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Ronnie Wood says Keith Richards quitting drinking has got The Rolling Stones “rocking like we’re 40 year olds”

By | Published on Thursday 13 December 2018

The Rolling Stones

Keith Richards revealed earlier this year that he’d stopped taking drugs, mainly because the ones they have now are “very institutionalised and bland”. Now it turns out he’s also quit drinking, having realised it was time to start living a little healthier.

“It’s been about a year now”, he tells Rolling Stone about his more sober existence. “I pulled the plug on it. I got fed up with it. It was time to quit. Just like all the other stuff”.

He’s not completely stopped, he says, still enjoying “a glass of wine occasionally and a beer”. However, for the most part he doesn’t miss the booze, saying: “I don’t notice any difference really – except for I don’t drink. I wasn’t feeling [right]. I’ve done it. I didn’t want that anymore”.

Other Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood, who quit drinking almost a decade ago, has noticed some big differences though. He says: “He’s a pleasure to work with. Much more mellow. He’s open to more ideas, whereas before I’d kind of grit my teeth and go, ‘He’s gonna give me some shit for saying this’. Now, he’ll say, ‘That’s cool, man'”.

Wood adds that it’s improved their live shows too, saying of their first shows with both guitarists sober earlier this year: “We’re weaving [guitar parts] a lot more conscientiously now. We’re much more aware of the gaps and the spaces between. We’re in our 70s, but we’re still rocking like we’re 40 year olds, you know?”

Richards admits he enjoyed the sober performing too, saying of the end of that tour “everyone looked at each other saying, ‘No, we’re just getting going!’ That’s when the idea came to play the States”.

The Rolling Stones are set to tour the US next year, starting in April.