I had only seen Ronnie for a few weeks when he went to New York with the Rolling Stones in 1977. I wasn't sure if that was the end of our business, but then he called from America and invited me to Paris. I managed to get there and find the hotel, but was told that there was no Mr. Wood in residence and at least they were fully booked for Prêt-à-Porter Fashion Week.
I must have looked desperate, because the man at the reception eventually took pity on me and said that I could stay in one of the chambermaids. I had no money, so I lay down all night and wondered how I would get out of there the next day without getting caught.
At 6 o'clock I received a call from the reception.
& # 39; I felt a bit sorry for Mick because I think he had taken his photo so many times that he could live without attention, but the rest of the Stones didn't mind & # 39;
On tour in the US with Ronnie & # 39; s band The New Barbarians, 1979: "That's after a performance. It would have been taken by "Chuch", the roadie of Ronnie. Chuch was with Ronnie until the day he died. He had a heart attack on tour in 2003. He was found dead in a flight case with the guitars below him. He was only 54 years old
In Paris with baby Leah, 1979: "This is a polaroid in the apartment that we rented near the Champs Elysees. We went back a few times when the band recorded in the Pathé-Marconi studio & # 39; s & # 39;
Keith Richards with saxophonist Bobby Keys (right) in his bedroom at the rear of the Rolling Stones private jet. "Keith commanded the room and he would lie there while the plane left. We would all come together on the bed as soon as we flew "
"Is that Mademoiselle Karslake?"
& # 39; Yes. I mean, oui. & # 39;
"We have a Monsieur Wood down" ask for you. Shall I send it?
'Yeah that would be great.'
I put on my sarong and before I knew it, Ronnie stood at the door with a big smile on his face and said he was sorry. Concorde had blown an engine and they should have made a landing in Ireland.
While he says that, another guy slides past us into the room. He didn't even look at me, just sat on the floor at the end of the bed and searched a doctor's bag.
He pulled out a silver spoon, a bottle of pills, and a lighter. Within seconds he filled a syringe and sprayed himself straight through his coat. There was a short break as the drugs hit his system and then he looked up at me and said, "How nice to meet you, my dear. I've heard so much about you. & # 39;
And that's the story about how I first met Keith Richards.
There is a photo in my book of Ronnie and me in Paris (see above). It was the first photo of us together, but certainly not the last – so much so that I was able to fill a book with photos and memories from my life with the Rolling Stones.
Wherever we went, I always liked to wear a camera. I used to use a polaroid. The only problem was that you didn't get a negative, which meant that if you lost the image, it would disappear forever. I shudder to think what I lost during transport.
Not long after we started going out, Ronnie bought me a "good" camera, and I took so many photos that he started calling me the Shutterbug. I felt a little sorry for Mick, because I think he had taken his photo so many times that he could live without attention, but the rest of the Stones didn't mind.
I used to drag carrier bags full of film bottles to the developers when we got off the tour. I can imagine that they are printing those photos, expecting them to be boring vacation snapshots and then suddenly realizing that they were looking at the Rolling Stones and their friends. I made sure I used photo stores that I trusted, because of course there were all kinds of things going on in the photos.
I stood in front of the camera as a model, so it was nice to be the one who took the photos. When I first met Ronnie in 1977, I was 22 and lived in London during the week. I ran around and did auditions and recordings while my mother took care of my little boy Jamie at home in Essex.
Ronnie had come straight to me at a party in Kensington and started chatting. He said: & # 39; Do you know who I am? & # 39; And then pulled out a copy of the Stones album Black And Blue, pointing to the cover. I just thought, "Oh my God, this guy deserves to be put in place because he's so full of himself." So I told him that I was working on the broken cookie bench in Woolworths, and he spent hours on Oxford Street waiting for me to finish working before she somehow locates me in my apartment.
Ronnie sleeps when daylight comes in … & Ronnie sleeps in an extremely messy room. That must be 1981, because that was the messiest tour, and I remember thinking that I never wanted to be so disorganized again. We used to hang clothes in the window, because I'd rather they were outside than put in a wardrobe and then forgotten when we left. Note the sunlight coming through the window
On vacation in Jamaica in the early eighties. "I think that's a good picture. Lea with a fagot in her mouth. Of course not lit. She was fascinated by her father's cigarettes. She doesn't smoke right now – thank goodness ’
Our little girl is sung a lullaby … by Keith Richards! Keith Serenade Leah, on tour, 1981: "I love Keith, he is amazing. He is a very loyal person – loyal to his friends and family. His tough appearance? Oh, that's just an act
The thing that gave me to Ronnie was that he was very funny. He continued to follow me from room to room, chattering away. When I went for a drink, I looked in the mirror and I saw Ronnie in the mirror, joking as if he was humping me from behind. I thought, "This man is absolutely crazy."
When Keith and Ronnie arrived in Paris that morning, I heard they were coming as a package. We spent the whole day chatting and drinking and God knows what time we went to bed. I woke up in the middle of the night, Ronnie hugged and Keith was sleeping at the end of the bed. When Keith woke up, he said: & # 39; Let's go to my apartment. & # 39; I could not believe he had an apartment in Paris and we all slept in this small room.
