Keith Richards: "Black music is the reason I'm here"

27 October 2020, 15:50

Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones in 2018
Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones in 2018. Picture: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for God's Love We Deliver

The Rolling Stones legend has said that it's "about bloody time" the Black Lives Matter protests happened.

Keith Richards has praised the Black Lives Matter protests and said that black music is "The reason I'm here."

Speaking to Rolling Stone magazine, the legendary guitarist acknowledged the debt that the Stones owed to blue and R&B artists back in the 60s, particularly Chuck Berry.

He said of Berry: "Nobody could write them like that, man. I mean, you want rock & roll? There it is. And you know, I can say no more. I’m out of superlatives."

Asked about the Black Lives Matter protests earlier this year, which were sparked following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd while in police custody, he said: "It’s about bloody time.

"I mean, in this country [the US], things are coming to a head. That’s the way it is. You got to deal with it."

He went on: "It’s difficult for me to talk about it, because I am not an American. I live here, I am in heart and soul, I am one of you, but I can’t interfere.

"I’m like Putin, I refuse to interfere in your electoral process."

However, the Rolling Stones guitarist had less positive things to say about modern rock music, claiming: “There is no new rock ’n’ roll. It’s pointless.

“There’s great musicians and some great singers and stuff. Unfortunately, to me, in music, it’s been synthesised to death.

“Once you start synthesising things, you’re not getting the real thing.

“I don’t want to go into a long discourse on what’s wrong with synthesisers and music these days, except to say they’re cheap and corny.”

The Stones are currently working on a new album (their 24th British studio LP) but released one track, Living In A Ghost Town, during the summer because, as Keith says, "it just felt so damn appropriate.”

The Rolling Stones performed You Can't Always Get What You Want for the One World: Together At Home gig during the lockdown in April.

Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts all called in to the charity event, organised by Lady Gaga in conjunction with Global Citizen and the World Health Organisation.

Read more: Why Rolling Stone Charlie Watts doesn't have a drum kit at home