Mick Jagger and Keith Richards arrested in Warwick, 1972
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July 18, 1972: Mick and Keith are arrested for assaulting a photographer in Warwick, Rhode Island. They were later released on bail, which delayed their first Boston concert for three hours.
From The New York Times:
WARWICK, R. I., Wednesday, July 19 ((AP)—Five members of the Rolling Stones traveling party, including Nick Jagger, the lead singer, and Keith Richard, lead guitarist, pleaded innocent last night in District Court to charges of asault on a photographer and obstructing police officers. They were released and left by automobile at about 11:30 P.M. for their scheduled concert in Boston.
The five were arrested at Green International Airport, where they were diverted from their scheduled landing field at Boston because of fog.
Meanwhile, at Boston Garden where the concert was to have begun at 8 P.M., the waiting crowd of 15,509 remained relatively calm.
Mayor Kevin H. White of Boston went on the stage and announced that members of the Stones had been arrested in Warwick.
“I called and I got them out.” he said, “and they’re on their way.”
From House Enterprise:
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were arrested in Warwick for assaulting a Providence Journal photographer. The band was shipping up to Boston for a concert. Due to heavy fog, their plan had to find a closer destination than Boston Logan. They ultimately had to land in T.F. Green Aiport, angry and frustrated, because the opening act at the Boston Garden (Stevie Wonder), already began playing and they needed to get there asap.
When news broke that the band was at the airport, multiple media members flocked to the scene for photos. In the midst of it, band member Keith Richards, who did not want his photo taken clearly, whipped his belt off a smacked Providence Journal photographer Andy Dickerman. When the police came and arrested Richards, Mick Jagger appeared and shouted “if you take him, you’re taking me, too.”, leading to himself and five other members being placed in custody.
Things got interesting, as the media leaked the story. The Mayor of Boston at the time, Kevin White, was calling the Warwick Police demanding them to allow the group to play the concert tonight. Nervous fans of the concert would riot the streets of Boston, he pleaded that the accused Stones be arraigned as quickly as possible.
Ultimately, the five suspects were charged and pushed past the bail commissioner. They received a limo and a state police escort, getting them to Boston quickly. They made it on stage at 12:45 am, closing the show at 2 in the morning with “Street Fighting Man”.
Jagger wasn’t a happy camper that night, even voicing his anger on stage with an all-time quote “This place is better than Warwick”
From New England Historical Society:
When Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards got arrested for assault in Warwick, R.I., just before they were scheduled to play Boston Garden, Boston Mayor Kevin White rushed to their rescue.
The baddest rock’n roll band in the world ended up speeding along the interstate with police sirens blaring, into the personal custody of the pinstripe-suited mayor.
It was the Stones’ 1972 Exile on Main Street tour, when the band was at its height. During that tour, they typically opened with Brown Sugar, then rocked through Gimme Shelter, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Jumpin’ Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man and ended Mayor with Satisfaction.
Fifteen thousand fans waited for them in Boston on July 18, 1972, but Richards and Jagger scuffled with a photographer in Warwick. They had flown into T.F. Green Airport because fog shut down Logan. The Rhode Island State Police took them into custody just before they had to leave for their Boston concert.
Mayor White probably didn’t know who the Rolling Stones were, but he got on the phone and called Rhode Island officials, telling them a riot could break out at Boston Garden if they didn’t play.
It took some doing, but White persuaded the police to release the Stones into his personal custody.
Then Kevin White rushed to Boston Garden, took off his suit jacket and claimed the stage in shirtsleeves and loosened tie.
“The Stones have been busted, but I have sprung them!” he told the audience. He also said he asked the MBTA to stay open late so the concertgoers could be sure to get home.
As the Rolling Stones raced up I-95 to Boston with a screaming police escort, White tried to keep the crowd calm, even throwing a football into the audience as a distraction. Opening act Stevie Wonder played a set described as ‘one of the longest in history.’
At 1 a.m. the Rolling Stones pulled up at the rear of the Garden, ran to the stage and played one of the best concerts of the tour.
Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry told the Boston Phoenix it was the best concert ever in Boston: “It was as amazing as you can imagine. And it was a combination of events that you just can’t orchestrate. It was the kind of thing that made the Stones what they are. I mean, the biggest rock-and-roll outlaws in the world get arrested and then make a mad dash to Boston with a police escort! And, I remember Mayor White throwing a football out into the crowd to keep everyone occupied. And, then, finally, they arrived: the street-fighting men with all the rock-and-roll lifestyle they had.”
The feared riot never materialized. Kevin White suggested the Stones give a private concert to his family and supporters to thank him for his help. He never got it.
Four years earlier, Kevin White persuaded James Brown to calm angry Bostonians.
From South Cost Today:
As rock’s oldest bad boys prepare to play today in Foxboro, a retired police officer remembers a summer night 25 years ago when Keith Richards and Mick Jagger almost missed a Boston Garden show packed with 15,000 fans.
Instead of warming up backstage on July 18, 1972, the pair was in a Rhode Island jail cell — charged with assault and obstruction of a police officer.
The two rock superstars were the most famous arrests of his career, former Warwick Police Sgt. Frank Ricci says.
Ricci, 58, retired from the police force in 1981 and later retired from a job as internal affairs director for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue in 1995.
Twenty-five years ago he was a 33-year-old country music fan who rarely listened to rock music. That’s when he got a call about a disturbance at Theodore F. Green State Airport.
Ricci had no idea that the Rolling Stones were in Warwick, unable to land at Logan Airport due to heavy fog. As the angry, frustrated musicians waited in a terminal for a Boston-bound bus around 8 p.m., opening act Stevie Wonder had already begun to play.
When Ricci arrived at the airport, he found Providence Journal-Bulletin photographer Andy Dickerman complaining members of the Stones’ entourage had assaulted him.
“I had no idea who these guys were,” Ricci told a Lowell newspaper. “People say, how could you not know? But I just didn’t follow music.”
The airport was public property, Ricci said, and suggested the band allow Dickerman to take a few shots.
Reluctantly, a Stones security agent acquiesced and said Dickerson could snap five photos.
But Keith Richards would have none of it.
“As soon as he (starts to take photos) some long-haired guy got up, whipped his belt off and went after Dickerman,” said Ricci.
“And I said, ‘OK, that’s it.’ I don’t care who you say you are. You’re under arrest.”
Ricci cuffed Richards, but a few seconds later lead singer Mick Jagger jumped Ricci from behind.
Then, Ricci said, the 28-year-old, 130-pound Jagger shouted “if you take him, you’re taking me, too.”
So Ricci replied, “OK, we can take you, too.”
The arrests began a melee that would leave Ricci with a dislocated shoulder and would end with five men in custody, including Jagger and Richards.
The Time Ricci Got His Superstar Suspects To The Station For Booking, All Eyes Were On Warwick.
Reporters were jamming the phone lines and an aide to Boston Mayor Kevin White was calling, demanding that the band be allowed to play the concert. Even Ricci’s kids were calling, begging their dad to allow them a quick visit.
Jagger and Richards weren’t much easier to deal with, Ricci said.
“You’re not putting me in that (bleeping) cell!” Jagger told Ricci.
Then another call came from Boston, Ricci said, requesting that the accused Stones be arraigned as quickly as possible.
Stevie Wonder had finished his set and the Boston rockers were growing restless waiting for the main attraction. Mayor White was nervous angry fans would riot.
The five suspects were charged, shuttled past the bail commissioner, and whisked to Boston in a limousine with a state police escort, Ricci said.
The Stones hit the stage at 1245 a.m. with “Brown Sugar” and closed the show at 2 a.m. with “Street Fighting Man,” according to newspaper reports.
Jagger held a grudge all the way to Boston, Ricci said.
“He was really (upset) with me,” said Ricci. Reportedly Jagger told the Garden crowd, “This place is better than Warwick.”
(Ref. mick jagger and keith richards)
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