Born in Dartford, Kent, England in 1943, Keith Richards became almost two decades later one of the founders and most important members of The Rolling Stones. Alongside the vocalist Mick Jagger he is one of the main songwriter of the band and of course, contributed with many glorious guitar riffs for the group’s records during their career.
But he is not only known for his musical talent, since he is a very sincere person that always says what he thinks about anyone. So when he praises a fellow musician, you can know he really has a huge respect for that person. Over the decades he talked about many of his peers and once praised a guitarist that in his opinion was a real craftsman.
The guitarist who Keith Richards praised as a craftsman
The Rolling Stones started in 1962 in London, during a time where the country was beginning to be the most promising place on earth for Rock and Roll, with many incredible bands appearing that would later inspire countless generations of musicians all over the world.
The Stones were one of the few famous groups from that era that didn’t break up and continued to be active throughout the decades. But there were many groups like The Beatles, for example, that lasted only 10 years and then their famous and praised members pursued a solo career.
Although Paul McCartney and John Lennon were the ones who had the bigger spotlight in the band due to their successful songwriting partnership, it was the late legendary guitarist and singer George Harrison who achieved the number 1 solo hit after The Beatles came to an end. The single “My Sweet Lord” from his classic album “All Things Must Pass” reached the first position of the charts in the UK and USA.
It was Harrison who Richards always praised and said that he was so good that it was as if he was a real “craftsman” when composing his songs. He also mentioned that the late Beatle was a person who could come up at any time with a good song or album. The Stones guitarist said that in a special message to Rolling Stone after Harrison’s passing in 2001 at the age of 58.
“The thing is, you’ve got your Jimi Hendrix, you’ve got your Eric Clapton, and then you’ve got guys who can play with bands. And George was a band and a team player. To me, that’s way above being some virtuoso flash artist. George was an artist, but he was also a f* craftsman.”
“When you listen to his songs, you’re aware of how much went into it. He didn’t flip anything off. George crafted his stuff very, very carefully, and it all had its own feel. This was a guy who could come out with a great song or a great record anytime,” Keith Richards said.
The musician recently talked with The Telegraph, to promote the Stones latest album “Hackney Diamonds”. In the conversation, he said that John Lennon and George Harrison would certainly have fitted into the Rolling Stones. He mentioned that because McCartney will appear in one of the tracks from the album.
How was The Stones relationship with The Beatles
Although a kind of rivalry was created by fans between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones during the 60s, the members of both bands were good friends. At that time the fans would debate about which band was better. But there was never any kind of animosity between the musicians. They would even help each other.
The Beatles even wrote the song “I Wanna Be Your Man” and gave it to the Stones when they were starting. In 2003, Richards used to answer questions from the fans on his website and once he was asked about The Beatles.
“John was a particular good friend of mine. Stories that cannot be told (laughs). George was a lovely guy, we got Paul (a great songwriter) and Ringo, what a guy, what a steady (beat). They came to see us play. We were playing in a pub. (It was) at the Station Hotel in Richmond. That was our gig.”
“It was the only one we really had. Everybody was having a good time. I turn around and there are these four guys in black leather overcoats standing there. This was soon after ‘Love Me Do’.”
Keith Richards continued:
“I mean this was really early on and this is early 60s. From then on we’re always good mates. When George’s new single (was ready) we always made sure we didn’t clash. Because in those days was like every two months you had to have a new single.”
“We would collaborate with each other. So we didn’t go head to head. Because otherwise it seemed like ‘you’re either Beatles or Stones’, bullshit. And we are so similar, that’s not true. We all recognized that and it was one of the great things about it. I mean, between the two bands there was never any sense of competition. It was cooperation,” Keith Richards said.
During his solo career, George Harrison released 12 studio albums and 2 live albums. The last one “Brainwashed” (2002) was released posthumously. The record was finished by his son Dhani Harrison with the help of ELO’s Jeff Lynne. It was released almost a year after Harrison’s passing.
Besides The Beatles, Harrison was also part of another supergroup, which was called The Traveling Wilburys. The line-up also had Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. Two studio albums were released, one in 1988 and the other in 1990. Some of their most famous tracks were “End of The Line” and “Handle With Care”.