By: Renee Grant
When David Bowie died last January (2016) after a long battle with liver cancer, many mourned, and continue to mourn, his passing. One of those fans and peers is the Rolling Stones‘ Ronnie Wood who recently opened up about how Bowie’s death affected him.
Speaking to The Guardian, Wood discussed his feelings in the time before and after Bowie’s death, saying, “It especially affected me with Bowie because we were the same age – both 1947 models. David and I, we never saw a lot of each other, but when we did, we had a lot in common.
“With the cancer, he pulled the short straw. I knew he had a stroke as well. Since he hadn’t been doing concerts or public appearances, I knew something fishy was going on with his health. I knew something was up. I was lucky, I got the long straw with the cancer.”
Wood blames his cancer diagnosis on his heavy smoking for more than 50 years, and that he gave up the habit last year. “Smoking would definitely have been the hardest thing to give up,” he says. “Good old Champix [stop smoking pills] helped. Without the Champix, I don’t think I could have given up for more than a few weeks at a time. The old feeling would have come back, the old excuses – “Oh sod it, I enjoy it!” And I really did enjoy it.”
The rocker also discusses his new book, Ronnie Wood: Artist, a retrospective book of his artwork. Wood trained at Ealing College of Art.
“I’ve wanted to do this for at least 50 of my 70 years, but it got more intense for the last 30,” Wood explains. “There’s that lovely French phrase for a collection of an artist’s work, catalogue raisonné. For me, the book is like that.”