Keith Richards Dodges Smoking Fine in Scotland
Tue, 29 Aug 2006 15:09:22
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Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards has managed to avoid adding another line to his rap sheet, thanks to the Glasgow City Council deciding that a new law prohibiting smoking in enclosed public places does not apply to performance stages. Richards had reportedly lit up during a Stones show at Hampden Park last week.
"The stage for the concert was not of the dimensions to be covered by the smoking ban legislation in Scotland," explained a spokesman for the Glasgow City Council. "There are no plans to launch any investigation."
Immediately after the concert, the council had been singing a different tune, threatening to fine both Richards and the venue. The tough talk also mobilized the pro-smoking lobby. "This is yet another way in which the smoking ban makes Scotland look ridiculous," said Neil Rafferty, a spokesman for the Freedom Organization for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco (FOREST).
Previous victims of the new ban included actor Mel Smith, who was prevented from smoking a cigar on stage while portraying Winston Churchill in a theatrical production.
If Richards had been hit with the fine, he wouldn't have had to dig too deep in his pockets; the penalty would have been "up to" the equivalent of 95 dollars.
The Stones will be finishing up the European leg of their tour this week, then taking a few weeks off before hopping the pond and kicking off their North American tour in Boston on September 20th.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff