Here’s a clip featuring “Keef the Human Riff” Keith Richards rocking out his hero Chuck Berry’s seasonal hit “Run Rudolph Run”. This may seem like something of a novelty of course. But, technically this was Keith’s first single as a solo artist, releasing it around this time in 1978. He wouldn’t take on another solo project for another decade.
Richards debt to Chuck Berry from the formation of the Rolling Stones was a big one in terms of style and approach. But, no one could suggest that the group hadn’t paid Berry back in royalties. The Stones covered many Berry hits, including “Carol”, “Bye Bye Johnny”, “Little Queenie”, and of course “Come On” which was their very first single in 1963.
Maybe this seems like a lightweight entry for a debut solo single. But, I like to think that Keith was doing this one for the kids. And it does rock, in a wasted sort of way. What else would you expect from Keith?
The original Berry version of “Run Rudolph Run” was released twenty years before Richards’ take, and has since been recorded by a myriad of artists like Dave Edmunds, Sheryl Crow, Reverend Horton Heat, and of course the inescapable Bryan Adams.