LOOK WHO’S GOT THE DUNCE’S CAP ON > Mick Jagger (centre) flanked by Keith Richards and fellow guitarist Brian Jones, flanked by drummer Charlie Watts and bass player Bill Wyman.
1. Sing This All Together
3. In Another Land
4. 2000 Man
5. Sing This All Together
(See What Happens)
6. She’s a Rainbow
7. The Lantern
9. 2000 Light Years from Home
10. On With the Show
THEIR SATANIC MAJESTIES REQUEST
The Stones go all psychedelic and fail the acid test. Tripping the light no so fantastic > but two song gems.
- December, 1967
- Rock On Rock Recommends:
2000 Light Years from Home
She’s A Rainbow
“IT was made in between court sessions and lawyers > with everyone sort of falling apart’’
> Keith Richards said of the Their Satanic Majesties Request album (to Rolling Stone magazine in 1971).
Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards were busted on drug charges following a full-on raid involving a posse of about 20 police officers on Richards’ country English estate Redlands, in Sussex. Guitarist Brian Jones would also soon suffer a similar fate. (See The Redlands Raid reports below).
Retribution was at hand for the Rolling Stones, the most rebellious of those damned out-of-control rock and roll bands.
In the meantime, there was an album to do and the band searched for different sounds at a time when the three Stones front men > Brian Jones, Jagger and Richards > supped on the drugs and other pleasures of Sixties swinging London.
Through the smoky haze emerged Their Satanic Majesties Request, a mish-mash of psychedelica with a bit of vaudeville/circus thrown in.
But a couple of gems emerged from tripping the light not so fantastic, as well as an innovative original 3D vinyl album cover. [Very collectable, if you can get your hands on one]
“We are not old men and we’re not worried about petty morals”
> A defiant Keith Richards in court on drug charges
“The (prison) food is awful. The wine list is terribly limited and the library is abysmal.”
> Keith Richards, 1967 (see reports below)
Standout tracks on this album are 2000 Light Years from Home and She’s a Rainbow.
200 Light Years from Home has Brian Jones on mellotron as a rumbling beat bubbles underneath swirls of inter-galactic loneliness. One for the space cadets, this song was a highlight of the band’s Steel Wheels tour of the US in 1989.
She’s A Rainbow inexplicably starts with the voice of a spruiking sideshow alley tout then thankfully shifts to the melodic piano playing of regular Stones session player Nicky Hopkins > and develops into a great drum-driven pop ballad.
There’s also the special touch of a strings arrangement by John Paul Jones, who would emerge several years later as bass player for Led Zeppelin > and even later Them Crooked Vultures with Dave Grohl.
The dreamlike ballad In Another Land was written and sung by bass player Bill Wyman.
It was recorded when Jagger, Richards and Jones failed to turn up for the Olympic Studio sessions > leaving Wyman, Hopkins and drummer Charlie Watts to their own devices. The echoed voice helps mute a droning vocal and Jagger later added some backing vocals.
The snoring at the end of the song is Wyman’s and an appropriate lead-in to the next two songs > the going nowhere 2000 Man and the full of bells and whistles but lacking bristle Sing This All Together (See What Happens) > an eight-minute reprise of the album’s opening track.
“Where’s that joint,” is the questioned asked at the start of this aimless song that is nothing to get high about.
The Citadel has spurts of a half-decent guitar riff but little else > the Indian influenced Gomper and The Lantern are more psychedelic chutzpah.
This disappointing album closes with the vaudeville of On With The Show, which sounds like an outtake from previous album Between The Buttons.
THE ROLLING STONES REDLANDS RAID > WE’LL SHOW YOU LONG-HAIRED UPSTARTS A THING OR TWO
ABOUT 20 police officers descended on Keith Richards’ recently purchased Redlands country estate in Sussex late afternoon on February 12, 1967.
Among his guests were Mick Jagger, Jagger’s girlfriend singer Marianne Faithful, hip art dealer Robert Fraser and one David Schneidermann > known as the Acid King because he carried around an attache case of illegal substances, including LSD, the rock stars’ drug of choice in this the flower power era.
The Beatles’ George Harrison and his partner Patti Boyd were also there, but had left before the police arrived.
Jagger and Richards faced drug charges as a result, but probably nowhere near the severity the police had hoped for > Jagger for possessing four amphetamine tablets and Richards for allowing marijuana to be smoked on his property. It was art dealer Fraser who faced the more serious charge of heroin possession.
