Events Where Keith Richards Almost Died
Kieth Richards in an interview with BBC - BBC Newsnight / Youtube
The Stones’ Keith Richards is the epitome of a true-blue bad boy rocker, which has fans speculating if he’s made a deal with the devil considering the many instances Death visited him, or tried to, but miserably failed. That’s right, the immortal rocker has had an encounter or two with the void, but none were successful. Here are some near-misses that almost took the life of our favorite Stone.
Father and Son reunion – 2008
Well, this never really lay any harm of Richards, but is rather a literal sniff of Death – courtesy of his old man’s ashes. “The truth of the matter is that after having Dad’s ashes in a black box for six years, because I really couldn’t bring myself to scatter him to the winds, I finally planted a sturdy English oak to spread him around,” Richard confirmed. “And as I took the lid off of the box, a fine spray of his ashes blew out on to the table. I couldn’t just brush him off so I wiped my finger over it and snorted the residue. Ashes to ashes, father to son.”
Knock That Coconut – 2006
Richards fell from a palm tree while he was on vacation at Fiji, suffering from a seven-foot drop. He revealed that he just went out from the water causing his hand to be extra-slippery, ending with him hitting his head on the trunk. He suffered from a “blinding headache” and thought it was nothing serious, but it was later found out that he suffered from a skull fracture and needed surgery for it.
Trust Noone – 1970’s
While Richards is a well-known substance abuser, he maintained that he only did so around people he trusted. A session in Switzerland almost put his life in danger, “Someone put strychnine in my dope, it was in Switzerland,” he said. “I was totally comatose but I was totally awake. I could listen to everyone, and they were like, ‘He’s dead, he’s dead!’ waving their fingers and pushing me about, and I was thinking, ‘I’m not dead!’”
No Fire Without a Smoke – 1971
Richards rented a villa at the south of France for the Exile on Main St. sessions, where he also did heroin sessions with his then-girlfriend, Anita Pallenberg. He was known to pass out with the needle sticking out of his arm, but this passing-out phenomenon became extra dangerous when Richards forgot to put out his cigarette while doing so. The bed quickly caught flames, and good thing the couple just woke up in time to escape the growing inferno.
Shock Rock, Literally – 1965
The new kings of dirty rock n’ roll were playing a show in Sacramento, when Richards walked to the mic to sing the backing vocals to “The Last Time”. The mic was facing the wrong way, so he tried to knock it towards him, but a bright blue flash emitted from the point of contact, electrocuting him on the spot, even burning the strings on his axe. He later calls the incident his most spectacular moment, thanking his then-new rubber boots with thick soles to have saved him.