February 12, 1967

Feb12On this day in 1967, just after eight o’clock in the evening, the West Sussex police arrived at Keith Richards’ famous Redlands home.

The first intimation something was about to happen came when a face appeared, pressed against the window. After a day of taking LSD, relaxing, and listening to music, all company inside the house was oblivious to the police gathering outside.

When Richards opened the door, he was confronted by 18 police officers, led by Police Chief Inspector Gordon Dinely, who presented Richards with a warrant to “search the premises and the persons in them, under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1965.” Richards was so high that he did not understand that they were police or that they were trying to read him a warrant. He kept repeating, “come on it, it’s a bit chilly outside.”

Richards claims that he was so high on acid that when he saw the police through a window, he thought they were a bunch of dwarves all dressed the same. Richards let them enter with no hesitation.

The only drugs found were a couple of roaches in an ashtray and on the persons of Mick Jagger and gallery owner, Robert Fraser. Jagger had a minute amount of amphetamine, bought legally in Italy. Fraser had a bit of heroin.

When it comes to the legendary Redlands story surrounding Marianne Faithfull’s evening, Richards cleared up the events in his 2010 autobiography Life.

“Marianne had a hard day on acid. She had taken a bath upstairs, just finished, and I had this huge fur rug and she just wrapped herself in it, I think she had a towel around her too. She was lying back on the couch after a nice bath. How the Mars bar got into the story I don’t know. We did have a few candy bars on the table because when you do acid you get sugar lacks and you need to munch away. How the police and press managed to make a Mars bar on a table and Marianne wrapped in a fur rug into a myth is kind of classic. The evening paper headlines are “Naked Girl at Stones Party”  and included in the story – info directly from the police – is that the Mars bar was used as a dildo. That was a rather large leap and completely false.”

(page 208-210)

This event was the start to the infamous trial of Jagger, Richards and Fraser.

Detective Sergeant Norman “Nobby” Pilcher was notoriously working hand-in-hand with the paper News of the World and his tip to send officers to Redlands that day was from a News of the World source.

Pilcher was responsible for following up on “tip offs” given by the paper. He’s known for arresting many musicians in his time, including Donovan, Brian Jones, John Lennon and George Harrison. Pilcher was also known to bring his own supply along to busts, just incase he needed evidence.

John Lennon described him as “Semolina Pilchard, climbing up the Eiffel Tower” in the song ‘I Am The Walrus’.

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