Ronnie Wood Explained

Ronnie Wood
Background:solo_singer
Birth Name:Ronald David Wood
Born:
Hillingdon, London, England
Instrument:Guitar, bass, pedal steel, lap steel, harmonica, saxophone, drums, vocals
Genre:R&B, rock & roll, blues, rock
Occupation:Artist, musician, songwriter, record producer
Years Active:1964–present
Label:Warner Bros.
Associated Acts:The Birds, Faces, The Rolling Stones, The New Barbarians
Url:www.ronniewood.com
Notable Instruments:Various Zemaitis models
ESP Ron Wood signature model
Duesenberg signature model
Versoul guitars

Ronald David "Ronnie" Wood (born 1 June 1947 in Hillingdon, London) is an English rock guitarist and bassist best known as a member of The Rolling Stones and Faces.

Music career

1960s

Wood began his career as a professional musician in 1964 as a guitarist with The Birds, a rhythm & blues band based in Yiewsley, West London. A popular live act with a considerable fan base, The Birds released several singles in the mid-60s; Wood wrote or co-wrote nearly half the songs the group recorded.

By 1967 the Birds had disbanded and Wood had joined the Jeff Beck Group as a bassist. Along with vocalist Rod Stewart, Wood did several tours with Beck, and recorded two albums: Truth in 1968 and Beck-Ola in 1969. In between Jeff Beck Group projects Wood also worked with The Creation.[1] In 1969, after Steve Marriott left the Small Faces, Wood began working with the remaining members of that group, returning to his instrument of choice: the guitar. This line-up, plus Rod Stewart and ex-Bird Kim Gardner, teamed up with Wood's brother Art Wood in a formation called Quiet Melon, making a handful of recordings in May 1969.[1] After the Jeff Beck Group's fifth US tour in July, Wood and Stewart joined the former Small Faces full-time, and the band's name was changed to Faces.[2]

1970s

In the first half of the 1970s the Faces released four studio albums and were among the top-grossing live acts of the period. Besides his distinctive guitar work, Wood contributed harmonica, vocals and bass to the band's recordings, and co-wrote many of their songs, including "Stay With Me" and "Ooh La La". He also played on bandmate Stewart's first few solo albums, and is co-writer of the Rod Stewart classics "Gasoline Alley" and "Every Picture Tells a Story",[1] as well as several songs on Never a Dull Moment.

In 1972, Wood and Faces bassist Ronnie Lane composed the soundtrack to the film Mahoney's Last Stand;[1] the soundtrack, which was released as an LP in 1976, also features Faces bandmates Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones, along with contributions from Pete Townshend and Ric Grech. Wood also performed with Townshend, Grech, Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Eric Clapton at Clapton's Rainbow Concert in 1973.

In December 1973, Wood collaborated with Mick Jagger on the song "It's Only Rock'n Roll (But I Like It)".[3] Both Jagger and Keith Richards contributed to Wood's first solo album, I've Got My Own Album to Do, released in 1974.[1]

Following Mick Taylor's departure from the Rolling Stones in December 1974, Wood participated in the band's March 1975 recording sessions for their forthcoming album Black and Blue.[4] [5] Although still a member of the Faces, he toured North America with the Rolling Stones in 1975; the Faces announced their break-up in December of that year, and Wood was officially declared a member of the Rolling Stones in February 1976.[6]

In the Rolling Stones, Wood specializes in playing slide guitar, lap steel and pedal steel guitar, and contributes one half of the "ancient art of weaving", Keith Richards' term for a style of interchange between guitarists that blurs the boundaries between rhythm and lead.[7] He also occasionally plays bass guitar, as seen during 1975 concert performances of "Fingerprint File", when Mick Jagger played rhythm guitar and bassist Bill Wyman moved to synthesizer. The Rolling Stones single "Emotional Rescue" also features Wood on bass. He has been given credit as a co-writer for a dozen songs, including "Dance", "Black Limousine", "One Hit (to the Body)" and "Had It With You".

In 1975, Wood released his second solo album, Now Look; his third, Gimme Some Neck, came out in 1979. To promote it, Wood formed and toured with The New Barbarians, playing 20 concerts in Canada and the US in April/May and the Knebworth Festival in the UK in August.[8] [9]

1980s

Throughout the 1980s, Wood played as a member of the Rolling Stones; continued his solo career, releasing the album 1234 in 1981; painted; and collaborated with a number of other artists, including Prince, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin.

