“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.
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.