Keni Richards, Songwriting Partner Of Mark Lanegan And Former Drummer Of Autograph Dead At 60

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Keni Richards, who played drums with Autograph and later went on to form a close friendship with Mark Lanegan has died.

The Iowa-born Richards was 60.

A talented drummer, Richards played with the hard rock outfit throughout the ’80s, but Richards’ life remains one of the most fascinating rock and roll journeys you’ll ever hear.

Some highlights:

  1. Richards was David Lee Roth’s jogging partner.
  2. Autograph were signed by RCA’s Jose Menendez–who, along with his wife, would be killed by their sons Lyle and Eric Menendez.
  3. Richards met former Screaming Trees singer Mark Lanegan in rehab and the two became best friends and musical collaborators.
  4. Richards played in The Tubes before joining Autograph.
  5. After Autograph, Richards formed a band with Earl Slick and he later played with Joe Cocker.
  6. He and Lanegan wrote a song for HBO’s “Eastbound And Down.”
  7. Richards was an incredibly talented painter.
  8. He was also close pals with Alice In Chain’s Jerry Cantrell.

In 2011 Richards told Legendary Rock Interviews about his partnership with Lanegan: “So here’s this heavy metal guy and this big grunge guy writing poetry and playing piano together.  We wrote a bunch of songs together while we were inside that ended up being a classic, 5 star classic album called Scraps At Midnight.

Then I worked on an album called Field Songs with Mark, another GREAT record, worked with Duff from GNR, who co-wrote some stuff on there. I’ve played piano since I was little and we wrote songs and I played piano on the album. Mark is my best friend…most Autograph fans don’t know how great Mark Lanegan is…he’s a legend.”