At the 1985 Live Aid Concert in Philadelphia, Wood along with Keith Richards performed in the penultimate set with Bob Dylan. During the performance of "Blowin' in the Wind", one of Dylan's guitar strings broke. Wood gave Dylan his guitar in order to keep the performance seamless, and played air guitar until a stagehand brought him a replacement.[10]

In 1988 Wood opened "Woody's on the Beach" in Miami, a club featuring a house band headed by Bobby Keys, hosting performances by local acts, friends of Wood's and occasionally Wood himself. The defunct hotel which housed the club allowed Wood to set up a VIP area upstairs, displaying Wood's artwork and providing private party areas. The club was popular, but was closed due to complaints from neighbours who found it too loud.[11]

1990s

In 1990 Wood was made a fully-fledged partner in the Rolling Stones' financial organization.[12] During the '90s the Rolling Stones released two studio albums and three concert albums, as well as touring in 1990, 1994-95 and 1997-99.[4]

In addition, Wood released his seventh solo album, Slide On This, in 1992; he toured to promote this album in North America and Japan. His appearance in 1993 with former bandmate Rod Stewart on MTV Unplugged resulted in a hit album entitled Unplugged...and Seated; the concert album that Wood released in 1993 from his own tour was called .[4]

Wood also contributed to Bo Diddley's 1996 album A Man Amongst Men, playing slide guitar on the tracks "Hey Baby", "A Man Amongst Men" and "Oops! Bo Diddley" and guitar on "I Can't Stand It".

2000s

Since 2000 Wood has continued to combine solo work with his Rolling Stones schedule. Following the 2001 release of his album Not For Beginners, Wood toured England and Ireland in 2001 and 2002 with his own group, The Ronnie Wood Band. The band included members of his own family, Slash and Andrea Corr. After the tour a DVD called Far East Man was released.

Wood toured with the Rolling Stones in 2002-03; in 2004 he performed several one-off concerts and guest appearances, including a number of appearances with Rod Stewart. Later in the year the two expressed intentions of finishing the studio work on a collaborative album to be entitled You Strum and I'll Sing. In 2005, however, Wood was again busy with the Rolling Stones, recording their album A Bigger Bang and then embarking on a world tour that would continue through August 2007.[4]

In 2005 Wood launched his own record company, Wooden Records, which has released recordings by his daughter Leah, The New Barbarians and others.

In November 2006, during a break in the Rolling Stones' A Bigger Bang tour, Wood played guitar on three tracks for British soul artist Beverley Knight's album Music City Soul, released in 2007.[4]

On 11 June 2008 Rod Stewart announced that he, Wood and the other surviving Faces are discussing a reunion, at least for one or two concerts.[13]

Personal life

Wood was born into a family of English "water gypsies" (river/canal barge operators, sometimes also called "bargees") and says that his generation was the first in the family to be born on dry land.[14] Both of his older brothers, Art and Ted, were graphic artists as well as musicians. Ted Wood died in 2004, and Art Wood in 2006.[15]

Wood has four children. Jesse is his son with his first wife, Krissy (née Findlay), a former model to whom he was married from 1971 to 1978; Krissy died in 2005. In 1985 Wood married his second wife, Jo Wood (née Karslake), mother of his daughter Leah and son Tyrone; her son Jamie from a previous relationship completes the family. Also a former model, Jo Wood has developed a successful line of organic beauty products.[16] The Woods own homes in Kingston Vale in Greater London and County Kildare, Ireland.[17]

Wood has been frank about his struggle with alcoholism; although reports between 2003 and 2006 had indicated that he had been sober since the Rolling Stones' 2002-03 tour, in June 2006 it was reported that Wood was entering rehab for a couple of weeks following a spell of increased alcohol abuse.[18] [19]

In July 2008 he was seen drinking with a young Kazakh-Russian girl named Ekaterina Ivanova, whom he had met in a London club, and there was speculation that they were involved in a romantic relationship.[20] According to the BBC, Wood checked into rehab again on 16 July 2008 amid concerns that his wife was going to file for divorce.[21] As of October 2008, Wood had moved out of the family home in Ireland and has been seen frequently with Ivanova; it has been rumoured that he has filed for divorce and is seeking legal assistance in splitting up his estimated $200 million fortune.[22]

Artwork

Wood is an accomplished artist. When he was a child his drawings were featured on the BBC television programme Sketch Club; he won one of that programme's competitions, an achievement he refers to as his "awakening to art".[23] He went on to train at the Ealing Art College, as both his brothers had.

