Ronnie Wood

 

Ronnie Wood: Somebody Up There Likes Me (15)

Everyone’s favourite rock ’n’ roller Ronnie Wood looks incredulous at the idea that he is now in his 70s. “I never got past 29 in my head”, he explains. “It’s very surreal. I didn’t expect time to go so quickly.”

Oh Ronnie, You’ve got to love him and this wonderful film portrait by the acclaimed director Mike Figgis shows exactly why.

The man is a phenomenal guitarist who first made waves as a member of The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces back in the sixties. For the past 45 years of course he has been a member of The Rolling Stones.

He’s also a serious artist - “He can paint better than me”, says his mate Damien Hirst and a larger than life personality to boot - an almost Dickensian character for the 20th and 21st centuries.

Figgis’s film, which is receiving its only regional screening at Lighthouse in Poole on Tuesday 28th January, reveals Ronnie’s extraordinary story in full. It’s a unique tale of talent and excess.

Against the odds he has not only survived near fatal encounters with booze, drugs and cancer but he’s thrived in a career that has been driven by a combination of brilliance, charisma and being in the right place at the right time. Or, as Ronnie himself puts it, Somebody up there likes me…”

Mike Figgis traces Ronnie’s life from his childhood in West London and the days when his hard-drinking dad would rarely make it home from the Nag’s Head without falling asleep in one of the neighbour’s front gardens.

It explores his rock ’n’ roll beginnings, the art school influences, his journey to stardom and the characters he met along the way. There are interviews with Rod Stewart and fellow Stones Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts.

Other contributors include his wife Sally and his friend the singer Imelda May who appears on lead vocals in some excellent concert footage from Ronnie’s brilliant performance at the 500 seat Tivoli Theatre in Wimborne right here in Dorset back in November 2018.

Beautifully shot, this film finds a candid Ronnie reflecting on his life with warmth, humour and, above all, immense honesty.

Ronnie Wood: Somebody Up There Likes Me (15) is screened at Lighthouse, Poole, at 6.00pm on Tuesday 28 January. Tickets & information 01202 280000  or www.lighthousepoole.co.uk

Jeremy Miles

© Jeremy Miles 2020