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Seeing Keith at the Funeral


" I saw you today at the reception..."  

Okay. I'm going to give a little explanation of why this "fact" is so important to me, and why I consider it a "sure kill" for credibility. Most of you probably "get" this, but the people on LARS sure didn't, so I think it bears explaining.

When I was a (very) young, starry-eyed Brian fan, I read everything I could get my hands on, the more colorful the better. One of the books I thumbed through was Tony Sanchez's. It looked really interesting, but then when I got to Brian's death, Sanchez claimed that Keith (and Anita, IIRC) attended the funeral.

"Wait a minute," I thought. "Aren't they infamous for 'not' attending? Isn't that a blot on their reputations? Didn't other people have explanations of why Keith and Anita 'weren't' there? What gives?

I didn't buy the book. Later, I got Nicholas Fitzgerald's book from the library. I loved it; I just loved it. But then, at the end, when Nicholas attends the funeral of his friend, lo and behold, he sees Keith. Well, since Tony Sanchez said Keith was there, maybe he was. Maybe Nicholas wasn't fantasizing, or out-and-out lying.

Eventually, reason won out over wishful thinking. Contemporary news accounts, filmed footage of Brian's funeral, and the accounts of *all other* major persons who attended Brian's funeral, not to mention those who explained away Keith's not being there, are not wrong. This could be a case of "evil Stones establishment covering the truth," but why would the people covering up the murder make Keith look even worse by having him skip the funeral? Did the media wipe Keith's image out of the film? Why?

So, Sanchez and Fitgerald are wrong. Now, why is this so crucial? Well, aside from Keith's absence from the funeral being 'commented' upon, and therefore no osbcure factoid for anyone writing on the Stones, these men claim to have known Keith. They knew what he looked like, they spoke to him, Sanchez was a friend, for crying out loud. There is no reason for either Sanchez or Fitzgerald to have been confused on the matter (like, say, the incident in Phelge's book where Phelge is mistaken for Bill Wyman at the Beatles' party-- the journalists in question wouldn't have known the difference and probably wouldn't have cared).

So, if they aren't correct, and they couldn't have been easily confused, we're left with some other options-- delusion, or out-and-out fabrication... or plagiarizing from each other. If these men are deluded, fabricators, or plagiarists, they are not reliable sources for building a murder case. They are also not reliable chroniclers, period-- all the witty dialogue in Fitzgerald's book, for instance, should immediately be considered suspect. Unless the man has a truly amazing memory (which the funeral cock-up contradicts), Brian, Mick, et al probably didn't say the things Nicholas ascribes to them-- at least not in the words Fitzgerald uses. Are we clear on this?

by Diane Hall