Thursday, November 11, 2010

Keith Richards allegedly threatens Swedish journalist

People seriously underestimate Keith Richards’ memory.

A Swedish journalist may have found that out the hard way, according to various news reports that surfaced on Tuesday.

Markus Larsson, a music reporter for the Swedish publication, Aftonbladets, was interviewing Keith at Paris' Le Meurice Hotel on Tuesday, as part of a promo stop for Richards’ new autobiography, “Life.”

About 10 minutes into the session, Keith realized Larssson was the same journalist who trashed the Stones in a 2007 concert review from a show in Gothenburg, Sweden, describing the band as “amateurs.”

Following that August, 2007 show, Richards demanded an apology from two Swedish newspapers that panned the show, including Aftonbladets.

"This is a first!" Richards wrote in a letter published by Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter. "Never before have I risen to the bait of a bad review. But this time...I have to stand up... for our fans all over say that you owe them, and us, an apology."

He continued: "There were 56,000 people in Ullevi stadium who bought a ticket to our concert — and experienced a completely different show than the one you 'reviewed'. How dare you cheapen the experience for them — and for the hundreds of thousands of other people across Sweden who weren't at Ullevi and have only your 'review' to go on. Write the truth. It was a good show."

In response, Aftonbladet's music critic Larsson answered back: "I am not going to apologize for my subjective opinion. It is Keith who should apologize. After all, it costs around $145 to see a rock star who can hardly handle the riff to 'Brown Sugar' any more."

During Tuesday’s interview, Keith’s mood changed in a hurry, with reports suggesting the guitarist demanded a public apology for the slight on his band.

"His eyes got black and he was absolutely furious," Larsson said in an Aftonbladets article. "He stood up and asked if we would put out the lights and settle the disagreement straight away. At first I was just surprised, I thought he was pulling my leg, but then I realized he was serious, and then I felt uncomfortable, and I just wanted to get out of there pretty fast."

"The meeting ended with the rock star threatening Larsson and hitting him in the head," the article continued, with Larsson adding that Richards hissed, "You're lucky to get out of here alive" prior to leaving.

Rolling Stone reports that a spokesperson for Richards says that the allegations against the singer were false.

“At the conclusion of the 20 minute interview, Keith Richards jokingly tapped the journalist on the head after his questions got a bit silly," Richards' spokesperson told Rolling Stone. "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."

The Rolling Stones – One Hit To The Body (1986)