The raid made headlines around the world, including revelations later in court about Marianne Faithfull being wrapped naked in a fur rug.
The raid was of particular interest to London’s News of the World newspaper, which was being sued by Jagger after it published a story accusing him of taking LSD.
The newspaper mysteriously published details of the Redlands arrests before a police public announcement was made.
THE LEGEND OF THE VAGINA AND MICK MUNCHING ON A MARS BAR
AFTER the police drugs raid on the Rolling Stones at Keith Richards’ Redlands mansion, rumours circulated that police had interrupted Mick Jagger chewing on a Mars Bar inserted in girlfriend Marianna Faithfull’s vagina.
But police reported no sexual activity apart from Faithfull being wrapped nude underneath a blanket.
Marianne Faithfull writes in her biography: “The Mars Bar is a very effective piece of demonizing. It was so overdone > with such malicious twisting of the facts. Mick retrieving a Mars Bar from my vagina, indeed! It’s a dirty old man’s fantasy – some old fart who goes to a dominatrix every Thursday. A cop’s idea of what people do on acid.”
WHAT A COINCIDENCE > ANOTHER STONES DRUG BUST SAME DAY AS JAGGER/RICHARDS COURT APPEAL
Jagger, Richards and Fraser faced a court hearing on May 10 and a trial date was set. That evening 12 police executed a raid on Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones’ flat in London’s South Kensington. He and friend Prince Stanislaus Klossowski, of Switzerland, faced cannabis charges.
ON TRIAL >THE STONES ARE BAD, DRUGS ARE BAD
Jagger, Richards and Fraser arrived in a plush Bentley at Chichester Court on Tuesday, June 27, for their date with drug destiny.
Fraser was the first to stand trial, pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody. Jagger was next up and it took a jury just a few minutes to find him guilty. He was also remanded in custody. His defence team had argued that the tablets in his possession were little more than prescription drugs used for tiredness.
The next day Jagger and Fraser arrived at court handcuffed and waited in a cell as Richards faced the wrath of the British chattering classes.
Surprise, surprise … he was also found guilty > after a day and half of evidence and testimony which included claims News of the World had organised a person as a plant at the Redlands party and that police were given a tip-off through News of the World.
The chief suspect is Acid King Schneidermann, who despite his bag of illegal drugs and presence at Redlands during the police raid, failed to face charges. He made himself scarce soon after.
Judge Leslie Block sentenced Richards to 12 months jail > his case not helped by Richards telling the court: “We are not old men and we are not worried about petty morals”.
Jagger copped three months jail and Fraser six months. Jagger was that night sent to Brixton prison and the other two to Wormwood Scrubs prison.
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVILS > PUSH TO FREE THE STONED
The harsh sentences caused a storm of protest > including 200 people outside Fleet Street newspaper offices chanting “free the Stones’’.
British rock band The Who recorded Rolling Stones songs The Last Time and Under My Thumb as a show of support and vowed to continue to record Stones songs as they languished in jail.
Of more importance in swaying opinion was an editorial in the ultra-conservative London newspaper The Times by editor William Rees-Mogg. He argued the case that Jagger > despite “the new hedonism” that was in conflict with “the sound traditional values” of Britain > should be treated the same as everyone else when it came to justice. [Poor Keith failed to get a mention!!]
BACK IN COURT
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were granted bail and released on appeal. On July 31 a court quashed Keith’s conviction and upheld Jagger’s > but quashed his sentence. No such luck for art dealer Fraser, who had to serve his sentence.
Guitarist Brian Jones faced court several months later and pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis and permitting his premises to be used for smoking of said drug. He was sentenced to three months jail on the first charge and nine months for the second.
Jones was refused bail and sent to Wormwood Scrubs prison where he spent the next 24 hours > before being freed on bail in a High Court appeal.
In December Jones had his sentence reduced to three years probation and was ordered to seek drug treatment.
KEITH RICHARDS ON THE ROLLINGS STONES DRUG BUSTS
“There was a realisation that the powers that be actually looked upon us as important enough to make a big statement and to wield the hammer. But they’d also made us more important than we ever bloody well were in the first place”
“Up until then it had been as though London existed in a beautiful space where you could do anything you wanted.’’
> WRITTEN by MALCOLM LIVERMORE
> above quotes from the book According to the Rolling Stones.
* Some source material from the book Rolling with the Stones by bass player Bill Wyman.