Keith Richards to Play Toronto Benefit, Tour With Ron Wood

The concerts will fulfill the terms of the probation he received last October after pleading guilty to a charge of heroin possession

Keith Richards and Ron Wood from The Rolling Stones perform as The New Barbarians at Madison Square Garden on on May 7th, 1979 in New York. Credit: Richard E. Aaron/Redferns/Getty

Keith Richards is scheduled to play two shows at the Oshawa Civic Auditorium, just outside of Toronto, on April 22nd. The concerts will fulfill the terms of the probation he received last October after pleading guilty to a charge of heroin possession. Two days after the shows, which will benefit the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, Richards is expected to join fellow Rolling Stone Ron Wood in Denver for the start of a tour in support of Wood's solo album, Gimme Some Neck, which was due to be released the second week in April.

In addition to Richards and Wood, the tour is also expected to feature keyboardist Ian McLagan, who accompanied the Stones on their U.S. tour last summer, and several other well-known musicians. The exact lineup of Wood's all-star band, which is billing itself as the Barbarians, was not available at press time. It was also not known whether Richards' Toronto date would be with the Barbarians.

Keith Richards Meets the Mounties and Faces the Music

While in Toronto, Richards is supposed to receive a notice of appeal from the Canadian government. Last November, Federal Justice Minister Otto Lang instructed his officials to challenge Richards' suspended sentence (he received a year's probation and was ordered to play the benefit concert and to continue treatment for heroin addiction). Federal Crown Prosecutor John Scollin was then given until May 31st to appeal the sentence, which he termed too lenient. Once Richards has been served notice of the appeal, his lawyers and the Canadian prosecutors will be able to begin deliberations before the Supreme Court of Ontario. Last November, Scollin said he would seek two years' imprisonment for Richards. Whatever decision the Ontario court reaches can be appealed to higher Canadian courts. Richards does not have to be present during the appeal, so he will be free to join Wood on the Barbarians' tour.

Wood's album includes ten cuts, eight of which he wrote. Also on the LP is "Seven Days," a song Bob Dylan wrote for Wood. Musicians on the album, which was produced by Roy Thomas Baker, include Richards, McLagan, Charlie Watts and Mick Fleetwood. Dave Mason also appears on a track called "F.U.C. Her," and Mick Jagger sings background vocals on another cut.

The Barbarians' complete itinerary as of press time was April 24th, Denver; April 26th, St. Louis; April 28th, Detroit; May 1st, Chicago; May 2nd, Pittsburgh; May 3rd, Cincinnati; May 5th, Washington D.C.; May 7th, New York City; May 8th, Cleveland; May 10th, Birmingham, Alabama; May 12th, Houston; May 13th, Dallas-Fort Worth; May 16th, Tucson; May 17th, Phoenix; May 20th, Oakland; and May 21st, Los Angeles.

This is a story from the May 3, 1979 issue of Rolling Stone.