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Rolling Stone attacks Swedish journalist

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 11 Nov 2010, 09:17

Published: 11 Nov 2010 09:17 GMT+01:00

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"His eyes glazed over and he became utterly furious. He rose up and asked if we should turn the lights off and have it out," Aftonbladet journalist Markus Larsson said after his meeting with 66-year-old Richards.

Larsson, an experienced music reviewer with more than 11 years in the job, had arranged to meet the controversial rocker in Paris on Tuesday to talk about his upcoming autobiography "Life".

The pair met at the Le Meurice Hotel and the interview was proceeding smoothly until it dawned on Richards that Larsson had penned a scathing review of the ageing British rockers' concert at Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg back in August 2007.

Richards grabbed headlines worldwide at the time when he demanded that Aftonbladet apologise for its review of the band's performance.

Larsson however refused to apologise for his review in which he wrote: "After all, it costs around 1,000 kronor ($149) to see a rock star who can hardly handle the [guitar] riff to Brown Sugar any more."

Larsson gave the band two stars out of five, a message that Richards had not forgotten despite three years passing since the concert.

"You should be happy that you are getting out of here alive," Richards said, according to Larsson, after their meeting had come to an abrupt conclusion.

Larsson explained on his blog that Richards "hit him on the head" before storming out of the room.

The journalist expressed surprise over his treatment at the hands of the Rolling Stone, who appeared to prove that the years on the road had not mellowed his rock'n'roll wild man image.

"At first I thought he was having me on, but then I realised that he meant it and it started to feel unpleasant and that I wanted to get out of there pretty fast," 34-year-old Larsson said.

Story continues below…

A spokesperson for the Nordstedts, the Swedish publisher of Keith Richards' book, has called the news "sad".

"But I can't comment on the conflict. It was between them in a closed room," Fanny Birath said, according to Aftonbladet.

The Local made several attempts to contact Markus Larsson on Thursday, but was unsuccessful.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:55 November 11, 2010 by Beavis
Fair play Mr Richards, its a shame you didnt hit the little whinebag harder! Have seen the Stones tour at that time and they gave it loads for guys in their 20's never mind their late 60's! The journaslist had a point that the tickets were overpriced..but its not the artists that need to be critised, its the greedy promotor and record company scum.
11:22 November 11, 2010 by Kevin Harris
I remember this review, and thought it a bit harsh at the time. Everyone has a bad day at the office sometimes. Keith Richards wrote a rebuttal to the local Göteborg papers, which I thought was quite nice of him; he could have just ignored the impertinant little pip squeek.

What on earth was Marcus Larsson thinking? He savages a rock legend who has helped write some of the greatest songs of the twentieth century, and then expects the guy to forgive and forget. 11 years in the job, you would think he had learned something about mega stars by now. Time to try a new profession maybe Marcus.
11:22 November 11, 2010 by eppie

Well good that tehjournalist didn't hit back. Keith might have broken a hip.....and you know what that means at that age.

Anyway, it is also the greedy artists. Come on, please show a bit of dignity and don't go around singing a song that you first performed 40 years ago. The fact that there are people stupid enough to pay to see these oldies singing these songs doesn't mean they should continue performing.

If the journalist actually was wrong (so the performance was good) Keith Richards should ask himself if his performance 40 years ago was any good, if you can easily compare it to the performance from 2007.

(and I like the Stones' songs)
11:56 November 11, 2010 by Rishonim
Markus Larsson is a puzxy. It should be ashamed to cry about getting beating up by a senior citizen
12:24 November 11, 2010 by Beavis
@eppie '"The fact that there are people stupid enough to pay to see these oldies singing these songs doesn't mean they should continue performing."

Well theres where your wrong you see, they still put on as good a show now as 40 years ago. (and yes they were good 40 years ago)

Unlike the "pop" fratenrity miming every song cos they could never sing a note in the first place.
12:55 November 11, 2010 by Tusker
I think you are all being mean to Markus Larsson.

