Jo Wood

It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll: Thirty Years Married to a Rolling Stone

Published by It

Jun 30, 2013 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


In this memoir, Jo Wood, ex-wife of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood, documents her life, most of which is spent side-by-side with the Rolling Stones guitarist. She begins her story as a teen model, shuffling off to shows and learning to live the glamorous life. But the meat of Wood's tale begins after she, then a single mother already divorced from her first husband, meets her future mate, Ronnie. So begins a whirlwind three decades of touring with the Stones and endlessly partying.

The anecdotes start to feel repetitive very quickly-the couple does coke, the couple drinks, Ronnie freebases, and the couple goes on vacation and does all of the above. Wood seems proud of the relationships she fosters with her children, but the truth of the matter is that her children are often not around while the Woods binge and travel the world. Ronnie was always best friend of Keith Richards, and Richards shows up several times in the book, but the rest of the Stones don't factor much into the story. That's not an indictment-this is Jo Wood's life-but things do tend to bog down as the stories of her and Ronnie's drinking and drugging run together in the book's middle.

Of course, this is not where Jo Wood's story ends. Infamously, her marriage to Ronnie broke up in 2008 following Ronnie's escalating alcohol abuse, verbal abuse, and ultimately his tryst with teenage Russian waitress Ekaterina Ivanova. But Jo Wood's tale is one of redemption. She tells of picking up the pieces of her shattered marriage and soldiering on. And remarkably, after 300-some pages of various abuses and childish behavior, even Ronnie comes out as somewhat of a sympathetic figure. Jo tells, at the book's end, of Ronnie sharing with her his difficulties finding romantic fulfillment after Ivanova left him. Wonderfully, Jo has the last word, a strong woman until the end. (  



Author rating: 5/10

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