Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Keith Richards Plays a Good Show

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has demanded an apology from Swedish newspapers for their scathing reviews of the group's performance in the country earlier this month.

Tabloids Expressen and Aftonbladet gave thumbs down to the Aug. 3 concert at Ullevi stadium in Goteborg, with Expressen suggesting Richards was "superdrunk" on stage.

"This is a first!" the 63-year-old rock star wrote in a letter published by Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter. "Never before have I risen to the bait of a bad review.

"But this time ... I have to stand up ... for our fans all over Sweden ... to say that you owe them, and us, an apology."

This is awesomely dramatic stuff. Keith Richards being offended by a rando music critic calling him superdrunk. Not just drunk, but superdrunk. And why does this offend the king of drugs and drink? Let's talk about the letter.

Dagens Nyheter said it received the letter from concert organizer EMA Telstar. Company head Thomas Johansson told The Associated Press that Richards wrote the letter and gave it to him after reading translations of the Swedish reviews.

"There were 56,000 people in Ullevi stadium who bought a ticket to our concert - and experienced a completely different show than the one you 'reviewed,'" the letter said.

"How dare you cheapen the experience for them - and for the hundreds of thousands of other people across Sweden who weren't at Ullevi and have only your 'review' to go on.

Look, I'm sure the 50,000 or so Swedes had a great time at the show. They were all happy and superdrunk with you. It's true, going to a great show and enjoying the experience is one thing. Reading that your great experience was actually a hugely shitty time by one dismissive critic can sometimes kill the buzz. But leave the complaining to the fans, Keef. Maybe all of these fans gave you the benefit of the doubt and clapped no matter how crappy your old hands play the guitar.

"Write the truth. It was a good show."

In his review, Aftonbladet's music writer Markus Larsson gave the concert a score of two on a five-point scale, and said Richards appeared "a bit confused."

"I am not going to apologize for my subjective opinion," Larsson told the paper's Web edition on Wednesday. "It is Keith who should apologize. After all it costs around 1,000 kronor ($145) to see a rock star who can hardly handle the (guitar) riff to 'Brown Sugar' any more."

This is a great example of critic's affect on the musician. Of all the bizarre times for Keith to complain about a bad critique, this takes the cake. They are band of old older guys who famously said they wouldn't be playing their old hits when they were 60. Well, here we are, wallowing in your stale remakes and terrible solo outings.

Do I think the review was wrong in its harshness? No, that's what Larsson felt, and if he wants to be cynical and hard-to-please, that's his prerogative.

Also, the part about how he can't even play 'Brown Sugar' is classic.

2 comments:

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