The Rolling Stones is one of the biggest rock bands to have ever existed in the history of music. Music, as we know it today, has been heavily influenced by this band and Keith Richards, the band’s guitarist is widely recognized for his skill and dexterity on the guitar – but most especially. for his effectiveness on the Rolling Stone band.
The life of Keith Richards has come with the typical problems that are likely to occur in the life of a musician, especially when it comes to drugs and substance abuse. Richards’ relationship with drugs is one that he has spoken about on various occasions and has also addressed in his music. But this is not where it ends for this guitarist whose affair with drugs has put him in trouble with the law at several times.
Keith Richards Built A Reputation Of Being A Junkie Early In His Career
Keith Richards’ career began in 1960 when he quickly rose to fame with long time friend and co-founder of The Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger. His fame was accelerated by the many drug busts that he was subjected to between 1960 and 1970. Throughout the years that Richards has struggled with substance abuse, he has been candid and open about his use of heroin and other drugs.
His habit was the inspiration for Jay Farrar’s song, “Cocaine and Ashes”. It is not clear when his relationship with illegal drugs, particularly heroin, began but by the time he experienced his first drug bust he was already notoriously referred to as a junkie.
He Was The Subject Of A High Profile Drug-Bust
Richards’ first bust was in 1967, a few months after he had purchased his Sussex Estate, Redlands. It was a weekend of rest for the guitarist and a few of his friends when about 20 policemen gathered on his lawn with one of them knocking on his door. They had received a tip that he had a lot of drugs in his house; they searched and indeed found a lot of drugs.
The police had been tipped by a tabloid reporter who had been informed about all the drugs by Richards’ driver. This was his first drug case and for his crimes of possession, he was brought before a court. Mick Jagger who was also in the house with him was given a three-month prison sentence while Richards’ got a one-year sentence for allowing cannabis to be smoked on his property.
However, the charges were later dropped and the stars only spent one day in jail. In 1973, Keith was the subject of another drug bust but this time it was in his London home. The police confiscated marijuana, heroin, Mandrax tablets, and some ammunition as well as guns. Keith Richards was to face 25 charges for all that was found in his home but Richard Du Cann, his lawyer was able to provide a good defense for him and he walked free.
He Met His Waterloo In Canada
In his life, Keith Richards has had five drug-related court cases and the 1977 incident was what brought his drug usage to a head. On the 27th of February that year, Keith Richards was in a hotel in Toronto when the police busted him. His drug of choice, heroin, was found in his possession and he was charged with possession with intent for trafficking.
This charge would have led to a seven-year sentence. But the charge was reduced and when he faced trial in 1978 after a year of good behavior, he was placed on probation; and the court then gave the order for treatment of heroin addiction. The guitarist has remained clean since then and only opts for the usage of cigarettes, cannabis, and hash.
Meeting His Wife, Patti Jensen Was Life-Changing For Keith Richards
According to the singer, his life changed in 1979 when he met Patti Jensen at Studio 54. Jensen, at that time, was a supermodel and Richards was already a big-time star who was battling his addiction to heroin. The two clicked instantly and a romantic relationship followed shortly after. The couple got married in 1983 on Richards’ birthday – 18th December.
The ceremony took place in Mexico at a hotel in Cabo San Lucas. Richards and Jensen have had their share of health scares. The first came in 2005 when Patti had a breast cancer scare. Shortly after that, Richards was involved in an accident that caused blood clots in his brain. Then in 2018, he suffered his own cancer scare. Through all of this, Patti Jensen and Keith Richards have remained together.
The Musician Has A Brood Of Children And Grandchildren
Keith Richards has to his name, a number of highly sought after and critically acclaimed records for his work in music, but his legacy goes beyond music and can be found in the five children that he has. In 1967, he began a relationship with Anita Pallenberg, an actress of Italian descent. The two were together for twelve years and in that time they fostered a brood of children.
Marlon Leon Sundeep (who was named after American actor, Marlon Brando), was born in 1969, and in 1972, Angela – who used to be called Dandelion, was born. Then in 1976, their third child, Tara Jo Jo Gunne joined the family. But his stay was a short one as he died in June – two months after his birth. The cause of his death was Sudden Infant Death syndrome. Tara was named after Tara Brownie, the heir to the Guinness family.
When he died, Keith Richards was on a tour and away from his family, something that he has beaten himself up over. His marriage to Patti produced two children – Theodora Dupree and Alexandra Nicole. While his first two children lead very quiet lives, Theodora and Alexandra work in the entertainment industry. The former is a model like her mother, while the latter is an artist who doubles as a DJ. The Rolling Stones star is also a grandfather – he has five grandchildren from his first son (3) and his first daughter (2).