The Glimmer Twins' (Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) life stories have been so highly publicized that one feels that they need not publish their own autobiographies, thereby adding more stories to the mix. Bill Wyman has published his own revealing memoir (Stone Alone) which seems surprisingly bitter in tone and provides for a detailed inside look from the Stone who moved the least on stage but had the most groupies amongst all.
Now with Ronnie Wood's autobiography, simply titled Ronnie, what is being attempted here? For starters, Ronnie Wood is the third lead guitarist to fill the position, after the death of original Stone Brian Jones and the questionable departure of Mick Taylor, begging the question: what does it take to be a Stone besides being a good guitar player?
Ronnie provides the answers in spades. In a sense, this incomplete autobiography is much like his guitar playing — without the rhythm of Keith Richards' playing, the sound is only half-complete, shades of the complete painting that can only be revealed in a group autobiography.
Nonetheless, the writing is surprisingly candid. He gets along with all the Stones, taking a bit of a stab at each but never being bitter and remaining true to everyone, especially his mate Keith. This feat in itself is testament to the qualities that have allowed him to endure as a Stone and endeared him to his fellow Stones: be nice, don't overshadow, be amiable, and most of all, don't diss anyone.
For Stones fans, there is really nothing new, with the exception of how broke Woody (as he is endearingly called) really was all the time while playing with the World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band, some personal tidbits about his family life, and his detailed account of his frightening imprisonment along with wife Jo on the island of St. Maarten in 1980.