Here’s Why Keith Richards Says He Dislikes Rock Music

With Keith Richards being one of rock music’s biggest purveyors, asserting that he would dislike the genre seems silly. Nevertheless, Richards has said in the past that he dislikes rock music–albeit with an important distinction. Find out what that distinction is, below.

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Here’s Why Keith Richards Says He Dislikes Rock Music

To be clear, Richards doesn’t hate rock n’ roll. He hates rock music. What is the difference? Well, there is a pretty large one there for Richards. According to the Rolling Stones guitarist, he attributes rock n’ roll to black blues artists, while rock music is “white man’s version.”

“Rock n’ roll I never get tired of, but ‘rock’ is a white man’s version,” Richards once said about rock music–specifically Led Zeppelin. “They turn it into a march, that’s [the modern] version of rock. Excuse me, I prefer the roll.”

In many ways, Richards’ take on rock n’ roll versus rock music makes sense. His music with the Stones is a love letter to the American blues. He and his bandmates wear their inspirations on their sleeves. Whereas bands like Led Zeppelin were trying to pave a new way forward, toeing the line between classic rock and metal music. All that to say, it’s easy to see why Richards has developed this opinion.

Blues pioneers, like Muddy Waters, were massively important figures in the lives of the Rolling Stones. The genre was the foundation they built their success off of. Richards once said of the blues, “It just struck the chord in here somewhere.”

“You heard it and all the breath left your body and you were…anything to be able to approach that,” he continued. Wherever [Muddy Waters] is, I wanna be, you know? That solidness, that hint of knowing far more than you ought to know, and power. Just such maleness.”

(Photo: Scott Gries/ImageDirect)

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