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Keith Richards calls Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s ‘a mishmash of rubbish’

keith richards bashes beatles sgt peppers
Helga Esteb /

The longtime battle between the Rolling Stones and the Beatles continues, some 50 years down the road. When Esquire asked Stones’ lead guitarist Keith Richards about the Fab Four in a recent interview, the Richards acknowledged the lasting power of most of their albums — but had some choice words about their groundbreaking 1967 LP Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

“The Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles,” he said to Esquire. “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 [the Rolling Stones’] Satanic Majesties — ‘Oh, if you can make a load of shit, so can we.'”

He was also quick to note that while the Stones were known for their boisterous image in the ’60s, the Beatles had more than their fair share of fun too. “They talk about us — [but for] the Beatles, those chicks wore those guys out. They stopped touring in 1966 — they were done already. They were ready to go to India and shit.”

Richards will release his first solo record in 23 years, entitled Crosseyed Heart, on September 18. “I had a ball making this new record and working with Steve Jordan and Wally Wachtel again,” said Richards in a statement. “There’s nothing like walking into a studio and having absolutely no idea what you’re going to come out with on the other end. If you’re looking for Trouble (the first single off of the record), you’ve come to the right place.”

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