Rolling Stones’ guitarist Keith Richards will soon be pardoned by the state of Arkansas on a charge of reckless driving — 31 years after the incident.
On July 5, 1975, Richards was arrested and cited for reckless driving after his swerving car was spotted by police in the town of Fordyce.
At the time, and despite a cloud of marijuana smoke coming from the car, Richards reportedly argued that his bad driving was caused by a sudden need to change the radio station. He was booked, pleaded guilty, and paid the $162 US fine.
But recently, Richards made it clear that the small mark on his legal record hadn’t been forgotten. During a concert in Little Rock, he asked the crowd if anyone was from Fordyce.
“I used to know the chief of police there,” he told them.
Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (and frontman for the rock group Capitol Offense) heard about the concert incident. He realized that Richards’ impression of Arkansas “was marred by a misdemeanor traffic stop” and requested the pardon.
“I wanted to clear his record in Arkansas as a goodwill gesture,” Huckabee told the Associated Press.