Keith Richards brands short stretch in Wormwood Scrubs prison ‘weird’
Keith Richards has branded his short stretch in Wormwood Scrubs prison “weird”.
The Rolling Stones guitarist, 78, was sentenced to a year behind bars after the infamous drugs raid on his Redlands estate, where his then-girlfriend Marianne Faithfull was famously found wearing only a bearskin rug.
Keith told Apple Music: “I’ve been in a few other clinks over the time and basically they’re all great once you get out.
He spent only 24 hours in ‘The Scrubs’ before being released on bail and his conviction was later overturned after a public campaign to release the musician.
The Stones’ lead singer Mick Jagger was also arrested at Richards' Redlands home in West Wittering, Sussex, for drug possession.
It’s been reported on the night of the 1967 Redlands drugs bust, Keef was so far gone on LSD that when the police arrived at his country mansion he mistook them for uniformed dwarves and welcomed them in with open arms.
Keith said on the Rolling Stones documentary ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ he thanked the heavens when a fellow inmate at Wormwood Scrubs tapped him on the shoulder and told him “You’re out – we heard it on the radio” when it was ruled he was to be released.
He added in the film the constant focus on his drug use by police turned him into a “Jesse James”-style outlaw and led to him buying a gun in America and made him play up to the rebel image of “the man in the black hat”.
The documentary ‘Stones in Exile’ about the making of the band’s seminal 1972 double album ‘Exile on Main Street’ also highlights how drug use was rife in the group.
Saxophonist Bobby Keys, who died aged 70 in 2014 and played on ‘Exile’, declared in the film: “Hell, yeah, there was some pot around, there was some whiskey bottles around, there was scantily clad women. Hell, it was rock'n'roll!"
The 1967 arrest was one of a string of drugs busts that nearly destroyed the Stones.
When the Chelsea drug squad raided Keith’s home in Cheyne Walk, London – a few doors down from Jagger's home – on a sunny Tuesday morning in June 1973 they found not only the expected collection of grass, cannabis resin, ‘Chinese heroin’, mandrax tablets, burnt spoons, syringes and pipes but also a .38 Smith and Wesson revolver, shotgun and 110 rounds of ammunition.
Police also found Keith and Anita Pallenberg, who they described as "his common law wife and a housewife", still asleep in their four-poster bed in their first-floor bedroom.
Keith said the revolver and holster had been bought for him by a roadie named Leroy Leonard in San Francisco for $200 because he had just been to Jamaica and was warned he needed it for protection.