Although Elton John and The Rolling Stones have had a rocky history together, they have shown glimpses of mutual regard for one another over the years. The Rolling Stones are and will continue to be celebrated as one of rock & roll’s all-time great acts. It’s the same with Elton John. They’ve not only weathered the test of time but have given Father Time a good kick where it hurts.
John’s long-standing animosity with Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards is well-documented. In a 1988 interview, Richards spoke negatively of the other musician; but while Richards liked him well as a person, he disliked his music and public presence. Things really heated up when John, in turn, said that the British rock band were “irrelevant” in a radio interview in the United States.
However, in an interview, John lauded The Rolling Stones’ first efforts, singling out their debut record, a version of Chuck Berry’s “Come On,” from 1963, as a particular high point. “I have great respect for the Stones, but they would have been better if they had thrown Keith out 15 years ago,” the “I’m Still Standing” singer explained. “I just think he’s an a-hole, and I have for a long time…what I think the Rolling Stones should do is a great blues record and go back to what they used to do – and do things like ‘Come On’ – the Chuck Berry song like they did in their early career. That is what they should do.”
Interestingly enough, when Elton John was a guest on the BBC’s flagship radio show Desert Island Discs, he didn’t choose “Come On” as his favorite song by The Rolling Stones. Nonetheless, he did select yet another version of a Chuck Berry song by the Stones. This is “Let It Rock,” a song initially performed live by the band in the early 1970s and later released as a B-side to Brown Sugar in 1971.