Keith was very naughty. He had a Bentley that we used to drive around in Paris. It was a very different time then, and it is hard to believe that we have not noticed that drunk driving could be a problem. We just get in the car and drive at seven o'clock in the morning after a night in the studio.
I found Keith fascinating. His sense of humor was and is brilliant. We would go days without food or sleep, then we would realize that we were starving and Keith would say: & # 39; We must have looked so colorful.
I used to stay in the studio with the band all night while they were recording. We often didn't finish until 11 am, but that changed later – Mick didn't like the whole night. I built a small club room with a sign at the door with the text & # 39; Jo’s Club & # 39; and I had drinks and joints ready for Ronnie and Keith when they took a break.
Ronnie and I had only been together for six weeks when I found out I was pregnant with our daughter Lea – which was both a complete shock and a total joy. Ronnie and I decided that as a couple we would try and move to a rental house in the Hollywood Hills with a swimming pool in the living room. The Stones were on tour there and it seemed to be the right place for Ronnie's career.
Ronnie feels the heat in the dressing room: on tour in America in 1981. "Ronnie & # 39; s trick to keep his hair going was the use of fresh lemon juice, followed by a hair dryer. To be honest, it was a treat – his hair stayed exactly where it wanted it & # 39;
My big expectations: pregnant with daughter Leah, Los Angeles, 1978. "I think I was about six months pregnant at the time. We didn't know each other much longer than that, but we didn't even think about it. Wasn't even a big deal. It was just: "OK, we're going to have a baby"
Get off my cloud! Mick toasts his birthday with a flashy mid-air party: on the private jet of the Stones in the early nineties. "We made a fuss of birthdays along the way, and Mick loved having a good party for him. Keith would rather stay in "
Jagger's winning smile: Mick Jagger in LA, 1978. "There is Mick, not long after I met the Stones. All these photos have been in boxes for years. I have thousands. A friend said: "You have to do something with this …"
After a few months we bought a house in Mandeville Canyon and Keith also went to live there. He realized that there was a small guesthouse in the back and he thought, "I will."
On the day Leah was born, Keith also came to the hospital. The nurse asked which of Ronnie and Keith was the father and they both said, "I am."
Keith had just given up heroin. He had been using it for a long time, but he was arrested and he knew that if he did not stop, he would be put in prison quickly. It's amazing how determined he was to quit. After becoming a cold turkey, he emerged as a butterfly from a cocoon. It was incredible to see; he was funnier, happier and cooler than ever before.
I remember the first thing he wanted to do after he was clean, to meet a girl. He had never shown interest before, but now he suddenly asked me if I had any friends that I could introduce to him. I knew someone called Lil, who was busy modeling in New York, so I called her and invited her.
She wanted to meet him, so Keith rented a helicopter and just flew me to New York to pick her up – that's how it was. They went on fire like a house and went out with each other for a few years.
Our family vacation horror
In February 1980 we went with the children to the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean. The idea was that we would have a healthy holiday, but instead we spent six days and six nights in prison. They were the longest six days of my life.
One evening at a casino we met two boys, Franco and Mustapha, and had a little chat with them. Sint Maarten is not exactly a big island and a few days later they knocked on our door. It turned out that they had a lot of very good cocaine and the healthy vacation went straight out the window. We stayed up all night and at six o'clock in the morning they asked to borrow our rental car to drop off a friend of them.
They came back, brought our car back and left. We didn't think about it anymore, but later that day I looked out of the bathroom window and there were all those police in the yard. Ronnie thought the music was too loud, but they swarmed into the house, arrested us, and took us to prison. I was locked up in a terrible cell with a concrete slab to sleep on.
It turned out that Franco and Mustapha were big dealers. When they borrowed our car, they had packed a huge bag of coke, which they had stored in a tree in our yard for some reason. A guard saw them and reported it to the police. We did not know that and the other prisoners told me horror stories that I would have been in for months.
Our lawyer ultimately brought us to court. He was very strict and asked me if I had used drugs. I put on my innocent face and said that I had tried them for the first time that night. He gave me a very strict conversation, told me I was crazy … and then just let us go. No costs, no warnings, nothing. We were so lucky – he must have realized that we were in fact the victim of circumstances.
I will never know how it didn't end up in the newspapers. It would have been very difficult to have a drug failure in our administration. I remember that it really made me think. I said, "I'll never do such a thing again." And I stayed – at least a few days.
We didn't see Mick that much in LA, though, because he was always on the move, while Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman were in England. But life was wonderful. My son Jamie came to live with us, we had baby Leah and this beautiful house, and there were always lots of interesting people around.
When I finally threw Keith out of our guest house it wasn't personal, but he had to go because I had just had a baby! He wrote me an IOU note that I still have, and promised to buy me two guns for my birthday, and although I can't say I was ever interested in firearms, the thought was clear.
The Stones organization is a big machine, but inside it's a family and we've had some great times together. Jerry Hall and I had worked together as models, and we had always had a good time together, so it was great when she met Mick around the same time I started seeing Ronnie. She was my first girlfriend in the band and I still love her.
