By Shane Speal
This year has been a trip down memory lane for Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.
Last week, Wood joined Rod Stewart and Kenney Jones, the surviving members of the Faces, for a seven-song set at the Hurtwood Park Polo Club in Ewhurst, Surrey, U.K., to benefit Prostate Cancer UK.
This month, he'll release How Can it Be, a book that includes memories of his earliest days as a rock n’ roller and takes pages from his 1965 tour diary, written when he was just 17.
The Faces reunion was the first time in 40 years that Wood, Stewart and Jones played live together (Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan died last December and bassist Ronnie Lane died in 1997). Stereogum posted videos of the show and reported that, “miraculously, their hair looked exactly the same.” You can check out two live clips below, including "Stay with Me."
Wood’s new book, How Can It Be, collects stories, drawings and memories of his time with the Birds (not to be confused with U.S. band the Byrds), his first band in England. Much of the material in the book comes from a dusty diary Wood had written in 1965 that was found at his mother’s house almost 50 years later. Wood recalls stories with the Who, Eric Clapton and many other legends, all slugging it out in the clubs.
In addition, Wood has re-recorded “How Can It Be,” one of his earliest hits with the Birds. Originally included as a 7-inch record for the collector’s edition of the book, Genesis Publishing has just released a video of the song here.
Pictured above, Wood adds a track to the song using a Daddy Mojo four-string cigar box guitar. Lenny Robert of Daddy Mojo learned that during the tracking of “How Can it Be,” Wood told his guitar tech, "a cigar box guitar would actually be the right tool for the job here," not knowing his tech had a Daddy Mojo four-string San Julia model in his arsenal. The next day, his guitar tech showed up with the cigar box guitar and Wood fell in love with it.
How Can it Be will be available soon at RonnieWoodBook.com. Daddy Mojo has been reviewed in the DIY Musician column: Daddy Mojo Dolorosa Review — a Six-String Time Machine.
Faces reunion photo via Twitter.
Shane Speal is the "King of the Cigar Box Guitar" and the creator of the modern cigar box guitar movement. Hear the music, see the instruments and read about his Cigar Box Guitar Museum at ShaneSpeal.com. Speal's latest album, Holler! is on C. B. Gitty Records.