Page last updated at 18:09 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 19:09 UK

Profile: Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood
Ronnie Wood has enjoyed a long and varied music career
Rocker Ronnie Wood, who has been admitted to rehab, has lived the ultimate sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle.

The Rolling Stones guitarist started his music career in 1964 with R&B band The Birds - a popular live band who enjoyed a few hits in the 1960s before splitting.

After a stint with the Jeff Beck Group as a bassist in the late 1960s, he began working with the Small Faces, along with Rod Stewart.

Back on the instrument of his choice - the guitar - he collaborated with the band whilst pursuing other projects, becoming full time member in 1969, when the band's name was changed to Faces.

The early 1970s was a successful time for the group - for a while they were the biggest UK band after the Stones - enjoying hits like Stay With Me and Cindy Incidentally.

They also toured the US, becoming "the first band ever to have a bar onstage".

"We could drink our way through the set without ever having to go offstage," Wood said.

By this time, the guitarist's alcohol consumption was excessive. An average day, he said, would start with "eight pints of Guinness, then on to the vodka, a couple of bottles of that.

"Then go on to the sambuca, a bottle of that."

Around this time, Wood moved in with guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, whom he described as "great, relaxed" flatmate.

And, despite the drink, his prodigious work rate continued.

He played on bandmate Stewart's first few solo albums, and collaborated on Mick Jagger's song It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (But I Like It).

Jagger returned the favour by contributing to Wood's first solo album, I've Got My Own Album to Do, released in 1974.

"Normal people don't go out to work drunk, but for an alcoholic, it's entirely normal," Wood told the Guardian in 2001.

Artist

Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart
Wood performed with the Faces throughout the early 1970s

Wood was born in London in 1947, in London, and took an interest in art from a very early age.

He "bombarded" the BBC TV show Sketch Club with his paintings and followed in the footsteps of his two older brothers by attending Ealing College of Art.

Wood's paintings and drawings have been exhibited all over the world, the South Bank Show even devoted an entire programme to his artwork.

But his life changed when he first saw the Stones play in 1964 at the Richmond Jazz and Blues festival.

"I thought, 'that looks like a good job... One day I'm going to be in that band'," he said later

His wish came true when Mick Taylor left the Rolling Stones in 1974. Wood was invited to join the group in the recording studio for their 13th studio album, Black and Blue.

Despite touring with the Stones the following year, he remained committed to the Faces until their break-up in December that year, becoming a fully-paid up member of the Stones in early 1976.

During this time Wood also continued to produce solo material, such as his 1975 album Now Look. He also formed The New Barbarians, who toured North America and played at the Knebworth Festival in 1979.

It was also 1979 when Wood began smoking "freebase" cocaine - similar to crack - after being introduced to it by a fellow musician.

Wood said: "[He] arrived one night, all lit up. 'Hey man, I have made the greatest discovery. It's this thing called freebase.

"He showed us how to make it up and that was it for me for the next five years."

Four years previously, Wood had had a plastic septum inserted in his nose from snorting cocaine.

Despite his habits, Wood continued to perform with the Rolling Stones, and played at the 1985 Live Aid Concert in Philadelphia.

Rehab

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, Wood continued to combine solo work with his busy Rolling Stones schedule.

Following the 2001 release of his album Not For Beginners, he toured the UK with his own group, The Ronnie Wood Band, which included Irish singer Andrea Corr.

Ronnie Wood
Wood was once commissioned by Andrew Lloyd-Webber

He also toured with the Rolling Stones from 2002 to 2003, and in 2005 the band recorded their album A Bigger Bang, before embarking on a world tour of the same name.

It was on a break from that tour, in 2006, that the star last entered rehab.

Following that stint, he told the Independent he had sworn off drink for good.

"I just think my body can't handle it anymore," he said.

"I did try a little drink a while back, and I was actually physically ill.

"So that's it. I'm over it now. I am.""

The guitarist has four children. Jesse, his son with his first wife, Krissy. His daughter Leah and son Tyrone from his marriage to former model Jo Wood, and her son Jamie from a previous relationship.

Their 23-year marriage is considered one of the tightest in showbiz, but his admittance to rehab follows tabloid speculation over the state of their marriage.


SEE ALSO
Ronnie Wood is admitted to rehab
16 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Faces members considering reunion
11 Jul 08 |  Entertainment
Rolling Stone's art up for sale
25 Feb 08 |  Entertainment

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