Ron Wood: The Rolling Stones Are ‘More Conscious Of Surviving’

Ron Wood says that with the recent health scares between the Rolling Stones — they’re fully aware that every new tour is breaking new ground. Wood spoke to Classic Rock magazine and admitted, “Yeah. It’s brilliant. There’s a great feeling within the band and with the crowd nowadays, I think we’ve definitely got the bug again, we just wanna keep touring. ‘Let’s go and do some more gigs.’ Even Charlie (Watts), who was always like: ‘I don’t know if I wanna go on the road anymore.’ He’s like: ‘I’m up for it, whenever you want, let’s go.’ Which is great. . . I’m playing the best I’ve ever played, for some magic reason, and I love it, and I think we’re all raising the bar every time we play now.”

With both Wood and Watts successfully battling cancer, Keith Richards‘ brain injury, and Mick Jagger undergoing a routine heart procedure last year, Ron Wood admits that the band counts their blessings: “Not that we didn’t before, but now we’re, like you say, more conscious of. . . surviving, how lucky we are. With my recent scare and Mick’s scare, Charlie not so long ago, Keith not so long ago, there was a lot of s*** going down.”

Wood went on to shed some light on Jagger’s amazing post-op recovery: “In the hospital they said they’d never done that kind of surgery on a seventy-five-year old. There’s no precedent. And nobody goes back to the office when they’re that old, they normally just go back to gardening. They don’t go back to running ten miles around a stage.”

He also joked about the fact that all the Stones need full-on clear bills of health before their tours can be insured: “Which are getting harder and harder to pass now (laughs). Poor Joyce (Smyth), our manager, is like ‘Oh, no! More insurance for the next tour.'”

Ron Wood spoke briefly about the band’s upcoming studio set — which will feature the band’s first all-new collection of Jagger – Richards songs in 15 years: “That’s ongoing. We are very happy with the way studio work’s coming on, but, as you know, the Stones never make an album overnight. But aside from our busy schedule touring, we’re just fitting little studio visits in and it’s shaping up nicely.”

2020 marks Ron Wood’s 45th anniversary of joing the Rolling Stones. He recalled the lead up to his debut as the band’s third and final second guitarist back in 1975: [“Well, it was a fragile ship when I joined, y’know, because they’d been through many ups and downs, and there was kind of a grey cloud. Even though I knew the music, I’d never actually played the songs. So, at Montauk, Keith and I hardly slept and we kept going through the songs and, like he was hittin’ me — ‘Okay, ‘All Down The Line’ — here we go (sings riff, laughs)!’ And all these songs going  through my head and June the 1st in Baton Rouge in 1975, that was my opening gig. Yeah, that was really. . .  I said, ‘Come on, throw it at me. Whatever you’ve got.'”] SOUNDCUE (:30 OC: . . . whatever you’ve got)