The Redlands Bust: When the British Establishment tried to punish the Rolling Stones
This forthcoming book tells for the first time the complete story of the Redlands Bust and its cultural consequences. In 1967 the establishment in England were determined to punish the Rolling Stones, Britain’s most insolent pop group. It was a time when sex, drugs and rock’n’ roll were becoming the normal lifestyle of the youth of the nation and the establishment saw the Rolling Stones as leading the change.
It began on a quiet Sunday in February when Redlands, the Sussex country home of Stone’s guitarist Keith Richards was raided by a force of twenty police officers. Richards was hosting a weekend party attended by Mick Jagger the Stone’s singer, a couple of the Beatles and other friends and notables of swinging London.
The raid came after a tip off by a tabloid newspaper, who were conducting a personal vendetta against Jagger because of a libel case he had brought against the newspaper. Jagger and Richards were busted for drug possession. The raid became known as the Redlands Bust.
When the case came to trial the police luridly played up the image of Marianne Faithful as Miss X wearing nothing but a fur rug which she deliberately “let fall” from time to time during the raid. Keith blamed Mr. X for setting up the Bust. Mr X's name was revealed as Schneidermann but his real identity has been a mystery for forty years. Jagger and Richards were convicted and sentenced to prison for three and twelve months.
The sentences drew a storm of protest and support. Fans held a candlelit vigil in Piccadilly Circus, In New York, fans mounted angry pickets outside the British Consulate. Support also came from an unlikely source - The London Times – a bastion of the establishment. The Times devoted a leader to the case. Penned by its conservative editor, William Rees-Mogg, headlined, "Who Breaks A Butterfly On A Wheel?" it questioned the severity of the punishment.
The appeal against the sentences was brought forward, and heard by Britain's Lord Chief Justice who overturned Richards's conviction and reduced Jagger’s sentence to a conditional discharge. The case represented a sea-change in the culture in Britain.
Now read on for further information and extracts from the book.