A Look Into Keith Richards' Incident At The Playboy Mansion

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Keith Richards never had a boss. Not one. He told Esquire in a 2015 interview, "You're talking to somebody, like Mick [Jagger], who has never, ever said 'Yes, sir' to anybody or obeyed instructions that we didn't want to." Comparing his life to that of Icarus of Greek myth — whose feather and wax wings melted when he flew too close to the sun — he said the situation, while fun, can be scary, "because there's no guidelines." (He also thinks that this freedom gives him the right to call The Beatles' ground-breaking 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band "a mishmash of rubbish," but, like everyone else in his life, we'll let him off the hook since he's a Stone.) "Even my bankers and my lawyers have all gone through the mill," said Richards. "Even royalty go through it — they're told what to do. I've lived a totally free life."

And he wasn't kidding. Richards has gone down in rock history as one of the most freewheeling, drug-fueled maniacs ever spawned by the genre, and for decades the world has just sat back and watched, because, well, he wrote "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." His behavior has been so legendary that Rolling Stone compiled a list of 19 "insane tales" of his antics over the years. Like the time he snorted his father's ashes like cocaine. Like the heroin-laced cigarettes he smoked on stage. Just to name a couple.

Keith Richards left his mark on the Chicago Playboy Mansion

One of those crazy stories was the time he and the other Stones were invited to the Playboy Mansion in Chicago while on tour in 1972. According to Far Out Magazine, Richards and Rolling Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys "played it a little far" when they stole their tour doctor's bag and snuck off to the bathroom to sample what was inside, like kids in a candy store. But hey, they didn't set fire to the bathroom, "the dope did," the magazine excerpted from his 2011 autobiography Life. "Not our fault. Bobby and I were just sitting in the john, comfortable, nice john, sitting on the floor, and we've got the doc's bag and we're just smorgasbording."

As he and Bobby went through the bag experimenting with various pills, Keith started to notice that things were getting hazier than the drugs were making them. "And I'm looking at Bobby and can't see him." As it turned out, they had managed to light the drapes on fire and then not notice until the mansion staff began banging on the door. "They get the door open and we're sitting on the floor, our pupils very pinned. I said, 'We could have done that ourselves. How dare you burst in on our private affair?'" Really, what do a pair of drug-addled rockers gotta do to get some privacy around here?

Fires seemed to mysteriously spark up around Keith Richards

For a guy who smoked, drank, and drugged as much as he did, we're actually kind of surprised that there are only two stories of "spontaneous" combustion on that Rolling Stone list. Keith's autobiography also tells of a night he spent in a rented house in Laurel Canyon, in the Hollywood Hills. He was with his then-girlfriend, a Swedish girl named Lil Wergilis, whom he described as "incredibly funny, very witty and a great lay." That night, she woke him up, saying there was a fire in the other room. Keith apparently took credit for said fire in an interview with The Telegraph in 2010, but no confession is to be found in his book. "We had a few seconds to jump out of the window," wrote Richards. "I'm dressed in a short T-shirt only, and Lil is naked." When they came back to the scene of the flames the next day, there was a "large sign stuck in the blackened grass that read, 'Thanks a lot, Keith.'"

His only possession that wasn't burned to a crisp was a chest of drawers that held some jewelry, his favorite tapes, his passport, and a gun with 500 rounds of ammunition. "So what am I supposed to gather from my life?" Richards asked upon finishing the story. "That I'm blessed?" Whether you call it blessed or just ridiculously lucky, we can all agree it has at least been entertaining.