Ronnie Wood is of course a Rolling Stone, joining the band in the 1970’s. Prior to that, he was playing with The Faces, the Jeff Beck Group (who played at the Feathers pub, Ealing Broadway) and with The Birds.
He is one of the musicians to emerge from Ealing Art School, just after Pete Townshend and prior to Freddie Mercury. Like many other rock musicians, that would take the “raw” British version of Rhythm and Blues to the world, he and his older brother, Artwood, spent time at the Ealing Club.
Artwood, later became, lead singer of his own band: The Artwoods. According to the biographies, he guided Alexis Korner to the door of the Ealing Club, where Alexis would strike an agreement to start up regular Rhythm and Blues Nights.
This is what Ronnie, has to say about Ealing:
…….”Art (Ronnie’s brother) was singing with Blues Incorporated, Britain’s first R & B group. These were a bunch of white guys who sounded like black guys out of Chicago. It was Art, Alexis Korner on guitar, Dick Heckstall-Smith on sax, Spike Heatley, Jack Bruce on bass and Charlie Watts on drums. They started at the Marquee club on Oxford street in central London, but soon moved to the Ealing Club, which, thanks to them, became the traditional home of British R & B”.
Ronnie’s book does also discuss Cyril Davies, who he cites, as a major influence and a personality admired by most of the participants of the Ealing Club and resulting scene. Ronnie goes onto say:
“The Ealing Club and Blues Incorporated were heavy influences on just about everybody, but especially on Fleetwood Mac, Cream, the Yardbirds, Manfred Mann, John Mayall and the Pretty Things“.
Ali McKenzie the lead singer of Ronnie’s first band, The Birds, kindly helped launch the Ealing Rock/Blues Club at the July 2011, Ealing Fringe, along with Don Craine (Downliner’s Sect). Hopefully, they’ll be back next summer, if not before.