Ron Wood tells all like a Rolling Stone

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood tells just about all in his new memoir, from how Keith Richards urged him to sober up at knifepoint, to a possible Faces reunion with Rod Stewart and a “sort of a warped rock star wife swap.”

Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones is seen performing during a concert in Shanghai, China, in this April 8, 2006 file photo. Wood tells just about all in his new memoir, from how Keith Richards urged him to sober up at knifepoint, to a possible Faces reunion with Rod Stewart and a "sort of a warped rock star wife swap." REUTERS/Nir Elias/Files

But one thing the book is not is a signal that the Rolling Stones are about to retire.

“This is not an indication of the band never doing anything again,” Wood, 60, told Reuters in an interview for the release of “Ronnie: The Autobiography,” from St. Martin’s Press.

“We don’t know,” he said about any plans for another Stones CD or tour. “We’re still coming down from the last one.”

The next band project is the promotion of “Shine a Light,” the documentary by filmmaker Martin Scorsese set to open in theaters on April 4. Wood said it would be followed by “a little board meeting early next year” to determine the next step.

In his book, Wood chronicles a drug- and booze-laced journey filled with “dodgy” managers, financial woes and playing with the Jeff Beck Group and the Faces, both with pal Rod Stewart, before joining the Rolling Stones in the mid-1970s.

Wood reveals that his wife, Jo Wood, and Mick Jagger both intervened to convince him to go into substance abuse rehabilitation before the Stones tour of 2002.

“It was pure friendly thing, like ‘Would you go?’ I said, ‘Of course.’ I didn’t think I was out of whack, but most people that are don’t realize it anyway,” he said. “I really did enjoy playing focused the last few tours sober.”

Before his wife and Jagger got him into rehab, it was Richards who tried to help Wood sober up, sometimes drawing a knife or wielding a pistol in the process.

“It was like big brotherly, watching out for each other, and also, as brothers do, arguing and it gets out of hand, deranged,” joked Wood.

“Somebody asked what did you do when Keith did have a knife at your throat? I’d say, ‘OK, kill me,’ and Keith would say, ‘I would but your wife would have so much blood to clean up afterward.’”


Wood describes “a sort of a warped rock star wife swap” in which George Harrison had an affair with Wood’s first wife, Krissie Findley, and Wood with Harrison’s first wife, Pattie Boyd, who later married Eric Clapton. Boyd and Clapton just published autobiographies.

“We all knew that Eric (Clapton) wanted Pattie, so I did this loving intermediary thing,” Wood said.

Wood penned “Mystifies Me” and “Breathe on Me” about Boyd, who was the muse for Harrison’s “Something,” recorded with the Beatles, and Clapton’s signature anthem “Layla.”

“Pattie rang me and said ‘My book’s out and Eric’s. I wonder if our stories match?’ And I said, too late, they’ve already gone to print.”

Stewart, with whom Wood wrote many tunes including “Stay With Me” and “Every Picture Tells a Story,” recently has become known for crooning standards.

“You leave him alone in Hollywood a few years and what does he do? He becomes it,” Wood joked. “We had a brief Jeff Beck Group reunion at a rehearsal last year or year before. I was playing bass and Rod was singing. It was fantastic.”

A Faces reunion, with Stewart, keyboardist Ian McLagan and drummer Kenny Jones remains a possibility. Wood’s son Jesse and the Sex Pistols’ Glen Matlock have expressed interest in filling in on bass for the late Ronnie Lane.

“I know we’re all willing to do it,” he said.