Rolling Stones icons Keith Richards recently sat down with Rolling Stone magazine’s Patrick Doyle to discuss his life, legacy, and new album, Crosseyed Heart. They did all that, but he also set off a minor firestorm in the classic rock community by criticizing Led Zeppelin and the Who. Richards isn’t known for sugarcoating his views on rocks sacred cows —remember his harsh words on the Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers?— and he’d admitted to not being a massive fan of the British hard rock boom.
“I love Jimmy Page, but as a band, no, with John Bonham thundering down the highway in an uncontrolled 18-wheeler,” he said of Led Zep. “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?”
Although the Who’s Pete Townshend avoided any scorn, Richards dismissed frontman Roger Daltrey as being “all flash.” That seems a little strong, but his criticisms about their one-of-a-kind drummer Keith Moon are somewhat justified. “[Moon] 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.”
Pagey seems like the type to let this ride, but we fully expect a retort from the sharp-tongued Townshend in the coming days.