- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

In a new interview with Esquire, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards calls The Beatles’ iconic 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” “a mishmash of rubbish.”

“No, I understand — the 
Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles. … I think they got carried away,” said the 71-year-old guitarist and founding member of the Stones. “If you’re the Beatles in the ‘60s … you forget what it is you wanted to do. You’re starting to do ‘Sgt. Pepper.’ Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like [the Stones’ ‘Their] Satanic Majesties [Request’].”

Despite Mr. Richards’ opinion, “Sgt. Pepper‘s” is widely regarded as one of the seminal rock albums of all time, consistently ranking at or near the top of subjective lists of the the greatest albums ever released. Rolling Stone magazine has consistently called the Lennon-McCartney masterpiece as the best record ever.

“Oh, if you can make a load of [expletive], so can we,” Mr. Richards said, comparing “Sgt. Pepper‘s” to the Stone’s similarly experimental — but far less successful — “Their Satanic Majesties Request.”

In the same article, Mr. Richards recalls that legendary bluesman Buddy Guy told him, “Thank God for you guys, because you really did save the blues in America. You brought it all back to life.” It was the records of Mr. Guy and other American bluesmen that inspired the English Rolling Stones during their early years to imitate the blues sound. In fact, it was a Muddy Waters record called “Rollin’ Stone” from which the band took its name.

Mr. Richards‘ first album of solo material in 20 years, “Crosseyed Heart,” will be released Sept. 18. He and the Rolling Stones are currently on their wildly popular Zip Code Tour.

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