Not sure how true this story is but nice all the same.
Muso sits in with the Rolling Stones. Starts muttering how odd it seems. “Usually, you know, the drums and bass lay down the beat, the swing. The rhythm guitar follows then you layer up from there” sorta muttering.
“Not in this band, we all just follow Keef”.
Which might be the secret not that I’m musician enough to know. The one standout musical talent in there being Richards. Sure, it would be nice if Jagger could actually sing – yes, he’s got the charisma etc but even Rod Stewart has been unkind about his singing voice and his attempt at an American accent in Midnight Rambler is simply cringeworthy – and he knows his way around chords and keys. Jones was a multi-instrumentalist, Charlies Watts a fine drummer – although even there You Can’t Always Get What You Want was done by Jimmy Miller as Watts just couldn’t pick up the groove – and Wyman a perfectly servicable bassist but again, that really stand out bass line on Sympathy was done by Keef. Mick Taylor a very fine blues guitarist. Ronnie Wood excellent again.
But the one who is different. Who has something more and better. Original if you prefer. Something that other entirely fine, even excellent, musicians don’t have, that’s Richards. In the way that Clapton had with lead, Billy Cobham on drums. Perhaps the comment about BB King solos – he doesn’t play many notes, does he? Nope, but they’re always the right ones.
Not quite sue why this thought strikes on a Monday morning but there we are. The one thing that makes the Rolling Stones different is Keith Richards.