I was digging around one of my closets where I keep my Stones and Stones-affiliated CDs yesterday (now there’s an idea for a blog – CD/music organization!) and ran across a few Ron Wood solo CDs I hadn’t played in a while. Being a huge Wood fan (insert appropriate joke here)I figured I would use this space to extoll the virtues of the Stones’ longest-running second guitarist (31 years membership!).
When thinking about Ron Wood, one must start at the British beat group Birds, move through The Creation and Jeff Beck Group (where Beck relegated Wood to bass so the mercurial Beck wouldn’t have to compete axe-wise) and start honing in on one of the best and most-underappreciated boogie bands of all time, The Faces. Wood joined the Faces (originally the Small Faces – check out Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake for a pre-Wood psychedelic masterpiece) after forming an alliance with Rod Stewart who was in the Jeff Beck Group with Wood at the time.
Wood and Stewart both joined Faces to shore up the band when guitarist/singer Steve Marriot left to start Humble Pie. Wood then began a long and proud association with the best of sleazy rock and roll that, for all intents and purposes, out-Stoned the Stones.
In the last phase of the Faces’ lifespan, Wood started putting out solo albums, great ones like I’ve Got My Own Album To Do and Now Look. Both these albums were all-star love-fests that also featured fellow Brit rockers like Stewart, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger among others. Wood was already drifting into the Stones orbit and joined after The Great Guitarist Hunt the Stones had in 1975 during the making of Black and Blue.
Throughout Wood’s tenure in the Stones he has continued to put out solo albums, the strongest being 19078’s Gimme Some Neck. The CD is filled with Stones-like raunch and Woody’s Dylan-like gin-soaked vocals. It is very hard to find but still in print.
Wood fans would also beinterested in tracking down 1982’s 1234, which is out of print in the US but contains Wood jamming with several members of Devo and a few other obscure bands. Woody has always done it for rock and roll, and not just to get on the radio, and that always speaks volumes to me about a musician’s motivation and heart.
I could tell you about Wood’s artwork, which is genius, but that’s for another blog. Track down some of his solo work and tell me if some of it isn’t better than most of the schlock the Stones have passed off for music in the past twenty years or so.
Wood you if you could?
The Music Nerd knows………