Ron Wood is best known as the mirror image of Keef Richard cranking out guitar riffs for The Rolling Stones behind the exuberant Mick Jagger and in front of the inscrutable Charlie Watts, as they continue to fill the world stage. He performed in similar style with The Faces, but outside the lime-light, there is more to Ron than meets the eye.
Ron with Keef and Rod from 1974;
The Small Faces had just lost their singer Stevie Marriott, so Rod took over vocals, Ron took up guitar again and, as The Faces, a stadium-rock phenomenon was born. Ron co-wrote much of their good-time Blues-Rock material, with Rod and bass player Ronnie Lane, on four massive albums and they were constantly touring the world. When Lane left and Rod’s solo ambitions grew, The Faces looked finished so Ron began his long association with The Stones. Mick and Keef had played on Ron’s own solo album in 1974, and when Mick Taylor left the following year, Ron toured with the Stones and joined permanently soon after. Ron continued to make solo albums, promoting them with American tours and Festival appearances with The New Barbarians, featuring Keef and bassist Stanley Clarke.
Just a man with a guitar, playing the Blues;
Ron has been a Stone for best part of four decades, but he maintains a life outside that Rock’n’Roll Circus. Seven solo albums and several live recordings stand alongside collaborations with Rod Stewart, Bo Diddley, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pearl Jam. His Wooden Records has released albums by The New Barbarians and his daughter Leah Wood among others; he has authored three books, and his regular work for Absolute Radio and his TV interview show all keep him busy.
However, Ron’s other career is as a respected painter and fine artist. His work has been favourably reviewed by serious critics; he has been commissioned many times; had his fabric designs produced by the prestigious Liberty & Co.; produced several album covers, and he has a had a long relationship with galleries in London and San Francisco. So if he ever gave up his ‘day job’ with The Stones, at least he has something to fall back on!