Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Rolling Stone gathers no respect

Rolling Stone guitarist Ronnie Wood typically gets no respect from the press or critics when it comes to his visual art. The usual attitude (conceit) is that he doesn't deserve serious consideration because he is looking to trade on his name.

In the case of this recent article about losses in Wood's London art gallery Scream, the reporter asserts that Ronnie has "has developed a new passion for art." Nothing could be further from the truth. Wood was a student at Ealing Art College, considering a career as a theatrical set designer, before music intervened — first with The Faces and then The Rolling Stones.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Wood about his art over the phone in 2006 for an article in ValueRich magazine. His agent warned me that Wood doesn't like it when an interview is supposed to be about his art but all the questions end up being about the band. I assured the him that I'd keep it on course, but he needn't have worried.

Wood couldn't have been a nicer guy over the phone, and we hit it off right away. Halfway through the interview I realized the conversation had ceased to be an interview and was just two artists swapping ideas. He volunteered stories about his early days as a musician on his own. He seemed genuinely reluctant to finish the call when his wife reminded him they were late for a dinner date.

It turned out to be a great story. You can download it to read as a pdf file by clicking this link.

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