Episode three of the new Rolling Stones docuseries, My Life as a Rolling Stone, has aired.
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The new series is rolling out in four parts, one episode for each of the Stones, in celebration of the band’s 60th anniversary. Getting right into the thick of it, the first episode highlighted frontman Mick Jagger, the second on guitarist Keith Richards, the third on guitarist Ronnie Wood, and the final episode will be on the late drummer Charlie Watts.
My Life as a Rolling Stone is streaming on EPIX and available on several other outlets like Sling and Fubo. This docuseries debuted on August 7, and it contains new interviews with the band and other musicians, archival footage of performances and life on the road, as well as narration from Sienna Miller. The series was also directed by Oliver Murray.
But, getting back to the third episode and its star, read below for 10 things we learned about Ronnie Wood.
1. Wood was first a member of the Jeff Beck Group, and then he joined another English rock band called Faces, with lead singer Rod Stewart. Despite his success with Faces, Wood always knew he was going to be a part of The Rolling Stones. “One day I’ll be in that band,” Wood recalled thinking while watching a Stones performance.
2. Wood bought a house in 1971 in the Richmond area of London called The Wick. He turned the basement of The Wick into a recording studio, and the house became a revolving door of England’s greatest musicians. For example, members of The Beatles and The Stones frequented Wood’s home.
3. We learned that Wood knows when to not take himself too seriously. “Number one is learn how to laugh at yourself,” he said of being a performing artist, “‘cause if you don’t know how to do that, you’re in shtook mate.” (“Shtook” means “trouble” in the U.K.—the more you know.)
4. Wood was in the right place at the right time. When former guitarist Mick Taylor had grown weary of life on the road and the drugs that often accompany rockstars, he quit right in front of Wood. While sitting on a couch, Taylor leaned over Wood to tell Jagger, “I’m leaving the band. I’m leaving right now.” It wasn’t long before Jagger called Wood to invite him to play with the band.
5. The Stones were much more organized, if you can believe it, than what Wood was used to. When performing with Faces, the band would barely put together a setlist. In fact, the Faces was famous for asking Wood, in the middle of a performance, “What’s next, Ron?”
6. Joining the Stones was everything for Wood. “The whirlwind, the hurricane, the tornado, all the highs of being there, and the highs of the dope and the drink, my feet never really touched the ground for many years,” Wood said in the docuseries. “It was like, ‘I’m home.’ I had that feeling of coming home when I joined the band.”
7. Wood had a very supportive family, and many of them were also artists. “When I was in short pants, the household was always throbbing. Everyone was a performer,” Wood said. “When they played, they used to include me whether it was on the comb and paper or a kazoo. My first instrument was [a] washboard.”
8. According to Wood, his family was a family of “water gypsies,” who lived and worked from boats for generations. But the birth of Wood and his two older brothers, Art and Ted, changed things. “It was the end of a legacy, really, my brothers and me being the first to be born on dry land,” he said. His mother had been born on a boat called the Orient, and his dad was born on the Antelope. Wood credits this lifestyle as imbuing a sense of connectedness and adaptability in him.
9. His relationship with Richards was extremely special. They were friends, partners in rhythm, and knew how to play off of each other. “If God himself created the perfect foil for Keith, it would have to have been Ronnie Wood,” Jon Bon Jovi said. Another musician, Bernard Fowler who sang backing vocals for the Stones, said that Richards and Wood playing together was like hearing a call and response. “Keith calls, Ronnie responds. Ronnie calls, Keith responds,” he explained.
10. Wood is finally sober. After years of struggling with substance abuse and addiction, Wood got sober in 2010. He was 63 years old.
Photo Credit: Mark Seliger / EPIX