It was 43 years ago today (February 27th, 1977) that Keith Richards was arrested in Toronto for possession of heroin. Richards, who was in town to perform with the Rolling Stones at the El Mocambo Club for their upcoming concert album, Love You Live, was awakened by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police who found five grams of cocaine and 22 grams of heroin in his room, among other substances. Richards was charged with “possession of cocaine and heroin with intent to traffic.”
Richards recalled being awoken by the officers smacking him conscious so that they could formally arrest him: “That took them about two hours to drag me out — pow, pow. I woke up with, like, rosy cheeks. 'Oh, he's awake: You are under arrest!' (Laughs) 'Oh, great!' I looked at the old lady and I said, 'I'll see you in about seven years, babe.'”
Although Richards was eventually released on $25,000 bail, due to the trafficking charge, he faced a minimum seven-year prison term if found guilty. Richards, who due to his growing and public drug use had been on the wrong side of the law since 1967, was now facing the most serious criminal charge of his life.