Johnny Marr says Keith Richards “invented a complete guitar style and genre”

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Johnny Marr, the renowned guitarist, has expressed his admiration for Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, acknowledging Richards’ unique contribution to guitar playing and music as a whole. Marr reflects on Richards’ impact on his career, particularly during his time with The Smiths, where he drew inspiration from Richards’ approach to music and life.

He admires Keith Richards for his integrity and philosophy, seeing him as a figure of ultimate authenticity and a driving force behind his band, akin to how Richards operated in the Rolling Stones.

Marr highlights Richards’ iconic guitar work in “Gimme Shelter,” praising its emotional depth and simplicity.

He credits Richards with creating an entirely new guitar style, one that emphasizes pure expression over technical complexity, likening it to the innovations of blues legends like Robert Johnson and Hubert Sumlin.

Additionally, Marr touches upon Richards’ well-known history with drug use, but chooses to focus on the musician’s resilience and determination to live life on his own terms.

He compares Richards’ steadfastness to the principled stance of Muhammad Ali, noting that Richards’ defiance was not about promoting drug use but about asserting his personal freedom. Marr’s encounters with Richards have deepened his respect for the guitarist, seeing him as a figure who challenges uninformed authority and stands firmly by his principles.

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