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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 December, 2003, 11:19 GMT
Stones row over Jagger knighthood
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger on stage
Keith Richards (right) told Jagger it was a "paltry" honour
Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has hit out at bandmate Mick Jagger's "ludicrous" decision to accept a knighthood.

Richards said he did not want to go on stage with someone wearing a "coronet and sporting the old ermine" and told the singer it was a "paltry honour".

"It sent out the wrong message. It's not what the Stones is about, is it?" Richards told Uncut magazine.

Jagger will attend an investiture ceremony with the Queen on 12 December.

"I thought it was ludicrous to take one of those gongs from the establishment when they did their very best to throw us in jail," Richards said.

Blair's offer

Richards and Jagger were imprisoned for drug offences in 1967, but the convictions were later overturned on appeal.

The singer defended his decision to accept the knighthood by saying Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted that he agreed, Richards said.

"Like that's an excuse. Like you can't turn down anything. Like it doesn't depend how you feel about it."

Richards said he doubted he would be offered an honour "because they know what I would've said... they knew I'd tell them where they could put it."

The band have just finished a 14-month world tour to celebrate their 40th anniversary.


Friends since childhood, Jagger and Richards have been described as having a love-hate relationship and had a public feud in the mid-1980s over Jagger's solo work.

The date of Jagger's investiture was recently moved from 10 December, the day when England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson is due to be made an MBE.

Jagger expressed surprise when the knighthood was announced 18 months ago, saying: "I didn't expect to get one. I just didn't.

"Noel Coward didn't get a knighthood until he was 80. Tom Stoppard's older than me - he didn't get a knighthood until recently."

Jagger avoids Jonny clash
02 Dec 03  |  Music
Jagger: It's only rock 'n' roll
14 Jun 02  |  Music


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