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Ron Wood Empties His Pockets on the Rolling Stones' Latest Tour

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What's your favorite Stones album that you didn't play on?
Oh. That's difficult. Beggars Banquet, I'd say. I met a young person once who said, "I've got all the Stones albums. All of them from Black and Blue onward." [Laughs.]

Keith said in an interview a while back that he punched you once. Do you remember this?
Of course I do. [Laughs] I don't remember what year, but it was in San Francisco sometime in the '70s. Keith and I used to stay up late. Five nights was nothing, but then it would start getting unreasonable, and it was one of them times. He came at me with a broken bottle. It might have been broken on my head or something. But I do remember getting a punch and bleeding, and somebody caught Keith from going out the window. Drugs, you know. I was doing the base at the time. Keith hates lying, and I think I lied to him. That's what it was. I said I wasn't when I was. And he just went crazy. So I remember in the room next door, Mick and Charlie were writing. Mick was playing a song, and Charlie was tapping away. And I went in there covered in blood, and I went [whispers dramatically], "Look. . . what Keith and me. . . look what we've been doing." And Mick said, "How does the middle eight to this song go?"

Were you two laughing about it the next day?
The same day, we were. It was a boiling point. During these long tours that we tend to do, there's always a boiling point. Keith and I get out our aggressions right in the open all the time. That's what I like about Keith: It's right in your face.

Keith fears cheese. Do you have an irrational fear?
Keith finding our that I've spiked him with cheese in his soup. Look, I don't blame Keith. It builds up in you, cheese.

So did you put Darryl Jones through a hazing ritual at all?
No, I just enjoyed watching him go through the same thing I had to, except he didn't have to learn so many songs. I had to learn 150, I remember. I would just take potluck when we first went onstage. I'd say, "Just gimme the key, I'll take it from there.

You're not the new kid after 20 years.
It's an apprenticeship that never stops. It's the same for everyone in the band. That's the magic: We all are still learning. Very often the songs that I grew up listening to are from them.

So you have a pub built right into your house in Ireland, eh? You can just roll out of bed and belly up to the bar?
Yeah! The name of my pub is what my dad used to say whenever I went out of line. He'd say, "Where do you think you are? On your father's yacht?" And the name of my pub is Your Father's Yacht. But it's not one that charges anything. It's in my courtyard – for my friends and stuff. It's got a snooker table, a jukebox, a bar. It's great. Guinness on tap. There's the music studio and the art studio next to that. Eventually you get to the house, but I've got all these other things that I love – the horse stables and the doggies running round.

What's the best thing about having money?
Well, you're talking to the world's worst businessman. I suppose having money would be great fun if I could fill this room up with it! But I probably have $10 in my pocket on a good day.

Let's see. Empty your pockets.
There's probably about $12. [He takes it out] Yep! There is! And I nicked this off of Jo.

When's the last time you bought one of your band mates a present?
Well, Keith's 50th birthday was last December. That's the last time I remember shelling out quite a few grand. I got him a real old globe with dolphins on the bottom. It's beautiful. I said to Keith, "I can picture this in your office." And sure enough, that's where it is.

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Song Stories

“Bizness”

Tune-Yards | 2011

The opening track to Merrill Garbus’ second album under the Tune-Yards banner (she also plays in the trio Sister Suvi), “Bizness” is a song about relationships that is as colorful as the face paint favored by Garbus both live and in her videos. Disjointed funk bass, skittering African beats, diced-and-sliced horns and Garbus’ dynamic voice, which ranges from playful coos to throat-shredding howls, make “Bizness” reminiscent of another creative medium. “I'd like for them not to be songs as much as quilts or collages or something,” Garbus said.

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