Keith Richards Criticizes The Beatles' Live Performances

(Image credit: Brian Rasic/Getty Images)

Keith Richards, in an interview with Radio Times, criticized the Beatles as a live band.

"Musically, the Beatles had a lovely sound and great songs. But the live thing? They were never quite there,” Richards said.

Richards also said in the interview, which was to promote the BBC2 documentary Keith Richards: The Origin of the Species, that while he enjoyed the friendship of the legendary Liverpool quartet, he felt it necessary to "excommunicate" them after they fell under the influence of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

“He was a fucking operator, a sucker job. But you have to think, what had being the Beatles done to the Beatles? They wanted somebody else to take them away," Richards said.

"They didn’t want to be 'god' any more, so they plugged it all onto the Maharishi.”

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.