Keith Richards’ Shares Harsh Comments About Bruce Springsteen’s Music

Keith Richards’ Shares Harsh Comments About Bruce Springsteen’s Music | Society Of Rock Videos

via Keith Richards / Youtube

Bruce Springsteen found early inspiration in Keith Richards and The Rolling Stones. He taught himself to play Richards’ guitar riffs and harbored dreams of sharing the stage with the band.

As Springsteen achieved fame, he had several encounters with The Rolling Stones. While Richards, whom he greatly admired, liked him personally, but wasn’t as enthusiastic about Springsteen’s music.

By the late 1980s, Richards and Springsteen had encountered each other multiple times, and Richards found their every interaction to be enjoyable. Richards told Rolling Stone in 1988:

“I’ve met Bruce two or three times.

“We’ve had several good chats, usually at some release party or premiere, and we just end up in the corner talking. He’s a sweet guy, a nice guy.”

Although Richards had a favorable opinion of Springsteen personally, he was not fond of the extended duration of his performances. He said:

“Mind you, I think four-hour shows really are way over the top.

“To me, a great rock & roll act does twenty minutes [laughs]. I remember the Paramount, where you got the Impressions, Jackie Wilson, Joe Tex, and everybody does just their absolute supreme best shot! A lot of the shows you get these days are very self-indulgent. I don’t think anybody can be enthralling for four hours onstage playing rock & roll.”

He didn’t appreciate Springsteen’s music either, considering it to be overly pretentious. He said:

“Bruce? That’s a tough one, because I like the guy. But the music … I don’t know.

“I’m the toughest taskmaster of all time. I’m going to annoy a lot of people. Bruce? To me, it’s pretentious.”

Richards expressed his comprehension of Springsteen’s musical aspirations, but he felt that the other artist was unable to successfully achieve them. He added:

“I love his attitude. I love what he wants to do.

“I just think he’s gone about it the wrong way. These are just my opinions, and okay, I’ll annoy the lot of you. Bruce? Too contrived for me. Too overblown.”

Even though Richards expressed his annoyance with Springsteen’s long concerts years ago, the American musician continues to deliver performances that span several hours. Although Stones’ shows are not as lengthy as Springsteen’s, they still far exceed the 20-minute performances that Richards commended back in 1988.

Instead, the band takes the stage for a minimum of two hours. Similar to numerous legendary rock musicians, the band performs extended shows to cover their vast repertoire. Although Richards initially found it bothersome when Springsteen did the same, he eventually embraced the practice and followed the lead of his fellow artist.

Keith Richards Played in Concert With Bruce Springsteen

Springsteen fulfilled his childhood aspiration in 2012 by performing with The Rolling Stones during the last concert of their tour. He shared the stage with Mick Jagger, and together they performed “Tumbling Dice.” While Springsteen thoroughly enjoyed the exhilaration of playing live with the band, he found the rehearsal they had the day before even more enjoyable. Springsteen wrote in his book Born to Run:

“The next night we did it for twenty thousand thunderstruck New Jerseyans in Newark.

“It was a thrill but it didn’t have the mystic kick of the night before, when I got to sit in, in that little room with just those four guys, the GREATEST GARAGE BAND IN THE WORLD, in my small piece of rock’ n’ roll heaven.”

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