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Keith Richards Knocks Led Zeppelin, The Who, YES, & Journey

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It seems Keith Richards can’t give an interview these days without knocking someone. In his latest chat with Rolling Stone to publicize his new solo album, Crosseyed Heart, he took a few swipes at Led Zeppelin, the Who — and even Yes and Journey. When set up by the interviewer, who commented that he personally didn’t care for Zeppelin, Richards took the bait, saying, “I love Jimmy Page, but as a band, no, with John Bonham thundering down the highway in an uncontrolled 18-wheeler. He had cornered the market there. Jimmy is a brilliant player. But I always felt there was something a little hollow about it, y’know?”

He did give Robert Plant credit for his 2007 Grammy Award winning team-up with Alison Krauss on Raising Sand, saying, “I heard that and thought, ‘Finally, he’s getting his chops!’ But no. Also I don’t want it coming out like. . . I mean, I always thought (Roger) Daltrey was all flash. And I love Pete Townshend, but I always thought the Who were a crazy band, anyway. You would say to (Keith) Moon, if you were in a session with him, “Just give me a swing,” and he (couldn’t). . . He was an incredible drummer, but only with Pete Townshend. He could play to Pete like nobody else in the world. But if somebody threw him into a session with somebody else, it was a disaster. There’s nothing wrong with that; sometimes you’ve got that one paintbrush, and you rock it.”

Richards went on to explain: “I just was never really interested in that many English rock & roll bands actually, at all. I mean, I usually like guys like Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, and that was before I was even recording. But there was something (about) the Yeses and the Journeys and all them that just left me a bit cold.”
When pressed about Paul McCartney, he said: “Yeah, I like Paul. I don’t know if I could do that all by myself. And as long as Paul enjoys what he’s doing. A lot of people enjoy it, and there it is. But I don’t see any push out of it. Maybe you shouldn’t expect it at our age (laughs).”

Keith Richards admitted that he’s never been one to keep his pulse on what’s going down in the clubs or in the charts: “I’m not particularly interested with ‘catching up with the latest’ — but then, I never was. Most of the stuff that I ever played was stuff that I’d heard from guys who were much older than me. In other words, I was never a big pop freak, (laughs) until suddenly I found myself a pop star. Music, it’s all out there, you can listen to it and it depends what grabs ya. I mean, being a musician, I listen for music. That’s what I do, y’know?”

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