- 13 Oct 16
Live Aid and Dylan's legendary 2001 visit to Kilkenny were discussed when we met the Rolling Stone a while back in Dublin...
Hot Press got a fascinating insight into how Bob Dylan operates in 2008 when we met up in the Shelbourne with his pal Ronnie Wood.
Here’s how the conversation unfolded…
Stuart Clark: Going back to Live Aid in the ’80s, Dylan’s mood always seems to improve when you’re around. Why’s that?
Ronnie Wood: (Cackles) ‘Cause I always give him some of my wine! I was waiting to see him in Kilkenny when Marianne Faithful walked out of his dressing-room, winked at me and said, “I’ve just had a conference with the master!” The next thing I heard was this loud whistle and Bob shouting down the corridor, “Hey Woody, what are we drinking?” The last time I met him he wasn’t drinking or smoking or anything but as he pointed out – after his fourth fag and fifth glass of wine – “That was the other Bob!” Then he goes, “Help me with the set-list.” Three hours before he’s due on and he’s no idea what he’s going to start or finish with. “What do you want me to play on?” I say, to which he replies, “Everything. There’s an acoustic set that’s going to surprise even the band, but otherwise I want you out there all the time.” We go on and every five minutes he’s telling the crowd to “Give it up for Ronnie Wood!” Somebody threw up a black Stetson hat, which he put on my head and went, “Hey Woody, are you goin’ to join my band?” I said, “What do you mean, Bob, I’m in your fucking band.” He was in marvelous form that day.
Stuart Clark: As happy go lucky as Dylan was in Kilkenny, there are other times when you can almost see the storm clouds gathering round his head.
Ronnie Wood: Sure. Part of the reason we get on is that we’re both Geminis, but he’s a far more reclusive and unpredictable one than me. To give you an idea, when he came round to do his bit on my album, he refused to sing. I’m like “What about these lyrics, Bob?” and he goes “You ain’t gettin’ no words out of me!”
There are days – like in Kilkenny – when he’ll talk the hind leg off you, and others when the duffel coat gets put on and that’s your lot. I’ve known him a long time now but I still can’t pre-guess his mood.
Stuart Clark: On a scale of one to ten, how sphincter-relaxing was playing with him in Giants Stadium?
Ronnie Wood: (Laughs) Off the bloody scale, mate! Before Live Aid, we spent a couple of days in my New York house rehearsing everything in his back catalogue. I tell you, myself, Keith (Richards) and Ian (McLagan) have never worked so fucking hard in our lives. What does he do as we’re walking on? Suggest we start with the one bloody song we haven’t learned! “Does that mean we shouldn’t do it?” he says, and I go, “Yeah, it does mean that!” Anyway, we’re up there beginning to relax when pliiiinnngg!, Bob breaks a string. Not having a roadie that day, I had to give him my guitar and use a cheapo replacement, which somebody handed me from backstage and which was completely out of tune. I ended up using one string with a slide on it.