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Keith Richards: A 1969 Rant

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Blood, Sweat & Tears? "I don't really like them . . . I don't really dig that sort of music but I suppose that's a bit unfair because I haven't heard very much by them. It's just not my scene, because I like a really tight band and anyway, I prefer guitars with maybe a keyboard. The only brass that ever knocked me out was a few soul bands."

Led Zeppelin? "I played their album quite a few times when I first got it, but then the guy's voice started to get on my nerves. I don't know why; maybe he's a little too acrobatic. But Jimmy Paige is a great guitar player, and a very respected one."

Blind Faith? "Having the same producer, Jimmy Miller, we're aware of some of the problems he had with Blind Faith. I don't like the Buddy Holly song, 'Well All Right,' at all, because Buddy's version was ten times better. It's not worth doing an old song unless you're gong to add to it.

The Rolling Stones Live, 1964-2007

"I liked Eric's song, 'In the Presence of the Lord,' and Ginger's 'Do What You Like.' But I don't think Stevie's got himself together. He's an incredible singer and an incredible guitarist and an incredible organist but he never does the things I want to hear him do. I'm still digging 'I'm a Man' and a few of the other things he did with Spencer Davis. But he's not into that scene anymore."

Jethro Tull? "We picked up on them quickly. Mick had their first album and we featured the group on the Rock and Roll Circus TV show we taped last December (which still hasn't come out, but hope remains).

"I really liked the band then but I haven't heard it recently. I hope Ian Anderson doesn't get into a cliché thing with his leg routine. You have to work so goddam hard to make it in America, and it's very easy to end up being a parody of yourself. But he plays a nice flute and the guitar player he had with him was good. I think he left and started his own group, Blodwyn Pig. I haven't heard that lot yet."

The Band? "I saw them at the Dylan gig on the Isle of Wight and I was disappointed. Dylan was beautiful, especially when he did the songs by himself. He has a unique rhythm which only seems to come off when he's performing solo.

"The Band were just too strict. They've been playing together for a long, long time, and what I couldn't understand was their lack of spontaneity. They sounded note for note like their records.

"It was like they were just playing the records on stage and at a fairly low volume, with very clear sound. I personally like some distortion, especially if something starts happening on stage. But they just didn't seem to come alive by themselves. I think that they're essentially an accompanying band. When they were backing up Dylan, there was a couple of times when they did get off. But they were just a little too perfect for me."

The Bee Gees? "Well, they're in their own little fantasy world. You only have to read what they talk about in interviews . . . how many suits they've got and that kind of crap. It's all kid stuff, isn't it?"

All Access: The Rock & Roll Photography of Ken Regan

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young? "I thought the album was nice, really pretty. The Hollies went through all that personality thing before Graham left them. The problem was that Graham was the only one getting stoned, and everybody else was really straight Manchester stock. That doesn't help."

The Beatles? "I think it's impossible for them to do a tour. Mick has said it before, but it's worth repeating . . . the Beatles are primarily a recording group.

"Even though they drew the biggest crowds of their era in North America, I think the Beatles had passed their performing peak even before they were famous. They are a recording band, while our scene is the concerts and many of our records were roughly made, on purpose. Our sort of scene is to have a really good time with the audience.

"It's always been the Stones' thing to get up on stage and kick the crap out of everything. We had three years of that before we made it, and we were only just getting it together when we became famous. We still had plenty to do on stage and I think we still have. That's why the tour should be such a groove for us."

This story is from the November 15, 1969 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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