15 Insane Life and Career Stories Of Keith Richards

15 Insane Life and Career Stories Of Keith Richards | Society Of Rock Videos

via Keith Richards / YouTube

Keith Richards may have mellowed with age, but his past is packed with enough wild stories to fill several lifetimes.

Here, we look into the most extraordinary and bizarre moments of the Rolling Stones guitarist over his 50-year career in the limelight.

Oh, Canada (1977)
In February 1977, Keith Richards faced his most serious drug bust when Canadian police found an ounce of heroin in his hotel room. Charged with possession for trafficking, Richards risked a lengthy prison sentence. Yet, thanks to a spirited fanbase and a strategic legal defense, he was found guilty but spared significant jail time. His community service? A benefit concert for the blind, a nod to a dedicated fan, Rita, who championed his cause.

No Sleep, No Problem (1992)
“Adrenaline is the most amazing thing we have,” Richards claimed, and his tales of sleepless marathons back it up. During the recording of “Before They Make Me Run” from the album Some Girls, he stayed awake for five days straight. His record, however, is a staggering nine days without sleep, culminating in him collapsing and waking up in a pool of blood, pondering if it was “claret.”

Some Acid, Some Cops, and a Mystery Mars Bar (1976)
Richards’ Sussex estate, Redlands, became infamous in 1966 when a drug raid ensnared Richards, Jagger, and Marianne Faithfull. Still coming down from an acid trip, they were arrested, and rumors swirled of a Mars bar being involved in an orgy. Richards laughed off the absurdity, recalling the police finding a “scene of pure domesticity” and later overturning their brief prison sentences.

Father Nose Best (2007)
In a 2007 interview, Richards shocked the world by admitting to snorting his father’s ashes mixed with cocaine. Although his manager later said it was a joke, Richards elaborated in his memoir Life, describing how he couldn’t resist brushing up the residue when his father’s ashes spilled on a table.

Keith’s Snowy Swiss Ski Vacation (1972)
Exiled from France and Britain, Richards relocated to a chalet in Montreux in 1972. Amid the luxurious setting and high-quality drugs, he learned to ski. Richards fondly recalled the experience, noting the superior quality of drugs that helped him navigate his exile.

A Near-Death Shocker (1965)
In 1965, Richards was nearly electrocuted on stage in Sacramento when his guitar touched a live microphone stand. The incident left him unconscious and rushed to the hospital, but his thick-soled Hush Puppies shoes likely saved his life by insulating him from the full electrical charge.

The Stones: Brought to You by Merck! (1975)
The 1975 Tour of the Americas was fueled by ultrapure Merck cocaine. Richards and Ronnie Wood kept a steady supply behind the stage, maintaining a rule of one bump per song. An arrest in Arkansas for drug possession was quickly resolved, allowing the tour to continue.

That Time He Didn’t Kill Anybody (1976)
Richards fell asleep at the wheel with his son in the back seat, crashing his Bentley into a tree. Arrested when police found acid in his jacket, Richards later wrote, “At least we didn’t hit anybody.”

Giving Hef the Hotfoot (1972)
Richards and saxophonist Bobby Keys nearly set the Playboy Mansion ablaze while doing drugs in a bathroom. The quick response of Hefner’s staff saved the day, but the incident led to the Mansion’s relocation to Los Angeles.

Keith in the Sky With Diamonds (1967)
Richards and John Lennon embarked on an LSD-fueled road trip, ending up in Torquay and Lyme Regis. The details remain hazy, with Richards only recalling fragments of their psychedelic journey.

D’oh! (2006)
Richards suffered a head injury in Fiji, leading to a mid-tour emergency operation in New Zealand. Despite the severity, he was back on stage within six weeks, with his doctor by his side.

Berry Scary (2014)
Richards recounted how Chuck Berry punched him for strumming his guitar. The incident, recounted on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, highlighted Berry’s possessiveness over his instrument.

Naked and Afraid (1978)
Richards and a girlfriend escaped a burning house in Laurel Canyon, with Richards dressed in only a short T-shirt. The incident ended with a humorous sign left by neighbors, “Thanks a lot, Keith.”

Some Blow, Keith, a Baby Shower … What Could Go Wrong? (1970s)
Ronnie Wood’s ex-wife, Jo Wood, recounted how Richards ignored her plea not to do cocaine at a baby shower, pulling out a big bag of coke for “dessert,” much to the horror of her mother.

The Pirate of Weston (1991)
In 1991, Richards shocked everyone by settling down in Weston, Connecticut, embracing a quiet, rural lifestyle. He enjoyed reading, sailing, and recording in his basement, revealing a surprisingly domestic side of the rock legend.

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