Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Rock ‘n ’Roll Life

It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll: Thirty Years Married to a Rolling Stone – Jo Wood (It/HarperCollins)

We’ve seen shelves full of rocker autobiographies. Groupies, managers, roadies and even hangers-on have all checked in with thoughts on the rock ‘n ’roll life. While I am certain that it is not a first; Jo Wood, who spent 30 years as the girlfriend/wife of Rolling Stone guitarist Ron Wood checks in with her tale from a unique perspective.

With, It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll: Thirty Years Married to a Rolling Stone, Wood paints an interesting portrait of the seemingly anchor free life with what some have dubbed the “World’s Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll band.” Not shockingly, young Josephine got her start in the world of modeling, that whirlwind existence, often hand to mouth, but seemingly more often chemical to mouth (or nose) lead her to the attention  of often older paramours.

It was that high flying lifestyle that had her crossing paths with the then married guitarist. A handful of interludes later and Wood found herself in the regular company of the Stones sideman. Fueled by copious amounts of alcohol, cocaine and other chemical habits, Wood details the lavish, high end lifestyle one would expect to accompany the life of a Rolling Stone. I have often heard folks wonder aloud “how much money do they need” when aging rockers set out on the road for “one more tour.” I guess I’m not shocked that they would hit the road when you read about the endless shuffling from place to place and home to home and addiction to addiction; it still seems almost amazing when Wood details ducking bill collectors.

While most if not all rock bios offer up details of the seemingly endless parade of available flesh that these stars encounter; you still have to wonder what makes these women stand by their man when they succumb, often with regularity to those desires. Turns out that while they live in a different stratosphere, the simple fact is, like ordinary people, they do the basic thing of staying for the family. That said, there is still a breaking point, which Wood details involving an 18 year old trollop that broke the camel’s back.

Earth shattering or insightful? Probably not. But in the end, It’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll is an entertaining romp and almost instantaneously forgotten; just what you want from a rock ‘n’ roll biography.


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