Patti Hansen wasn’t quite sure who Keith Richards was when they first met at Studio 54 in 1979. Despite him being the lead guitarist in The Rolling Stones, one of the biggest rock bands of all time, the supermodel wasn’t that familiar with the band or a very big fan. But what was more of a passing moment for her, was much more for Richards.
He was still thinking about her nine months later, he wrote in his memoir Life, when she was invited to his 36th birthday party. This time, she was much more impressed with him.
“Incredibly I’ve found a woman. A miracle!” he wrote, according to Harpers Bazaar. “She is the most beautiful specimen in the WORLD. … It certainly helps but it’s her mind, her joy of life, and she thinks this battered junkie is the guy she loves.”
They dated for four years and were married in 1983.
“When Patti and I met it was just . . . boom,” he told Vanity Fair. “There was life before Patti and life after. We just clicked, and she rescued me from, shall we say, dark periods . . . without going into too much detail.”
Those details are widely known though. Stories of Richards’ drug and alcohol abuse are the stuff of rock legend. And Richards repeatedly thanks Hansen for helping him get and stay sober. Though, she’s made it clear in interviews that they saved each other.
“But my mom told him that she was worried about her baby, and he told her not to worry because he’d take care of me,” she told Harpers. “So, if I ever got really thin running around with him, he would take me off, put some weight on me. He promised my mom he would take care of me, and he did.”
Keith Richards, Wife Recall Proposal Very Differently
Keith Richards wrote that when he proposed to his wife in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, she got so excited she jumped on him and broke his toe. However, that’s not how Hansen remembers the story.
He did propose in Cabo San Lucas in 1983, she said, and she was very happy. Though, it wasn’t his first proposal. In fact, she said, he had proposed several times before she finally agreed to marry him.
Since then they’ve been one of rock’s most stable couples. They live in Connecticut now, and Hansen said they raised their two daughters like any normal family. They’re both adults now, but as children, Richards would drive them to cheerleading practice and to Girl Scout meetings like any normal dad.
“We’re an old married couple,” she told Harpers.