Mick Taylor was stunned after reading Keith Richards' autobiography as he had no idea his former Rolling Stones bandmate desperately wanted him to stay in the group.
Taylor joined the rockers in 1969 to replace Brian Jones in the line-up, but he walked away five years later in 1974 amid reports of a dispute with frontman Mick Jagger and guitarist Richards over songwriting credits.
However, Richards went on to heap praise on Taylor in his 2010 memoir Life, writing, "We did the most brilliant stuff together, some of the most brilliant stuff the Stones ever did. Everything was there in his playing - the melodic touch, a beautiful sustain and a way of reading a song...
"He knew how I felt. I always want to keep a band together. You can leave in a coffin or with dispensations for long service, but otherwise you can't."
The guitarist insists he was unaware Richards was upset about his departure, telling Britain's The Times newspaper, "He sent me a message saying, 'Dear Mick, thanks for all the turn-ons. It was great playing with you.' And that was that. Possibly because I had my own problems, I didn't realise how he was affected."
Taylor also counters Richards' claims he was the band's "morose" member, insisting, "I don't think I was morose. He said I was fighting demons but so was he. I wasn't shy, it was just that everyone wanted to talk to Mick and Keith, not me or Bill (Wyman) or Charlie (Watts)."