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Music

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards claims to have seen UFOs

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has lived a life of mythical proportions. He’s an interesting figure in the sense that he is just as well-famous for his absurd extra-musical activities as his musicianship, which is nothing short of genius. When it comes to the six-string he’s a hero, fusing blues, rock, and European influences to create a sound that is unlike any other.

Without Keith Richards, The Rolling Stones would not be the rock ‘n’ roll behemoth that continues to be world-beaters a remarkable 60 years after they first burst onto the scene.

He’s the creative foil to the colourful frontman Mick Jagger, and together they became the symbol of ’60s rebellion. In their heyday, sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll were their forte, and all they wanted was a good time, looking to cast off the prosaic shackles of what was expected of them, and create a future that was full of excitement.

Duly, The Stones’ hedonism became infamous, and they would make their name as the hardest partying band out there, taking it to extremes that were then unheard of. Richards became the one most closely associated with this aspect of the band’s career, and the wild tales he has to tell are countless. His autobiography, Life, genuinely reads like a piece of fiction.

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Whether it be getting up to depraved antics on the Côte d’Azur with saxophonist Bobby Keys, doing acid in Torquay with John Lennon, or even snorting his dad’s ashes, Richards has done it all, making him one of the best storytellers in music, as he’s seen and done it all, giving him the authority to discuss almost every topic. 

Given that Richards has enjoyed a wild ride like no other, it won’t surprise you to hear that he claims he’s even seen UFOs. Whether he did or it was just the drugs talking is up for debate, but all we know is that once in 1968 the rocker claimed that UFOs were landing frequently at his Redlands estate in West Sussex. 

Speaking to Melody Maker at the time, he said: “I’ve seen a few, but nothing that any of the ministries would believe. I believe they exist – plenty of people have seen them. They are tied up with a lot of things, like the dawn of man, for example. It’s not just a matter of people spotting a flying saucer… I’m not an expert. I’m still trying to understand what’s going on.”

Elsewhere in the interview, he maintained that he’d been told on good authority that the property was a regular landing spot for UFOs. Seemingly a believer in extra-terrestrial lifeforms, once on the video series ‘Ask Keith Richards’, the Rolling Stones man said, “Who knows, you know, I love the possibility of it. Let’s hope they are. I can’t wait. Beat me up, Scotty”.

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