Keith Richards on why he finds Bruce Springsteen “Pretentious”

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When it comes to making music, Keith Richards is well-recognized for his critical ear and keen eye. However, he can be extremely critical at times and is not hesitant to say what he likes and dislikes about the music. Seems like Bruce Springsteen couldn’t escape the shackles.

But because of this, Keith Richards is recognized as a skilled musician and producer with a sharp ear for song details and the ability to make music sound the way he wants it to.

Themes of heartland rock, working-class living, and the immigrant experience are frequently explored in Bruce Springsteen’s music, which mirrors the American experience. Springsteen’s live performances are renowned, with furious sets lasting up to four hours. He is also a dedicated philanthropist, having won numerous awards for his social activism and humanitarian work. Springsteen is widely regarded as one of the greatest musicians in history and has been inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Although Bruce Springsteen has long been a Rolling Stones fan and maintains that the band inspired him before founding the E Street band, he was nonetheless subject to Keith Richards’ disapproval.

Keith talked about Bruce back in 1988 during his interview with Rolling Stone. He explained, “I’ve met Bruce two or three times. We’ve had several good chats, usually at some release party or premiere, and we just end up in the corner talking. He’s a sweet guy, a nice guy. Mind you, I think four-hour shows really are way over the top. To me, a great rock & roll act does twenty minutes [laughs]”.

He added, “I remember the Paramount, where you got the Impressions, Jackie Wilson, Joe Tex, and everybody does just their absolute supreme best shot! A lot of the shows you get these days are very self-indulgent. I don’t think anybody can be enthralling for four hours on stage playing rock & roll.”

In the same interview, he was also asked about Springsteen’s music. He answered, “Bruce? That’s a tough one, because I like the guy. But the music…I don’t know. I’m the toughest taskmaster of all time. I’m going to annoy a lot of people. Bruce? To me, it’s pretentious.”

Springsteen’s lengthy concerts, in Keith Richards’ opinion, were pretentious. Yet later on, Springsteen and the Rolling Stones performed on the same stage and joined forces countless times. Watch the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen performing ‘Tumbling Dice’ down below.


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