“It’s been about a year now,” he said. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.”

Richards, who has been arrested several times for drug possession during his legendary hard-partying career, said he still has the occasional glass of wine or a beer but has mostly given up alcohol.

“I don’t notice any difference really — except for I don’t drink,” Richards said.

Fellow guitarist Ronnie Wood said Richards is “much more mellow” now that he’s given up booze.

“He’s a pleasure to work with,” Wood told Rolling Stone. “He’s open to more ideas.”

“If he’s gonna keep it up, I’ll be there, full support,” Wood said.

The Rolling Stones are scheduled to launch a U.S. tour in Miami in April.