Monday, February 27, 2017

Keef Arrested

On February 27, 1977 Royal Canadian Mounted police arrested Keith Richards after finding 5 grams of cocaine and 22 grams of heroin in his room at the Harbour Castle Hotel. Before they could cuff the lead guitarist for the Rolling Stones, they had to wake Richards up. By law, a suspect has to be conscious to be arrested.

In his memoir Life, Richards writes

It took them forty-five minutes --I'd been up for five days and I'd had a heavy-duty shot and I was out. This was my last rehearsal day, and I'd been asleep for about two hours. My memory of it is waking up and then going slap slap, two Mounties dragging me about the room slapping me. Trying to get me "conscious". Band bang bang bang bang . Who are you? What's your name? Do you know where you are  and do you know why we're here? "My name's Keith Richards, and I'm in the Harbour Hotel. What you're doing here I have no idea." Meanwhile they found my stash. And it was about an ounce. Quite a lot. More than a man needs. I mean it wouldn't feed the city. But obviously they knew their shit, like I knew my shit, and it was clearly not the Canada smack. It had come from England. I'd put it in the flight case.

The amount was enough for the police to charge Richards with trafficking, which meant a minimum seven year sentence. Richards has other things on his mind. He needed his next fix. It was Bill Wyman, of all people, who tracked down a connection.

Richards would avoid jail time by playing a benefit concert for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in 1979 with Ron Wood.

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