Keith Richards Once Pulled Out a Knife and Demanded Donald Trump Was Sacked

Musician Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones performs onstage during the Desert Trip rock festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, California, on October 7, 2016. Richards has spoken out about Donald Trump’s time working as a promoter for the band. Getty Images

Keith Richards has revealed that long before his election as U.S. president, Donald Trump worked as a promoter for the Rolling Stones—and the guitarist was so enraged by the then property mogul's work that he pulled out a knife and demanded his firing.

The rock legend told the BBC Tuesday that in 1989 Trump worked as a promoter for the Rolling Stones' Steel Wheels tour dates in Atlantic City, and he was astonished to see the band given second billing under the then casino and real estate mogul's name.

"He was the promoter for us in Atlantic City. It was [billed as] 'Donald Trump presents the Rolling Stones,' [which was] in miniature.

"We never have much to do with promoters usually, but this one got me. That was the last time I got angry.

"I pulled out my trusty blade, stuck it in the table and said, 'You've got to get rid of this man!'"

He told Radio 4's Today program, "Now America has to get rid of him. Don't say I didn't warn you."

Richards added, "These days nothing [gets me angry]. I can't be bothered to waste the energy on anger. I've got nothing to be angry about.

"It would almost be gratuitous…. 'What, you've burnt the toast?' What am I going to get angry about?"

Rolling Stones tour producer Michael Cohl told Pollstar in 2015 that Trump had shown up unexpectedly at the venue of the band's Atlantic City gig when knife-wielding Richards made the threat.

After several attempts to expel Trump from the venue, Cohl said, "They [the band] call me back, 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.'" I said, "No. I'll go do it. Don't you worry."'

Trump famously used the Stones' song You Can't Always Get What You Want at rallies on the 2016 presidential campaign trail, and Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger expressed his bafflement at the choice.

"It's a funny song for your play-out song. When he finished his speech, he played out on this doomy ballad…. It's kind of weird if you think about it. But he couldn't be persuaded to use something else.

"It was odd, really odd."

The band hit out at Trump over the unauthorized use of the song after the 2016 Republican National Convention, tweeting, "The Rolling Stones do not endorse Donald Trump. 'You Can't Always Get What You Want' was used without the band's permission."