Rolling Stones' Keith Richards (almost) quits drinking
Screenshot from 'Keith Richards: Under the Influence' (YouTube)

Keith Richards, the hard-partying lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, has quit drinking - almost - saying he “just got fed up with it.”

“It’s been about a year now,” Richards told Rolling Stone magazine in an interview. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it.”

Richards, 74, who has said his favorite tipple for decades has been whiskey or vodka, said he still had a glass of wine occasionally and a beer.

“It was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff,” he told the magazine, referring to his past addiction to cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs. Richards has said he quit drugs after a 1977 arrest in Canada for heroin possession.

Bandmate Ron Wood, who battled alcoholism for years, said Richards was easier to work with since giving up drink.

“Much more mellow. He’s open to more ideas,” Wood said in the interview, published on Wednesday.

“I think the Keith that we used to know and love had this cutoff point where if he had one more, he’d go over the top and he’d be nasty. The cutoff point became shorter and shorter, you know, and he realized that,” Wood added.

The Rolling Stones will launch their next North American tour in April.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; editing by Jonathan Oatis