Keith Richards Was So Wild Even Before The Rolling Stones He Got Expelled From Boy Scouts

You don’t have to be a hardcore rock-and-roller to know who The Rolling Stones are. The legendary Stones rocked and rolled their way through the ’60s and ’70s to become one of the most successful rock groups of all time, even rivaling The Beatles. Even decades later, their catchy hits like “Brown Sugar” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” are some of the most recognizable songs in music history.

In comparison with The Beatles’ clean-cut image (in their early days), The Rolling Stones were always known for their wild antics and “sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll” lifestyle. This image was perhaps led most of all by Keith Richards, the Stones’ guitarist, who constantly made headlines for his wild partying ways. One might think that becoming a rock god was what turned Richards onto this lifestyle, but it turns out that he was wild and crazy long before he and Mick Jagger ever formed The Rolling Stones.

Keith Richards smoking on stage while playing guitar, looking down
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Keith Richards’ wild ways have gotten him into trouble

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Ever since he entered the public eye back in the ’60s, Richards has always been known as a hard partier. It seems like a fun lifestyle from the outside, but Richards’ habits and battles with drug addiction have actually gotten him into quite a bit of serious trouble over the years.

One of the first time Richards was busted by cops for his drug use was in 1966 at his grand Sussex estate, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. He and Stones vocalist Mick Jagger were tripping on acid when the police showed up to raid the place for illegal substances. Both Richards and Jagger were arrested and faced short prison sentences, but luckily for them, the sentences were eventually thrown out.

Richards (along with his bandmates) had a string of other brushes with the law through the ’60s and ’70s, but perhaps none were as egregious as his arrest in Canada in 1977 when police found heroin in his hotel room. Since he was in Canada, he was charged with the possession of heroin with the purpose of trafficking, which carries a very harsh sentence in Canada. His passport was confiscated, and he wasn’t allowed to enter the United States for many months, which risked the band’s demise. Thankfully, the U.S. let him re-enter on a medical visa to receive treatment for his heroin addiction, the charges were brought down, and the Stones continued on to have many more hits.

Richards was even kicked out of the Boy Scouts for being too wild

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If you thought that being in the limelight of rock-and-roll was what turned Richards onto the party lifestyle, you thought wrong. Apparently, Richards has been partying hard almost all his life, and he even got kicked out of the Boy Scouts for being out of control.

Rolling Stone reported that Richards spent two years in the Boy Scouts as a teen, but started to attract unwanted attention from his superiors when he smuggled a bottle of whiskey into an event. What ultimately got him kicked out, however, was for assaulting “some dummo recruit”, to use Richards’ own words. That was far from the last scout that Richards had attacked: he’d gotten into so many fights by that time that the Scout leaders must have been sick of him.

What is Richards doing now?

At 76 years old, the legendary bad boy Richards seems to have finally mellowed out a bit. He’s been happily married to model Patti Hanson since 1983, and they have two daughters together. Richards also has two children from his past relationship with Anita Pallenberg, and is a grandpa to five!

One area in which Richards hasn’t slowed down is touring with his band. The Stones are still on the road, even after frontman Jagger went through heart surgery. These legends never stop! We’re glad that Richards is no longer getting arrested, and that all of his die-hard fans still get to see their rock god play live.