Date: 7 February 1988
Originally published in: Sydsvenska Dagbladet Snällposten (Sweden)
Written by: Micke Widell
Until February 12 Keith Richards, Annie Lennox, Johnny Rotten, Rod Stewart and many more world musicians are in Malmö. This is thanks to Rolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood.
But before you rush off to Kramer Hotel to hunt for autographs or shaking hands with old heroes we should perhaps clarify some things: It’s just their portraits that are in place. Portrait drawn and painted by Wood, who now gathered in the exhibition called ‘Decades’. And last night was the opening night. With Ron Wood on the spot.
There is always time
‘The good thing about drawing and painting is that there’s always time for it’, said Ron, while the premises were filled with curious onlookers. Although Ron Wood is best known for his sharp guitar loops, primarily in the Faces and the Rolling Stones, he has always carrying a brush and pen, and with the author, he has had time for a considerable amount of paintings and drawings. A couple of them have graced album covers, including some of Ron’s own. He was founded in the Ealing Art School. ‘I took my degree a year before the others. I was probably a sharp kid’, said Ron with one of his broad smiles.
Without being bothered, he writes yet another autograph. Which of the regime, nobody knows, least of manager as appropriate over a new charging posters to sign. One thing is certain: this is no ordinary opening night. But saying this, Ron Wood is not an ordinary artist, as well as Assembly AR Kramer does not belong to the normal opening night crowd. Most have no ties to city rock life, and in the crowd we see, inter alia, Sticky Bomb from Wilma Burgess, Eddie Nystrom and a few members from Charles Kangas bands. But they have come to the paintings signed by the rock musician Ron Wood?
‘It may well be the first reason why they are at this’, admits Ron. ‘But the paintings have nothing to do with my music career’.
Hanging on the walls are Ron’s lithographs and drawings of peers and idols, from Mick & Keith to Bix Beiderbecke, John Coltrane.
According to Ron himself, the interest in these musical decades has been huge in Sweden. The Stockholm had 30 boards.
‘That I have sold a total of 250 copies of’, said Ron proudly, pointing at ‘Decades 60’s’, with the Beatles, Stones and Ron himself gathered in front of a Union Jack. For 9600 bucks a pop, this is a good deal (for Ron). Would you then have the original, it will be to add SEK 120,000. Of course, I went and looked at a James Brown-lithography to the much friendlier stock price of 3000 dollars, but chickened out at the last minute.
“I paint landscapes and animals too, especially horses,” said Ron, and mentions the Renaissance artists and impressionists as his big favorites. But regardless of Ron Wood’s artistic role models and aspirations, it was evident that the vast majority come to see a real live Rolling Stone, and most questions are about musical careers.
‘It is very possible that we will release this year and do a tour, “said Ron, smiling and writes down yet another autograph. “If this happens, my solo album, which I’m recording right now, will have to wait”. The press in the wrist, and hand over more and more posters or invitations. And all they ask the same thing: Is Ron Wood going to play later in the evening?
In such situations of a few drawings or lithographs of Mick & Keith and Bix and Trane is not far. Da, there is typically that guitarist Ron Wood is higher on the ranking list, an artist Ron Wood. How sharp pens he has.