It was very brave of him to go so close to Freddy Krueger
13:37 November 11, 2010 by Swedesmith
Tusker: I thought the same exact thing when I saw the picture.
13:48 November 11, 2010 by zooeden
Of course Markus Larsson is a dcki, anw what Keith did to him was at least he could do, Punching Markus is probably gonna kill him, what a nerd!
13:56 November 11, 2010 by Jackdempsey187
I was at that concert and it was awesome. GT/Aftonbladet reviews regularly make me vomit.
14:34 November 11, 2010 by ehwhat?
No confirmation from Richards or anyone else...

I suspect that we are dealing with a cynical grab at a headline for a non-existent act that cannot be disproved by fair witness.

One of the classic ways to become a "name" is to be seen to be attacking or be attacked by a name. This critic of 11 years experience is to my experience a hack. His primary use is to tell me what to see by telling me what he has dismissed.

As a famous Comedian once said, "I never met anybody who said when they were a kid, I wanna grow up and be a critic." - Richard Pryor
14:41 November 11, 2010 by eppie

indeed, 40 years ago the STones were good, innovative ground breaking, and rocking hard.

Now.....well it is 40 years later. If you still go and see them now you just see a group of money hungry old timers. Nothing innovative, nothing shocking, nothing new....it just shows that you are stuck in the past.

The fact that most bands nowadays are also crap is true but not an argument in this discussion.

Of course it is the Stones' good right to sell themselves for a bit more money, but please don't complain if a critic tells you you are crap.
16:03 November 11, 2010 by Åskar
According to a statement published in Rolling Stone magazine it was a joke.
16:21 November 11, 2010 by Mb 65
If the modern day singers and groups were any good, these oldies wouldn't get a look in.
19:24 November 11, 2010 by Swedesmith
What, you don't think Justin Bieber is gonna be around in 40 years?
21:28 November 11, 2010 by calebian22

Good grief! I hope not.
21:42 November 11, 2010 by facetedjewel

LOL! Or Rihanna - was that a big 'ol strap-on she was throttling with both hands on stage at Madison Square Garden? Oh, yes indeedy.
22:37 November 11, 2010 by mikewhite
Come on, we've all read reviews we disagreed with !

Grow up, Keith ! Oh, hang on …
00:36 November 12, 2010 by MC7669
I definately can understand the artist....I would do the same and even more.....Swedish journalist are really low.....and very not proffesional.....in some point easy to say they are realy primitvies.....and the sad story is that people believe what they write.....
01:12 November 12, 2010 by Beavis
Most of the people at the show thought it was a great show. The demand for tickets was so big the promotor upped the price (not the artist) It still sold well out. All the other papers gave them a fair review at the time which were all good. He was well able to play the riffs, he didnt mess up, so it was an unfair and rather pathetic review. If it was so bad, how come he was the only journalist who thought so?? Take for instance a certain Axl Rose.. he got all round bad reviews, from fans and jouralists alike.and he deserved them
01:19 November 12, 2010 by eZee.se
I say he should have taken him up on the offer to "turn the lights off and have it out", the news would have been more interesting and something like this:

"Old coot rocker gets his lights put out and woke up in the ER after uttering the wrong words - and the world didn't give a flying F"
15:18 November 12, 2010 by facetedjewel
More like:

"First responders on the scene labored to extract Mr. Richard's boot from deep in the journalist's rectum, but were unsuccessful. Larsson appears to have asphyxiated due to the blockage and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. The 'old coot', Mr. Richards, has been taken in by the police for further questioning. The police are taking witness statements (when the 'witnesses' can stop laughing long enough) and gathering evidence, mostly the boot and numerous photos of Richard's insulted tootsies.

Inquest to follow next week in what is sure to be a 'standing-room only'."
16:11 November 12, 2010 by bear79
I wish he had kicked the twatty little journalist talentless arse in,"he had over 11 years experience",compared to what, kieth richards 5 minutes! ,or 25 years selling records making money not like a little cock boy journalist,jesus some people,swedes eh...if its not abba or shite eurovision you dont like it!.
00:03 November 13, 2010 by Authentica
Old people are so touchy!
00:10 November 14, 2010 by Swedesmith
Watchit, buddy. I'm pretty dangerous with this cane.
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