Keith Richards Demands Satisfaction

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards performs at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden, Friday Aug. 3 2007 during the only concert in Sweden of their "A Bigger Bang Tour." Richards has demanded an apology from Swedish newspapers for their scathing reviews of the group's performance in the country earlier this month. (AP Photo / Bjorn Larsson Roswall / SCANPIX) ** SWEDEN OUT ** AP/BjornLarssonRoswall/SCANPIX

The Rolling Stones are picking up a little more moss than usual, with a dustup in Sweden over guitarist Keith Richards' performance, and some static in London over a photo of Richards and bandmate Ron Wood smoking on stage.

Smoking is banned in enclosed public places in England under legislation that came into effect July 1. Companies that allow the ban to be breached can be fined up to $5,000.

Looks like the Stones and the O2 Arena, site of Tuesday's smokier-than-legal concert, will be able to duck the fine - this time.

Greenwich Council, the local authority for the southeast London neighborhood where the concert hall is located, says the venue has been warned not to let it happen again.

The problem in Sweden is a little harder to handle.

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has demanded an apology from Swedish newspapers for their scathing reviews of the group's performance in the country earlier this month.

Tabloids Expressen and Aftonbladet gave thumbs down to the Aug. 3 concert at Ullevi stadium in Goteborg, with Expressen suggesting Richards was "superdrunk" on stage.

"This is a first!" the 63-year-old rock star wrote in a letter published by Stockholm daily Dagens Nyheter. "Never before have I risen to the bait of a bad review... But this time ... I have to stand up ... for our fans all over Sweden ... to say that you owe them, and us, an apology."

Dagens Nyheter said it received the letter from concert organizer EMA Telstar. Company head Thomas Johansson told The Associated Press that Richards wrote the letter and gave it to him after reading translations of the Swedish reviews.

"There were 56,000 people in Ullevi stadium who bought a ticket to our concert - and experienced a completely different show than the one you 'reviewed,"' the letter said.

"How dare you cheapen the experience for them - and for the hundreds of thousands of other people across Sweden who weren't at Ullevi and have only your 'review' to go on.

"Write the truth. It was a good show."

In his review, Aftonbladet's music writer Markus Larsson gave the concert a score of two on a five-point scale, and said Richards appeared "a bit confused."

"I am not going to apologize for my subjective opinion," Larsson told the paper's Web edition on Wednesday. "It is Keith who should apologize. After all it costs around $145 to see a rock star who can hardly handle the (guitar) riff to 'Brown Sugar' any more."
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