LONDON (Reuters) - The Rolling Stones are set this week to reveal plans regarding upcoming live gigs, guitarist Ronnie Wood told Reuters in an exclusive interview on Thursday as part of celebrations marking the band’s 50th anniversary.
“What we do is live in hope and hopefully this week we’ll unfold some plans,” Wood said, adding that the band had recently spent a number of days rehearsing in a studio in New York and that being back with the band was like “being back at school”.
The 65-year-old Wood, who joined the Stones in 1975 to replace Mick Taylor, also refused to rule out the possibility of a Stones collaboration with Bill Wyman — bass guitarist for the band from 1962 until 1993.
“I saw him last week and he was in top form, rocking,” Wood said. “We also did a rehearsal with him a few weeks ago.” “It’s like he’d never been away.”
Speaking at Somerset house, near an exhibition of photographs celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary, Wood reminisced about the good old days and remembers admiring his future bandmates as an outsider.
“When I was at college I used to listen to the early Stones,” he said, adding that he always told himself that one day he would be one of them.
Recounting his personal standout moments from the last half a century, Wood - clad in his trademark black suit, bright red socks and silver-spiked shoes — reeled off a long list, at the top of which was his first encounters with singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards, who collaborated with him on his 1974 solo album, “I’ve Got My Own Album to Do.”
“It was just a fantastic experience of getting to know each other and then being asked to join them and making (his first Stones album) ‘Black and Blue’”.
Another highlight, he said, was his time spent working with artist Andy Warhol.
Asked about the Rolling Stones’ reputation as the bad boys of music, Wood remained unruffled.
“It’s just one of those things,” he said nonchalantly. “Just don’t give me a knife when I’m going through customs.”
He joked that appearances in court were almost as frequent as those at concerts during the heydays of the 1970s and 80s, but maintains that that was just part of the rock and roll life.
“Everyone was doing it at the time.”
Wood has also had stints playing with the Birds, the Jeff Beck Group as well as with Rod Stewart and the Faces.
He has also made stabs at several solo projects, most notably I’ve Got My Own Album to Do.
Born in Middlesex, southern England as Ronald David Wood, he has four children and has also worked with artists including Prince, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Ringo Starr and Aretha Franklin throughout a rollercoaster career. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
During 2001 and 2002, Wood toured England with his band The Ronnie Wood Band — which featured artists like Slash and Andrea Corr — before touring with the Rolling Stones again.
In 2005 the Stones released their “A Bigger Bang” album and Wood launched his own record company, Wooden Record, which has released recordings of his daughter, Leah.
Beyond music, Wood is an acclaimed artist, and co-owns London’s Scream art gallery.
The exhibition of photos at London’s Somerset House and an accompanying picture book about the Rolling Stones track the rise of a group of fresh-faced British boys who played their first gig at Oxford Street’s Marquee Club in 1962, became the scourge of the establishment in the 1960s, the titans of 70s music and finally the elder statesmen of rock and roll in the 21st century.
Editing by Paul Casciato