The Rolling Stone Keith Richards has branded his bandmate Sir Mick Jagger a "power freak", slated the Led Zeppelin reunion and expressed regret over his past excesses.
Asked what message he would send to his younger self, Richards, 64, told Uncut magazine: "I'd have said 'lay off the dope'. That's my advice now to all younger members who are into this sort of thing – 'oh, give it up, it ain't really worth it'. I know the fascination, but it ain't worth it, pal."
The Stones guitarist was speaking from his home in the Turks and Caicos Islands to promote Shine A Light, Martin Scorsese's documentary about the band. He said of his relationship with Jagger: "Mick's a maniac. He can't get up in the morning without knowing immediately who he's going to call. Meanwhile, I just go 'Thank God I'm awake' and wait for three or four hours before I do anything. He is a power freak and there's nothing we can do about it. Let him bugger about. It doesn't make any difference to what we do."
Asked about Jagger's on-stage presence, Richards retorted: "Excuse me while I laugh. He's a bit vain, let's put it like that." But he added: "We want a vain bloke up there, don't we? Meanwhile, the band can go to work. Vanity will not carry a band. But a band can carry vanity."
Asked about today's music scene, Richards replied: "I don't listen to what's going on. I don't like CDs, quite honestly. They sound tinny to me."
He said of the recent Led Zeppelin reunion: "They had one? Well, well done Jimmy and Robert. Fuck off. 'Stairway To Heaven' don't make it for me, baby."
But he did have some kind words for Christina Aguilera, who joined the band on stage last year: "Very nice. Very nice chick. Nice bum."