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Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: bye bye johnny ()
Date: July 17, 2021 04:30

Ronnie Wood: What having cancer has taught me

The Rolling Stones star on getting the all-clear at 74 and working with Mick again.

By Michael Odell
July 17 2021


DAVE BENETT/GETTY IMAGES

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, 74, has just bought himself a new home in London. I bet the neighbours’ curtains have been twitching. “I saw Mick [Jagger] here last week and Rod [Stewart] and Kenney [Jones] were here yesterday,” Wood enthuses. He is talking to me on Zoom from an art-filled room in his new place in Little Venice, west London. Upstairs is for painting. Downstairs he has set up a recording studio.

“Me and Mick have done nine new tracks for the [40th anniversary] re-release of [the Rolling Stones album] Tattoo You. And me, Rod and Kenney [the only surviving original members of Wood’s pre-Rolling Stones band the Faces] have been recording some new Faces music.”

“I’ve had a front-row seat on some amazing rock’n’roll projects these past couple of weeks,” he says. “I’m making every day count. Not wasting a moment.”

The reasons are obvious. After smoking more than 30 cigarettes a day for 50 years Wood was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017. After having part of a lung removed, he made a full recovery, but this year he revealed that he had had a new diagnosis: small cell cancer, an aggressive form of the disease.

Incredibly, though, Wood was given the all-clear in March and has just had his three-monthly check-up. “I’m well. I’m strong. And I’m adaptable,” he says. “But it has taken a lot of fighting, a lot of stamina to get through it.”

He looks well — within the parameters of rock’n’roll that is. Craggy as a walnut, but the hallmark feather cut is in good nick. Understandably, though, cancer has shaken his confidence. “Of course it’s scary. But ultimately, especially with having my twins [five-year-olds Alice and Gracie], you just want to make every day precious.”

The time he recently spent with Jagger was especially poignant. The Rolling Stones singer underwent heart surgery, an aortic valve replacement, in 2019.

“Oh, he’s fine, but of course we did talk about our health — he’s as thankful as I am for it.” Wood says. “Mick is fighting fit and we both can’t wait to get working again. Having said that, lockdown was good for me because when I got the cancer the second time it enabled me to face all those horrible treatments under the radar. I had a lot of chemo and radiology, but I wasn’t interrupting anyone else’s schedule. I had the time and space to focus on getting well.”

It’s not the only thing that Wood is trying to recover from. After well-documented drug and alcohol problems and seven stints in rehab he has been clean for more than a decade, but recovery is still the focus of every day. During lockdown he has thrown himself into gardening, spending hours attending to the shrubbery at his country house near Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire. And there is his art, of course. Wood is a collector — he has the odd Picasso and Goya — and he is a respected painter.

Over the past couple of months he has been focusing on a very special commission: decorating two life-size fibre-glass lions that are scheduled to go on display in Piccadilly in London in August before being auctioned in November. They form part of Wood’s work for the charity Tusk, which supports locally led animal conservation projects across Africa.

“I’ll be honest, I thought the lions were OK,” he says. “But there are now less than 22,000 in the wild, less than rhinos. The reason is this madness whereby people think grinding up lion claws or bones and consuming them will improve their sex life [as part of the illegal wildlife trade].”

The threat to lions, Tusk explains, can also come from conflict with locals, usually as a result of lions having killed livestock. The charity’s work aims to ensure that everyone has access to predator-proof enclosures.

Wood has quietly been involved with the charity since the early 1990s. He still cackles delightedly at the memory of the Masai tribesmen who thought that he played for a band called the Falling Rocks. He is also a patron of the unimprovably named Ron Wood Wood in Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park.

“About 15 years ago I was in Kenya and took part in a lion-tagging exercise. They anaesthetised this huge animal and I held its paw: one of the most beautiful experiences of my life,” he says.

Wood knows that his work could have a real impact on fundraising. When he donated two artworks to a Tusk campaign to save the rhino in 2018 they raised £100,000 each at auction. He has been painting his lions in his art studio, a mile’s walk from the main house in the Hertfordshire countryside. His daughter Alice has been helping and her contribution has brought home to him the generational challenge. As well as the twins he has four other children from previous marriages.

“I was born in 1947,” Wood says. “As a youngster my biggest fear was being conscripted into the army [National Service ended in 1960] and, later on, our fear was ‘the [atomic] bomb’. But when I think about my young girls now, the challenges for their generation will be even greater. Climate change and potentially the end of wildlife species we may never get back. That is really frightening. I know I’ve racked up a few air miles in my life and I try and do my bit: turn out the lights, not use too much water.”

