Keith Richards is the legendary guitarist and co-songwriter for the Rolling Stones. Besides being famous for his musical work, he’s famous for another thing: illegal drugs. He’s been the popular face of casual drug use for decades, and the punchline for dozens of jokes by amateur and professional comedians alike.
How bad does someone’s drug use have to be before even Keith steps in? There’s one person to ask, and that’s British model Linda Keith.
Linda started dating the rocker in 1963, and broke up with him three years later after discovering and mentoring a young musician named Jimi Hendrix. Keith was despondent, and co-wrote a song for the woman who’d been with him for years and had introduced him to what would become some of his favorite intoxicants.
(The name of the song came from the day, Tuesday, on which Richards realized Linda Keith wasn’t coming back.)
Writing the song wasn’t the only thing Richards did, though. He also… called her parents.
The bad boy rock star realized that Linda was doing too many hard drugs – LSD, heroin, and more – and that the combinations were likely to kill her soon. Not having any way to directly influence her, particularly if she was going to be spending more of her time on her pet project of making Hendrix into a star, he contacted Linda’s father back in England.
Her father was Alan Keith, a prominent actor and radio host. While the Rolling Stones were already famous, Alan Keith was influential.
U.S. authorities were able to locate Linda, who was at that point dealing with severe drug addiction. She was made a ward of the court and brought back to England for compulsory psychiatric treatment. She managed to get past her drug addictions, eventually marrying and moving to the United States to raise a family.
And she has Keith Richards to thank for it.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite song of the 1960s?