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Rock Legend Autobiographies

I like to read. Like all of my other hobbies, however, my reading goes in spurts. When I decide to pick up a book I will finish it in a day. I will immediately start another one and finish it in a day. Then I won’t read for a month. Well, this past weekend I finished the 754 paged Twilight saga finale and was about to hit the sack last night when I spotted the book given to me by my co-worker for Christmas. The Autobiography of Ronnie Wood. She took note of the books I toted to work. You know, to read during lunch. Her perceptiveness made for very personalized and fitting gifts across the board. In other words, if there were a prize for the best gift giver she would have won. I had recently completed Clapton, clearly the autobiography of Eric Clapton, and Scar Tissue, the autobiography of the Red Hot Chili Peppers singer and lyricist Anthony Kiedis. This was the one thing that finally gave me at least an appreciation for punk music.

Anyway, I intended on reading the first few chapters, just to get my feet wet. A while later and a hundred pages in I realized that I could have stayed up all night neck deep in the exhilarating, unsupervised, spontaneous, history in the making that was the life of the guitarist and bassist of many a bands but most notably The Rolling Stones. I was again reminded of the astonishing network of musicians that coexisted in the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s before the scene was polluted with managers, private jets, and bodyguards. For instance, Ronnie shares his stories of living in a flat with Jimi Hendrix and of stealing Eric Clapton’s girl at a gig (one who would end up being his first wife). These, and other accounts, are specific scenarios recalled in several memoirs by different members of such pre-celeb assemblies.

While reading I couldn’t help but think, first of all, about my co-worker Mrs. Sullivan. She and I are both from Michigan (Detroit suburbs) and she has reminisced on occasion of her early years and visits downtown to see the English bands. Her husband, a former musician, even had the privilege of playing with some of the greats. My mind trailed into an imagination of what they must have seen coming through Detroit. They were right in the thick of it. Ronnie himself referred to Detroit as the “best rock and roll city in America” as the Detroit crowd appreciated the English and their new mix of R & B, bluegrass, and blues. It was something American bands weren’t offering. They must have seen everyone when everyone was still young and just starting out. When everyone jammed together in small venues and played on each others albums. I can’t help but wonder if Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan ever ended up at a post-show-hotel-vandalizing soiree as Ronnie recalls the crowd always being invited back to continue the celebration.

Secondly, I am intrigued by the idea that some of the ‘under the radar’ groups that I see in concert today might one day turn into autobiographies. Am I witnessing history in the making? Today I don’t have any new music to share. I simply wanted to introduce you to the words written by a man who collaboratively gave us some of the very amazing old music that we still appreciated today. Just in case you happen to be interested in autobiographical literature.

Ronnie Wood

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