Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Redlands Bust: When the British Establishment tried to punish the Rolling Stones

This forthcoming book tells for the first time the complete story of the Redlands Bust and its cultural consequences. In 1967 the establishment in England were determined to punish the Rolling Stones, Britain’s most insolent pop group. It was a time when sex, drugs and rock’n’ roll were becoming the normal lifestyle of the youth of the nation and the establishment saw the Rolling Stones as leading the change.

It began on a quiet Sunday in February when Redlands, the Sussex country home of Stone’s guitarist Keith Richards was raided by a force of twenty police officers. Richards was hosting a weekend party attended by Mick Jagger the Stone’s singer, a couple of the Beatles and other friends and notables of swinging London.

The raid came after a tip off by a tabloid newspaper, who were conducting a personal vendetta against Jagger because of a libel case he had brought against the newspaper. Jagger and Richards were busted for drug possession. The raid became known as the Redlands Bust.

When the case came to trial the police luridly played up the image of Marianne Faithful as Miss X wearing nothing but a fur rug which she deliberately “let fall” from time to time during the raid. Keith blamed Mr. X for setting up the Bust. Mr X's name was revealed as Schneidermann but his real identity has been a mystery for forty years. Jagger and Richards were convicted and sentenced to prison for three and twelve months.

The sentences drew a storm of protest and support. Fans held a candlelit vigil in Piccadilly Circus, In New York, fans mounted angry pickets outside the British Consulate. Support also came from an unlikely source - The London Times – a bastion of the establishment. The Times devoted a leader to the case. Penned by its conservative editor, William Rees-Mogg, headlined, "Who Breaks A Butterfly On A Wheel?" it questioned the severity of the punishment.

The appeal against the sentences was brought forward, and heard by Britain's Lord Chief Justice who overturned Richards's conviction and reduced Jagger’s sentence to a conditional discharge. The case represented a sea-change in the culture in Britain.

Now read on for further information and extracts from the book.

Whatever happened to Nicky Cramer, the Kings Road Flower Child? Also known as Nicky Kramer, or Nicholas or Nick.

At the Redlands Bust trial Keith Richards said “I can only say that in my profession there are people who are hangers on who you have to tolerate.” One of those hangers-on present at the Redlands house party at the time of the Bust was Nicky Kramer or in some references spelt Nicky Cramer.

He was a person described in the Times as “an exotic” from Chelsea, customarily seen in the King’s Road in red silk trousers and shirt, bells around his neck, and flowers behind his ears. His only known occupation at the time of the party was “forever blowing bubbles through one of those wire wands.”

During the Bust the police initially mistook him for a woman. “He had long fairish hair,” reported a female officer who searched him, “and was dressed in what would be best described as a pair of red-and-green silk ‘pyjamas’. I searched him and this was all he was wearing. I formed the opinion he, too [along with Jagger] was wearing makeup.”

Christopher Gibbs described him thus: “There were one or two innocent creatures caught up in the bust. Including a youngster named Nicky Kramer, thought very wrongly to have something to do with the setup. There was nothing remotely wicked about him. He was a sweet, fey, amiable loon.”

But this opinion of Nicky was not universal. Anita Pallenberg described him as, “Nicky Kramer – he was a lost soul. He just kind of wandered onto the scene probably high on acid and never came down, I think to this day-just lost you know. He was like one of these upper-class penniless people who’d pounce on everybody-he wasn’t good news, really.” From “The Early Stones.”

And in the biography “Keith Richards: Satisfaction” by Christopher Sandford, it said of Nicky at the party in Redlands. “Only Nicky Kramer departed from the prevailing mood. Instead of his usual hippy banter about living in the moment, he gave the impression of being bored or distracted.”

After the Bust was over the conclusion amongst Mick and Keith and their entourage was that one of the partygoers was a traitor. Excluding the trusted friends of the Stones, Gibbs, Fraser, Cooper and Ali Mohammed suspicions naturally fell on the hangers-on. One of the two candidates for informer was Nicky Kramer. David Litvinoff, a thug on the fringes of the entourage with connections to the Krays, visited the unfortunate Nicky and beat him up systematically. When Nicky still did not confess, he was pronounced in the clear.

