Sunday, November 28, 2021

Did Keith Richards Mention Bongbong Marcos in an Interview for New Musical Express (NME) Magazine in 1990?

There's a post circulating on social media that Keith Richards of the English rock band the Rolling Stones allegedly alluded in a magazine interview from 1990 that Bongbong Marcos supplied them with cocaine, alcohol and other drugs during a musical tour in "1978 or 1979". According to the circulating post, the interview appeared on pages 22-23 of the February 17, 1990 issue of the New Musical Express (NME) magazine.

The circulating post contained a supposed excerpt from the interview published in the magazine. Here's the supposed excerpt: "Well, I remember when we had this homecoming tour in England sometimes in '78 or '79, there was this young kid who is the son of a President of the Philippines. He hang around with us for two months , riding with our tour bus and plane, staying in hotels and acting like a roadie. He provided us kilos and kilos of cocaine, expensive alcohols and other drugs, for free just to be with us. But then, his father got wind of his partying ways with us, and one day, he was forcibly taken by some Government agents during our concert in Manchester and flown immediately back to his country. That was the last time we heard of him, until we heard that his father was overthrown by a peaceful revolution in '86."

Although Keith Richards did not mention Bongbong Marcos in the supposed interview, it's pretty obvious that Bongbong is the person being described. But here's the question: Did Keith Richards really say this? 

After doing a little bit of digging, I would say that he did not. Somebody made up the story. In other words, the supposed interview is fake news.

Here are the reasons why I think it's fake:

1. If you check the cover of the February 17, 1990 issue of the New Musical Express magazine, there's no mention of Keith Richards or The Rolling Stones. This is the biggest evidence that the circulating post on social media is fake. Keith Richards is a legendary guitarist. The Rolling Stones is one of the biggest rock bands the world has ever seen. Are you telling me that a famous guitarist from a famous band was interviewed for a magazine and his name wasn't even mentioned in the cover of the issue? If a magazine contains a piece about The Rolling Stones, let alone an interview featuring a band member, you can be sure that he will be on the cover. But nope, the name nor picture of Richards is nowhere to be seen in the cover.

2. The Rolling Stones didn't have a homecoming tour in England in 1978 nor in 1979. The band had a tour in 1978 but it was a U.S. tour. A quick Google search will show that the band didn't tour in England in 1979.

3. There's something off with the excerpt. Read it again. Richards supposedly spent two months with the young Marcos and he can't even remember his name? And the English usage is screaming fake (i.e. sometimes in '79, alcohols, some Government agents).

4. The excerpt was typed. If it really is from a magazine, we should be looking at a picture of the actual magazine piece. If it's from a digital copy of the article, we should be looking at a screenshot of the article from the website of the New Musical Express. The excerpt was typed which likely means it was written by someone using his/her imagination not from a reliable or verifiable source.

There are two ways to prove 100% that the interview really happened and that it was published in a magazine. One, someone gets his/her hands on an actual copy of the magazine and take a photo of pages 22-23. Two, New Musical Express releases a statement confirming that the interview did happen and that Richards did make the statement. But I don't think there's a need. There's no doubt in my mind that the interview was completely made up.

I'm not a Marcos supporter. I'm not going to vote for him in 2022. But making up stories to make him look bad is not right. If you are going to criticize the man, criticize him using facts, not made-up stories.