Patti Hansen came by in the early eighties and she and I attached immediately. Keith told us he saw someone new and we went to meet her one evening after a session in the studio. She opened the door to her apartment, wearing only men's pajamas, and jumped into Keith's arms with a big grin on her face. I thought: & # 39; This girl is cool & # 39; and she looked so beautiful. It's funny how certain moments in your life can get stuck in your head like a photo.
Jerry Hall at the guitar roadies workstation on the Steel Wheels tour from 1989-90. "I have always liked taking pictures of Jerry Hall. I met her before I met Mick, at a French perfume commercial. She was already a famous model who went out with Bryan Ferry "
Keith and Leah, on tour, 1992. & # 39; In an airplane, of course after a show, just cuddling Leah with her beautiful Keith. This photo is an absolute favorite of mine. We were all one family, especially with the kids on tour & # 39;
Touring was a whole new world. My first full tour with Ronnie was with his band The New Barbarians, which also featured Keith. It was a crazy tour that cost Ronnie a fortune because he insisted on using private planes wherever we went.
It all seemed like a big party, a big laugh and adventure. I would lie if I said I remembered everything – I look at some pictures and have no idea where we were. I have to refer to what people wore, how my hair looked and how thin I was to train when it was.
Touring with the Stones had its own traditions. When we were traveling by road, we went with the limousine and always made sure that the car was full of alcohol. On the private jet of the Stones, Keith would control the rear bedroom and he would be lying there while the plane was leaving, with cigarettes and drinks on hand, and we would all meet on the bed as soon as we were in the air. But the entertainment was not entirely wild, because Mick and Bill played backgammon on the plane and they always had tournaments against each other.
You never knew who would appear backstage – old friends or big stars, artists, athletes, or movie stars – so I worked as Ronnie's little bouncer. In the beginning I was a bit timid about getting rid of people, but as time went by I had no problems with it. You would throw them away and the band would only have time, have a drink and then, boom, stage time.
After the Stones had finished touring Tattoo You in Europe, Ronnie and I moved to Manhattan in 82 because LA had gone crazy, and Keith was in New York and he wanted his buddy there. Mick was there too.
We found a beautiful old brownstone house on West 78th Street, a few blocks away where Mick lived. We dug out the basement and put in a studio, and we came to visit all kinds of interesting musicians. David Bowie was hanging around there and Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan and Sly Stone all came by. It was really a good party house.
At Ronnie's birthday party, Andy Warhol walked around with this camera that he had painted in different colors and took photos of people. He took a picture of me and I regret never taking one back from him. I would like to know what happened to his photos that night.
My only appearance in a Rolling Stones video came at that time. The song was the single from 1983, She Was Hot. I asked Mick if there was a role for me and he said, "Let me think about it." Moments later, he said, "Go make up tomorrow morning." I thought, "Woo-hoo!" A sexy role in the video, & # 39; but when I went there, they made me up like Bill Wyman's old wife. Thanks for that, Mick.
We stayed in New York for four years, but it was always a bit hairy. You had to be especially careful when you went into town. One night I saw a couple of children smash the windshield of a car outside our house. I opened the window and shouted at them: & # 39; What are you doing? & # 39; And they looked up and held their knives up. That was it for me, it was time to go home, so we sold the house for a terrible price and headed for London. Keith was furious that we left, but it had to happen.
There was friction between Mick and Keith in the 1980s, but Ronnie finally let the two talk to each other, and that proved to be a breakthrough. He was on the phone with Keith and then with Mick and encouraged both of them to talk to each other, and the next thing I knew was that they were rehearsing together. Suddenly an album, called Steel Wheels, was released and we set off again, this time with all the children. When they had a summer vacation, it was almost always traveling around the world.
Being on the road from 1989 was great compared to when we last toured in 82. Then it was rock – & # 39; n roll madness, and Ronnie would roam the stage with everything I had brought to the show. Once we were awakened by the security because we were late for a show. The band was four hours late on stage that night and I was surprised that people waited so long to see them.
It was completely different towards the end of the 1980s. Now there were wardrobes and makeup rooms and everything had to go according to schedule. Everyone had their own van to get to and from the gigs, while in the past we would all bundle with Keith in a vehicle.
I loved touring, but I never found it hard to return home at the end of a tour. I would come back, put beans on toast and move on to normal life. It was much harder for Ronnie. He struggled to adjust because he would miss the adrenaline and admiration that you got every night on the road.
When I started compiling this book and viewing all the photos and mementos I had hoarded, I had so many things that I couldn't record everything. Now, with the passage of time, I can see what an incredible world I was in. I'm not massively nostalgic, but when I look at the photos, it feels like a totally different life so long ago.
There are friends there who are no longer with us, people like Bobby Womack and John Belushi, but I feel so happy that I have met them and lived the life that I have done. I don't look at their pictures and I stop to think about them, I feel sad that they are gone. I only think about how much fun we had.
"Stoned" from Jo Wood will be published by Cassell on October 31 for £ 20. Offer price £ 16 (20 percent off) until November 19, 2019. To make a reservation, call 01603 648155 or go to mailshop.co.uk. Free shipping for all orders – no minimum spending
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