Wood Jr rocks like dad

Jesse Wood. Picture source: www.fashionbeans.com
Jesse Wood. Picture source: www.fashionbeans.com

It’s 9am, and any concerns that I’ve rung rock star Jesse Wood too early in the morning evaporate in seconds. “No, you could have called me at 6am and I’d have been up,” he laughs.

Jesse Wood might be the offspring of Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood – famous for late nights and high living – but Wood junior seems to be a quite different kettle of starfish.

Not that the 39-year-old is a sappy wallflower; he went on tour with the Stones aged 12, has played to packed arenas with his dad and guitarist Slash as part of The Ronnie Wood Band, and two years ago became a guitarist with Reef, the group best known for the ’90s smash hit Place Your Hands.
This summer, Wood has played Glastonbury, the Isle of Wight festival and supported Coldplay at Wembley.
“Chris Martin is a good mate of mine,” he said.
“[The band] are just lovely people. They emit a great, positive vibe.”

Good vibes, it seems, is what Wood is all about.
Married to radio and television presenter Fearne Cotton, he lives in Richmond with their children Rex, three, and Honey, 10 months. When we speak, the latter is asleep nearby so he talks in ultra-hushed tones, tiptoeing around until he shuts himself in his office.
He also has two other children – Arthur, 14, and Lola, 10 – with his first wife, model Catherine “Tilly” Boone.

Wood’s immediate family recently swelled by two more when, at the end of May, father Ronnie’s wife Sally Humphreys, 38, gave birth to twins, Gracie Jones and Alice Rose, Wood’s new stepsisters.
Something must be in the air, because earlier this month it was confirmed that Stones frontman Mick Jagger, 72, is also expecting a child with 29-year-old American ballerina Melanie Hamrick.

When Wood senior’s twins were born, Jesse was one of the first to visit. “They are beautiful, lovely little things,” he gushes.
“Sally is very happy, so is he.
“There’s a lot of happiness and good vibes and excitement.
“It’s quite amazing, really. We text and speak regularly. I keep in touch with my new sisters.”

It would be understandable if Ronnie, as a new dad at 69, might be feeling the effects of sleepless nights, nappy-changing and two extra bathtimes.
Reports that the couple has hired four nannies to help them are, says his son, preposterous.
“I don’t know where that came from. That is definitely not happening.”

Having grown up in the glare cast by his famous father, does the hullabaloo around his family ever feel, well, a bit much?

“I don’t really read a lot of it, to be honest,” he said, hesitating.
“It’s not like I don’t deal with it, because you have to, but I respectfully back off a bit.”

He has been burnt in the past.
This October, Wood will have spent four years sober, and it was his father who helped him through rehab – at a time when Ronnie had been through the process seven times himself.
Although Wood says they “have always had that paternal connection“, recent events have galvanised their relationship.

Eleven years ago Wood’s mother, Ronnie’s first wife, the effervescent model Krissy Findlay, died of an accidental overdose.
“We’ve helped each other through good and bad times.
“He has been wonderful. He has been a leading light, in the way of: if he can do it, I can do it. It’s all been good.
“We all go through our stuff, don’t we?“

Good-looking, affable, 1.8m tall, with messy hair and round hazel eyes, Wood is horizontally relaxed and quick to laugh.
If he was already famous as the spawn of rock royalty and an indie musician in his own right, then marrying Fearne Cotton in 2014 sent his profile considerably higher.

The 34-year-old former BBC Radio 1 host has model looks and hordes of young fans, thanks to her gonzo presenting style.
Together, she and Wood make a handsome pair on red carpets.
No stranger to modelling himself – he once fronted a Calvin Klein campaign – he seems keen to keep the sideline up: “Yeah, anyone reading this, come on man, give us a call…”

Today, however, his focus is Reef’s appearance this Saturday at World Cup ’66 Live, an afternoon charity gala at Wembley Arena to mark 50 years to the day since the England win.
Artists including The Troggs, Squeeze and Sophie Ellis-Bextor will interpret hits from 1966, with Reef performing the Rolling Stones classic Paint It Black.
Match footage will be used as a backdrop, the event will be relayed live to cinemas around the country, and money raised will go to the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.

Of his chosen song, Wood laughs: “It is a bold choice. It’s one of my favourites.
“I’ve seen it played, obviously, quite a lot in my life.”

Wood thinks the Stones will listen with pricked ears to Reef’s version.
“If they don’t like it, I hope they’ll tell me, and if they do, I really hope they tell me.”

He remembers being a month away from his 13th birthday when he was first allowed to tour with the Rolling Stones.
Krissy, who he lived with in Richmond at the time, had decided it was about time he saw what his father got up to for a living, so dispatched Wood to travel with the band across north America on the 1989 Steel Wheels tour.

“Over the years, I hadn’t seen my dad much, but she spoke to him and they decided to let me go. It was very inspiring to be there with a live, recording musician.
“I always said that to my dad. We had a great time.”

Barely a teenager, it was no doubt an eye-opening trip. Had he been to similar gigs before? “Oh yeah, yeah. My mum dated quite a lot of guitarists in her time.”

That turns out to be an understatement, as he namechecks Brian Robertson (Thin Lizzy), Tony O’Malley (from soul group Kokomo) and Ray Major (Mott the Hoople) in quick succession.

As a young boy, it must have been strange to witness such a conveyor belt of musicians around their lives.
Ever the purveyor of good vibes, he genially demurs: “No, they were all good friends.
“I was lucky to have them in my life and to go to so many gigs, from pubs to stadiums.
“I’ve soaked it all in. I’m not saying I am a great player because of it, but I’ve had the inspiration.” – The Daily Telegraph

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