The Bizarre Pre-Gig ‘Pie’ Ritual Keith Richards Has

Many musicians have peculiar demands before their performances. Some of them tend to turn these demands into rituals which they require before performing. Those demands are sometimes rather bizarre and are passed down between rock and roll legends.

Among those artists who have special rituals is Robert Plant, who asks for an ironing board to iron his clothes before going to the stage, and the Foo Fighters members take Jägermeister shots while dancing to Michael Jackson for good luck. As for Keith Richards, he requires a bizarre thing before the band’s gigs. Let’s learn what Richards’ ritual is.

Keith Richards Demands Shepherd’s Pie On Tour And Has His Own Set Of Rules

Almost anyone knows Keith Richards’ love for shepherd’s pie. He requests it while on tour and has his own set of rules concerning the ‘pie ritual.’ Those rules make it clear that Richards doesn’t go on stage until he eats one shepherd’s pie with an unbroken pie crust.

Moreover, rumor has it that Richards refused to perform once when he found out that the Stones’ security team ate his pie. Allegedly, he fired the staff and delayed the performance until a new one was served to him. According to Stereophonics drummer Stuart Cable, he also couldn’t resist the pies and made the same mistake.

In his book ‘Demons And Cocktails,’ Stuart Cable stated that he saw the pie backstage. He then took several spoonfuls onto his plate, but Mick Jagger and Ronnie Wood intervened after seeing that. According to the drummer, they got the pie recrusted before Richards saw what happened.

As reported by Wales Online, Stuart Cable recalled the incident in his book as follows:

“We were backstage at the Stones’ gig in Paris when I saw it. ‘Kelly, Kelly, there’s shepherd’s pie,’ I said, like an excited 10-year-old at Christmas, and I whacked several hefty spoonfuls onto my plate. Suddenly Ronnie Wood walks in and says: ‘Hi, boys. Mick would like to meet you.’

Our faces froze as the aging lead singer ambled in. I wasn’t sure if I should stand, curtsy or clap. He was royalty with a capital R. The dressing room went silent. Mick introduced himself. ‘I loved the show, boys. Glad to have you on board.’ Suddenly though, the singer’s face dropped.

‘Who’s eaten that’?’ said Mick, pointing to the half-eaten plate of pie on the table. I put my hand up like a school kid in class asking to go to the toilet. He then chuckled and made a face: ‘Do you know the rules?’

‘What rules?’ I replied. ‘One’ – he held his finger up – ‘you don’t play on the snooker table unless you’ve been asked.’ ‘And, secondly, you never, ever, take the shepherd’s pie unless Keith’s broken the crust first.’

Kelly and John, our manager, shot dagger eyes at me. ‘Did you break the crust?’ Mick asked. ‘Of course, I broke the crust,’ I wanted to answer him. ‘How the hell could I have a plateful of the stuff without breaking the crust?’ Instead, I just nodded.

Mick did a wicked smile, twirled on his heels, and said, before disappearing, ‘Enjoy the show, boys. If there will be a show. I’m not sure if he’ll go on after this.’ Ronnie shook his head slowly and disappeared behind him.

There was silence in our dressing room yet again. ‘You better take it back and see if they can re-crust it,’ our manager John cried. So it was then left to me to make the long walk back to catering, carrying the half-eaten plate of food as if it were a bomb ready to explode.

Luckily, when I got to catering, I knew the waitress – she had worked with us on the U2 tour. She took it back and shook her head slowly and muttered: ‘Don’t you know the rules?’ But she soon went to work on it and re-laid the potato topping making it as good as new, even if it was a little thinner. Major disaster averted.”

So, it seems one doesn’t want to mess with Keith Richards’ pies as they are of great importance for him. As Stuart Cable said, it might turn into a major disaster if someone breaks the crust before the guitarist.