Keith Richards vs. Donald Trump: Who wins in a brawl?

Keith Richards and Ron Wood in 1982 during a Rolling Stones concert in Turin.

Keith Richards and Ron Wood in 1982 during a Rolling Stones concert in Turin.

We almost found out. In the late ’80s, Keith Richards reportedly threatened to kick Donald Trump out of a conference room with a pocketknife after the aspiring president tried to renege on negotiations with the band.

After a long tour 1989, the Stones were wrapping up with a final show at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. “Unfortunately,” the show was sponsored and presented by Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino.

Trump had been warned to stay away from their shows after the band had expressed that they did not want to associate with him, and negotiated a contract based on those terms with the entrepreneur.

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But Trump apparently attempted to hijack one of the press conferences the Stones set up.

“I give him the [come here gesture],” says the Stones promoter at the time, Michael Cohl. “Come on, Donald, what are you doing? A) You promised us you wouldn’t even be here and, B) you promised you would never do this.” He says, “But they begged me to go up, Michael! They begged me to go up!” I say, “Stop it. Stop it. This could be crazy. Do what you said you would. Don’t make a liar of yourself.”

According to Cohl in that interview, Richards “pulls out his knife and slams it on the table and says, ‘What the hell do I have you for? Do I have to go over there and fire him myself? One of us is leaving the building – either him, or us” when he catches wind of the ensuing rift. Cohl then said that Trump left the room but with “three shtarkers he’s with, in trench coats, two of them are putting on gloves and the other one is putting on brass knuckles.”

Cohl said he responded by calling the band’s head of security who “got 40 of the crew with tire irons and hockey sticks and screwdrivers.”

Fortunately, Trump backed down, and there was no violence. The whole story gives me a different perspective on Richards’ personality. He’s a rocker through and through.

Interestingly, Richards doesn’t seem to hate Trump, so much as he hates the bullshit associated with him. He doesn’t like the idea of President Trump, though, calling the notion the “worst nightmare”:

“I do find him refreshing,” Richards said in a 2015 interview with Billboard. “He’s cut through a lot of crap, and eventually … well, can you imagine President Trump? The worst nightmare. But we can’t say that. Because it could happen. This is one of the wonders of this country. Who would’ve thought Ronald Reagan could be president?”

Photo credit: Gorupdebesanez.

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