“Rehab is for quitters”: The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood reveals Keith Richards’ response to his sobriety
One of the legends of rock and roll, The Rolling Stones’ Ronnie Wood has revealed bandmate Keith Richards’ first response to Wood’s pursuit of sobriety, saying “rehab is for quitters”.
The guitarist has recalled the lack of encouragement that Keith Richards had for Ronnie Wood after the latter attempted to stop his abuse of drink and drugs for the first time.
The iconic guitarist is now a decade sober and took the opportunity to give a small insight into the hardcore ethos of Richards, Wood 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.” But while Jagger was full of encouragement, Richards was not so supportive, “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.”
During a 2009 intervention, the penny finally dropped for Wood. “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 come back and pay them another huge amount of money?” mused The Rolling Stone man.
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.”