Guitarist Ron Wood's first brush with fame was not a pleasant one. He was the bassist for the Jeff Beck Group. Though he became friends with the band's then-unknown vocalist, Rod Stewart, Beck's mercurial nature led to Wood's sacking as the band sped toward oblivion.
With the Beck Group now history, Stewart began his solo career. He recruited Wood, now back on guitar, as a main pillar in that effort.
Wood was offered a gig in The Faces (formerly Small Faces) and he brought Stewart along. "Stay With Me" was the signature song for the band known for sloppy (drunken) but exuberant live shows. Stewart, with Woods help, was able to maintain duel careers as a solo and The Faces frontman.
Through this period Wood became regarded as Stewart's 'Keith Richards', in reference to the Rolling Stones guitarist who held things together while Mick Jagger strutted his stuff.
The Wood/Stewart arrangement might have continued indefinitely had guitarist Mick Taylor not left the Stones in '74. The Stones sound was based on two guitars, especially Taylor's slide work, which was also one of Wood's specialties.
Both Jagger and Richards contributed to Wood's debut solo album, "I've Got My Own Album To Do." In the run up to that set Wood and Jagger co-wrote "It's Only Rock N' Roll (But I Like It)," a huge Stones hit, and "I Can Feel The Fire." It was agreed that Wood would give up the "It's Only Rock N' Roll" songwriting credit in exchange for complete ownership of "I Can Feel The Fire," which Jagger sang on. Later in the year, the Stones added Wood to the line-up.
Aside from his work with the Stones, albums and mega-worldwide tours, Wood released over a half-dozen studio solo albums, including his '10 effort "I Feel Like Playing." His supporting cast included former Faces bandmate Ian McLagan, Pearl Jam's Eddie Vedder, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Flea, ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons and former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash.
Like Keith Richards' solo work, none of Wood's recordings eclipses his tenure with the Stones - or The Faces for that matter. And not surprisingly, with his Bob Dylan/Mark Knopfler vocals and solid guitar work Wood is best served channeling either band. On "I Feel Like Playing" those songs are "Lucky Man," "Thing About You" and "Well I Don't Think So."
For the record, "I Can Feel The Fire" (from "I've Got My Own Album To Do") is Wood's best solo song. Perhaps not a fair trade for all the royalties he lost on the "It's Only Rock N' Roll" deal but still a pretty damn good track - Jagger's vocal turn is a big plus.