Paul McCartney has called The Rolling Stones a blues cover band during an interview in which he also affirmed that he thought The Beatles were the better group.
Speaking to The New Yorker, McCartney stated: “I’m not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are. I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs.”
This comment mimicked thoughts that he had previously expressed with Howard Stern, whereby Stern asked: “I’m not asking you to be pompous about this, The Beatles are better than the Rolling Stones. Am I correct?” with an added touch of humour to his enquiry.
McCartney, sensing the tone, answered: “You know you’re going to persuade me to agree on that one,” he said while politely acknowledging the brilliance of his contemporaries.
He continued: “They are rooted in the blues,” when discussing the Stones. “When they are writing stuff, it has to do with the blues. We had a little more influences. There’s a lot of differences, and I love the Stones, but I’m with you. The Beatles were better.”
In his recent New Yorker interview ahead of the release of a forthcoming lyric book, McCartney also spoke about the reasons The Beatles stopped touring in 1966.
“It had been sort of brewing, you know, this distaste for schlepping around and playing in the rain with the danger of electricity killing you,” he said.
Adding: “You kind of just look at yourself and go, ‘Wait a minute, I’m a musician, you know. I’m not a rag doll for children to scream at.’”
Regarding the potential backlash of a damning sounding “blues cover band” descriptive, I’m sure it will be all water under the bridge for The Stones.
As McCartney has stated in the past: “We were great friends, still are kind of. We admire each other. The Stones are a fantastic group. I go see them every time they’re out. They’re a great, great band.”
With the Stones currently on tour, he’ll still certainly be allowed along to see them, he just might have to pay for his ticket this time.