In what the veteran rocker claimed was the first time he had publicly reacted to a review, he lashed out at Aftonbladet and Expressen’s reports on the band’s performance at Gothenburg’s Ullevi stadium earlier this month.
The papers both gave the Stones two stars. An article in Expressen was headlined “Keith was very drunk,” and gave the star a personal zero stars.
“This is a first! Never before have I risen to the bait of a bad review. But this time… I have to stand up for our incredible Gothenburg audience and for fans all over Sweden…to say that you owe them, and us, an apology,” Richards said in a statement released to newspaper Dagens Nyheter by concert promoter EMA Telstar.
The star continued his rant:
“You have a duty to wield the power of the press with honesty and integrity. 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 only have your “review” to go on. Write the truth. It was a good show.”
‘Richards was backed up by at least one fan who saw the band in Gothenburg. Christopher Holmgren said he thought the tabloid reviews were “cheap gossip”:
“The Stones gave a great show. I’ve seen them play four different venues in the last 13 years and they played with lots of love for Sweden,” he said.
“Keith was not drunk,” Holmgren added.
“My fiance and I stood 3rd row in front of Keith’s microphone and even caught a guitar pick from him. Being a serious Keith Richards fan, I would be able to tell.”
But Expressen was unrepentant:
“Our reviewer has made one judgment on the quality [of the concert], and Keith Richards has made another,” Dan Panas, enetertainment editor of Expressen, told Dagens Nyheter.