Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll— it’s a line that Ian Dury etched into the history books, and also Mick Jagger’s shopping list. The Canadian government were wise to Jagger’s scandalous ways, and they were not prepared to turn a blind eye to the tearaway troubadour. This maple leaf land is not one where gyrating frontmen can do as they please, things are done properly and the Canadians proudly declared war on rock ‘n’ roll indecency.
In 1967, on the far side of the pond in the leafy upper-class county of West Sussex, police raided the apartment of the Rolling Stones thousand-year-old high-seas guitarist Keith Richards and therein they uncovered personal amounts (or at least personal amounts by Richards’ sixties standards) of LSD, heroin and marijuana. It just so happened that at the very moment they conducted their raid, Richards was conducting a party, although the rule of averages makes that less of a coincidence than it may seem — the man has hosted more parties than the entire boxset of Come Dine With Me.
Jagger was present, and naturally, Jagger was intoxicated. With drugs being more ubiquitous than fruit and veg in the age of peace, love and scurvy-threatened liberation, the government wanted to take a bold stance on the bust. Steadfast and stern the unflinching British government doled out a whopping three days of jail time to the millionaire rockstars. That was that, the case was long forgotten before Jagger and Richards had even sobered up enough to endure the comedown in jail.
However, the backstory is an interesting tale in itself. Remarkably the British police needed a prompt by the FBI and MI5 to let them know that Richards, the Keith Richards, might have excessive amounts of illicit substances stashed away in his mansion. What’s more, even the world powers of intelligence needed a tip-off to get to the bottom of just how Mick was moving like that.
This tip-off came from a source that Jagger and co never expected to be a snitch for a second: the laughably named David ‘The Acid King’ Sniderman (no relation to Alana ‘The Coke Fiend’ Snitchwoman or even Grace ‘The Acid Queen’ Slick). As it turns out, Sniderman wasn’t quite as hip as he first seemed. He had ensnared the Rolling Stones with his substances but little did they know, he was not, in fact, the most openly named drug dealer of all time, but rather a wily Canadian actor.
The Canadians saw ‘The Stones’ as a threat to the establishment, quite what the Canadian establishment represents is still not yet known, but they found their pastoral ways at ends with the hip-thrusting, pouter with the powder nose and they were determined to send him down… for three days. Apparently, Jagger and Richards leant their lesson and have been clean ever since, while the Canadian establishment remains unimpeached and inviolable to bohemian ways, so well done Sniderman I suppose, a job well done.