…and he went. Poor Ronnie Wood. Making Pete Doherty look like a total lightweight, he’s been on a bit of a bender recently, going off without his wife of 23 years, instead taking with him a 20 year old Russian ‘cocktail waitress’ (and escort) to Ireland for a massive drink, drugs and how’s yer father session. And now he’s in rehab trying to save both his vital organs and his marriage. Being a Rolling Stone, surely that’s all part of the job? Just ask Keith Richards or Bill Wyman. At least Ronnie’s girlfriend was above the legal age of consent. To paraphrase Rod Stewart in his MTV Unplugged concert, “This song was written before some of you were born……….mind you, me wife was only 1!” Until he recovers, let’s remember Ronnie Wood for what he’s good at – making rock ‘n roll records (and painting – all the pictures here are his work).
Here’s a couple of lesser-known tracks from his extensive pre-Stones back catalogue. ‘You’re On My Mind’ by The Birds (with an ‘i’ not a ‘y’) was the first song he ever wrote. Released by Decca in 1964, it was apparently inspired by The Yardbirds. The b-side to the above track was a cover of Bo Diddley‘s ‘You Don’t Love Me’, a staple for many a blues-inspired garage band in the early 60s. Ronnie also played with The Creation (‘Midway Down’) before going on to play bass in the Jeff Beck Group, where he played with Rod Stewart for the first time.
‘Plynth (Water Down The Drain)’ from the ‘Beck-Ola’ album sounds like a blueprint for everything Ron ‘n’ Rod did in The Faces. It’s loose, bluesy, funky and has a great slide guitar riff and a fantastic bassline from Ronnie. You know his other work – ‘Stay With Me’, ‘Miss Judy’s Farm’, ‘Cindy Incidentally’, Gasoline Alley, ‘Maggie May’, the list is endless. Any decent Rod Stewart 70s compilation has the lot. Of course, he’s not really allowed to write for the Stones, even if he has the best haircut out the lot of them, but that surely is Mick ‘n Keith’s loss. Get well soon Ronnie!
Hard-to-find rarity alert!!! Here‘s the full-length version of ‘Maggie May’, complete with the neatly picked acoustic guitar intro that’s missing from just about every version of the song that’s ever been released. As Frank Carson used to say, it’s a cracker.