Keith Richards Was Ordered to Play a Benefit Concert For the Blind as Community Service

People all over the world have probably heard of Keith Richards. The iconic musician is an England native who heavily influenced the world of rock and roll. Richards was born in 1943 and became interested in music at a relatively young age. Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Duke Ellington were some of the musicians that inspired Richards to begin working on his own craft. In no time Richards had shown the world just how talented he truly was. Take a look back at Richards’ musical career and what unlikely sentence the talented star had to serve back in the 1970s. 

Keith Richards kneeling on stage holding a guitar, looking to the right
Keith Richards | KMazur/Getty Images

What is Keith Richards best known for?

The popular musician’s reputation as a songwriter, guitarist, record producer, and, of course, singer is well-known all around the world. Goats Head Soup and Emotional Rescue are two of his most popular albums to date. Many fans and critics agree that Richards is one of the most influential musicians in rock and roll and has inspired others for decades. Richards is typically associated with his intricate role as a member of the famous band The Rolling Stones. Over the years he has entertained the world with his performances and stories, but some of Richards’ fans may be surprised to hear this one. 

What crime was Keith Richards found guilty of? 

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During the 1970s Richards was known for being involved in situations involving recreational drugs. However, there was one instance that almost potentially harmed the trajectory of his career and the Rolling Stones. Richards and the band were in Canada when the police uncovered an ounce of heroin in the musician’s hotel room, according to Rolling Stone. With such a hefty amount, Richards found himself being charged with drug possession with the intent of trafficking. The musician faced the possibility of serious jail time. However, due to a trial opportunity centered around curing and treating addiction, Richards managed to post bond and secure a visa that would allow him to await his trial in the United States. 

Months later when it was time for Richards’ case to be tried in case he received a tremendous outpouring of support from his fans and listeners. Once when Richards was speaking about the trial he stated, “there were five to six hundred people outside every time I turned up in court, chanting, ‘Free Keith, free Keith.” However, despite his fans’ best efforts, the rising star was still found guilty of the crime. Luckily for Richards, there was one particular fan who wasn’t willing to give up on him or his case. 

What was Keith Richards ordered to do as a result of the crime that he was found guilty of?

Richards, unfortunately, found himself guilty of the drug possession that he was charged with during the 1970s. However, just when things may have seemed like a lost cause there was one fan who was able to save the day. 

Rita was the loyal Rolling Stones fan who was able to get the judge to give Richards some leeway when it came to his sentencing. Rita explained that she was blind and managed to find a way to hitchhike to The Rolling Stones because she wanted to see the band perform live so badly. Rita shared her touching story with the judge, and it seemed to work to Richards’ advantage. As a result, the judge sentenced Richards to perform at a benefit concert for the blind. In Richards’s memoir, Life, he mentions Rita and her dedication. He went on to state, “The love and devotion of [fans] like Rita is something that still amazes me.” Talk about a story of a lifetime.