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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 April 2007, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Stones star denies snorting ashes
Keith Richards
Keith Richards is known as a hellraiser

Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has denied that he snorted the ashes of his late father during a drugs binge.

The story surfaced in the NME, where Richards said in an interview: "He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow."

Richards' father, Bert, died at the age of 84 in 2002.

Sixty-three-year-old Richards also told NME of his disdain for modern bands, calling Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines and Bloc Party "a load of crap".

He said in the interview that his father's ashes "went down pretty well".

Jane Rose, Richards' manager, later told MTV News the remarks were made "in jest", and she could not believe they had been taken seriously.

Keith Richards and Ron Wood
The Stones' Bigger Bang World Tour started in 2005
Now Richards has issued a statement, which says the story was "lost in translation".

"I wouldn't take cocaine at this point in my life unless I wished to commit suicide," he said.

"The truth of the matter is that I planted a sturdy English Oak.

"I took the lid off the box of ashes and he [Richards' father] is now growing oak trees and would love me for it!"

But NME interviewer Mark Beaumont is convinced that Richards was not joking when speaking to him about the alleged incident.

"He did seem to be quite honest about it. There were too many details for him to be making it up," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Mr Beaumont added: "In Keith Richards' world that is probably doing his dad a fair bit of honour."

'Cut open'

Richards also revealed more details of the accident which left him facing brain surgery last year in Fiji, when it was widely reported he had fallen out of a tree, forcing dates on the Rolling Stones tour to be cancelled.

"I wasn't climbing a tree," he said, "I was sitting on a shrub. I was sitting on that shrub again today, but I happened to fall off it the wrong way that day."

He added: "I've been trepanned. That's quite an interesting experience, especially for my brain surgeon, who saw my thoughts flying around in my brain. I've got pictures of it, mate.

"They cut my head, brain, skull open, went in and pulled out the crap, and put some of it back again."

The Rolling Stones are currently in the middle of their A Bigger Bang tour, which returns to the UK in June.

They have already played to more than a million people, selling tickets worth 76m.


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