"A shy rebel and a drummer who could bang balls": the Rolling Stones' life before fame - part two

How did Ronnie Wood's career begin, why Charlie Watts might not have become a drummer, and is it true that a rebel like Keith Richards was once a shy and quiet kid? Well: we propose to find out together...

The Rolling Stones' lives before fame: Ronnie Wood, Charlie Watts, Keith Richards - part two

In today's article, we continue to cover the fate of the members of the iconic band The Rolling Stones to glory! In Part 1, we've already talked about Brian Jones, Mick Jagger and Bill Wyman. What about the rest of them?

Where did my career begin Ronnie Woodwhy Charlie Watts might not have become a drummer, and also, is it true that such a rebel as Keith Richardswas once a shy and quiet kid? Well: we propose to find out together...

Ronnie Wood and his musical childhood

Young Ronnie Wood
Young Ronnie Wood

Ronnie Wood - the same man who knew what he wanted to dedicate his life to from an early age. Wood was born into a large and close-knit family with gypsy roots. His father was a skilled harmonica player and led a big band! Wouldn't you agree that's a pretty good musical influence on a child? Or rather, children - Ronnie was the youngest of three brothers. Not surprisingly, the brothers were inclined to artistry and dreamed of the stage. Wood later recounted that the brothers were to him supportand in many ways inspired his musical achievements:

"We've always been one friendly team. If they started painting - I would follow suit. If they picked up guitars, I would join in!"

Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood
Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood

According to Ronnie, their home "looked like a music store.":

"We had so many different musical instruments: Chinese wooden plaques, drums, bass guitars, brass, harmonica, and even a banjo! I loved my childhood because I had choices: I could figure out what I wanted and where I wanted to go when I grew up..."

And he realized: he had decided he wanted to be a guitarist! His career began at the very tender age of 17, and since then Wood has never parted with music (he's 76 today, by the way). Before he became a part of The Rolling Stones, Ron worked in several bands, including The Birds and Small Facesand make some useful contacts in the music industry.

Ronnie Wood painted a portrait of Keith Richards
Ronnie Wood painted a portrait of Keith Richards

Wood also talented artist! He himself said it once in the following way:

"In the eighties, when I was short of money, I thought, 'Wait a minute, I can draw.' I was living in New York and thought it would bring in grocery money, and it went up from there. It's important to promote your talent. You can always find a boring job that you'll hate, but why not try doing what you're best at to start?"

"Instead of drums, there could have been... balls!" - Charlie Watts

Charlie Watts
Charlie Watts

The iconic drummer of the Rolling Stones, who sadly left us for good in 2021, - Charlie Watts was born into an intellectual family and from childhood was a very educated and versatile child. He drew beautifully, and was also interested in several sports, including soccer and cricket. But music quickly became his main passion.....

"I never learned how to play as a kid. I actually got into bands by watching people play and copying them!"

Charlie Watts
Charlie Watts

His love of music was shared by David Greeneand his childhood friend who lived next door. They both loved jazz, and could spend hours listening to records by iconic icons of the genre, discussing them and developing ideas about their own abilities. In Charlie's own words, the drums settled in his heart around the age of 13:

"I realized that I wanted to be a drummer. My parents shared this interest and gave me my first drum kit! After that, I never let the sticks out of my hands..."

Charlie's aptitude for music was evident, however, after leaving school, the lad enrolled at Harrow School of Art on... graphic designer. He then worked in an advertising agency for a while Charlie Daniels StudiosBut his love for music was still burning in his heart. So, after work, he performed with other amateur musicians in local clubs. And then he turned his full attention to his drumming career, leaving painting behind!

"The shyest rebel in rock" - Keith Richards

Keith Richards
Keith Richards

This is hard to believe considering how many crazy rumors are associated with his name, however Keith Richards has always been the quietest, most modest and shy member of The Rolling Stones! He was born into an ordinary family, but with musical tastes, as they say. For example, his grandfather traveled around the UK as a member of the jazz big band Gus Dupree and his Boys. And his mother simply adored the work of Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. It was she who gave Keith his first guitar.

His father was of a different opinion and considered it a "waste of time". However, Keith had his mother's support and inner drive, and that was enough to reach Olympus.

Keith Richards as a child.
Keith Richards as a child

As a kid, Keith was a very puny little guy, and he was also a fan of the blues. It is not surprising that his peers often bullied him, simply because he was weak and different from them. However, Keith was never very good at his studies - he tried to spend as much time as possible on his musical hobbies rather than on assignments and discipline. In fact, it was this trait that introduced Keith to Mick Jagger: both are music lovers, dreamers, blues fans and rebels.

Keith Richards and Mick Jagger
Keith Richards and Mick Jagger

Despite the fact that there are sometimes incredible legends about him (some of which are pure truth - such as the fact that he is a shot his guitar), all friends and acquaintances always described Keith as a very sensitive, sincere, and even shy person and a true friend, always ready to help. That's how he is, old Keith!

Part 1


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