Rick Keene Music Scene. Forty -Five Years Ago March 4th; The Rolling Stones Played at The El Mocambo in Toronto.

‘If you can’t rock me –somebody will…’

March 4th, 1977. The Rolling Stones surprised many fans and people alike by doing a small club act in Toronto. The performance was also to be part of a live album they were recording titled; Love You Live. For Montreal music fans, witnessing local favorites April Wine as the opening act; a double bill to drool over.

Just weeks earlier – Keith Richards was arrested for heroin possession with the intent of trafficking. A real threat to The Stones’ guitarist spending perhaps life in prison and in essence; the potential end of The Rolling Stones.

Second show added

March 18th – Click below

Thankfully with the help of Richards’ ‘blind angel’ ( a girl from Quebec city named Rita Bedard) and a fair judge, Richards was allowed to continue his work with the band and The El Mocambo show must go on.

Judge Graburn agreed, deeming: “No incarceration or fine would be appropriate because of Mr. Richards’ continuing treatment for drug addiction and his long-term benefit to the community.”

Richards was given a one-year suspended sentence, one years’ probation, and was ordered to give a special performance at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. There was some speculation that the court’s leniency amounted to preferential treatment, but Prosecutor, Paul Kennedy, didn’t seem to object: “If you get a member of the Rolling Stones off heroin” he said, “you’ve done some good.”

Bedard and Keith – 2015

Gary Moffet of April Wine fame came away from the entire experience with a new found respect for Keith Richards.

” We finished sound check and were back in our dressing room when I realized I had forgot my jacket on stage.’ Recalls Gary. “The door was closed and I heard a guitar being played from inside the room.Whoever it was – I did not want to disturb them so I quietly opened the door to peak in.’

Gary Moffet ( April Wine).

‘Keith was sitting on top of his amp and playing this beautiful arrangement. It was one of the most beautiful sounds I have heard. It was coming directly from the man’s heart. I stood there as quiet as could be and watched and listened for about five minutes. I closed the door just as quietly and walked away with the utmost respect for Keith as a musician and as a man.’

Please listen below to LIVE songs from The Rolling Stones’ 1977 El Mocambo gig.

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