It’s not just Democrats who have regular run-ins with President Donald Trump; apparently legendary British rock stars aren’t fans of his either.
Iconic axe-wielding founder of The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards is no stranger to an altercation with the 45th President, according to Michael Cohl.
Cohl, The Stones’ tour manager, recently recalled one night on the road when Richards lost his rag with Donald Trump – who was at that time a mere multi-millionaire magnate – and pulled a knife during an argument.
Cohl, delivering his keynote address at Pollstar Live!, recounted his time gigging with The Rolling Stones – and the landmark 1989 Steel Wheels tour, which reunited Mick and Keef and grossed $100 million.
Cohl’s genius idea to monetise the tour, changing the landscape of the live events industry, wrapped with a $24.95 pay-per-view event at Atlantic City’s Convention Centre.
A large-scale production like this needed a wealthy sponsor and benefactor: Enter Trump.
True to glorious form, The Rolling Stones weren’t happy with this from the outset, Cohl explained:
Unfortunately, the only person I could get to kind of agree to the site fee… was Donald Trump. I opened my big mouth in the meeting with The Rolling Stones where they go, ‘This is all great, but we’re not going to be affiliated with Donald Trump. At all. Screw you.’ And I go, ‘I will control Donald Trump! Don’t you worry!’
It didn’t have the happiest of endings, though. It’s the night of the show.
Making for spectacular reading, Cohl recalled the night’s events as follows for Pollstar:
The Stones had such power in those days that the 6:40pm slot on the national evening news was going to be an interview with the Stones to talk about and promote the pay-per-view.
At about 5:50pm I get word that I have to come to the press room in the next building. I run to the press room in the next building and what do you think is happening? There’s Donald Trump giving a press conference, in our room!
So what did Cohl do? This, apparently:
I give him the [come here gesture]: “Come on, Donald, what are you doing? A) You promised us you wouldn’t even be here and, B) you promised you would never do this.”
He says: “But they begged me to go up, Michael! They begged me to go up!” I say: “Stop it. Stop it. This could be crazy. Do what you said you would. Don’t make a liar of yourself.”
I go back to the dressing room. Five minutes later, he’s back up. They call me back over there. Holy shit. I call him out (again).
Same thing happens. I say: “Donald. I don’t know if I can control this. Stop it.” I go back to the dressing room – and I leave my walkie-talkie on in the dressing room… Moronic, on my part.
Things got worse for Cohl when he realised the Stones could hear the commotion over his walkie-talkie.
The outlandish story concludes when The Rolling Stones called Cohl back to their dressing room:
… At which point Keith pulls out his knife and slams it on the table and says: “What the hell do I have you for? Do I have to go over there and fire him myself? One of us is leaving the building – either him, or us.”
Needless to say, Trump left the building. Keef for President 2020.