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Background on Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood is disarmingly self-effacing about his talent and he has been called ‘the ultimate sideman’, yet his gift as a guitar player place him well above the status of a mere sideman.

Wood is best known for his many years playing next to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, but he also performed with many of the other living legends of rock music like Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin and David Bowie.

Ronnie Wood was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England, in 1947, into a musical and artistic family. His father, Arthur, was an amateur musician. His two older brothers, Art and Ted, went to art school but Art was also an accomplished musician. At sixteen years old, before pursuing his musical career, Ronnie also went to Ealing College of Art in London where he fine-tuned his skills as a painter.  In the art community today, Wood is probably as well-known as he is for his musical career.

Wood began his musical career in 1964, when he joined the Birds on guitar.  In 1967 he joined the Jeff Beck Group as a bass player. They released two albums, “Truth” and “Beck-Ola”, which became moderate successes. The group split in 1969, and Wood departed along with lead vocalist, Rod Stewart, to form a new group, the Faces. The group, although relegated to cult status in the US, found great success in the UK and mainland Europe, and released four albums between 1971 and 1973. After the group split, Wood began several solo projects, including recording his first solo album, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do”, featuring the former Beatle, George Harrison, and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, a longtime friend of Wood’s. Richards soon invited Wood to join the Rolling Stones. Wood joined in 1975, and has remained a member ever since.

Ronnie first played on a Rolling Stones studio album in 1973. He inspired and plays guitar on the title track of “It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll”. Upon joining the Stones two years later, he played his first ever concert with the Rolling Stones on his twenty-eighth birthday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, replacing Mick Taylor who had recently quit the band.

Among Ronnie’s numerous other credits are appearances on Keith Richards’s solo albums. He toured with Richards’ band, The New Barbarians in the late 1970s and 1980s. He’s appeared on Rod Stewart’s solo albums, including “Gasoline Alley” and “Every Picture Tells A Story”; David Bowie’s “Pin Ups” album; one of Bill Wyman’s solo albums; performed with U2, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin and a huge list of the great musicians of rock and blues, including the infamous appearance at Live Aid with Bob Dylan. Ronnie has released over a dozen of his own solo albums.

Ronnie’s paintings of musicians and the Rolling Stones in particular command high prices and yet his art is not restricted to just musical subjects. He paints animals as well as portraits of other well-known figures including a large painting of London’s ‘movers and shakers’ that adorns the wall of the capital’s Ivy restaurant. Among those who own original Ronnie Wood artworks are former US President Bill Clinton, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jack Nicholson.
Recently Ronnie said, “I want to live as long as possible. And play and paint better. You never know what you want, but you’re always reaching further and further.” So it seems likely that his best may still be to come.

Source:  Wikipedia, et al


Partial Anthology

  • 1964  Band member of the Birds
  • 1966  Joined the short-lived mod group, the Creation
  • 1967  Joined Jeff Beck Group as bass guitar player which released two albums: “Truth” and “Beck-Ola”
  • 1969  Formed Faces bluesy rock band with Rod Stewart.  The group released “First Step”, “Long Player”, “A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse” and “Ooh La La” albums
  • 1974  Ronnie Wood first solo album, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do”, with former Beatle George Harrison and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones
  • 1975  Joined Rolling Stones as band member (remains a member today)
  • 1975 – 2010         Solo albums “Now Look”, “Mahoney’s Last Stand”, “Gimme Some Neck”, “1234”,
    “Slide on This”, “Not for Beginners”, “I Feel Like Playing”
  • 1980’s         collaborated with other artists, including Prince, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin
  • 1989  As a member of the Rolling Stones, Wood was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • 1990  Wood was made a fully-fledged partner in the Rolling Stones’ financial organization
  • 1990’s         With Rolling Stones, released two studio albums and three concert albums, as well as touring in 1990, 1994–95 and 1997–99
  • 1993  Wood’s concert tour and concert album, “Slide on Live: Plugged in and Standing”
  • 2001  Released album “Not for Beginners”
  • 2002  Toured England and Ireland with Ronnie Wood Band, including members Slash and Andrea Corr.

Released DVD “Far East Man”

  • 2002 – 2003, 2005 – 2007       Toured with Rolling Stones
  • 2005  Launched his own record company, Wooden Records
  • 2009  Faces reunion performance at London’s Royal Albert Hall on behalf of the Performing Rights Society’s Music Members’ Benevolent Fund
  • 2009  Wood given “Outstanding Contribution” award at the Classic Rock Roll of Honour ceremony in London. Pete Townshend presented the award
  • 2010 – Now          Wood has his own radio show on Absolute Radio consisting of Wood playing tracks by artists he has worked with and other personal favorites.
  • 2011  Ronnie Wood won the Sony Radio Personality of the Year award for The Ronnie Wood Show
  • 2012  Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a second time as a member of Faces
  • 2014  Performed with One Direction on the finale of The X Factor television show