Rock legend Ronnie Wood paid a low-profile visit to a Birmingham industrial estate – to publicise paintings of the Rolling Stones.
The Stones guitarist, a highly talented artist whose artwork sells from around £800 to thousands of pounds, was in the back streets of Erdington to link up with his publishers at Washington Green Fine Art.
The rocker, who has long maintained a parallel career with music and art, was at Washington Green’s offices in Spitfire Park to launch his latest work, including reproductions of the Stones in concert.
And he told the Birmingham Post of his hopes of a band reunion next year to mark the 50th anniversary of their first concert in 1962.
“It does make you feel like playing; I miss playing with the boys... Charlie is cracking away on the continent with his jazz band, Keith is making his record in New York, Mick is like, forever, getting into different musical... we are not getting any younger.”
The Stone, now 64, said the band were looking forward to next year’s anniversary – and dismissed suggestions of a permanent rift between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.
He said: “We are all looking forward to it; we do not know what it is. I said to them we owe it to ourselves and the people to do something. We are just... whatever, we will find a way.
“I wish I could say. We had a great meeting the other week and we all got on great.” He described himself as the “diplomat” of the band. “You will have to ask the two brothers (Jagger and Richards) – they are like family.”
Ronnie, who has painted from childhood, said of his artwork: “People do not know I paint. They think I just play guitar with the Stones.
"It is not just a gimmick. My brothers were commercial artists. I tried to get a job as a scenic printer in films. It was difficult to get a job in art – there was always a union or a closed shop. If you didn’t know somebody, you couldn’t get a foot in.”
Wood said he turned to music, initially with the Jeff Beck Group and later the Faces, before worldwide stardom arrived with the Stones in the mid-70s following the departure of Mick Taylor.
“I always did sketches and stuff, when I was broke in New York," he added. “I do really enjoy playing live, you get the feedback from the audience, we have interaction with the band, give and take, it’s magic.
“I am always learning new ways with art all the time. Art is my selfish thing.”
Glyn Washington, of Birmingham publishers Washington Green, who have also collaborated with Bob Dylan’s artwork, said: “It is important to us that they are artists.
“Art has to be credible. This is purely about art, not music – it is not a celebrity just doing a daub.”
Ronnie has painted from the age of 12. “I would probably have joined a gang and ended up on a street corner if I had not let out my aggression,” he said.