He sounds different, quite unlike the outlaw rocker who was the subject of the Sky Arts documentary Somebody Up There Likes Me last year. The film explores his extraordinary career, and Wood bullishly admits to being drawn to risk. He says that he can even understand how people are driven to kill for drugs. And when the interviewer suggests to him that his relationships with women have got him into a lot of trouble, Wood replies; “Oh no, they’ve got me into a lot of pleasure,” before asserting: “They all enjoy the ride, but then it’s time to get off the bus.”

Sometimes he doesn’t wait for them to get off, he just drives it into a wall. Like in 2008, when, after years of sobriety, Wood started drinking again and left his wife Jo, whom he had been with for 35 years, for a teenage Russian waitress. It was a friend, the artist Damien Hirst, who bundled Wood into a van and drove him to an airport before an onward journey to rehab. Wood cleaned up and eventually met the theatre producer Sally Humphreys. They married in 2012, with Paul McCartney and Stewart as best men, and the couple’s twins followed four years later.

So there’s no more hell-raising. His ex-wife Jo even babysits sometimes. Wood says that he has been impressing on all his children and “all those I love and care for” the value of living every day in the moment. “Life inflicts these tests and trials all the time,” he says. “That’s how you learn what’s valuable.”

While he has been recording, painting and enjoying a newly discovered talent for stir-fries — “My children call me the Stir Fry King,” he says — his wife, Sally, has been equally busy. During lockdown she co-produced the film Vindication Swim, which tells the true story of Mercedes Gleitze, who in 1927 became the first woman to swim the English Channel. I’d heard that Wood was contributing the soundtrack. “No. I wanted to, but she never asked me,” he says. “She likes to be very independent.”

Sally also intends to swim the Channel herself. “Oh she’s a remarkable swimmer and she’s always wanted to, but I don’t want her to,” Wood says. “I’d be so proud, but it’s a frightening prospect.”

As Covid restrictions lift and his health improves, Wood has plenty of his own commitments. The Rolling Stones still hope to resume their No Filter tour, which began in 2017 and had grossed £300 million by the time the pandemic cut it short last year. And Wood is also putting the final touches to an album with the Stones alumnus Mick Taylor — who joined the band after the departure of Brian Jones in 1969 but left five years later — a tribute to the blues legend Jimmy Reed. “I go through art phases when music is secondary, but right now I really want to get out there and play,” Wood says.

But it’s striking that when I ask him what the most precious thing in the room is, he answers without hesitation. “Me book,” he says and picks one up from a table. It’s called Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations For Twelve-step Beginnings And Renewal. There’s a bookmark placed about halfway through. “Here,” he says, opening it. “Albert Einstein said, ‘I never think about the future, it comes soon enough.’ ”

Wood replaces the book solemnly. “Thanks, Albert,” he says. “We all need to know that from time to time, don’t we?”

For more information about the Tusk Lion Trail and the charity’s work, visit tuskliontrail.com

Ronnie Wood’s perfect weekend

Fender or Les Paul?
Fender

Feather cut or quiff?
Feather cut

Picasso or Goya?
Picasso, for longevity

London or New York?
London

Fry-up or green juice?
Poached eggs done my special way

TV or cinema?
TV. I love the Scandi murder dramas

I couldn’t get through the weekend without . . .
Meditation and an espresso

[www.thetimes.co.uk]

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: britstones ()
Date: July 17, 2021 04:34

Nice to hear about a Tattoo You 40th.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: northof49 ()
Date: July 17, 2021 04:45

Great read, Thank you BBJ.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: StonedAsiaExile ()
Date: July 17, 2021 06:08

thumbs up

Hope to see you soon, Ronnie, with all the guys!

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: mariano ()
Date: July 17, 2021 07:07

smileys with beer

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: July 17, 2021 07:15

Glad Ronnie's doing well, and looking forward to the Tattoo You 40th anniversary release. thumbs up

_____________________________________________________________
Rip this joint, gonna save your soul, round and round and round we go......

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: daspyknows ()
Date: July 17, 2021 07:22

Very cool. Was a great read.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: peoplewitheyes ()
Date: July 17, 2021 07:46

Nice read, great guy, but it tells us almost nothing about this supposed TY rerelease.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: jackflash27 ()
Date: July 17, 2021 13:08

Quote
peoplewitheyes
Nice read, great guy, but it tells us almost nothing about this supposed TY rerelease.

