The rock veteran has previously been outspoken in his lack of regard for the Fab Four’s music, criticising their live performance and he even famously called their iconic 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band a, “mishmash of rubbish”.
However, the 74-year-old has now confessed that without The Beatles making it big in America in the mid-1960s, the Stones wouldn’t have become the phenomenon they are today.
“There’s no getting away from it ,” he told The Sun newspaper. ”Without The Beatles, I doubt there’d have been The Rolling Stones as such. They had that wonderful all-round appeal, something we certainly weren’t working on.
“We didn’t have to put up with being the Mop Tops or the Fab Four. Before The Beatles, hardly any British acts had broken America but they opened the door and I guess we kicked it in,” he added.
The Beatles split up in 1970 and Keith said that he puts their early demise down to the scrutiny they were under.
“They got off the bus just before it really got moving, you know,” explained Richards. “The pressure they were under being The Beatles is maybe one of the reasons why we’re still around.”
The Rolling Stones recently announced that this summer they will perform in their native U.K. for the first time in five years, and Keith revealed they were also ready to record new music.
“We’re working on it right now, old boy!” he told The Sun’s reporter. “I’m in the studio and I’m waiting for Mick to turn up. We’re doing a few days knocking some songs around and playing about, so work is in progress as I speak.”