Keith Richards Has His Day In Court

Guitarist pleads guilty to possession of drugs and firearms

Keith Richards performing in Copenhagen, Denmark circa 1973.
Jorgen Angel/Redferns
November 22, 1973

Keith Richards was fined £205 (about $500) and given conditional discharges on four drug charges and three firearms offenses, following trial October 24th in Marlborough Street Magistrate Court. Actress Anita Pallenberg, arrested with Richards June 26th when police raided their home in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, was given a conditional discharge for possession of 25 Mandrax tablets.

Mick Jagger was a spectator at the 90-minute proceedings, during which Richards' defense attorney Richard Du Can maintained that drugs found in the raid were left in the house by persons who had stayed there during the musician's absence.

Police said they found cannabis, Mandrax and Chinese heroin in a strongbox under Richards' four-poster bed. Officers said they also found a revolver, 110 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition and a shotgun in the house.

Du Can told the court Richards had no idea how the shotgun came to be in the house. The attorney said the revolver had been purchased in San Francisco for Richards' personal protection on a trip to Jamaica, and later the weapon was mailed to England.

Richards was charged with possession of the drugs and firearms. He pleaded guilty.

A week before the London trial Richard and Pallenberg were given one-year suspended sentences and fined $1100 each by a French court for throwing parties at which drugs were used at their home at Villefranche-sur-mer in 1971.

This story is from the November 22nd, 1973 issue of Rolling Stone.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Don't Dream It's Over”

Crowded House | 1986

Early in the sessions for Crowded House's debut album, the band and producer Mitchell Froom were still feeling each other out, and at one point Froom substituted session musicians for the band's Paul Hester and Nick Seymour. "At the time it was a quite threatening thing," Neil Finn told Rolling Stone. "The next day we recorded 'Don't Dream It's Over,' and it had a particularly sad groove to it — I think because Paul and Nick had faced their own mortality." As for the song itself, "It was just about on the one hand feeling kind of lost, and on the other hand sort of urging myself on — don't dream it's over," Finn explained.

More Song Stories entries »