And Finally Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #43: Keith Richards v Markus Larsson

By | Published on Saturday 13 November 2010

So, here’s a beef with several levels. Or maybe none. It really depends on whose side you take and how much you want to read into it. Earlier this week, it was reported that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards had attacked Swedish journalist Markus Larsson after realising during an interview that Larsson had been responsible for a 2/5 live review of The Stones in 2007, in which he called the band “amateurs”.

This remark had clearly stayed with Richards, who, in a fit of anger, leapt up and hit Larsson on the head, sending him fleeing from the room. Sweden’s Aftonbladet newspaper reported: “The meeting ended with the rock star threatening Markus Larsson and hitting him in the head, before telling the journalist: ‘You’re lucky to get out of here alive'”.

Scary stuff indeed, and a lesson to any journo ever thinking of having a less than glowing opinion of the Stones; Richards clearly reads all of his press and takes it to heart.

Except that Richard’s explanation of the situation is somewhat different. According to a spokesman for the musician, the only thing he took exception to was Larsson’s interview technique.

The spokesman told Rolling Stone magazine: “At the conclusion of the 20 minute interview Keith Richards jokingly tapped the journalist on the head after his questions got a bit silly. From the people in the room during the interview they would suggest that the writer has allowed his imagination to get the better of him”.

It could indeed be that, a little nervous that Richards might be aware of his less than positive review a few years ago, Larsson went into the interview expecting trouble, and when he received a jokey tap on the head, ran screaming from the room. Or maybe Keith Richards is a violent monster with a photographic memory for reviews who must be stopped! How many journalists will die before Richards is brought to justice?

This Beef Of The Week comes from this edition of the CMU Weekly. Subscribe to the CMU Weekly here.