‘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.
TAKE A SLASH > YOU’RE NOT WANTED GUNS N’ ROSES GUITARIST
GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Slash (pictured) was visiting the studios when Keith Richards was working on the song Thru and Thru for 1994 album Voodoo Lounge.
Slash made the unfortunate suggestion that he add some blues licks.
According to the album’s producer Don Was, Keith Richards replied: “Look, I like ya kid, but don’t press your luck. You’re not coming anywhere near my fucken track.” (Quote From the book The Rolling Stones: It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll by Steve Appleford.)
YOU INVADE MY SPACE, I SMASH YOUR FACE > if only I wasn’t so busy playing this guitar.
On the Rolling Stones 1981 American tour, Keith Richards spotted a youngish male fan who made it on stage. The Stones guitarist took an almighty swing with his guitar at the invader’s head > missing by centimetres.
This immortal moment is captured on Rolling Stones stage film Let’s Spend The Night Together > directed by Hal Ashby.
SUPPORT ACT PRINCE BELTED WITH BEER CANS
Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman tells of an incident with funk soul brother Prince on the same tour.
Opening for the Stones in Los Angeles and wearing a pair of black bikini bottoms > Prince was soon pelted with beer cans by Stones fans. [A tale from Bill Wyman’s book Rolling With The Stones]
ROLLING STONES STAGE TAKES ON ADDED DIMENSIONS
IT’s like the Rolling Stones had to outdo themselves each tour > with bigger and more spectacular stadium shows.
The 80-plus show 1981/82 tour of the US and Europe had a stage over 350 feet across at full stretch > adorned with large cloth replicas of paintings by Japanese artist Kazuhide Yamazaki.
Eight semi-trailers were used to transport the stage.
GUITARIST RON WOOD ARRESTED FOR COCAINE
The Rolling Stones guitarist and partner Jo were arrested in St Maarten, the Caribbean, in February, 1980, on cocaine possession charges.
They spent five days in jail before being deported to the US.
DURAN DURAN SNOTTY LITTLE TURDS > SAYS KEITH RICHARDS
“You get Duran Duran come down for a day, walk into our fucking sessions and say ‘what are you doing in that room together’. It’s called playing music, man. That’s the only way we record, you snotty little turd.”
That was what Keith Richards told British magazine New Musical Express about Duran Duran, after the 1980s pop group popped into the studios during the Stones recording session for 1986 album Dirty Work.
JAGGER TEARS OFF TINA TURNER’S DRESS AT LIVE AID SHOW
Mick Jagger performed a duet of State of Shock and It’s Only Rock and Roll with Tina Turner at the Bob Geldof-inspired Live Aid concert in July, 1985, to aid famine relief in Africa.
During the performance, after showing his ribbed torso, Jagger rips off the bottom part of Tina Turner’s dress to reveal a crutch-hugging pair of black something or others.
Eat your heart out Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson (Super Bowl 2004) > this was a deliberate wardrobe malfunction.
He (Gram Parsons) was my mate and I wish he’d remained my mate for a lot longer. It’s not often you can lie around on a bed with a guy having cold turkey in tandem, and still get along.” > Keith Richards, from the book According to the Rolling Stone
Keith Richards developed a full-on drug habit by the early 1970s and one of his main shoot-up partners was country singer-songwriter Gram Parsons.
He died aged 26 from an overdose of morphine and alcohol in September 1973 in Joshua Tree, California.
Friends stole Gram Parson’s body on transit at LA international airport to burn it in the desert, as had been Parson’s wish.
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.
RIOTS at concerts were an irregular, regular occurrence on early Rollings Stones tours, as were jibes from town officials, politicians and the like about their scruffy, unkept appearance.
There was even the media question at the time: “Would you let your daughter go out with a Rolling Stone”.
The group was often banned from hotels, partly because of trouble with fans, and had to flee fanatical, screaming fans after many concerts.
Female faintings and knickers wetting during shows were common.
POLICE PUT FANS IN STRAIGHTJACKETS
Rioting audience causes concert in Belfast, Ireland, to be called off after only 12 minutes. Hysterical girls carried out in straightjackets. (1964)
POLICE USE WATER CANNONS
5000 screaming fans dispersed by police with water cannons at Dusseldorf airport as the Rolling Stones begin a brief German tour. (September, 1965).
Police use tear gas to disperse a riot at a 15,000 fan show in Boston, USA, after audience members tried to storm the stage. (1966)
TWO POLICEWOMEN FAINT
> as well as 100 girls > and more than 40 police needed to control the crowd at a concert in Manchester, England. (1964)
IT’S SHORT BACK AND SIDES, FARNSWORTH
Almost a dozen boys suspended from a school in Coventry, England, for wearing *Mick Jagger* haircuts.
ANIMALS, CLOWNS AND MORONS
That was how a magistrate in Glasgow, Scotland, described the Rolling Stones after one of their fans was arrested for breaking a shop window.
ROLLING STONES GATHER NO LUNCH
The headline in one the British tabloids after the band were refused entry to a Bristol hotel for not wearing ties. (1964)
FANS SEE RED
Communist police, including on horses, use batons and tear gas to disperse 2000 fans outside the Rolling Stones concert venue > the Palace of Culture > in Polish capitol Warsaw. The Communist Party chiefs had kept the tickets for themselves and their families and cronies, leaving the real Rolling Stones fans seething outside.
TV SHOW RIOT
An audience riot on US variety show The Ed Sullian Show, with the host vowing he would never let rock and roll bands back on his high-rating show. But he did, the Stones among them. (October, 1964)
TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
150 people arrested, the theatre damaged during street riots at the show at the Olympia in Paris.
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE
A 3000 fan riot upon arrival at the airport in Sydney for the Rolling Stones first Australian tour. (January, 1965). The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper said of the group: “They’re shockers. Ugly looks, ugly speech, ugly manners”.
THE INJURY LIST
Keith Richards survived being knocked unconscious by an electric shock during a performance in Sacramento, USA. (1965)
ALL STITCHED UP
Mick Jagger had to get eight stitches to his head after being decked by a chair thrown on stage.
*Some source material from books The Rolling Stones Story by George Tremlett and Rolling With The Stones by Bill Wyman.