Keith Richards Nearly Burned Down the Playboy Mansion

The Rolling Stones define rock and roll. Mick Jagger and lead guitarist Keith Richards have become pop-culture icons, known the world over. Since 1962, they have written hundreds of songs together, performed on too many stages to count, and set trends that have crushed cultural boundaries.

Richards, a poster boy for living a life of excess and indulgence, is a core member of the legendary rock band. His musical talent and songwriting abilities have skyrocketed the group into undisputable stardom. He has spent almost 60 years performing and has some crazy stories to share about his experiences.

Keith Richards career

Richards and Jagger became friends in 1950 when they attended primary school together in Great Britain. They formed the iconic Rolling Stones band in 1962 and just two years later found themselves traveling to the U.S. for their first of many American tours. Richards is responsible for many of the lyrics in the Stones hit songs and has been a primary reckoning force behind the band. 

The Stones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 and Rolling Stone Magazine named Richards the 4th greatest guitarist of all time.

Richards was known for his liberal drug use

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#TBT 1974 📷Grahm Wiltshire

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Now 76 years of age, the lead guitarist is infamous not only for his musical talent but also for his long history of liberal drug use. Heroin was his drug of choice, and he has been brought up five times on drug-related charges. During the infamous Redlands drug bust in 1967, Richards and Jagger were arrested for rampant drug use, according to Rolling Stone. When the police arrived, Richards was tripping on acid. Following a circus-like trial, The Rolling Stones solidified their place in rock and roll history as “Rock’s premier bad-ass outlaws for decades to come.” Richards admits, “I’ve been playing it up ever since.”

The infamous Playboy mansion

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Chicago Mansion pool #scrapbooksaturday

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Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion will always be remembered for the lavish celebrity-studded parties, gorgeous sexy “bunnies,” intimate gatherings in the grottos, and wild drug-filled nights. What most people don’t realize is that the first Playboy Mansion was actually in Chicago. Located at 1340 N. State Parkway, Hefner purchased the massive property for $400,000, according to The Culture Trip. He built a pool in the basement that included trap doors and a fire pole for guests to access the water from any level of the mansion. A bowling alley, movie theater, steam room, and numerous wild themed rooms filled the palatial estate. The building became part of the media giant’s brand, inspiring the future Los Angeles mansion. All five of the Rolling Stones were frequent guests at the Chicago based Playboy parties. It is here that Richards almost burned the place down.

Burning down the house

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#TBT, 1981. (📷: Arthur Elgort)

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In 1972, Richards was a guest at the Chicago Playboy Mansion. On tour with the Stones, the hard-partying guitarist brought along saxophonist Bobby Keys. The hardcore duo found a bathroom and started doing drugs. The rock star recounted the event, saying that Keys realized it was getting smoky inside the bathroom, Rolling Stone reports. Richards recalls, “And then a little later there’s a thumping at the door, waiters and guys in black suits bringing buckets of water. They get the door open, and we’re sitting on the floor, our eyeballs very pinned.” Richards claims that the house was not destroyed but that not much longer after that, Heff moved the Playboy mansion to California.

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