I like Keith Richards’ take on the looseness of the beat in this Rolling Stone magazine interview:
You’ve always managed to kind of screw with sounds and come up with something new, like removing the E string for a five-string guitar and popularizing open-G tuning. I tried to learn “Before They Make Me Run” once with a band, and figuring out where you skip beats and go into the chorus a bar early can be really hard to follow!
[Laughs] It is, yeah. The beat is something to be played with, moved around. The beat isn’t there as some solid, concrete “one, two, three, four.” It’s something to shift and fly and move. I’m very jazz-like — [I like] Philly Joe Jones. I love looseness.