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Keith Richards Bashes the Grateful Dead: ‘Boring S—, Man’

Jason Merritt, Getty Images / Warner Bros.

They may have been two of the summer’s hottest tickets, but the Rolling StonesKeith Richards is no Deadhead. “The Grateful Dead is where everybody got it wrong,” Richards tells Billboard. “Just poodling about for hours and hours. Jerry Garcia, boring s—, man. Sorry, Jerry.”

Richards is coming off a well-received 15-city North American tour with the Stones, while the reunited Grateful Dead pulled in millions with a handful of shows they called Fare Thee Well – their first without Garcia, who died in 1995.

Up next is the release of Richards’ third solo album on Sept. 18. He says the low-key, groove-focused approach on Crosseyed Heart is one he’d like to see the Rolling Stones take on their next studio project. Instead of walking “in with nothing and ask[ing] [drummer] Charlie [Watts] to set up a beat,” Richards noted, Mick Jagger too often wants the Stones “to sound like what he heard in the club last night.”

In the meantime, Richards will play smaller gigs in support of Crosseyed Heart this fall, and then rejoin the Stones for South American dates in 2016. He’ll be doing them mostly – but not entirely – drug-free. It’s been decades since he kicked his now-legendary heroin and coke habits.But it’s not like he’s taken up a monk’s existence.

Richards conducted his Billboard interview with a drink in hand (described as “a midday cocktail of Campari and soda with a double shot of vodka”), and he still takes the occasional toke. “Eh, I love my pot,” Richards said. “Love my weed. Unashamedly a fan. A piece of good hashish now and again. But otherwise …”

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Keith Richards, Year-By-Year, 1963-2015

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