THE KEITH RICHARDS TORONTO HEROIN BUST

Keith Richards on the cover his appropriately named Main Offender solo album, released in 1992
Keith Richards on the cover his appropriately named Main Offender solo album, released in 1992

CHARGED WITH TRAFFICKING > FACING PROSPECT OF YEARS IN JAIL

“The actual busts have always been farces … to wake up with 15 Mounties standing around your bed after they’ve spent an hour trying to wake you up”.

That was Keith Richards’s interpretation of his drug career > as told to UK rock magazine New Musical Express > after being busted in Toronto, Canada, in February, 1977.

He and wife Anita Pallenberg’s hotel suite was raided by drug officers. She was awake, he fast asleep > and the Mounties found an ounce of heroin on the bedside table.

This is a big enough amount for Keith Richards to be charged with “possessing heroin for the purpose of trafficking” > which can carry a maximum life sentence.

The Rolling Stones were assembling in Toronto to play two nights at a small club > the El Mocambo > for additional material for live album Love You Live (1977).

The Mounties’ hotel room raid came after Pallenberg being charged > when the couple flew into Toronto airport > with possessing 10 grams of hashish and a small amount of heroin.

SEX SCANDAL > CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER’S WIFE

Seen in a dressing gown at the same hotel as the Rolling Stones and at the band’s El Mocambo gig was the wife of charismatic Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau > the modern and sexy Margaret Trudeau. [Maybe the Stones had  sent her down the hallway to fill the ice bucket when she was spotted!!])

The tabloids had a field day with reports of a sexual liaison with Mick Jagger.

The scandal even resulted in the Canadian dollar dropping in value.

Later it was revealed it was guitarist Ron Wood to whom she became friendly with.

KEITH RICHARDS IN (ANOTHER) MOMENT OF TRUTH

Keith Richard’s wife Anita Pallenberg appears in court March 4 and pleads guilty to possession of heroin and hashish > fined $400.

He fronts up a few days later at Toronto’s Old City Hall Court for a brief appearance and is grabbed by the hair by a magazine photographer who calls him a “junkie bastard”.

Police add a charge of cocaine possession. Richards is on bail and with the heat on from the cops, all band members soon leave the country.

Richards and family flea to New York where he undergoes drug rehabilitation.

His court case is eventually heard in October 1978 and > with much plea bargaining going on beforehand > the trafficking charge is withdrawn and he pleads guilty to possession of heroin.

The judge says incarceration would be inappropriate because of Richard’s continuing drug treatment. The Rolling Stones guitarist is put on one year’s probation and ordered to play a special concert for the blind in Toronto.

This unusual court order came about through a blind Rolling Stones fan writing to the judge begging for leniency for her idol.

The story goes that Keith Richards had seen her after a concert and > fearing she would get run over > gave her a lift in his limo. The rest of the band joined Richards in playing the concert for the blind.

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TEEN SHOOTS HIMSELF DEAD IN BED AT HOME OF KEITH RICHARDS’ GIRLFRIEND

PLAYING RUSSIAN ROULETTE >  NO CHARGES LAID

Anita Pallenberg on the cover of penthouse magazine
Anita Pallenberg on the cover of Penthouse magazine

A 17-year-old boy shot himself dead in the head while in the bed of Keith Richard’s partner and mother of their two children, Anita Pallenberg > at the couple’s New York home in 1979.

The young man, employed to do odd jobs on the property, shot himself while allegedly playing Russian roulette.

He and Pallenberg  had apparently been watching TV together > in bed.

After lengthy questioning by police, no charges were laid against her.

The incident was the final nail in the coffin of Pallenberg’s already strained relationship with Keith Richards.

GOLDILOCKS AND 3 STONES > BRIAN JONES BUSTED

Anita Pallenberg with Mick Jagger, from the movie Performance.
Anita Pallenberg with Mick Jagger, from the movie Performance.

ACTRESS/MODEL ANITA PALLENBERG SETTLES ON KEITH RICHARDS AS STONE TO BE WITH

Guitarist Keith Richards’ girlfriend > stunning blonde German actress/model Anita Pallenberg > was starring in the film Performance with Mick Jagger, making his big screen debut.

Nudity and sex scenes were involved > with Richards reportedly furiously waiting in his car outside the film studio. Rumours flew that Pallenberg and Jagger were getting it off.

Richards confirmed more than 30 years later in his autobiography Life that Pallenberg did have an affair with Jagger > but she denies this.

Keef himself was hardly squeaky clean, having “stolen” Pallenberg from bandmate Brian Jones while on a trip to Morocco a year or so earlier. Pallenberg, Richards and Jones were on a road trip when Jones become ill and went to hospital.

The other two continued on in the back of Richard’s chauffeur-driven Bentley > with the idea of Jones catching up later. The two got on like a house on fire.

GUITARIST BRIAN JONES ON CANNABIS CHARGE AFTER POLICE RAID

Guitarist Brian Jones faced a drug possession charge after an early morning police raid on a flat he was staying at in Chelsea, London, on May 20, 1968.

Jones failed to answer the door and one officer climbed in through a refuse hatch and let the others in. Jones was found in a bedroom about to dial his solicitor.

A thorough search of the premises uncovered a small amount of marijuana and Jones was escorted to Chelsea police station.

He faced court on September 26 charged with possessing “144 grains” of cannabis. The jury found him guilty and Jones was fined 50 pounds.

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