Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger has recalled how bandmate Keith Richards drove him “crazy” with his Beatles obsession in the early 60s.
The Stones were still a blues cover band as the Fab Four began their rise to fame writing and recording original material.
“We were working in the clubs in London, and the Beatles just came out and had a hit, ‘Love Me Do’,” Richards said in his episode of the four-part BBC documentary. My Rolling Stone Life. “And we were like, ‘Oh, man, what a great record! “”
He noted that “our job was to be like the first rhythm and blues band in London, and we succeeded! But we had no idea of progressing beyond that stage. We were just envious too, man, you know? I mean, they do whatever we want…. They could make records. The holy grail was making records, being able to get into a studio…you’d think you’re invading Fort Knox just to make a record.
Jagger agreed, adding that “The Beatles suddenly explode…but we’re a blues band. The Beatles changed everything. Keith, he played the Beatles all the time. It would absolutely drive me crazy! And why he played the Beatles doesn’t It wasn’t because he didn’t want to listen to anything else Keith wanted to write those pop songs because we were undeniably the blues band… we knew we had to be a pop band.
In a separate interview with Apple Music, Ronnie Wood remembers seeing the Stones play for the first time around this time. “I saw them in 1963 at the Richmond Jazz and Blues Festival,” he said. “The expansion of the blues – and the shift from jazz to blues and rock ‘n’ roll – was right at the crossroads where I saw the band. I saw the band I wanted to be in and I got said, ‘They’re doing what I want to hear, what I want to do! Look at the presence of these guys and look at the girls! I said, ‘That sounds like a good job,’ and it was fantastic.”
Rolling Stones album chart
Ready to travel to the (dark) past? Check out the Rolling Stones albums ranked from worst to best.