Ronnie Wood: 20 Things You Might Not Know

On June 1st, 1947, Ronnie Wood was born. We all know he’s made a name for himself as the guitarist for The Faces, The Jeff Beck Group, and, of course, The Rolling Stones, but here are 20 things you might not know about the birthday boy:

1. Ronnie was born outside of London to a family of “water gypsies,” barge and river workers. In fact, he’s said his generation was the first in his family to be born on dry land.

2. Ronnie’s first professional job was in 1964 when he joined the British R&B band The Birds. While the group only released a handful of singles, Wood wrote or co-wrote almost half of all the songs they recorded.

3. For a short time after The Birds, Ronnie was in an electric blues band called Santa Barbera Machine Head. It featured a keyboardist named Jon Lord who’d go on to form Deep Purple.

4. Though he is known as a guitarist, Ronnie was the bassist for the Jeff Beck Group.

5. Before joining The Faces, Ronnie was in a band called Quiet Melon, playing guitar along side some members of the Small Faces plus some other musicians including Rod Stewart.

6. Ronnie didn’t just play guitar with The Faces, he also played harmonica and bass and sang, plus he co-wrote many of their hit songs like “Stay With Me” and “Ooh La La.”

7. Ronnie played on Rod Stewart’s first few solo albums, and he co-wrote some tracks including “Every Picture Tells a Story.”

8. Along with Faces bassist Ronnie Lane, Wood composed the soundtrack to the 1972 Canadian filmMahoney’s Last Stand. The soundtrack came out in 1976 and features an appearance by The Who guitarist Pete Townshend.

9. In 1974, Ronnie put out his first solo album, I’ve Got My Own Album to Do. It featured contributions from Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

10. Even though he was still a member of The Faces, Ronnie took part in The Rolling Stones’ recording sessions for Black and Blue in 1975 and toured with them in place of Mick Taylor, who left the group in December of 1974. When The Faces broke up in 1976, Ronnie made it official with The Stones.

11. With the Stones, Wood plays guitar, slide guitar, lap steel guitar, pedal steel guitar and occasionally, bass.

12. In the 1980s, Ronnie collaborated with the likes of Bob Dylan, Prince,David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Aretha Franklin and others.

13. In 2005, Ronnie formed his own record company called Wooden Records. Among the recordings it has released is one by Wood’s daughter Leah.

14. In 2009, Ronnie played with Red Hot Chili Peppers Anthony Kiedis,Flea, and Chad Smith as The Insects at the fifth annual MusiCares event.

15. When Ronnie was a kid, he was into art and his drawings were on a BBC show called Sketch Club. He even won a competition on the program.

16. Today, Ronnie’s paintings and drawings are exhibited all over the world.

17. Ronnie did the cover art to Clapton’s 1988 box setCrossroads.

18. Ronnie has written three books: a collection of autobiographical anecdotes called The Works, an art book called Wood on Canvas, and his 2007 autobiography, Ronnie.

19. Wood has six kids. A son with his first wife, a daughter and a son with his second wife, a son from his second wife’s previous marriage that he adopted, and twins with his third wife.

20. Ronnie has six grandchildren, all of them older than his youngest daughters.

Happy birthday Ronnie!

Photo: Getty

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