Keith Richards has gotten a lot of press lately thanks to the recent release of his third solo album, Crosseyed Heart, but the Rolling Stones guitarist also has been grabbing headlines because of some negative comments he’s made about other famous rock acts, such as The Beatles, The Grateful Dead and Metallica. Now, in a new interview with Rolling Stone, Richards turns a critical eye or ear toward Led Zeppelin and The Who.
Keith tells the magazine that he never was a big fan of Led Zeppelin, while suggesting they were a band that manager Peter Grant manufactured.
“I love Jimmy Page, but as a band, no, with [late drummer] John Bonham thundering down the highway in an uncontrolled 18-wheeler,” says Richards. “He had cornered the market there. Jimmy is a brilliant player. But I always felt there was something a little hollow about it, you know?”
Keith also pipes in on Robert Plant’s singing voice, saying he enjoys the Led Zeppelin frontman’s recent solo projects better than his work with his old band. He says he heard Raising Sand, Plant’s award-winning 2007 duets album with bluegrass singer Alison Krauss, and thought, “Finally, he’s getting his chops!”
As for The Who, Richards says he loves guitarist Pete Townshend, but thinks singer Roger Daltrey “was all flash.” He also criticizes Keith Moon, saying the late drummer was unable to play with musicians outside of his own band.
“He could play to Pete like nobody else in the world,” Keith maintains. “But if somebody threw him into a session with somebody else, it was a disaster.”
Richards goes on to reveal that he never was a big fan of too many English rock ‘n’ roll bands in general, while noting that “the Yeses and the Journeys and all them that just left me a bit cold.” It’s worth pointing out that, of course, Journey is an American group.
Meanwhile, Richards also talks about The Rolling Stones’ tentative plans to record a new album. He says he doesn’t know where or when the project will be recorded, while pointing out that the band likely won’t get started until after they finish an as-yet-unannounced South American tour early next year. Keith adds, “We might try and get in the studio before Christmas, [but] I think that’s sort of doubtful.”