Wood's paintings, drawings and prints frequently feature icons of popular culture and have been exhibited all over the world. Several of his paintings, including a work commissioned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, are displayed at London's Drury Lane Theatre.[24] Art critic Brian Sewell has called Wood "an accomplished and respectable artist"; and the South Bank Show has devoted an entire programme to his artwork.[25] Wood is also the co-owner (along with sons Jamie and Tyrone) of a London art gallery called Scream.[26]

Books, films & television appearances

To date, Wood has three books to his credit: a short collection of autobiographical anecdotes entitled The Works, illustrated with Wood's artwork, co-authored by Bill German and published in 1988; a limited-edition art book entitled Wood on Canvas: Every Picture Tells a Story, published in 1998; and his 2007 autobiography Ronnie.

In addition to numerous Faces and Rolling Stones concert films, broadcasts and documentaries, Wood performed alongside The Band, Bob Dylan and many others in the finale of the documentary The Last Waltz, filmed in 1976.[27] He has made cameo appearances in feature films including The Deadly Bees (1967), The Wild Life (1984) and 9½ Weeks (1986), as well as on television programmes including (1978).[28] [29] In October 2007 Wood appeared on the television motor show Top Gear, achieving a celebrity lap time of 1:49.4.[30]

Solo discography

External links

Notes and References

  1. Web site: Zentgraf. Nico. Woodworks 1957-1975. 2008-02-23.
  2. Book: McLagan, Ian. All the Rage (revised edition). Pan Books. 2000. 0-330-37637-X. 151–153.
  3. Book: Jagger, Mick. Richards, Keith; Watts, Charlie; Wood, Ronnie. According to the Rolling Stones. Chronicle Books. 2003. 0-8118-4060-3. 162–164.
  4. Web site: Zentgraf. Nico. The Complete Works of the Rolling Stones 1962-2008. 2008-02-23.
  5. Book: Wood, Ronnie. Ronnie. Macmillan. 2007. 978-0-230-70131-1. 110–112, pg. 115–116.
  6. Wood 2007. pg. 137.
  7. Jagger, Richards, Watts & Wood 2003. pg. 180.
  8. Wood 2007. pg. 187-192.
  9. McLagan 2000. pg. 294-300.
  10. Wood 2007. pg. 251.
  11. Wood 2007. pg. 262-263.
  12. Jagger, Richards, Watts & Wood 2003. pg. 257.
  13. Web site: It's Official: Faces Reunion. Mix 100.7 WMTX-FM. 2008-06-14.
  14. Wood 2007. pg. 3.
  15. Web site: Perrone. Pierre. Obituary: Art Wood: Frontman of the Artwoods. The Independent. November 6 2006. 2008-02-22.
  16. Web site: Landman. Beth. Secret Ingredients: Their Husbands. The New York Times. 2007-05-17. 2007-05-19.
  17. Web site: Brown. James. Wood: How I Keep Rolling On. The Daily Mail. 2003-02-24. 2007-05-19.
  18. Web site: DPA. "After the tree... it's rehab". The Sydney Morning Herald. English. 2006-06-14. 2007-05-17.
  19. Web site: Larkin, Adrian. "Rolling Stones gig latest". BBC 6. English. 2006-06-20. 2007-05-18.
  20. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,380961,00.html Fox News
  21. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7510223.stm BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Ronnie Wood is admitted to rehab
  22. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1080572/Ronnie-Woods-daughter-pregnant-delight-mother---does-know.html
  23. Wood 2007. pg. 18-19.
  24. Wood 2007. pg. 319-324.
  25. The South Bank Show. 2004-09-05. 28. 626.
  26. Wood 2007. pg. 325.
  27. The Band, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood, et al. The Last Waltz. DVD released 2002. MGM Entertainment. 1978.
  28. Wood 2007. pg. 180.
  29. Web site: Ron Wood (I). Internet Movie Database. 2008-02-22.
  30. Web site: Celebrity Lap Times. Top Gear on BBC 2. 2008-02-22.