Keith Richards, the iconic lead guitarist of The Rolling Stones, stands out not only for his monumental contributions to rock music but also for his candid, often sharp-tongued critiques of fellow musicians. His role in shaping one of the most influential bands over six decades is undeniable. Yet, it’s his frankness that adds a unique layer to his legendary status.
Richards’ outspokenness has provided a trove of candid opinions on a range of artists, from his contemporaries to newer acts. He famously dismissed Britpop giants Oasis as “obnoxious,” urging them to mature before attempting to match his level.
His comments extend to bands one wouldn’t typically associate with his realm. During a 1969 interview with Ritchie York, Richards unleashed a slew of opinions, sparing no one – from Blood, Sweat & Tears to Jethro Tull. Even The Band fell under his scrutinous eye.
A notable example is his take on Led Zeppelin, an emerging powerhouses at the time with two albums in 1969. While he acknowledged Jimmy Page’s talent, Richards found Robert Plant’s vocals grating after repeated listens.
Perhaps most surprising was his critique of The Bee Gees, then a baroque pop group yet to ascend to disco fame. Despite their six-album track record by 1969, Richards bluntly dismissed them as indulging in “kid stuff” within a “fantasy world.”
Richards’ critiques, often blunt and unsparing, underscore his unfiltered perspective in the music industry, adding another facet to his complex persona as a rock music legend.