Twisted Sister guitarist Jay Jay French recently talked to “Syncin’ Stanley” where he said that Rolling Stones’ Keith Richard and Ronnie Wood ”can barely play” and occasionally employ backstage guitar players.
Jay Jay said:
“This mostly applies to singers, although in a band like The Rolling Stones, the only one in that band who’s actually good these days is Mick Jagger. His vocals, actually, are as good as ever, if not better. The rest of the band really needs help.
“Keith [Richards] and Woody [Ron Wood] have arthritis and they can barely play. I understand that they use guitar players behind the scenes on nights when they really can’t play.”
“So it’s very much a matter of what you will tolerate. If these bands believe the fans will tolerate it, then they get away with it and they do it. It’s not for me to say whether they should or they shouldn’t. You do what you feel you can do, and you get away with it if you feel you can get away with it, and more power to you.
“Again, the pressure is on. What do you do when you’re charging a lot of money for a ticket and there’s expectations as to the performance? And what are your expectations? Are you willing to forgo, you don’t care if a singer sings flat or he can’t sing in key? Does it matter to you? Are you gonna walk out going, ‘It sucks’, or do you go, ‘Wow. He sounded really good?'”