Keith Richards branded Ronnie Wood a “weakling” when he first tried to get sober

"It takes a lot of strength to do this."

Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood has recalled how Keith Richards branded him a “weakling” after he attempted to ditch alcohol and drugs for the first time.

The legendary rocker, who went sober a decade ago, revealed that Richards was dismissive of his efforts when he first attempted to get clean in 2005.

He told Mojo: “I do remember going on stage clean for the first time, it was at this club in Canada for the start of a tour (in August 2005).


“I was like this, ([terrified], and Mick [Jagger] whispered, ‘It’s alright, you can do it, don’t worry.’
“And Keith’s going, ‘Rehab’s for quitters!’ Trying to make out I was the weakling.

“But it takes a lot of strength to do this if indeed I’m gonna be able to do it at all because there’s no guarantees.”

Ronnie Wood Rolling Stones
Ronnie Wood CREDIT: Ollie Millington/Redferms)

He also explained how the “penny dropped” when a 2009 intervention saw him seeking the help that led to his eventual sobriety.

“They pulled the rug from under me, basically,” Wood explained.

“They took my counsellor away and got me so annoyed. I was like, ‘This is my final week. I need my counsellor. And they’re, ‘Get over it. The world doesn’t revolve around you.’


“You sometimes wonder if they want you to go out and drink again… It’s big money for them.

“Do they want you to fall off the wagon and com back and pay them another huge amount of money?”

He added: “So I left rehab and did it for myself I felt I knew what to do – Fellowship. I did 90 meetings in 90 days and I did the same again. Didn’t need the rehab place – I did it through the meetings.”

Meanwhile, Wood recently admitted he believes The Rolling Stones are “indestructible” after multiple members survived health scares.

Wood beat lung cancer in 2017 while drummer Charlie Watts beat throat cancer in 2006 after undergoing two operations. Earlier this year, frontman Mick Jagger had heart surgery and, in 2006, Keith Richards suffered a brain haemorrhage after falling out of a tree.

Earlier this year, Wood also recalled how he used to take a bunsen burner to parties so he could smoke cocaine.