Philip Norman says the British secret service forced a drug dealer to infiltrate band circles with the intention of discrediting Mick Jagger and co, so that they’d fall out of fame.
The police raid on Keith Richards’ Redlands home in February 1967 failed to secure the end of the Stones, although Jagger and Richards both spent time in jail as a result of the investigation.
Norman claims events were kicked off thanks to information received from an informer called Acid King Dave, who’d been threatened with jail if he didn’t co-operate.
The author tells the Daily Mail: “I have discovered the Redlands raid was part of a plot by MI5 and the FBI. David Snyderman was the man known to the Stones as ‘Acid King Dave’.
“He was a failed TV actor drifting around Europe. At Heathrow Airport he was caught with drugs in his luggage. British Customs handed him over to some ‘heavy people’ who hinted they belonged to MI5 and told him there was a ‘way out’ of his predicament.”
The “way out” was to become the Stones’ drug dealer – with the aim of making sure they were arrested in possession of illegal substances. The idea, says Norman, had come from the FBI, who wanted to make sure Jagger and Richards’ convictions would mean they couldn’t enter the US.
Snyderman arrived at Redlands with a suitcase full of drugs, knowing in advance that police were set to swoop. But despite his work, the resulting convictions were not serious enough to prevent the Stones from being permitted to tour the US.
The plant was secretly flown out of the UK on the evening following the raid, complete with his remaining drugs stash, says Norman. “He had done everything asked of him, and afterwards changed his identity – but his reward was a lifetime of fear.
“For the rest of his days he half-expected those heavy people who’d spirited him out of the country to come after him to make sure he never did blow his cover.”
Snyderman died of cancer after a lifetime of excessive drug use in 2004. The Redlands raid is remembered for the rumour about Jagger having inserted a Mars bar into Marianne Faithfull’s vagina, a claim she’s described as “a dirty old man’s fantasy – a cop’s idea of what people do on acid.”
Philip Norman’s book Mick Jagger is published on October 4 by HarperCollins.
-Classic Rock Magazine