Well in fact the article tells us lots of new facts about the release:

- Tattoo you will be re-released
- It's not just a re-release, but the 40th anniversary re-release of the album
- The album probably will be released this year (otherwise the '40th anniversary' thing does not make sense winking smiley
- Nine new tracks have been recorded
- They're done by Mick and Ronnie (whatever 'done by' means here)
- Keith and Charlie were not involved (?)

Questions to be answered:
- Will there be a new mastering of the original record?
- Why is Keith and Charlie not involved in the recording process (or is Ronnie talking about finishing off the album)
- When will be the release exactly
- Why are they prioritizing the Tattoo you project and not finishing off the new album?

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: retired_dog ()
Date: July 17, 2021 13:53

Quote
jackflash27
Quote
peoplewitheyes
Nice read, great guy, but it tells us almost nothing about this supposed TY rerelease.

Well in fact the article tells us lots of new facts about the release:

- Tattoo you will be re-released
- It's not just a re-release, but the 40th anniversary re-release of the album
- The album probably will be released this year (otherwise the '40th anniversary' thing does not make sense winking smiley
- Nine new tracks have been recorded
- They're done by Mick and Ronnie (whatever 'done by' means here)
- Keith and Charlie were not involved (?)

Questions to be answered:
- Will there be a new mastering of the original record?
- Why is Keith and Charlie not involved in the recording process (or is Ronnie talking about finishing off the album)
- When will be the release exactly
- Why are they prioritizing the Tattoo you project and not finishing off the new album?

This is a bit misleading. With "new tracks" he obviously means "previously unreleased tracks" from back then that he finished with Mick. Keith and Charlie were most likely not involved because their parts don't need to be redone.

Also, it's not prioritizing Tattoo Your over the new album - it's been reported recently that Mick is in London to finish the new album AND work on tracks "from the Tattoo You-era", so there are two different projects that they worked on/finalized.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: Rip This ()
Date: July 17, 2021 14:34

hats off to anyone battling this or any other life threatening disease,...rock on RW!!!!!!

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: switchblade1975 ()
Date: July 17, 2021 14:44

Ronnie sounds very positive.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: KRiffhard ()
Date: July 17, 2021 15:40

Quote
jackflash27
Quote
peoplewitheyes
Nice read, great guy, but it tells us almost nothing about this supposed TY rerelease.

Well in fact the article tells us lots of new facts about the release:

- Tattoo you will be re-released
- It's not just a re-release, but the 40th anniversary re-release of the album
- The album probably will be released this year (otherwise the '40th anniversary' thing does not make sense winking smiley
- Nine new tracks have been recorded
- They're done by Mick and Ronnie (whatever 'done by' means here)
- Keith and Charlie were not involved (?)

Questions to be answered:
- Will there be a new mastering of the original record?
- Why is Keith and Charlie not involved in the recording process (or is Ronnie talking about finishing off the album)
- When will be the release exactly
- Why are they prioritizing the Tattoo you project and not finishing off the new album?

thumbs up

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: Elmo Lewis ()
Date: July 17, 2021 15:56

Quote
KRiffhard
Quote
jackflash27
Quote
peoplewitheyes
Nice read, great guy, but it tells us almost nothing about this supposed TY rerelease.

Well in fact the article tells us lots of new facts about the release:

- Tattoo you will be re-released
- It's not just a re-release, but the 40th anniversary re-release of the album
- The album probably will be released this year (otherwise the '40th anniversary' thing does not make sense winking smiley
- Nine new tracks have been recorded
- They're done by Mick and Ronnie (whatever 'done by' means here)
- Keith and Charlie were not involved (?)

Questions to be answered:
- Will there be a new mastering of the original record?
- Why is Keith and Charlie not involved in the recording process (or is Ronnie talking about finishing off the album)
- When will be the release exactly
- Why are they prioritizing the Tattoo you project and not finishing off the new album?

thumbs up

Like the old soul song says "Be thankful for what ya got....."

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: jackflash27 ()
Date: July 17, 2021 19:26

Quote
retired_dog
Quote
jackflash27
Quote
peoplewitheyes

Also, it's not prioritizing Tattoo Your over the new album - it's been reported recently that Mick is in London to finish the new album AND work on tracks "from the Tattoo You-era", so there are two different projects that they worked on/finalized.

