Keith Richards doesn’t really need to prove anything to anyone anymore. The man is the epitome of a living legend in the rock world, and what he has done with the Rolling Stones helped invent the more nasty side of rock and roll as we know it.
For someone who is known as one of the darkest figures of classic rock though, he hasn’t run short of a few nasty jabs at the new school…well, by his standards.
While most of the metal that we know today is paved by bands like Black Sabbath and Metallica, Keith has been notoriously hateful towards them, saying “Millions are in love with Metallica and Black Sabbath. I just thought they were great jokes.”
Then again, there’s a good chance that both Sabbath and Metallica wouldn’t be here without the Stones leading the way in the first place, creating some of the heaviest riffs imaginable because kids were getting burnt out on hearing the same bluesy rock and roll over and over again.
As far as Keith is concerned though, the blues is probably as heavy as music can possibly get, saying “if you want heavy metal, listen to John Lee Hooker. Listen to that motherfucker play. That’s heavy metal. That’s armor.”
There’s no disputing that most guitar players usually started off with a blues riff, but there’s also a good reason why Tony Iommi took those same bluesy licks and turned them into something much more macabre on the first Sabbath record.
And it’s not like Metallica is exactly shy of their love for the Stones either, including their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where Kirk Hammett thanked fellow Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood directly for having such an impact on him when he was first coming as a young guitarist.
Keith may have always been a lightning rod for controversy even back in the ‘60s, but this is about something more than just general rock and roll sparring sessions.
The Stones may have cut their teeth playing the blues and giving the world some menacing rock and roll, but there’s also a good chance that Keith couldn’t hold a candle to “Paranoid” or “Master of Puppets” if he tried.