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Was Keith Richards joking when he said he snorted his father's cremated remains? Yes, according to the Rolling Stones' guitarist - no, according to the reporter who first broke the story.
Richards made headlines worldwide after remarking that he had mixed his father Bert's ashes with cocaine and snorted them.
Posting a subsequent statement on the Rolling Stones' web site, the 63-year-old guitarist wrote, "The complete story is lost in the usual slanting! The truth of the matter is that I planted a sturdy English Oak. I took the lid off the box of ashes and he is now growing oak trees and would love me for it! I was trying to say how tight Bert and I were. That tight! I wouldn't take cocaine at this point in my life unless I wished to commit suicide."
Band spokesman Bernard Doherty characterized the remarks as "a joke," and "not true."
However, the magazine which first published the statements, Britain's NME, stands by the story. Reporter Mark Beaumont says Richards' remark was "no quip, but came about after much thinking. He didn't offer the information; I had to ask him a couple of questions to get the information out of him. He didn't come straight out with that."