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The scene: A “listening party” for Keith...

The scene: A “listening party” for Keith Richards’ album “Talk Is Cheap,” hosted by Virgin Records at the Whiskey a Go-Go on the Sunset Strip. The Rolling Stones guitarist’s first solo album played relentlessly over the sound system at ear-splitting decibels.

The Buzz: “ What ?” “Sorry, I can’t hear you.” “WHAT?” “I can’t hear you!”

The commotion: A late-evening appearance by Richards, who was hastily shuffled upstairs to a holding tank while cronies waited for him at a nearby table. When the rocker finally emerged, security men had to hold back desperate fans. His mere movement across the room led to riot-like shoving.

Who was there: Richards; wife/model Patti Hansen; Tom Waits; a few Bangles; a Bon Jovi; Beatle-wigged DJ Rodney Bingenheimer; U2 drummer Larry Mullen Jr.; Virgin Records honcho Jeff Ayeroff, various groupies and hangers-on.

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Dress mode: Rocker chic vs. rocker shlub. Fashion platters came in leather (girls in studded black bras and minis; guys in too-tight pants, jackets and cowboy boots) and ratted hair. The shlubs got out their best brown cords and T-shirts stretched tight over beer guts.

The food: Fried chicken, pasta, pizza and mini egg rolls. (What did we tell you about rockers?)

Overheard: From a young woman thrusting her Keith Richards poster toward rocker Susannah Hoffs of the Bangles: “Will you have him sign this? I’ll pay you!”

Entertainment: Shouting above the record, figuring out how many times you’d heard the same song, trying to walk across the room without getting crushed.

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Triumphs: Richards politely signed autographs and chatted with fans and friends, never seeming ruffled.

Glitches: Getting carded at a private party.

All eyes turned when: Richards as much as blinked.


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