Nicky has not been heard of since. Do you know what became of Nicky?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Cast of Characters

Judge Leslie Block – Judge at the trial of the Bust, a formal naval officer and staunch provincial moralist.
Patti Boyd – Girlfriend of George Harrison, present at Redlands but left before bust
Tony Bramwell – Friend and associate of Beatles, present at Redlands but left before bust
Michael Cooper – @Redlands Bust - Photographer, died of heroin overdose 1973, left an archive of 70,000 image archive documenting 1965 - 1971 of Rolling Stones
Nicky Cramer/Kramer– @Redlands Bust - Kings Road Flower child
Chief Inspector Gordon Dinely – Police officer led the Redlands Bust
Marianne Faithfull – @Redlands Bust - 20 years old and girlfriend of Mick Jagger
Robert Fraser – @Redlands Bust - Art dealer and gallery owner, died in 1986
Woman Detective Constable E. D. Fuller - Searched Faithfull during Bust
George Harrison – Beatle, at Redlands but left with Patti Boyd before the bust
Michael Havers - Counsel to Jagger and Richards
Christopher Gibbs – @Redlands Bust – Personal friend of Mick Jagger, old Etonian
Mick Jagger – @ Redlands Bust - Singer of the Rolling Stones, 24 years old.
Mohammed Jajaj - @Redlands Bust -Moroccan servant of Robert Fraser
Edward James - Eccentric patron of the Surrealists whose home was filled with all sorts of follies and strange works of art.
Brian Jones – Guitar player of the Rolling Stones
David Litvinoff – Tough guy and thief known to Stones and also associate of the Krays
Malcom Morris - Queen’s Counsel, leading for the prosecution
Anita Pallenberg – Girlfriend of Brian Jones and later Keith Richards
William Rees-Mogg – Editor of the London Times and author of the “Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel?” editorial
Keith Richards – @Redlands Bust - Guitar player of the Rolling Stones, owner of Redlands country house
Tony Sanchez – Spanish Tony
David Schneidermann - @Redlands Bust - Canadian or Californian whose nickname was the Acid King
Charlie Watts – Drummer of the Rolling Stones
Bill Wyman – Bass Player of the Rolling Stones
Trevor Kempson – News of the World reporter

Who was David Schneidermann, the infamous Acid King?

What happened to him? Does anyone know?

One of the many mysteries of the Redlands Bust is the identity and role of David Schneidermann.

Schneidermann is reported as being present in the house at the time of the bust. The description of Schneidermann varies: some report he was a 27 year old Canadian, others say he originated from California, and that he was also known as Dave Britton. He has been described as an "up-market American west coast flower child."

According to reports Schnediermann supplied the LSD to those present at Redlands on the morning of the 17th February. Marianne Faithfull confirms that Schneiderman had delivered to each of the house party a tab of "white lightning" LSD with their tea on the morning of the police raid.

When the bust occurred Schneidermann was able to prevent the police searching his attaché case by saying that it contained exposed film for a New York newspaper. According to sources the case was a trove of illegal drugs. Others suggest Schneidermann was an agent provocateur who tipped off the London tabloid newspaper the News of the World about the party. The newspaper in turn informed the police.

Christopher Gibbs, a friend of Jagger present at the bust had this to say about Schneidermann: “The infamous David Schniederman, on the other hand, was a pied-piperish character, who the hell he was, and where he came from, nobody knew he had just popped up. He was able to tune into everybody’s wavelength and was seductive, satanic, the devil in his most beguiling of disguises. After the bust he vanished as deveils do, in a puff of smoke, and was never seen again.”

Michael Cooper is quoted in Tony Sanchez's book - Up and Down with the Rolling Stones. “The guy’s much more than an ordinary pusher,” he said. “He had a whole collection of different passports in different names and with different nationalities on them. I saw them once when I was looking through his bag for some dope at Redlands.”
“And he talked to me about guns and weapons in the same sort of way that most guys talk about chicks. I know it sounds fantastic but I reckon he was something much more than a creep hired by the News of the World. He was like some kind of James Bond character, and someone, someone right at the top, put him in because the stones are becoming too powerful. They really are worried that you could spark off fighting in the streets if you tried, and now they are going to try to break you. I’m sure the newspaper was in on it somewhere, but it was this guy using them-not the other way around.”

Schneidermann slipped out of Britain a few days after the bust never to be seen or heard of again.

Schneiderman's disappearance immediately after the bust has been the subject of speculation ever since. It was assumed he just left the country. At the trial Michael Havers QC, defending Jagger and Richards, claimed that Schneiderman had been planted by the News of the World as an agent provocateur. It was an allegation the newspaper, which was already being sued for libel by Jagger, described as a "monstrous charge" but it later admitted that it was the "reliable source" whose tip-off led to the raid.

It is even not clear if his name is spelt Schneiderman or with two ‘n’s: Schneidermann. At the trial the name was spelt: Sneidermann.

During research for this book I searched the Internet for the whereabouts of Schneidermann. I was excited to hear about David Schneiderman, the CEO of Village Voice but I can confirm he is not the Acid King who attended the infamous Redlands Bust. Subsequent investigations have uncovered no trace of Schneidermann.
From the evidence I now think that Schneidermann was most likely an undercover agent employed by either USA or British intelligence. It is known that these intelligence agencies had programs to infiltrate youth organizations in the sixties.

