The Upshot: Faces/Stones guitarist opens up his 1965 diary to offer a glimpse of his pre-stardom days.
BY LEE ZIMMERMAN
Ron Wood’s lived the perennial rock ‘n’ roll existence. With his rooster-like haircut, a ready smirk on his face and his cocksure way with a guitar, he practically defines the image of the successful modern musician. While his seminal efforts in a British band named the Birds (not to be confused with the harbingers of west coast folk rock that became the Byrds) provided him a testing ground, it was his seminal efforts with the Jeff Beck Group and later, the Faces and the Stones, that made him a star of international proportions. He’s gifted in other ways as well, as an artist and as an author whose earlier autobiography revelled in rock star fantasies.
It would be tempting then to see #How Can It Be? A Rock & Roll Diary# as some sort of sequel, but in truth it’s more a prequel, a book which is exactly true to its title. Little more than a reprint of a long lost diary Wood kept at age 17 during his tenure with the Birds, it recounts the wide-eyed optimism and sense of adventure possessed by a young road warrior making his initial foray into the world of gigs, girls and guitars. There’s some commentary accompanying the entries, a number of archival photos and some original drawings as well, but mostly it’s his words reproduced in their original hard written form. It’s interesting to say the least, especially as it gives the reader a firsthand look into an adolescent adventure that would eventually morph into superstardom.
Sadly though, the diary doesn’t go beyond1965, although the book does end with an appendix that includes brief reflections on selected later dates that found him in the company of Beck, the Faces and the Stones. The rest, as they say, is history, but it’s this telling glimpse, 50 years removed, that reveals how he was hooked.