‘He was cremated and I couldn’t resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow’
That’s what Keith Richards told British music magazine NME (April, 2007).
“The strangest thing I’ve tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father,” Richrads said.
“My dad wouldn’t have cared, he couldn’t give a shit.
“It went down pretty well, and I’m still alive.”
The tabloid press soon had a field day with the story and outrage ensued.
Richards pissed on the fire a few weeks later by claiming he had just made it up.
There’s also a long-held belief that in 1973 Keith Richards had a complete blood transfusion > involving an embalming process > during drug addiction treatment in Switzerland to prepare for a Stones tour.
Richards many years later denied this, saying he just made it up as he was approached by the press at London airport.
Keith Richards and partner Anita Pallenberg were busted during a raid on his home in London’s Cheyne Walk in mid-1973. Found were drugs, a Smith and Wesson revolver and a shortened shotgun. A friend by the name of Stash was also there and charged.
In October that year, with the Rollong Stones on a European tour, the couple and saxophonist Bobby Keyes faced a French court on cannabis charges.
In their absence, all were convicted and copped fines and suspended sentences.
The London court case was heard soon after. Richards was fined on the drugs and arms charges and the charges against Pallenberg, except for the possession of 25 Mandrax tables, were dropped.
KEITH RICHARDS > HEROIN HITS
The Rolling Stones guitarist had by now formed a full-on heroin habit.
Richards and family were renting a place in the Swiss mountains near Montereaux. When a friend cleaned out the retreat home after they vacated, he allegedly found 5000 used syringes stashed around the place.
> sourced from an article by Mark Blake in Mojo magazine
STONES guitarist Keith Richards crashed his Bentley through a hedge and fence > into a field off England’s M1 motorway about 4am on May 19, 1976. There were several adults in the car and his seven-year-old son Marlon.
Richards was taken to a police interview room and searched. In a jacket pocket they found a piece of folded paper which they suspected contained LSD.
Found in the car was a silver chain holding several objects, including a silver tube later found to have traces of cocaine.
Judgement day was January 15, 1977 > the charges possession of LSD and cocaine.
The defence’s argument centred around Richards denying the cocaine chain was his as the car was also used by other members of the group – and the same went for the jacket holding the LSD.
“We all wear each other’s stage clothes,” he had told officers at the time of his arrest.
After a three-day trial, the jury finds him not guilty on the LDS charge but guilty of possessing cocaine. He’s fined 750 pounds and warned that next time he will go to jail.
OF COURSE THERE WAS A NEXT TIME > but not in England.
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.
ROLLING STONES POLICE TARGETS > WE’LL SHOW YOU LONG-HAIRED UPSTARTS A THING OR TWO
“We are not old men and we’re not worried about petty morals” > A defiant Keith Richards in court on drug charges
“The (prison) food is awful. The wine list is terribly limited and the library is abysmal.” > Keith Richards, 1967
ABOUT 20 police officers descended on Keith Richards’ recently purchased Redlands country estate in Sussex late afternoon on February 12, 1967.
Among his guests were Mick Jagger, Jagger’s girlfriend singer Marianne Faithful, hip art dealer Robert Fraser and one David Schneidermann > known as the Acid King because he carried around an attache case of illegal substances, including LSD, the rock stars’ drug of choice in this the flower power era.
The Beatles’ George Harrison and his partner Patti Boyd were also there, but had left before the police arrived.
Jagger and Richards faced drug charges as a result, but probably nowhere near the severity the police had hoped for > Jagger for possessing four amphetamine tablets and Richards for allowing marijuana to be smoked on his property. It was art dealer Fraser who faced the more serious charge of heroin possession.
The raid made headlines around the world, including revelations later in court about Marianne Faithfull being wrapped naked in a fur rug.
The raid was of particular interest to London’s News of the World newspaper, which was being sued by Jagger after it published a story accusing him of taking LSD.
The newspaper mysteriously published details of the Redlands arrests before a police public announcement was made.
THE LEGEND OF THE VAGINA AND MICK MUNCHING ON A MARS BAR
AFTER the police drugs raid on the Rolling Stones at Keith Richards’ Redlands mansion, rumours circulated that police had interrupted Mick Jagger chewing on a Mars Bar inserted in girlfriend Marianna Faithfull’s vagina.
But police reported no sexual activity apart from Faithfull being wrapped nude underneath a blanket.
Marianne Faithfull writes in her biography: “The Mars Bar is a very effective piece of demonizing. It was so overdone > with such malicious twisting of the facts. Mick retrieving a Mars Bar from my vagina, indeed! It’s a dirty old man’s fantasy – some old fart who goes to a dominatrix every Thursday. A cop’s idea of what people do on acid.”
