The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood recently talked about the moment he realized that his addiction was “out of hand” and how his bandmates, particularly Keith Richards, stepped in to help him. Wood has had some major health scares in the past. He had eight stints in rehab after splurging £12k a week on cocaine and downing two bottles of vodka a day. He was also diagnosed with two forms of aggressive cancer.
Ronnie Wood opens up on his drug abuse
Wood spoke candidly in ‘My Life As A Rolling Stone’ and he confessed that it got to a point where he would “do anything” to get his hands on a crack pipe.
Ronnie commented: “When the drugs worked, you had a really good line of pharmaceutical, you had a great song coming out, you know. Or a great painting.
“A lot of it was the ritual. The rolling and the joint, the filling of the pipe and then that would be set against the way the music was structured, that gave you the feeling of invincibility, you could tackle anything.”
Wood then went on to reference his new nickname which he got after the extensive drug abuse. He continued: “I think Sorcerer’s Apprentice is quite the compliment because I was in a way being broken into a really dangerous ground, people really were dying to try and keep up with Keith’s drug intake.
“We used to party heavy, there was a whole series of decades where we were all really high, even in our most spaced out days there was a little switch where we’d go, ‘Okay, I’ve got to go on stage now, I’ve got to get it together.’
“I think that’s what saved my life a lot, and all our lives during the heavy using years was the actual focus of having to get it together to be in front of an audience and give them what they wanted.”
Keith then chimed in saying: “Obviously the downside of it, it depends what drugs you’re talking about, it depends how they react on your. The hard stuff, it ain’t called the hard stuff for nothing and you better be hard enough to deal with it.”
Keith went on to turn away from hard drugs in 1978 and chose to get clean however Ronnie continued with his drug use. “In the crazy days, it got out of hand when it was the base pipe,” Ronnie recalled. “I used to, quite innocently, think it was the best thing going.”
The musician then admitted to taking it to parties and telling fellow revellers to try it. Ronnie remarked: “It got to the point where it wasn’t funny anymore, you know. Just getting high with that pipe was frightening, I’d do anything for it.”