Keith Richards doesn't think The Beatles were a great live band.

Keith Richards

Keith Richards

The 72-year-old guitarist appreciates the music of The Fab Four, the 60s rock rivals of his group The Rolling Stones, but doesn't think they ever nailed it on stage.

The Beatles - comprised of Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and the late John Lennon and George Harrison - quit playing live at the height of 'Beatlemania' in 1966, citing the inability to be able to heart themselves play due to the screams of their female fans as the reason for them walking away from the stage.

In an interview with Radio Times magazine, he said: "Musically, The Beatles had a lovely sound and great songs. But the live thing? They were never quite there."

Keith has also opened up about his friendship with The Beatles but the hellraiser made the decision to exclude them from his inner circle after they started to practice transcendental meditation and spiritualism with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1967.

The 'Brown Sugar' rocker decided early on that he thought the Indian guru was a "f***ing operator" and thinks the four guys latched onto him as a way of trying to cope with their global fame.

Speaking about the Maharishi, Keith said: "He was a f***ing operator, a sucker job. But you have to think, what had being The Beatles done to The Beatles? They wanted somebody else to take them away. They didn't want to be God any more, so they plugged it all onto the Maharishi."

Keith is the star of a new BBC Two documentary, 'Keith Richards: The Origin Of The Species', which will be aired on 9pm on Saturday (23.07.16).

The programme explores Keith's childhood growing up in post-World War II Kent and has been directed by Julien Temple whose previous work includes 1950s drama 'Absolute Beginners' - which starred the late David Bowie - and The Sex Pistols film 'The Great Rock & Roll Swindle'.

This is not the first time Keith has taken a swipe at The Beatles.

He previously dismissed their acclaimed 1967 album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' as "a load of s**t"

He said: "Some people think it's a genius album, but I think it's a mishmash of rubbish, kind of like, 'Oh, if you can make a load of s**t, so can we.'

Beatles sounded great when they were The Beatles. But there's not a lot of roots in that music. 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."