Remember When: Keith Richards Set Fire to the Playboy Mansion

Rockstars have the best stories. Back in the genre’s heyday, rockers were doing everything to excess. Parties were massive, drug-fueled, and often got out of control. Keith Richards had a particularly memorable one of these parties in 1972 at the Playboy Mansion.

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While playing a host of dates in Chicago, The Rolling Stones set up base camp at the original Playboy Mansion. Of course, the legendary rockers couldn’t let the opportunity pass without partying with Hugh Hefner’s Bunnies. On this particular night, Richards and saxophonist Bobby Keys set the bathroom on fire as the result of a bong mishap.

“Bobby and I played it a little far when we set fire to the bathroom,” Richards wrote in his autobiographyLife. “Well, we didn’t, the dope did. Not our fault. Bobby and I were just sitting in the john, comfortable, nice john, sitting on the floor, and we’ve got the doc’s bag, and we’re just smorgasbording.”

[RELATED: Remember When: Keith Richards Falls from a Coconut Tree (2006)]

Both of them were sufficiently high, so their reaction time to the hazard was comical. Even with a fire under their ass, literally, both Richards and Keys weren’t too worried about the ordeal.

“Bobby says, ‘It’s smoky in here,'” Richards continued. “And I’m looking at Bobby, and can’t see him. And the drapes are smoldering away; everything was just about to go off big-time… There was a thumping on the door, waiters and guys in black suits bringing buckets of water. They get the door open and we’re sitting on the floor, our pupils very pinned. I said, ‘We could have done that ourselves. How dare you burst in on our private affair?'”

The fire was put out before it could spread to other areas of the house. Hefner, the Bunnies, and the Stones were safe. This scary situation certainly didn’t keep Richards from partying to his heart’s desire. The guitarist has many more wild stories where this one came from.

(Photo by Dimitri Hakke/Redferns)

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