How To Cheat Death Like Keith Richards And Live To Tell The Tale…74 Years Later

How To Cheat Death Like Keith Richards And Live To Tell The Tale…74 Years Later | Society Of Rock Videos

Keith Richards / Facebook

Ah, Keith Richards. Sure, he’s an all around bad ass that’s survived 5 decades of the best sex, drugs and rock and roll that life had to offer but after all these years, we still wonder: how?

Whether it’s dumb luck or sheer refusal to go anywhere until he’s damned good and ready that’s kept Keith alive through some of the most impossible, downright bizarre events, we don’t know. But we do know one thing: he sure does it with style, and we want some of whatever he’s got!

From poisoning and house fires to a bombing and books (we can’t make this stuff up), here’s a look at 9 times Keith Richards stared death in the face and told it to hit the bricks (but not before asking to borrow its lighter).

1. The London Bombings Of 1944

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Believe it or not, even Keef was a baby – who with his mother narrowly escaped the London Bombings of 1944. While some of his neighbors were killed in the blasts, Keith’s crib – where he lay just before the bombings – was destroyed. This wouldn’t be the first or the last time our hero found himself facing what should have been certain death – it was just the beginning!

2. Strychnine Poisoning

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After getting high with some seriously shady characters, Keith realized his dope had been laced with strychnine. “Someone put strychnine in my dope, it was in Switzerland,” he said. “I was totally comatose but I was totally awake. I could listen to everyone, and they were like, ‘He’s dead, he’s dead!’ waving their fingers and pushing me about, and I was thinking, ‘I’m not dead!'”





3. Falling Asleep In Bed With A Lit Cigarette

Smoke from burning bed / Getty Images

Seriously, how lucky does one man get?! While in the throes of a serious heroin addiction, Keith nodded off in bed with girlfriend Anita Pallenberg…while holding a lit cigarette. They made it out okay, but we can’t say the same for their bed.



4. Onstage Electrocution

Keith Richards / Facebook

“The Last Time” was very nearly the last time for Richards, who was nearly fatally electrocuted after hitting his mic stand with the neck of his guitar. Aside from burned guitar strings and a bout of unconsciousness, it seems our Keef was right as rain!

5. Another House Fire

Daily Mirror / Mirrorpix / Mirrorpix via Getty Images / Getty Images

Though Keef swears that it wasn’t because he fell asleep with a lit cigarette again – he blamed it on a mouse chewing through wiring – he lost his Redlands Estate home in 1973 after a tremendous house fire. We’re glad everyone made it out safely!

6. Books

Christopher Simon Sykes / Hulton Archive / Getty Images

You’re killing us, Keef! In ’98, the Rolling Stone broke three ribs after being pummeled with books after standing on a chair to reach a book and slipping. “It was one of those moments where you have to make a decision: take it in the ribs or take a shot in the temple on the desk,” he remembered. “All part of life’s rich pageant.”

7. Falling Out Of A Tree

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We can’t make this stuff up! Thankfully, Keef walked away with a “splitting” headache and a canceled Rolling Stones tour.

8. Anarchy At Altamont

Robert Altman/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

It’s a wonder anyone survived the violence at Altamont in 1969, where a member of the audience was killed during the Stones’ set. Mick Jagger was punched in the head, but Keith’s reaction? “On the whole, a good concert.”

9. Snorting Dad’s Ashes

Keith Richards / Facebook

And that’s all that we have to say about that.

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