Having both kicked off in the early 1960s, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones had a competitive spirit between them from the off. Although the Fab Four split in 1970, their old rivals are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year and reports of a bitter feud between the surviving members continue to this day. Even in recent years, the rock stars have seemingly been mud-slinging at each other.
Back in 2015, Keith Richard said he thought The Beatles went too far in their later years.
He told Esquire: “I think they got carried away. Why not? If you’re The Beatles in the ’60s, 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.’”
Then, just last year, McCartney told The New Yorker: “I’m not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are, I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs.”
But now in a new interview, Richards has finally spoken out on the rift between two of the biggest bands in rock history.
Is it just playful teasing between old friends, or is there something more serious beneath the surface?
Speaking with Rolling Stone, Richards was asked what he thought made McCartney say his band were a “blues cover band”.
Richards replied: “That could have been the thing, but Paul, he isn’t that way. No, I felt for him. He replied so quickly on that and saying … I mean, if he’d have meant to say, he wouldn’t have bothered replying. Paul’s a great guy, man. Jesus Christ, look at the songs he’s written, you can’t knock a guy like that. We’ll let the little things come out in the press and kind of ignore them, you know what I mean?”
Asked about the Rolling Stones’ 60th anniversary, the guitarist replied: “Who can wrap their head around 60 f***ing years? It all seems impossible that it’s been that long. But, yes, the feeling is that we have to do something this year. And, you know, when that feeling grips this band, something will be done.”