Back in 2006, the Rolling Stones released the Bigger Bang tour. However, on a trip to Fiji, Keith Richards climbed a tree, fell and hit his head. After the accident, Richards was knocked out and started experiencing severe headaches. With convulsions, the musician was urgently transported to New Zealand for emergency surgery.
The band’s spokesman said he at the time would need “a few weeks’ recuperation”. “Keith was under observation in Auckland after a fall in Fiji and was feeling well since being examined by doctors last week. But after complaining of headaches, doctors thought it prudent to move ahead with a small operation to relieve the pressure. The operation was a complete success, with Keith up and chatting with his family today.”
Many people speculated back then that he would be in a jet-ski during the accident.
However, in his biography called Life, Keith Richards said he doesn’t like this kind of vehicle and explained the accident:
“Things I really dislike intensely because they’re noisy and stupid and disruptive to the reefs”. The big tree was “gnarled low tree that was basically a horizontal branch,” seven feet off the ground.
“There was another branch in front of me, and I thought, ‘I’ll just grab hold of that and drop gently to the ground. But I forgot that my hands were still wet and there was sand and everything on them. And as I grabbed this branch, the grip didn’t take. And so I landed hard on my heels, and my head went back and hit the trunk of the tree. Hard. And that was it.”
He also said that the doctor “had opened up the skull, sucked out all the blood clots and then put the bone back on like a little hat with six titanium pins to connect the hat back to its skull.”
Due to the accident, the band postponed some Bigger Bang performances. Despite this, a few weeks after the procedure the musician returned to the stage and emphasized how “he has never had a headache since”.