If you have any information about the identity of Schneidermann please let me know.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Redlands Bust - 1967 Timeline

  • January 22nd - London: The Rolling Stones appear on Sunday Night at the London Palladium on ITV , but refuse to join the finale.
  • February 5th - London: News of the World story wrongly states Mick Jagger has tried LSD and lured women with drugs
  • February 5th - London: Rolling Stones appear on Eamon Andrews show. Jagger says on TV ihis intent to sue the News of the World
  • February 7th - London: Jagger’s lawyer issues writ for libel against News of the World
  • February 10th - Jagger and Richards at Abbey Road to record with Beatles
  • February 11th - Rolling Stones leaves London studio for Redlands
  • February 12th - West Sussex – Redlands Bust at 5:30 pm
  • February 19th - News of the World: reports on the raid at Keith Richards' home ahead of police announcement
  • May 10th - Chichester, West Sussex: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Robert Fraser appear in court and are released on bail of £100 each.
  • May 10th - South Kensington, London: Brian Jones and Prince Stanislaus Klossowski are arrested at Jones' flat and charged with drug possession.
  • June 27th - Chichester, West Sussex: Trial began of Jagger
  • June 28th - Chichester, West Sussex: Trial began of Richards and Fraser
  • June 29th - Chichester, West Sussex: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards sentenced to prison
  • June 29th - London: Pete Townshend, Roger Daltry, and Keith Moon record "The Last Time" / "Under My Thumb" in support of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
  • June 30th - London: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards are released on bail
  • July 1st - London: The Times: William Rees-Mogg publishes his "Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel," an editorial about the judicial treatment of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
  • July 31st - London: Appeal decision made.
  • August 19th - London: The Rolling Stones: "We Love You" / "Dandelion" [Decca release

Friday, February 17, 2006

Who was at Redlands at the time of the Bust?

1. Mick Jagger – singer of the Rolling Stones
2. Keith Richards – guitar player of the Rolling Stones, owner of Redlands country house
3. Marianne Faithfull – 20 years old and girlfriend of Mick
4. Christopher Gibbs – friend of Mick Jagger
5. Nicky Kramer or Cramer– The Kings Road Flower child
6. Robert Fraser – Art dealer and gallery owner
7. Mohammed Jajaj - Moroccan servant of Robert Fraser
8. David Schneidermann - Californian whose nickname was the Acid King
9. Michael Cooper – Photographer
10. George Harrison – Beatle, left with Patti Boyd before the bust
11. Patti Boyd – Girlfriend of George Harrison
12. Tony Bramell – Friend and associate of Beatles, left before bust

The story according to Stanley Booth

Stanley Booth in his book: The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones, devotes a few paragraphs to the story of the Redlands Bust.

But by the following Sunday, Jagger was back in London and on a radio talk show defending the Stones against the show’s two other guests, one of whom had a poodle named “Bobby’s Girl” after her hit record, and against the tabloid News of the World, which that day had published a story about pop stars and drugs accusing Mick, among others, of taking LSD. Mick said he had never taken LSD and that his lawyers would sue. Two days later, the News of the World was served with a writ for libel.

The next Lord’s Day the Stones would never forget. It climaxed at about eight o’clock in the evening, when nineteen policeman and –women descended on Keith’s country house, Redlands. Micj, Keith Marianne, Robert Fraser, and some other people were down from London for the weekend. “Anita and Brian were gonna come but Brian started a fight,” Keith said. “We just left them fighting.” The police took some substances from the premises and left.

On March 20 Keith and Mick received court summonses alleging offenses against the Dangerous Drugs Act.

pp 243-244 The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones - Stanley Booth.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Keith Richard and Christopher Gibb talk

There was a realization that the powers that be ac tually looked upon is as important enough to make a big statement and to weild the hammer. But they’d also made us more important than we ever bloody well were in the first place.

Keith Richard p 112 According to the Rolling Stones

The infamous David Schneiderman, on the other hand, was a pied-piperish character, who the hell he was, and where he came from, nobody knew, he had just popped up. He was able to tune into everybody’s wavelength and was seductive, satanic, the devil in his most beguiling of disguises. After the bust he vanished as devils do, in a puff of smoke, and was never seen again.

Christopher Gibb who was present at Redlands during the bust talking about David Schneiderman, the infamous Acid King also present during the bust. P138 According to the Rolling Stones.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Beatle at Redlands?

E.C.: "Well, there were those rumors that George and Patti were at Redlands before the bust [Redlands bust at Keith Richards home in 1967 in which the police raided the estate after George and Patti Harrison left]."

Tony Bramwell: "Yes they were and so was I! Well, I left as well.

I never took any drugs, just the occasional drink. I was in terror of losing my visas & passports and freedom and things. And if you were busted for drugs in England, or anywhere at the time, you lost your visas. Sort of semi incarcerated. I didn’t like the idea of that so I stayed away from that abuse."

Tony Bramwell, close associate and friend of the Beatles interviewed 5-25-2005