The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones: Robert Plant Proposed Trading Paul McCartney to End the ‘Feud’ Between the Bands

Starting in the 1960s, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones became two of the biggest bands in the world. They dominated the rock charts, leading to speculation of a rivalry between the two bands. The members of each band added fuel to this by jabbing at one another in interviews. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, another key figure in the genre, once offered a straightforward solution to end the alleged feud between the bands.

A black and white picture of Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney of The Beatles walking together.
Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney | Bettmann/Contributor via Getty

The Beatles and The Rolling Stones have traded insults over the years

The Beatles met The Rolling Stones in 1963, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney gave the Stones the song “I Wanna Be Your Man.” Though relations between them seemed friendly, the media began reporting about a feud between the bands. Though they’ve largely written this off as fictional, members of each band have traded insults over the years.

Per Inside Hook, Lennon once referred to Mick Jagger as “a joke.” Years later, Jagger said he hadn’t cared when The Beatles broke up. In fact, he thought it was a good thing. In 2015, Keith Richards said The Beatles’ music didn’t have strong roots.

“The Beatles sounded great when they were the Beatles. But there’s not a lot of roots in that music,” Richards told Esquire in 2015. “I think they got carried away. Why not? If you’re the Beatles in the ’60s, you just get carried away — you forget what it is you wanted to do. You’re starting to do Sgt. Pepper. Some people think it’s a genius album, but I think it’s a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like Satanic Majesties — ‘Oh, if you can make a load of s***, so can we.'”

In 2021, McCartney fired back at The Rolling Stones. 

“I’m not sure I should say it, but they’re a blues cover band, that’s sort of what the Stones are,” he told The New Yorker. “I think our net was cast a bit wider than theirs.”

Robert Plant offered a straightforward solution to the feud

As Plant is another heavyweight in rock ‘n’ roll, he offered his opinion on the supposed feud between The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. To fix the disagreement, Plant told Rolling Stone Music Now that McCartney should “just play bass with The Stones.” 

Still, Plant said he isn’t entirely sure the members of either band need to do anything, because he doesn’t think the feud exists.

“I don’t think there’s any fighting,” Plant said. “They’ve known each other since 1963. They love each other desperately.”

Paul McCartney said the feud between The Beatles and the Rolling Stones wasn’t real

McCartney agrees with Plant. Though he recently called the Stones a cover band, he said the two groups have always gotten along.

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“The thing was, we were all young guys who were just coming into the music business,” he told Wired. “We all had a lot in common and we would meet each other in clubs or TV programs we were all doing and we’d hang out socially. We knew them quite well and had a lot of fun and stuff. I don’t quite know how the rumor got started that we were rivals.”

He said he thought The Rolling Stones were a good band, though perhaps not as good as The Beatles.

“We really liked them and, to this day, I go to their shows, and we get to sometimes hang out,” he said. “Good group, not as good as The Beatles, but good.”