For a man who famously knew how to handle himself, Richards was also surprisingly soft-spoken and well mannered when it came to women.
His first serious girlfriend, Linda Keith, was in a head-on collision while on her way back from a summer-solstice party at Stonehenge, just as the Rolling Stones were returning from their first tour of America.
The harbourmaster, Jacques Raymond, wandered out of his office to investigate and Richards addressed him as a "f***ing idiot".
From this point on, things began to deteriorate rapidly.
On the night of July 5, he and his mother had actually been 150 miles away, visiting Keith's father who had been wounded in the Normandy landings and was convalescing in hospital in Mansfield, Notts.
Despite, or because of, his narrow escape, in later years Richards cultivated something of an appreciation of the Nazis' visual impact but not, it should be stressed, of their politics.
They say that if you can remember the 1960s you weren't there.
And certainly Keith Richards, once described as "the world's most elegantly wasted human being", would seem to be a prime candidate for full-scale amnesia when it comes to recalling large parts of his extraordinary career as a Rolling Stone.
The Richards' flat, at number 33, lost its front windows and part of its roof, but otherwise survived intact.
"Hitler dumped one of his V1s on us - nothing [was] left of the place," Keith said later, proving that his powers of recall can be somewhat unreliable.
According to the official report, "the weapon streaked in over the town centre, cut its motor and dropped silently out of the sky" on to the terrace street.
In the ensuing explosion, two houses, numbers 27 and 29, were destroyed and five people killed.
And that was Keith." Some years later, a London music journalist named Judy Flanders met Richards one night at Blazes club, and was immediately taken by the "yawning gap" between the public performer and the private man. He enjoyed visiting his mother Doris, for example, and gossiping about Dartford; a pie, a pint and an old war film - preferably Kenneth More in Reach For The Sky - were "his idea of a big night out".