Keith Richards Calls ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ Rubbish, Mumbles Other Stuff


The great rivalry between two bands that were in their prime 50 years ago — The Beatles and The Rolling Stones — was raised into the public consciousness once again recently by none other than Keith Richards in an interview with Esquire. An interview one can only imagine he mumbled his way through.

The topic of The Beatles’ 1967 “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was brought up in the interview, where the Stones guitarist and grown man with seashells in his hair called the album “rubbish.”

“The Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles,” Richards mumbled, perhaps even muttered. “But there’s not a lot of roots in that music. I think they got carried away. Why not? If you’re the Beatles in the Sixties, you just get carried away — you forget what it is you wanted to do. You’re starting to do ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like ‘Satanic Majesties’ — ‘Oh, if you can make a load of s***, so can we.'”

Though Richards rambling didn’t end there. He went on to stammer about a recent dust up between the band and their former bassist Bill Wyman over a plaque honoring only Mick Jagger and Richards.

“I know he took umbrage with that, but I can’t understand why. Bill wasn’t there when the band was formed. Ian Stewart formed the band — we gravitated around him. Bill was a quirky, funny old f***er, but why he should make some ?kind of public ‘do about it. I think Mick sent a note saying —? because Bill comes from a town called Penge — ‘Bill, if a plaque went up in Penge station that said you were the founding member of the Rolling Stones, do you think we’d complain?’ But Bill — oh, we love him dearly, and he was a hell of a bass player. We didn’t tell him to leave.”

Funny omission in this is that Brian Jones is generally recognized as the one who formed the band with Stewart, but given Richards’ colorful history with Jones, it’s not surprising. It’s probably taxing to murmur on and on about the past like that.

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