The great Keith Richards, electric guitar anchor for The Rolling Stones for 60 years now, turned 78 this past weekend (December 18).
Though legendary for his loose, rootsy guitar style and laid-back persona, Richards is a no-nonsense professional onstage, as one overzealous fan found out the hard way during the Stones' December 18, 1981 performance at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia.
During their high-energy rendition of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," a fan rushed the stage, making a beeline for the flag-clad Jagger. With balloons tumbling all around the stage, Richards saw the stage invader, immediately took off his Telecaster, and used it as a baseball bat to fend the fan off before the arrival of security.
As you can see in the video below (the action starts at 1:10), Richards, amazingly, misses only a handful of bars before dutifully resuming his playing.
Coming on the heels of the band's chart-topping 1981 album, Tattoo You, the Stones' 1981 US tour grossed over $50 million, and was the most successful concert tour of that year.
Back in October, the Stones reissued Tattoo You with eight previously unreleased tracks that the band recorded in the months and years leading up to the album – newly completed and enhanced with additional vocals and guitar.
One of these songs, a cover of the Chi-Lites' "Troubles A’ Comin," was played live by the band for the first time at a September 20, 2021 private party organized by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft. Notably, that concert was the group's first performance of any kind following the death of their longtime drummer, Charlie Watts.
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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com and GuitarPlayer.com. He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.