How MI5 Plotted To Destroy the Stones: The Astonishing
Truth Behind the Drug Raid That Saw Jagger Jailed and Lumbered
Marianne Faithfull for Life With the Tale of THAT Mars Bar
Taken on the
beach at West Wittering, a small seaside resort in Sussex, the photograph
shows a young Keith Richards giving a friendly hug to a man he knew
only as Acid King David.
As his nickname
suggested, the Rolling Stones mysterious new hanger-on possessed
an encyclopaedic knowledge of all the newest strains of LSD, combined
with an almost magical ability to procure them.
that was reason enough to embrace anybody, but the friendly smile
of the Acid King in that picture, taken on a cold Sunday
afternoon in February 1967, belied the intent of a man who was far
from all he seemed.
He had joined
Richards, Mick Jagger and various of their entourage for a weekend
at Redlands, Richardss pretty half-timbered cottage, just
a few miles away from West Wittering.
country residence seemed bizarrely at odds with Richardss
hard-living vagabond image, but its name was about to become synonymous
with one of the most notorious drugs busts in rock n
details would emerge from the Redlands raid.
there were reports that the police had discovered Mick Jaggers
then girlfriend Marianne Faithfull in a compromising position with
a Mars Bar.
pure invention as it turned out, has overshadowed a far more intriguing
detail of the case.
As I have discovered,
while researching a new biography of Mick Jagger, the Redlands raid
was part of an extraordinary plot, orchestrated by our own MI5 and
the FBI and designed to put an early end to the Rolling Stones
were revealed to me by Maggie Abbott, a British film agent based
in Los Angeles.
Eighties, she befriended an eccentric figure named David Jove, producer
of one of the earliest cable television shows, and the host of numerous
fancy-dress happenings at his cave-like studio in West
her to secrecy, Jove confided that his real name was David Snyderman
and that he was the man known to the Rolling Stones as Acid
And any doubt
about this is dispelled by photographs of him in various of his
strange avant-garde productions.
is camouflaged by facepaint, his short curly hair and sensitive
cheekbones are unquestionably those of the weekend guest photographed
with Keith Richards on West Wittering beach a few hours before the
1967, according to the account he gave Maggie Abbott, Snyderman
was a failed TV actor, drifting around Europe in the American hippie
throng with Swinging London as his final destination.
Airport he was caught with drugs in his luggage and expected to
be thrown into jail and instantly deported.
Customs handed him over to some heavy people who hinted
they belonged to MI5 and told him there was a way out
of his predicament. This was to infiltrate the Rolling Stones, supply
Mick Jagger and Keith Richard with drugs, and then get them busted.
Snyderman, MI5 were operating on behalf of an FBI offshoot known
as COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) set up by the FBIs
director, J. Edgar Hoover, in the Twenties to protect national security
and maintain the existing social and political order.
By 1967, COINTELPRO
was focusing on the subversive effect of rock music on Americas
young, particularly the kind coming from Britain, and most particularly
the kind played by the Rolling Stones.
were such a target for the intelligence services had much to do
with the machinations of their first manager, Andrew Loog Oldham.
swept the nation, and the Fab Four appeared on the Royal Variety
Show, respectfully ducking their mop-tops before the Queen Mother,
he realised that The Beatles original fans felt let down by
their mainstream success. Where was the excitement, the rebellion,
in liking the same band your parents, or even grandparents did?
about marketing the Rolling Stones as the anti-Beatles, the scowling
flip side of the coin being minted by the Liverpudlians manager
Brian Epstein like some modern-day Midas. They dont
wash much and they arent all that keen on clothes, Oldham
told the Press. From then on, the word that went ahead of them was
further from the truth. Mick was utterly fastidious about personal
cleanliness and Brian Jones washed his eye-obscuring blond helmet
so religiously each day that the others nicknamed him Mister
The Stones were
also fashion-mad but Oldham always insisted they should go onstage
in the same Carnaby Street gear in which theyd arrived at the
theatre. In an era when pop bands invariably wore matching suits,
this appalled the parents of their young fans, but it was as nothing
compared to the scandal caused by the Stones hair.
burst on to the music scene in 1963 it was in a Britain that still
equated masculinity with the Army recruits stringent short
back and sides. Curling over ears and brushing collars, the
Stones long locks were almost as much as an affront to polite
society as Mick Jaggers unusually large mouth and vivid red
lips. These seemed to have an indecency all of their own, even before
they snarled out the Stones' highly provocative lyrics.
In June 1965,
their single Satisfaction created the greatest scandal in America
since Elvis Presley first swivelled his hips exactly a decade earlier.
With the line tryin to make some girl, it contained
the first direct reference to sex in any pop song, an outrage compounded
18 months later when the Stones released Lets Spend The Night
been innumerable songs about nocturnal trysts but never one with
so barefaced an invitation to get between the sheets. The furore
was such that, when the Stones previewed the song on Americas
Ed Sullivan television show in January 1967, Mick was forced to
change the crucial phrase to Lets Spend Some Time Together.
to do so, but only with much pointed eye-rolling every time he reached
the newly-neutered line.
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