Well, let's see which of the two comes out first. I put my money on the TY re-release.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: July 17, 2021 19:36

any chance that some of the tracks of the "fully finished studio outtakes" will be some of those 9 "new" tracks? what do you think?

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: TKinOH ()
Date: July 17, 2021 19:58

Good read... Ronnie is a positive guy! Very uplifting with all goin' on in his life and the world...

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: mickschix ()
Date: July 17, 2021 20:18

Thanks for posting, it was very interesting. He has been very brave very resilient in his struggles with lung cancer. All of the great rockers from his era smoked non-stop...it should be a warning to the youngsters who admire these " Rock Gods!" I'm just glad to see Ronnie doing so well!

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: retired_dog ()
Date: July 17, 2021 20:22

Quote
maumau
any chance that some of the tracks of the "fully finished studio outtakes" will be some of those 9 "new" tracks? what do you think?

From what I've heard, the bootleg did not change any of their plans. So it would not surprise me at all. In that case, the official release will have those tracks in an even more "fully finished" form than on the "Fully Finished Studio Outtakes" bootleg that had the majority of tracks more or less close to being finished, but not exactly "fully finished".

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: Hairball ()
Date: July 17, 2021 20:32

Quote
KRiffhard
Quote
jackflash27
Quote
peoplewitheyes
Nice read, great guy, but it tells us almost nothing about this supposed TY rerelease.

Well in fact the article tells us lots of new facts about the release:

- Tattoo you will be re-released
- It's not just a re-release, but the 40th anniversary re-release of the album
- The album probably will be released this year (otherwise the '40th anniversary' thing does not make sense winking smiley
- Nine new tracks have been recorded
- They're done by Mick and Ronnie (whatever 'done by' means here)
- Keith and Charlie were not involved (?)

Questions to be answered:
- Will there be a new mastering of the original record?
- Why is Keith and Charlie not involved in the recording process (or is Ronnie talking about finishing off the album)
- When will be the release exactly
- Why are they prioritizing the Tattoo you project and not finishing off the new album?

thumbs up

There will probably be more live albums from the latter era, a couple more re-releases (Undercover will be 40 in a couple of years), and several greatest hits compilations before any new album will be finished.
With any luck, maybe a new single for the 60th anniversary, or maybe another batch of leaked "fully finished outtakes" that was talked about.

_____________________________________________________________
Rip this joint, gonna save your soul, round and round and round we go......

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: Beast ()
Date: July 17, 2021 21:32

Great read - thanks for posting, bbj thumbs up

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: Bashlets ()
Date: July 17, 2021 22:04

Have a feeling Jagger probably worked on a load of music during the pandemic. Whether or not it’s good is anybody’s guess

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: TheBluesHadaBaby ()
Date: July 17, 2021 23:36

Quote
retired_dog
Quote
maumau
any chance that some of the tracks of the "fully finished studio outtakes" will be some of those 9 "new" tracks? what do you think?

From what I've heard, the bootleg did not change any of their plans. So it would not surprise me at all. In that case, the official release will have those tracks in an even more "fully finished" form than on the "Fully Finished Studio Outtakes" bootleg that had the majority of tracks more or less close to being finished, but not exactly "fully finished".


(...pull Wolf Alice's Blue Weekend cd out of the player -- seeing them 2 nights in November; put a Fully Finished Studio Outtakes disc back in...)

****
I'm down in Virginia
with your Cousin Lou.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: ProfessorWolf ()
Date: July 18, 2021 01:04

what a cool guy
and wait he has a forest named after him

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: jbwelda ()
Date: July 18, 2021 01:53

the Ronnie Woods?

jb

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: ProfessorWolf ()
Date: July 18, 2021 02:06

ron wood woods grinning smiley
no but is this really the name
just wow

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: GasLightStreet ()
Date: July 18, 2021 02:40

London or New York. Pfffffft.

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: crawdaddy ()
Date: July 18, 2021 17:54

Thanks for posting bbj.

So good to hear that Ronnie's doing alright and looking good from the recent pics. thumbs up

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: runaway ()
Date: July 18, 2021 18:15

Thanks for posting: Great read

Re: Ronnie Wood interview - The Times, July 17
Posted by: maumau ()
Date: July 18, 2021 18:57

thanks for posting
love Ronnie
smileys with beer

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