The Beatles emerged two years before the Rolling Stones and made remarkable contributions to the music industry with their revolutionary efforts. The Stones’ legacy is no less than the Beatles, though. They are still alive and kicking after all those years, with Mick Jagger jumping around on stage, singing the band’s chart-topping timeless hits while Keith Richards plays his guitar beside him.
Both music acts have been subjected to endless comparisons throughout the years. As Mick Jagger said, the band was aware of this issue, so they tried to create the opposite image of the Beatles to avoid being compared to them. In other words, there was a friendly competition between the Beatles and the Stones. While each music act came up with controversial remarks about each other, they always remained friends.
Anthrax’s Charlie Benante argued that he loved both, Steven Van Zandt claimed the Beatles’ ‘Help!’ has a better intro than the Stones’ ‘Satisfaction,’ and Gene Simmons said they chose the Beatles as their role models instead of the Rolling Stones. However, there are also many who preferred the Stones’ sound, such as R.E.M.’s Michael Stripe, who believed the band was far better than the Beatles, thanks to their musicianship. As it appears, Nikki Sixx also sides with the Stones.
As reported by the Guardian, Nikki Sixx gave an interview in 1986 during which he revealed his stance in the endless ‘Beatles vs. Rolling Stones’ debate. The bassist stated that his favorite song was Jimmy Dean’s ‘Big Bad John’ when he was a kid. Later on, he found out about the Beatles, but they sounded ‘wimpy’ to him. However, Sixx still admitted that he listened to the band’s ‘Helter Skelter’ numerous times.
“I remember listening to the radio and hearing ‘Big Bad John’ by Jimmy Dean — and it blew me away when I was a kid,” Nikki Sixx recalled. “I used to sit there and call the radio stations and request that song. And then the Beatles were obviously out already, but I really didn’t know about the Beatles. I remember I ran across some Beatles tapes — f*cking wimpy. Except I kept listening to ‘Helter Skelter,’ I remember that one, which we covered on our album’ Shout At The Devil.’”
Following this confession, Nikki Sixx stated that he thought the Stones were better when he started listening to them. According to the bassist, the Rolling Stones had a heavier and punchy sound in contrast with the Beatles. Sixx then went on to praise Mick Jagger’s voice, saying he always liked the frontman’s baritone vocals because they sounded big and rough.
“Then I found the Rolling Stones, and I said, ‘This is getting better,’” Sixx continued, revealing he found the Stones’ music better than the Beatles’. “And it just kept getting better, you know? Getting heavier. And I always liked that more punchy stuff. But it all started with that one song with that big, baritone voice. You know, it sounded big! It sounded rough. I always liked that. You can’t say why you like it; you just do.”
So, although Nikki Sixx liked the Beatles classic ‘Helter Skelter,’ he found out that their sound wasn’t what he was looking for. When he met the Rolling Stones, the bassist believed things were getting better as he discovered he liked a heavier sound. In the end, Sixx ended up picking the Stones instead of the Beatles in this debate.