WHAT A COINCIDENCE > ANOTHER STONES DRUG BUST SAME DAY AS JAGGER/RICHARDS COURT APPEAL
Jagger, Richards and Fraser faced a court hearing on May 10 and a trial date was set.
That evening 12 police executed a raid on Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones’ flat in London’s South Kensington.
He and friend Prince Stanislaus Klossowski, of Switzerland, faced cannabis charges.
ON TRIAL > THE STONES ARE BAD – DRUGS ARE BAD
Jagger, Richards and Fraser arrived in a plush Bentley at Chichester Court on Tuesday, June 27, for their date with drug destiny.
Fraser was the first to stand trial, pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody. Jagger was next up and it took a jury just a few minutes to find him guilty. He was also remanded in custody. His defence team had argued that the tablets in his possession were little more than prescription drugs used for tiredness.
The next day Jagger and Fraser arrived at court handcuffed and waited in a cell as Richards faced the wrath of the British chattering classes.
Surprise, surprise … he was also found guilty > after a day and half of evidence and testimony which included claims News of the World had organised a person as a plant at the Redlands party and that police were given a tip-off through News of the World.
The chief suspect is Acid King Schneidermann, who despite his bag of illegal drugs and presence at Redlands during the police raid, failed to face charges. He made himself scarce soon after.
Judge Leslie Block sentenced Richards to 12 months jail > his case not helped by Richards telling the court: “We are not old men and we are not worried about petty morals”.
Jagger copped three months jail and Fraser six months. Jagger was that night sent to Brixton prison and the other two to Wormwood Scrubs prison.
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVILS > PUSH TO FREE THE STONED
The harsh sentences caused a storm of protest > including 200 people outside Fleet Street newspaper offices chanting “free the Stones’’.
British rock band The Who recorded Rolling Stones songs The Last Time and Under My Thumb as a show of support and vowed to continue to record Stones songs as they languished in jail.
Of more importance in swaying opinion was an editorial in the ultra-conservative London newspaper The Times by editor William Rees-Mogg. He argued the case that Jagger > despite “the new hedonism” that was in conflict with “the sound traditional values” of Britain > should be treated the same as everyone else when it came to justice. Poor Keith failed to get a mention!!
BACK IN COURT
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were granted bail and released on appeal. On July 31 a court quashed Keith’s conviction and upheld Jagger’s > but quashed his sentence. No such luck for art dealer Fraser, who had to serve his sentence.
Guitarist Brian Jones faced court several months later and pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and permitting his premises to be used for smoking of said drug. He was sentenced to three months jail on the first charge and nine months for the second.
Jones was refused bail and sent to Wormwood Scrubs prison where he spent the next 24 hours > before being freed on bail in a High Court appeal.
In December Jones had his sentence reduced to three years probation and was ordered to seek drug treatment.
KEITH RICHARDS ON THE ROLLING STONES DRUG BUSTS
“There was a realisation that the powers that be actually looked upon us as important enough to make a big statement and to wield the hammer. But they’d also made us more important than we every blood well were in the first place”
“Up until then it had been as though London existed in a beautiful space where you could do anything you wanted.’’
> quotes from the book According to the Rolling Stones.
* Some source material from the book Rolling with the Stones by bass player Bill Wyman.
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.
HALF A DOZEN POLICE IN DRUGS RAID ON MICK JAGGER’S LONDON FLAT
MICK Jagger and girlfriend/singer Marianne Faithfull’s flat in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, London, was raided by half a dozen police and they appeared in Marlborough Street [one of the cream brown set in Monopoly] Magistrates Court on May 23, 1969, charged with possessing cannabis and released on bail.
Jagger was later fined 200 pounds and Faithfull acquitted.
Forty years later, secret police files revealed Mick Jagger claimed that during the police search one officer planted “white powder” in the apartment and then sought a 1000 pound bribe. But Jagger only faced the cannabis charge.
JAGGER’S PARTNER MARIANNE FAITHFULL IN COMA AFTER DRUG OVERDOSE
WHILE with Mick Jagger in Australia > who was there for the lead role in film Ned Kelly > girlfriend Marianne Faithfull lapsed into a coma in their Sydney hotel suite as Jagger was giving an interview. She was rushed to hospital and spent several days in a coma in intensive care.
Their relationship would soon end > and it’s a pity Jagger’s film career didn’t at the same time.
The film Ned Kelly is about a notorious 1850s Australian bushranger of Irish stock > and many in the Aussie press were unimpressed with this oh-so-English long-haired lout portraying one of their heroes.
They and the international press in general were even more unflattering when the movie hit the big screen.
Jagger’s best acting performance > apart from when doing press interviews > is in the cult British move Performance > filmed before Ned Kelly but released after.