Why Keith Richards was more than just “a guitar player” to George Harrison

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Without a doubt, The Rolling Stones are one of the most covered artists on the planet. With a discography of over 50 years, that is an achievement in itself. It’s hard to imagine anything else without The Rolling Stones. But back in the 60s, another band that was on a different level was The Beatles.

Keith Richards, the man behind the guitar in the Rolling Stones. Known for his guitar-playing style, he is also notorious for his illicit drug use. And his exact opposite, George Harrison from the Beatles. Just like Keith, garrison has played guitar on many of The Beatle’s songs.

Back then, there were constant arguments about who was the better one. Despite all that, George commented on a guitar riff of Keith and admitted that he couldn’t make a riff that better. What George Harrison thought of the Rolling Stones is in a mixed nutshell.

According to George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters, Geroge talked about his favorite artists. He went on to name, Stevie Wonder, Dickie Betts, and many more. When things turned to The Rolling Stones, he said the band is “fine’ and ‘nice’. That’s when he added his comments on the guitarist, Keith Richards. George said, “I think he’s a great rhythm guitar player, Keith.

George also talked about Keith’s work on The Rolling Stones. He really admired his craft. George added, “You know, really, I think he’s probably one of the best rock ‘n’ roll rhythm guitar players. I don’t think he’s very good at lead, but he’s played … this is the thing you see, what I feel about Keith and myself too, it’s not a comparison, but in some ways what we do is we make records, and the records have some good guitar parts on them, or have some good songs, or good lyrics or whatever, but basically you make records.”

Harrison admired Richards’ work on, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’. It is revealed that he really loved the riff of the song. Geroge commented,

“He’s not, to me, like a guitar player who that’s all he does is go out and play guitar, He writes songs, and he makes records and within that — you know, like, you can’t beat a riff to ‘Satisfaction,’ you know what I mean? It’s the simple little things like that, and I think he’s — you know, I like Keith enormously.”

While Geroge loved the riff, there is a whole different story behind the song.

Released on August 20, 1965, the song tries its best to define what Rock N Roll is all about. The song also features Mick’s greatest vocal performance. It was originally written by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger. They wanted to deliver something of Blue to the mainstream audience.

This all started during their tour of Canada and the United States in 1965. While the band was in Clearwater, Florida. Keith remembers writing the main riff in his sleep. He claims that he “woke in the middle of the night” and recorded the cassette player before falling asleep.

That cassette player would, later on, help him create the greatest riff of all time. That’s how Keith contributed to Jagger-Richard’s composition. The title ‘I Don’t Get No Satisfaction’ came from Chuck Berry’s song “30 Days”. Keith then took his demo to Mick Jagger and that’s when he wrote the lyrics. The lyrics set free the shackles of society back then. As it’s very clear that Jagger’s lack of sexual activity was in the song. That’s how one of the best rock n’ roll songs was created.

How everyone reacted to the song varies but we can have a wild guess anyways. It was loved by everyone. The song was on the Billboard Hot 100 for a whopping 14 weeks. It was also number one in the UK and was on the chart for 12 weeks.

No doubt why George was impressed with the riff.


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