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Keith Richards and the crazy stories of his life

"It's all part of the rich spectacle of life..."

Interesting facts about the real guru of rock and roll - Keith Richards!

Keith Richards is the world famous guitarist of The Rolling Stones! But even leaving aside the fact that he is one of the most influential guitarists in history, there is definitely something about this man... Despite his advanced age, somehow he still makes headlines. Richards had such a rock and roll lifestyle that his name has become synonymous with classic "bad boy" rock stars! Can you think of any stories he hasn't already told? Many of his tales are recorded for posterity in his book, an autobiography called Life. Well, his antics could probably fill many more pages... But today we will remember the most interesting and the hottest of them all!

He almost burned down a rented villa!

Anita Pallenberg and Keith Richards
Anita Pallenberg and Keith Richards

It happened in 1971 in the Nellcôte, a 16-room mansion that was built on the Côte d'Azur (in the south of France) during the so-called Beautiful Era... Keith Richards recorded his "Exile on Main St." here and also arranged wild parties with his girlfriend Anita Pallenberg... So during one of these parties he fell asleep with a burning cigarette in his hand. The bed caught fire and the couple miraculously managed to escape... Richards and Anita soon left the villa due to legal difficulties: the musician was later banned from entering France for several years. As for the album, it was completed in Richards' basement...

Villa Nellcôte itself was purchased in 2005 by a Russian oligarch for a tidy sum - almost 130 million dollars!

He almost got electrocuted right on stage...

Keith Richards. Photo: Don Emmert
Keith Richards. Photo: Don Emmert

This nightmarish incident happened to musicians in the mid-60s, in Sacramento, California... While performing "The Last Time" Richards went up to the microphone to do his backing vocals, and noticed that it was pointed the wrong way... He tapped it with his guitar fingerboard, which turned out to be quite a dangerous maneuver: Richards lost consciousness from the blow, and the strings of his guitar simply burned... He later called the incident "the most spectacular" moment of his life, and attributed his rescue to his brand-new rubber-soled boots, which were on his feet that awful day...

He almost stabbed Donald Trump!

Keith Richards, Donald Trump
Keith Richards, Donald Trump

In 1989 the Rolling Stones decided they wanted to end their Steel Wheels tour with a big and, of course, profitable show! However, the only viable venue turned out to be Donald Trump's Plaza Hotel-Casino in Atlantic City. The band was not happy about this fact, wanting not to be associated with Trump. But their tour manager, Michael Cole, said he would "personally supervise Donald Trump," and finally the band agreed, signing a contract with the hotel... But it didn't lead to anything good.

Keith Richards
Keith Richards

Before the Rolling Stones show, they wanted to be interviewed at the appointed time. But who did they find in the press center when they got there? That's right - Trump! This meeting made them very emotional, especially Keith... Cole tried to escort Trump out, but Richards beat him with a knife out of his pocket! Now to Cole himself:

"Keith pulled out his knife and hit the table with it, saying, 'What the hell is he doing here? There are only two options here: it's either him or us!" But I said: "No. I'll do it. Don't worry."... The atmosphere was hot to the max!"

He almost killed his whole family!

Keith Richards and his family...
Keith Richards and his family...

Yes, Keith Richards does have a penchant for arson, as evidenced by another incident, this time at Redlands Manor... In 1973 the musician fell asleep with a cigarette in his hands again, causing a fire (that's when life really teaches you nothing...) Richards, Pallenberg and their children had to flee to safety! The guitarist later claimed that the fire was caused by mice who had chewed through some wires and caused a short circuit...

He miraculously escaped the bombing of London...

Keith Richards as a child.
Keith Richards as a child.

Richards and his mother were evacuated during the 1944 bombing of London. When they returned to their home, they found that some of their neighbors had been killed and Richards' bunkhouse had been destroyed. Richards took it personally, later saying: "Hitler threw one of his V-1s on my bed! He was after my heel, and now you know it!"

He suffered in his own library!

Like any creative person, Richards has a home library. But who would have thought his books would turn against him? In 1998, at home in his library, he was standing on a chair to pull out a book about Leonardo da Vinci's study of anatomy. He ended up slipping and falling, with the heavy books falling on him...Richards broke three of his ribs, resulting in the postponement of the Rolling Stones tour. His thoughts on the incident? Let's hear it:

"It's all part of the rich spectacle of life..."

He almost went to jail...

Keith Richards
Keith Richards

In February 1977 Keith Richards was in Canada, where he was apparently using a lot of illegal substances... He was detained after police discovered his stash in a hotel room and was charged with "possession... with intent to traffic. For this he was facing from seven years to life in prison...His passport was confiscated and he was in the country until the following April, when he obtained a medical visa for addiction treatment and returned to the United States. Eventually the charges were dropped: Richards pleaded guilty and was given a suspended sentence. However - this is by no means the only such case in the life of the iconic rocker!

Earlier, in 1967, he and Jagger had been arrested and sentenced: Jagger to three months' imprisonment, Richards to half a year. On appeal, however, the sentence was completely overturned: the band's sudden success was a lifesaver! Also, in 1973, Richards was charged again (this time also for weapons possession...) Miraculously, he escaped punishment...

The mayor of Boston had to release him from jail so he could have a concert...

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger

In July 1972 there was to be a big planned Rolling Stones concert in Boston, Massachusetts! But... there was one tiny problem: cronies Richards and Jagger were arrested for fighting with a photographer in Rhode Island. The musicians ended up behind bars, but they got lucky - Boston's mayor, Kevin White, was a really smart man: he did what any good politician would do, which was to let the bad guys out in his personal custody to make the show happen!

Of course, if this had not happened - I dread to imagine what riots would have been waged... While in the Boston Garden, White said: "The stones were at the bottom, but I planted them!" He probably became the most beloved mayor in the city's history!

He was stopped for one thing, but the musician was accused of something else entirely...

Keith Richards
Keith Richards

This story happened to Keith in Fordyce, Arkansas: it was there that Richards and Ronnie Wood were arrested. After lunch, Richards, who was driving an Impala, was pulled over for reckless driving. The cops thought they smelled something illegal and searched the car. And they found what they were looking for! But the find belonged to Richards' passenger... Then Richards passed a field sobriety test, but was charged with carrying a hunting knife, which was considered an illegal weapon. That's how it happens!

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