It’s one thing for a band or artist to be inspired by another band or artist, but step-for-step tracking is something else all together. In a recent interview with Howard Stern, Paul McCartney said the Rolling Stones copied everything from the Beatles.
“That is the truth,” said McCartney after Stern brought up the idea. “And I don’t rub it in because I know the guys… But, however you look at the history of it all: The Beatles come to America, a year later the Stones come to America.”
“We wrote their first single, ‘I Want To Be Your Man.’ They didn’t have a single, they couldn’t get one together. We go psychedelic, they’d go phychedelic.”
McCartney Said Stones Copied The Beatles
Surprisingly, Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger later said he didn’t disagree with Paul McCartney. “[The Beatles] were both rivals and they were also…showing the way because they were there first,” he said.
“I admired them for that because they were sort of trailblazers in a lot of ways,” added Jagger to Larry King. “They went to the United States first, they showed the way, they were big international stars.”
Clearly, the Rolling Stones plan to follow the trailblazers worked quite well.
No Hard Feelings From The Trailblazers
The good news is that there are no hard feelings between the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. “You know, [Mick Jagger and I] were very good friends. We still are, but we hung out quite a bit then. We all lived in London.”
Keith Richards later told Hunter S. Thompson the same type of story. Plus, the sounds of the two bands are quite different. Perhaps that is the main reason why there are no hard feelings between the two.
The second biggest difference, of course, is that the Beatles broke up while the Rolling Stones are still performing. In the end, it’s less surprising that the Beatles broke up and more surprising that the Stones never did.
Do you have a preference between the Rolling Stones and the Beatles?