Keith Richards documentary maker says: ‘The first time I met him, he put a sword to my throat’

Julien Temple tells NME how he angered the guitarist before this weekend’s BBC2 special

The director of a new documentary about Keith Richards’ childhood has recalled how The Rolling Stones guitarist held a sword to his throat the first time they met.

Julien Temple has directed Keith Richards: The Origin Of The Species about Richards’ childhood growing up in Kent in the aftermath of World War II.

The pair first met when Temple directed the video for The Rolling Stones’ 1983 single ‘Undercover Of The Night’. Filmed in Mexico City, it features Mick Jagger as a detective on the trail of a man kidnapped by a gang led by Richards.

Temple told NME he first met Richards to discuss the video. He said: “I met Keith in the toilets underneath the George V hotel in Paris. He had a sword stick straight to my neck, because he wasn’t in the ‘Undercover Of The Night’ video enough, I believe. I think he was just being Keith.”

The finished video was deemed too violent to be shown by MTV, with even an edited version only screened after 9pm. The uncut version was eventually released on The Rolling Stones’ video compilation ‘Video Rewind’.

Keith Richards: The Origin Of The Species is on BBC2 tomorrow (July 23) at 9pm.