Knightmare Lexicon - A Knightmare Encyclopædia

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1. Keith Richards
Another of those ostensibly tenuous Lexicon entries. "Keith Richards and Knightmare? Did he watch it? Does he even know it exists?" I hear you cry ('you' being the keen, vocal, yet somewhat imaginary audience that I kid myself is reading my Lexicon submissions). In all honesty, I have no idea whether Keith Richards was one of the curtain-drawing, sofa-perching watchers, or whether the name of his band was the inspiration for the Block and Tackle. But I do know that he has been part of the inspiration for not one, but two profitable Knightmare writing endeavours.

But first, who is he? Keith Richards was born in London in 1943. He grew up, as many Londoners aspire to do, and became a guitarist in the rock group The Rolling Stones. Their 1968 album Beggars Banquet includes the hit single Sympathy For The Devil, which Richards helped to write. The lyrics are sung from the perspective of the Devil, and include the following words: 'Please allow me to introduce myself'; 'Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name. But what's puzzling you is the nature of my game.'

Three decades later, and Dave Morris has written Fortress Of Assassins. In its gamebook section, the player has the opportunity to summon an evil, supernatural knight, Seigneur Des Mouches. This name belies the character's true identity, for it is French for 'Lord of the Flies', which is another name for the Devil. His first words are 'Please allow me to introduce myself'. If the player is foolish enough to agree to accompany Seigneur Des Mouches, he descends with them through the stone floor en route to Hell, and the adventure ends. And during this onset of doom, he utters his Rolling Stones homage, as he tells the player that 'What's puzzling you ... is the nature of my game.' In 2002, Keith Richards said, "I've had very close contact with Lucifer - I've met him several times ... You might as well accept the fact that evil is there and deal with it any way you can. Sympathy For The Devil is a song that says, 'Don't forget him.' If you confront him, then he's out of a job", and this happens to capture the essence of Seigneur Des Mouches in Fortress Of Assassins. The Rolling Stones would not have been the same without Keith Richards, and accordingly the rich realm of Knightmare gamebooks would not have been quite the same without The Rolling Stones.

But even if a gamebook adventure ends there, Keith Richards' link to Knightmare does not. His notoriously heavy drug use, in addition to his longevity as an active musician, has forged a man who, to many, looks old and worn. It was in deference to this arguably puerile and ageist observation that in 2004, a chap called Giles submitted the following entry to an IKM Caption Competition depicting the prune-faced KMVR 'presenter' Beveryafraid (later renamed Garstang): 'Keith Richards was beginning to show his age'. A prize was at stake: the prop for the Shield of Justice redeemed by Barry Thorne's team in Knightmare Series 7. Tim Child, the first judge, seemed to like the caption, and shortlisted it. Mark Knight, the next judge, decided that it deserved to win. And so, thanks to Keith Richards, a trophy of considerable worth to a Knightmare fan was won. Whether Giles has thanked Mr. Richards, or been sued by him, is unknown.

Thus, whether you like him, dislike him or feel debilitating apathy towards him, Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones is a man who has played a minor yet notable part in the unfolding of the extended Knightmare realm.

[Earlier version: 2006-04-26 15:00:15]

Provided By: David, 2010-12-03 18:26:08
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