Keith Richards calls the Who’s drummer Keith Moon ‘a disaster’

Keith Richards

Keith Richards, one of the most acclaimed guitarists in rock music history, is well-known for his actions outside of The Rolling Stones as much as his studio adventures. Richards’ extracurricular activities, which include destroyed hotel rooms and many arrests for drug use, are quite well documented. One of his favorite pleasures is expressing his opinions about his rock and roll colleagues, which has frequently sparked controversy.

“Through the years, Richards has expressed his distaste for certain fellow artists in news interviews and memoirs. When you are the guitarist for The Rolling Stones, people want to talk to you.” Perhaps dragging people off was a method for Richards to keep himself from growing bored with the interview process”. Regardless of motivation, the blues rock guitarist has attacked everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Duran Duran, seemingly without discrimination.

Keith Moon, the iconic drummer for the Who, was an unexpected target of Richards‘ acid tongue. Moon, the originator of the ‘crazy drummer‘ image, is one of the few positions that can compete with Richards’ unexpected image. Moon, in addition to his fondness for exploding kickdrums and trashing hotel rooms, was a true stick master. “Although The Who’s guitar-heavy mod rock often overshadowed Moon’s drumming, his brilliance was evident. At least to everyone except Keith Richards.”

“In a 2015 interview with Rolling Stone, Richards criticized the late Who drummer. He said, ‘I mean, I always thought [Roger] Daltrey was all flash'”.  And while I adore Pete Townshend, I’ve always felt The Who were a strange band. “You would say to [Keith] Moon if you were in a session with him, ‘Just give me a swing’, but he [couldn’t]. He was an incredible drummer, but only with Pete Townshend.”

Continuing, the Stones guitarist stated, “He could play to Pete like nobody else in the world”. However, throwing him into a session with someone else would be disastrous. There’s nothing wrong with that; sometimes you only have one paintbrush and you rock it.”

Richards recently expressed the same opinion in an interview with Sirius XM while promoting the Stones‘ most recent album, Hackney Diamonds: “I loved Mooney dearly as a person.” As a drummer, I would murder him. Right?”. The haggard guitarist appears to regard Moon as inferior to the late Rolling Stones guitarist Charlie Watts.

The repeated criticisms of Keith Richards seem ignorant of the fact that Moon did genuinely partake in musical ventures outside of The Who. “While Moon’s solo career is perhaps best forgotten, his collaboration with Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on the song ‘Beck’s Bolero’ demonstrates his amazing virtuosity. It also showcases his ability to adapt to new styles and artists outside of The Who.”

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