Bobby Keys Stones Sax Player Dead at 70

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Submitted by Don Graham

Bobby Keys, saxophone player for the iconic rock ‘n’ roll band The Rolling Stones has passed away after a long illness. The band issued a statement ; "The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys. Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960’s. He will be greatly missed.”

“I have lost the largest pal in the world and I can't express the sense of sadness I feel, although Bobby would tell me to cheer up," Stones guitarist Keith Richards said in a statement. "My condolences to all that knew him and his love of music.”

Born in Slaton,Texas Buddy was discovered by King Curtis  of  whom Keys said,  "He approached his sax solos differently than your jazz cats – most of 'em were pretty snooty jazzberries who thought rock & roll was just a waste of time. But King Curtis, he played sax the way a guitar plays, like James Burton would play a lead on a song. It was how he played and how he attacked the notes and his phrasing that was different than the normal.” In Lubbock, Keys befriended Buddy Holly, playing with him briefly as a teenager. "I kind of weaseled my way into the perimeter of the garage. He was the first guy I heard play electric guitar and it impressed the hell out of me."

"He was a good friend and an inspiration to play with," said long-time friend and Nashville rock veteran Michael Webb, who performed with Keys in a band of Southern rock all-stars called Bobby Keys and the Suffering Bastards.

"He was a good friend and an inspiration to play with," said long-time friend and Nashville rock veteran Michael Webb, who performed with Keys in a band of Southern rock all-stars called Bobby Keys and the Suffering Bastards.

Webb said Keys had a liver ailment."About two months ago, he started wrestling with his health. He has been in and out of (the hospital) several times," he said. Keys died at home after a long illness.

As Bobby Keys said in his own words, "If you believe in the magic of rock & roll, which I devoutly do, it isn't in the individual. I’ve played in bands with A-team players around, but unless they can play together, it doesn’t do any good."

R.I.P. Bobby Keys.