At the age of 70, guitarist Ronnie Wood is pure energy.
Less than two years ago, he embraced parenthood once again. This year, he beat lung cancer.
I meet Wood at a London hotel, days after the band announced the second leg of their No-Filter Tour through Europe and the UK.
Some wondered whether this could be the band’s last, but Wood tells me he is “looking forward to a new start”.
“Yeah, luckily that’s all gone,” he tells me of his recent battle with the disease.
“It was all one lung and phew,” he breathes in relief. “It’s all out the window. That’s gone.”
With a thick, wild block of black hair and a constant smile on his face, Wood doesn’t seem a year over fifty. Whatever battle he fought, it’s clear who won.
“It feels great,” he says triumphantly. “It feels like I’ve been given a new ticket to ride.”
And whatever ticket he got, Wood is surely making the most of it.
Recently re-married and with two newborn twins, he seems to go through life without burden.
“They’re over 22 months now,” he says of Gracie Jane and Alex Rose, the two twins he had with his third wife Sally.
“They are fantastic. Another energy source,” he points to the heart. “They’re a continued inspiration.”
A rocker, painter and a book author, he seems to find energy sources everywhere. He tells me the secret to a successful career is “a blind passion”, and that we should learn from our bad experiences.
Wood is the quintessential rock ‘n’ roller. He did the whole nine yards – sex, drugs and subsequent rehabs. But when others succumbed, Wood powered through and came back clean on the other side.
Does he have any regrets?
“Bum notes should be regrets but I enjoy bum notes as well,” he tells me.
“Because you learn. If it weren’t for bum notes you wouldn’t know what good ones were.”
When he smiles, you can see why he got the nickname “Reckless Ronnie”. You can see in him a certain abandonment, a lightness of being.
“You know what my favourite reading today was? ‘Why not go out on a limb? That’s where the fruit is,'” he jokes.
“Always take the risk – I love that.”
But things are different now. Wood tells me about touring and doesn’t fail to mention proper rest, hydration and nutrition. So where’s old Reckless Ronnie?
“Well I still maintain some of that madness. And humour,” he says with a wink.
“You got to have that to make life interesting.”
He chuckles when I ask him about the tour. Will it be the last?
“Is it going to be my last tour?” he asks back. “Yeah, for sure! Who said that??? I’m lying!!”
Here’s the madness again.
“No, I don’t know…” he says.
Can he keep going? “Yeah of course! What do you think?”
:: The Rolling Stones will play at the London Stadium on 22 May, Manchester’s Old Trafford football stadium on 5 June, Edinburgh’s BT Murrayfield Stadium on 9 June and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium on 15 June.
They will wrap up the UK leg of the tour at Twickenham Stadium on 19 June.