On This Day - Rhode Island History: Mick Jagger of Rolling Stones was arrested in Warwick (1972)

Now it may be a stretch if any of these young kids know about the Rolling Stones (I Can't Get No Satisfaction, Paint it Black), but a small little pop-culture history took place in the Ocean State 49 years ago.


On this day back in 1972, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were arrested in Warick for assaulting a Providence Journal photographer. The band was shipping up to Boston for a concert. Due to heavy fog, their plan had to find a closer destination than Boston Logan. They ultimately had to land in T.F. Green Aiport, angry and frustrated, because the opening act at the Boston Garden (Stevie Wonder), already began playing and they needed to get there asap.


When news broke that the band was at the airport, multiple media members flocked to the scene for photos. In the midst of it, band member Keith Richards, who did not want his photo taken clearly, whipped his belt off a smacked Providence Journal photographer Andy Dickerman. When the police came and arrested Richards, Mick Jagger appeared and shouted “if you take him, you’re taking me, too.”, leading to himself and five other members being placed in custody.

Photo: Rolling Stones Keith Richards (left) and Mick Jagger | New England Historical Society


Things got interesting, as the media leaked the story. The Mayor of Boston at the time, Kevin White, was calling the Warwick Police demanding them to allow the group to play the concert tonight. Nervous fans of the concert would riot the streets of Boston, he pleaded that the accused Stones be arraigned as quickly as possible.


Ultimately, the five suspects were charged and pushed past the bail commissioner. They received a limo and a state police escort, getting them to Boston quickly. They made it on stage at 12:45 am, closing the show at 2 in the morning with "Street Fighting Man".


Jagger wasn't a happy camper that night, even voicing his anger on stage with an all-time quote “This place is better than Warwick.”

Photo: Rolling Stones at the Boston Garden - 1972 Ron Powell / SF Art Exchange






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