Keith Richards’ Dilemma About Bruce Springsteen


The Rolling Stones icon Keith Richards rose to prominence primarily for his talented guitar-playing and songwriting skills. It’s undeniable that Richards made significant contributions to the Stones throughout the band’s career. However, he also made a name for himself for his sharp tongue and controversial remarks.

For instance, Keith Richards once slammed the Beatles’ record ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ describing it as a ‘mishmash of rubbish.’ He hated David Bowie and claimed he was nothing but a poser with nothing to do with music. As it seems, Bruce Springsteen also had his share of Richards’ remarks.

What Did Keith Richards Say About Bruce Springsteen?


Although Bruce Springsteen is a long-time fan of the Rolling Stones and claims the Stones had inspired him before forming the E Street band, he couldn’t escape Keith Richards’ criticism. Speaking to Rolling Stone in 1988, Richards praised Springsteen at first, but he later called him ‘pretentious.’

In the interview, Keith Richards said that he met Bruce Springsteen a couple of times and had good chats at parties or premieres. He then said Springsteen is a sweet and nice person. Moreover, the guitarist described Springsteen’s hours-long shows as ‘way over the top’ and said he believed a good rock and roll act lasts only twenty minutes.

After that, Richards was asked to comment on Springsteen’s music. The guitarist said this was a tricky question because he likes Springsteen and revealed that he thinks he will annoy many people. The rocker said he has clashing opinions about the E Street Band frontman since he likes Springsteen but not much of his music. Following that, Richards described Springsteen’s music as ‘pretentious.’

In a 1988 interview with Rolling Stone, Richards said:

“I’ve met Bruce two or three times. We’ve had several good chats, usually at some release party or premiere, and we end up in the corner talking. He’s a sweet guy, a nice guy. Mind you; I think four-hour shows are way over the top. To me, a great rock & roll act does twenty minutes.”

He then continued, commenting on Springsteen’s music:

“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.”

So, Keith Richards argued that Springsteen’s hours-long performances were pretentious. However, Springsteen and the Rolling Stones shared the same stage and performed together later on several occasions. So, Richards’ words probably weren’t out of hate or bad intention.

Below, you can watch Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones perform.