Keith Richards ‘once pulled a knife on Donald Trump’ says Rolling Stones’ ex-event promoter

Anecdote from '80s of band's deep-seated animosity to Trump has resurfaced this week.

Keith Richards reportedly ‘pulled a knife’ on Donald Trump in the late 1980s, according to an ex-event promoter of The Rolling Stones, it emerged this week (March 19).

With a growing number of artists and performers distancing themselves from businessman-turned-politician Donald Trump, it’s been reported that The Rolling Stones’ desire to steer clear ran back to 1989.

The Stones played a long tour that year, which culminated with a performance at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, which was ‘unfortunately’ being sponsored and presented by Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino. The story – originally reported last year – has again surfaced on social media in the run up to Trump’s Presidential campaign.


According to Salon, who have recently reported on the story Trump was in attendance back stage at the Rolling Stones concert in 1989 after the band returned from a seven year hiatus (Trump had been warned to stay away from their shows after the band had expressed that they did not want to associate with him, and negotiated a contract based on those terms with the entrepreneur).

“Unfortunately, the only person I could get to kind of agree to the site fee we needed and to work it through was Donald Trump. Now I had one of those, “Oh God, how am I going to do this?” moments,” says ex-promoter Michael Cohl.

“And, And I opened my big mouth in the meeting with The Rolling Stones where they go, “This is all great, but we’re not going to be affiliated with Donald Trump. At all. Screw you.” And I go, “I will control Donald Trump! Don’t you worry!”

In August 2015, the ‘Steel Wheels’ event promoter, Cohl, originally told Pollstar in November 2015 of how Trump had reportedly hijacked the band’s after show press room, despite the stipulations of their contract, and decided to hold his own conference.

“I get word that I have to come to the press room in the next building. I run to the press room in the next building and what do you think is happening? There’s Donald Trump giving a press conference, in our room!”


“I give him the [come here gesture]. “Come on, Donald, what are you doing? A) You promised us you wouldn’t even be here and, B) you promised you would never do this.” He says, “But they begged me to go up, Michael! They begged me to go up!” I say, “Stop it. Stop it. This could be crazy. Do what you said you would. Don’t make a liar of yourself.”

According to Cohl in that interview, Richards “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” when he catches wind of the ensuing rift. Cohl then said that Trumo left the room but with “three shtarkers he’s with, in trench coats, two of them are putting on gloves and the other one is putting on brass knuckles.”

Cohl said he responded by calling the band’s head of security who “got 40 of the crew with tire irons and hockey sticks and screwdrivers.”

So far, Donald Trump, Keith Richards and The Rolling Stones have not commented on the story.

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