Keith Richards on Led Zeppelin: “I Always Felt There Was Something a Little Hollow About It”


Keith Richards has made headlines recently for his unkind comments about the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album (“rubbish”) as well as Metallica and Black Sabbath (“great jokes”).

In his new interview with Rolling Stone magazine, the Rolling Stones guitarist gets in a shot at Led Zeppelin and reveals his discomfort with Aerosmith and other acts that copped his image and attitude. You can read the relevant section below and get the full interview at

RS: Your quotes about the Beatles went viral recently. I’m curious what you think of the acts that came after the Stones. You and Mick kind of created the archetype for the guitarist–lead singer dynamic, which we later saw in Aerosmith, etc.

KR: Yeah, yeah. I always just take it as a compliment. That’s the only smooth way I can take it. Well, I’m glad you like the hairdo and the clothes, boys! But very little of it has to deal with the actual music. That’s that image thing, which is a whole different bag, I suppose. Am I supposed to feel flattered? I wonder how much of it has to do with music and posing, and you can’t really get the line straight. I mean there are a million guitar players out there. I always think it comes down to, did you find the right guy to play with? You might just be a good, average guitar player, but you find the other guy to play with, and suddenly, it goes to the power of something. It’s playing together that is the important thing about bands, and so many bands are manufactured. I mean, even Zeppelin was manufactured by Peter Grant.

RS: I was never a big Zeppelin guy.

KR: Me neither. I love Jimmy Page, but as a band, no, with John Bonham thundering down the highway in an uncontrolled 18-wheeler. He had cornered the market there. Jimmy is a brilliant player. But I always felt there was something a little hollow about it, you know?

In the interview, Richards also shares his thoughts about the Who, noting, “[Drummer Keith Moon] could play to Pete [Townshend] like nobody else in the world. But if somebody threw him into a session with somebody else, it was a disaster,” he says. “There’s nothing wrong with that; sometimes you’ve got that one paintbrush, and you rock it.”

Richards released his third solo album, Crosseyed Heart, on September 18. Its debut single, “Trouble,” is a guitar-rocking track featuring Richards along with his pals, guitarist Waddy Wachtel and drummer Steve Jordan, with Bernard Fowler on backup vocals.

“I had a ball making this new record and working with Steve Jordan and Waddy Wachtel again,” Richards said in a statement. “There’s nothing like walking into a studio and having absolutely no idea what you're going to come out with on the other end. If you’re looking for ‘Trouble,’ you've come to the right place.”