The reason why Keith Richards hates rock music

One of the most prickly individuals in rock music is Keith Richards, the guitarist for the Rolling Stones. He is not just one of the most important and infamous icons of his generation, but he has also demonstrated time and time again that he is a nonconformist in the genuine countercultural sense. One place where this idea is very evident is in his treatment of other artists.

Richards is renowned for both his creative endeavors and his wild times with The Rolling Stones, but his legendary position was mostly attained by his exceptional musical abilities. Due to his cartoonish demeanor, Richards may make people forget this, yet he is among the best guitarists to come out of the psychedelic 1960s.

Richards created a unique approach to the fretboard by combining his longtime love of the blues with traditional Spanish music, which he weaponized through open tunings and finger-picking. He formed a strong composition collaboration with the swaggering vocalist of the British band, Mick Jagger, thanks to his distinctive approach. The duo has penned a long list of timeless songs, including “Gimme Shelter” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

One of the people most strongly identified with rock music, especially that of the classic era, is Keith Richards because of the overall sound of The Rolling Stones and the caliber of his work. He has stated that he is not a fan of rock music, though, considering his tendency to go against the grain and his inherent disdain for it.

This idea came to Richards as he made a statement on Led Zeppelin, one of the most important bands in history. He made a distinction here between rock, which he denounced as being a poorer version of the original music, and rock ‘n’ roll, which he adores.

“Rock ‘n’ roll I never get tired of, but ‘rock’ is a white man’s version,” he said of Led Zeppelin’s sonic insurgency in the documentary Under the Influence, “And they turn it into a march, that’s [the modern] version of rock. Excuse me, I prefer the roll.”

Richards elaborated on his dislike of Led Zeppelin’s rock music in a speech posted on his website. He says, “As a band, I felt aptly named, it never took off for me musically. At the same time, Jimmy Page is one of the best guitar players I’ve ever known. Bonham was a hell of a powerhouse drummer although I think he’s kind of heavy-handed, myself — that’s when the ‘Led’ comes in.”


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