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Sax legend and frequent Rolling Stones collaborator Bobby Keys dead at 70

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Bobby Keys, a defining saxophonist of the rock era who offered a jolt both musically and personally to the Rolling Stones, died Tuesday. He was 70.

Keys, a hard-partying jazz lover born in Texas, befriended Buddy Holly as a teenager and gradually became a go-to saxophonist for rock acts including the Rolling Stones — whom he first stumbled upon in 1964.

Keys provided the tenor sax that contributed to the blues sound of “Brown Sugar,” one of the Stones’ greatest hits, and toured with the rock legends for most of their five decades as a band.

“The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys,” the band said in a statement announcing his death.

“Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960s. He will be greatly missed,” it said.

Keys was particularly close to guitarist Keith Richards, who was born on the exact same day — December 18, 1943.

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“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,” Richards said in a handwritten statement posted on Twitter.

“My condolences to all that knew him and his love of music,” Richards said.

Besides the Rolling Stones, Keys also collaborated with the other giants of English rock, The Beatles. He joined John Lennon — both in music and in drug use — during the ex-Beatle’s so-called “Lost Weekend” of estrangement from Yoko Ono.

Among other artists with whom he collaborated were Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker and Carly Simon. He also played saxophone on Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”

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Keys’ rowdiness on the road was notable even by the standards of the Rolling Stones.

“I’ve been smoking pot for over 50 years, and I never let a day go by unless I’m in jail,” Keys said in a 2012 interview with Rolling Stone magazine. “I am a devout pothead.”

Richards, in his autobiography Life, remembered Keys’ lifestyle when the Rolling Stones were staying at a villa in the southern French town of Nellcote, where the band recorded parts of the classic 1972 album Exile on Main Street.

Richards recalled that Keys one day “caused a disturbance by throwing his furniture out of the window in a moment of Texan self-expression.”

Keys eventually retired from the road as his health failed. He died at his home in Franklin, Tennessee.

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Accused child molester Roy Moore set to re-launch Senate campaign against Democrat: Report

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Accused child molester and twice-removed State Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is set to re-launch his campaign for a U.S. Senate seat, currently held by Democrat Doug Jones. Moore lost to Jones in a special election to fill the Alabama seat held for decades by now-fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Moore, a right wing religious extremist, was publicly asked to not run again by President Donald Trump, and mocked by Jones over the past month as rumors grew of his interest in trying to win the seat again.

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The mind-blowing connection between a former Pence security advisor and an admitted Russian agent

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MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has had much to say this week about Republicans and the vetting process. And having chastised the GOP over domestic violence allegations involving former Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, Maddow turned her attention to Vice President Mike Pence and another “vetting disaster” on Wednesday night — taking him to task for failing to vet his former national security advisor, Andrea L. Thompson (now serving as undersecretary of state for arms control and international security affairs).

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Trump ridiculed for babbling Oval Office talk about ‘manned drones’: We call those ‘planes’

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During a press availability in the Oval Office with Canadian Prime Minister, Donald Trump was naturally asked about Iran reportedly shooting down a U.S. drone in international airspace, which led to the president rambling in the way he does about what a drone is and does.

His explanation was not what one might call knowledgeable or smooth.

“I think probably Iran made a mistake,” the president replied when asked about the international incident. “I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down. Fortunately, that drone was unarmed. There was no man in it and there was no — it was just — it was over international waters, clearly over international waters, but we didn’t have a man or woman in the drone. We had nobody in the drone. It would have made a big difference, let me tell you. It would have made a big, big difference."

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