Rolling Stone Richards 'targeted by the government'

Rolling Stone Richards 'targeted by the government'

Keith Richards claimed he was “targeted by the British government” when he was famously put on trial for drugs offences in 1967.

The Rolling Stones guitarist and frontman Mick Jagger were both jailed after police raided Richards’ country mansion to search for drugs.

In a candid new memoir, serialised by The Times, Richards said the establishment was determined to punish the controversial band.

“We’d become the focal point of a nervous Establishment,” writes Richards, 67. “There’s two ways the authorities can deal with a perceived challenge. One is to absorb and the other is to nail.

“They had to leave the Beatles alone because they had already given them medals. We got the nail. It was more serious than I thought. I was in jail because I’d obviously p***** off the authorities.

“I’m a guitar player in a pop band and I’m being targeted by the British government and its vicious police force, all of which shows me how frightened they are.”

After he was found guilty Richards was jailed for a year. Jagger was given three months imprisonment. Both were freed the next day pending appeal.

Richards’ conviction was overturned and Jagger had his sentenced quashed.

The convictions came after a police raid on Richards’ Redlands estate in Sussex after a party.

The veteran guitarist said he was still on acid when officers arrived at his country mansion.

“There is a knock at the door, I look through the window and there’s this whole lot of dwarves outside, but they’re all wearing the same clothes,” he recalls.

“They were policemen, but I didn’t know it. They just looked like very small people wearing dark blue, with shiny bits and helmets.

“As far as I remember, the atmosphere was fairly relaxed at the time. S*** anything we’d done we’d done already.”

He also dismissed the “myth” that officers discovered Marianne Faithfull - naked but for a fur rug – in a compromising position with a Mars bar.

He writes: “How the Mars bar got in the story I don’t know. There was one on the table – there were a couple, because on acid suddenly you get a sugar lack and you’re munching away. And so she’s stuck forever with the story of where the police found that Mars bar.”

Richards also uses his autobiography Life to lay bare the fraught relationship between himself and Jagger.

In the book he takes personal swipes at his bandmate, writing: “It was the beginning of the Eighties when Mick started to become unbearable.”

More in this Section

Bill Nighy explains why he doesn’t watch himself on screenBill Nighy explains why he doesn’t watch himself on screen

Two Love Islanders to be dumped from the villaTwo Love Islanders to be dumped from the villa

James Norton responds to ‘crazy’ James Bond speculationJames Norton responds to ‘crazy’ James Bond speculation

Freddie Flintoff terrified in ‘horrific’ Top Gear bungee jump car stuntFreddie Flintoff terrified in ‘horrific’ Top Gear bungee jump car stunt


Lifestyle

Orlagh Kelly owns The Reading Room bookshop on Main Street in Carrick-on-Shannon in Co Leitrim.We sell books: The Reading Room - ‘Small bookshops, curated by people who care, make a difference’

As Stockton’s Wing release a retrospective album, Mike Hanrahan tells Donal O’Keeffe about getting back on the road, and his love of cookingStill a beautiful affair: Mike Hanrahan talks about getting back on the road with Stockton's Wing

An ongoing cull is resulting in a major reduction in the deer population in one of the country’s most visited natural attractions.Donal Hickey: Deer birth patterns evolving

A Courtmacsherry neighbour, Kathy Gannon tells me that when the tide is out, the vast acres of clean, grey mud of the bay reflect the sun in splendour in the clear, sharp air.Damien Enright: ‘How enchanting for humanity that we have birds’

More From The Irish Examiner