Brexit? Big Brother bothers me more, says Keith Richards


Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has dismissed concerns about Brexit, saying he is more worried about surveillance and religion.

The musician, who is the subject of a new BBC series about growing up in post-war Britain, said he was concerned about different powers at work in society.

Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones arriving for the opening night gala for Exhibitionism at the Saatchi Gallery in London
Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith (Ian West/PA)

He told the Radio Times; "I'm more interested in what other people feel about authority. There's cameras everywhere. Big Brother has arrived, and we all think it's for our own safety.

"Maybe it is, maybe it ain't... I don't know about a society where you all think you have to spy on each other. And I don't want to get too deep, but I could live without religion.

"Everybody's looking over their shoulder! There's an element of fear. And certain guys have engineered it that way. Maybe it's good to be frightened for a while, I don't know.

Keith Richards arrives to attend the gala screening of 'Crossfire Hurricane, Odeon Leicester Square, London.
(Ian West/PA)

"But it's in the air, that element of fear... I'm used to cops, I ask for it - I don't wish it on society. But it's there, whether you wish it or not."

The 72-year-old went on: "It's a vicious world. Meanwhile, we're sitting here talking about is Britain In or Out? Personally, I don't give a damn."

Then, before breaking into laughter, he added: "Personally, I'd invade France. I'd be very Henry VIII, I'd be Edward III about it."

EDITORIAL USE ONLY : Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones performing at the O2 Arena in London, as part of their 50th anniversary series of concerts. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday November 25, 2012. Photo credit should read: Yui Mok/PA Wire
(Yui Mok/PA)

The guitarist will journey back to his formative years in the hour-long film, Keith Richards - The Origin Of The Species, directed by punk film-maker Julien Temple for BBC Two.

The documentary will be the centrepiece of the broadcaster's year-long My Generation season charting the history of pop music across the decades.

Keith will also curate a weekend of films and live performances for BBC Four in September.