The Beatles’ Paul McCartney brands The Rolling Stones ‘a blues cover band’

McCartney has made a dig at his old rivals (Picture: REUTERS)

If you’re tired of modern day beefs – Nicki Minaj vs Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Machine Gun Kelly vs Corey Taylor, Piers Morgan vs, well, everyone – perhaps take solace in The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones.

Sixty years after both bands formed, Paul McCartney has suggested that his rivals are ‘a blues cover band’.

The 79-year-old did a profile interview with The New Yorker and took a jab at the Stones while discussing The Beatles’ vast array of influences.

McCartney said: ‘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.’

The Live and Let Die singer is no stranger to taking digs at the Stones, having last year insisted that The Beatles were much better than the Brown Sugar hitmakers.

He told Howard Stern: ‘They are rooted in the blues. 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.’

Mick Jagger, 78, hit back while speaking to Zane Lowe, pointing out that The Beatles never did an arena tour.

Macca referred to the Stones as a ‘blues cover band’ (Picture: REUTERS)

He said: ‘The big difference, though, is that The Rolling Stones is a big concert band in other decades and other areas when The Beatles never even did an arena tour.

‘They broke up before the touring business started for real…They did that [Shea] stadium gig [in 1965]. But the Stones went on. We started stadium gigs in the 1970s and are still doing them now.

‘That’s the real big difference between these two bands. One band is unbelievably luckily still playing in stadiums and then the other band doesn’t exist.’

The Stones, who were formed two years after The Beatles, are currently touring North America after resuming their No Filter tour; the stint marks their first shows without drummer Charlie Watts, who died in August aged 80.

McCartney was among those to pay tribute to Watts, tweeting at the time: ‘So sad to hear about Charlie Watts, Stones drummer, dying. He was a lovely guy.

The Beatles split after 10 years together (Picture: David Magnus/REX)

‘I knew he was ill, but I didn’t know he was this ill, so lots of love to his family, his wife and kids and his extended family, and condolences to the Stones.

‘It’ll be a huge blow to them because Charlie was a rock, and a fantastic drummer, steady as a rock. Love you Charlie, I’ve always loved you, beautiful man, and great condolences and sympathies to his family.’

While McCartney still sells out arenas as a solo artist, The Beatles – McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr – broke up in 1970 after 10 years together.

In a recent interview with BBC Radio 4, McCartney said that it was Lennon, not him, who instigated their split, saying: ‘John walked into a room one day and said I am leaving the Beatles.

More: Paul McCartney

‘And he said, “It’s quite thrilling, it’s rather like a divorce.” And then we were left to pick up the pieces.’

Before now, the blame has mostly been laid at Sir Paul’s door, owing to comments in a self-interview he released to the press ahead of his solo album, McCartney, in April 1970.

Many took it as an official announcement of the group’s break-up when he said he could not ‘foresee a time when Lennon-McCartney becomes an active songwriting partnership again’.

Lennon died aged 40 in 1980 when he was shot and killed by Beatles fan Mark David Chapman.

Harrison died aged 58 in 2001, after his lung cancer spread to his brain, two years after he survived a knife attack at his home. 


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