The guitarist Keith Richards says he “can’t copy”

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The Rolling Stones, a titan in the realm of classic rock, rose to prominence in the wake of The Beatles’ departure in the late 1960s, filling a significant gap in the music world. Albums like “Sticky Fingers” and Keith Richards’s crowning work “Exile on Main St.” cemented their legendary status. Initially rooted in rhythm and blues, The Rolling Stones gradually incorporated a pop element, though Keith Richards staunchly preserved their blues heritage in his guitar style, influenced heavily by the likes of Chuck Berry.

Richards, recognized as the epitome of British rock guitarists, was deeply inspired by Chuck Berry. He fondly recalled the impact of watching Berry in the 1959 movie “Jazz on a Summer’s Day,” admiring Berry’s audacity to merge rock and roll with jazz, a genre that seemed aloof to the rock revolution. This encounter epitomized the blues ethos for Richards – a fearless challenge against conventional norms.

Richards’ blues influence was a tapestry woven from legends like T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and B.B. King. This lineage of blues greats passed down a musical baton, which Richards proudly carried. Additionally, he held a profound respect for Elvis Presley’s guitarist, Scotty Moore, whose unique blend of jazz, country, and blues was unparalleled.

Notably, Richards cherished a 1996 session in Woodstock with icons like Levon Helm, Scotty Moore, and D.J. Fontana, a testament to his deep-rooted connection with his musical forebears. This gathering, marked by shared whiskey and a profound musical bond, was a pinnacle moment for Richards, reflecting his journey from admiring Little Richard in his youth to collaborating with his idols.

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