Youngest Rolling Stones: Ronnie Wood is 75 years old

Ronnie Wood got to know Rod Stewart and the faces before joining the Rolling Stones. He has now been a guitarist for the Stones for 47 years.

His mischievous smile can be seen once again on the biggest party stages this summer. It seems that Ronnie Wood has always belonged to the Rolling Stones, even though former group guitarist Jeff Beck and ex-bassist of “Only” The Faces have been with them since 1975.

At that time, Stones was only 13 years old. This year, three survivors Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Wood celebrate the band’s 60th anniversary with a large-scale European tour. On the day the tour begins in Madrid (June 1), Wood celebrates his 75th birthday.

It feels good

“I feel like I’m 29,” he told Spanish magazine Esquire, as the guitarist wore a T-shirt. “I have a new personal life, restored health, and new inspiration,” Wood said. “And now I need that energy more than anything else. After all, we’re about to make the last round!” the last? You rowed backwards. “Well, every round is the last. You never know what’s going to happen next.”

Wood is the youngest in the legendary rock band, which was reduced to a triple following the death of drummer Charlie Watts. Born in London, he is from a musical family. As a child he started playing the guitar. At the age of 14, he bought his first electric guitar. After school, he gave up his art studies to join the band The Birds (not to be confused with the Birds). The combo was not given much success.

When he joined the Jeff Beck Group in 1967, he temporarily converted machines. Two years as bassist for the group, whose singer was called Rod Stewart, marked a milestone in Wood’s career. Then he formed Faces (“Stay With Me,” “Ooh La La”) with Stewart and the remaining members of The Small Faces, one of the most influential rock bands of the 1970s.

At the same time, Wood, whose voice can best be described as a mixture of Udo Lindenberg and Bob Dylan, began his solo career. A smug title for his 1974 debut: “I’ve Got My Own Album.” Among the guests on the LP besides George Harrison and David Bowie are also later bandmates Richards and Jagger.

Wood always wanted to play with stones

Wood first assisted with the Rolling Stones in 1974. He played acoustic guitar and sang background on “It’s Only Rock ‘n Roll (But I Like It)”. A year later, after the departure of guitarist Mick Taylor, the guitarist was supposed to assist only Faces with the recordings of the “Black and Blue” album and on the North American tour. But due to the faces breaking up in 1975, Wood remained and became an official member of the Rolling Stones since 1976.

According to the musician, a long-awaited dream came true. “I was running home from school watching The Stones on TV,” he says on his website. “Since I was in college, I wanted to become a member of this band.”

The term survivor fits Wood perfectly. He recently survived two cancers. The heavy smoker was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017. After having part of his lungs removed, he reported in 2018 that he was cancer-free and in good health “as if I had never smoked.” During the coronary lockdown, Wood was again diagnosed with small cell carcinoma. The guitarist recently announced that he beat it.

Nicotine wasn’t Wood’s only deputy, epitomizing rock ‘n’ roll at least as much as fellow celebrity Richards. Wood repeatedly suffered from alcohol and drug problems. He had many withdrawals. He’s been considered clean since 2010. “It’s like getting a second chance at life,” he told Rolling Stone magazine. “You see everything so clearly, with gratitude, it’s incredible.”

Many individual projects and drawing

The fact that he became a father to twins again in 2016, shortly before his 69th birthday, provided additional energy and vitality. “This is the icing on the cake,” Wood gushed from his young daughters. Her mother is Sally Humphreys. He has been married to a theater producer who is 31 years younger than Wood since 2012. Rod Stewart was the best man. Four more kids come from two previous relationships and they’ve since made him a grandfather on several occasions.

In addition to the Rolling Stones, Ronnie Wood always finds time for solo projects close to his heart. He sometimes appears on stage with his old buddies like Stewart or Jeff Beck. Even with Stones’ predecessor Mick Taylor. Recently, the old guys played together at the Royal Albert Hall. You can hear it in Ronnie Wood’s Mr. Luck – A Tribute To Jimmy Reed: Live At The Royal Albert Hall from last year. Two years earlier, Wood had already paid tribute to another great model with a live album – rock and roll legend Chuck Berry.

Wood is also a painter with a passion for his own exhibitions. In addition to many rock stars, he has immortalized his own band several times with a brush. The fourth painting in the “Abstract Stones” series is now available for purchase on their website. A limited edition of 50 copies signed by Wood with nude artist Mick Jagger costs only €1,750.

Ronnie Wood knows he has been exceptionally lucky in his life, in terms of health, work and private life. It is no coincidence that the 2019 documentary about him was titled “Someone Up There Loves Me”. By the way, there is a very simple explanation for the fact that he always smiles very mischievously, which Wood revealed to “Rolling Stone”: “The smile on my face because I love playing the guitar.”

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