The Birds – A British Beat Group featuring a young Ronnie Wood.

The Birds – A British Beat Group featuring a young Ronnie Wood.


I saw Ronnie featured on the One Show yesterday and it took me back.

Ronnie is releasing a book of his diaries from the beginning. He started off in a Beat Group called the Birds before moving on to the Faces and then the Stones.

It took me back to a small club in the town of Walton on Thames called the Walton Palais. It was where I saw my first two live bands – The Birds and the following week Them (With Van Morrison). It was the start of a life-time of gigging.

That first gig was the most magical night I can recall. The Birds were a revelation. The atmosphere was incredible and I was transported. I had never felt such excitement. I witnessed a knife-fight, sex on the stairs and one of the most pulsating evenings ever. It certainly whetted my appetite.

I wish I could say that recall seeing Ronnie but I don’t. What I recall was a bunch of thin, skinny guys up on stage with great Mod hairstyles, Cuban heeled Chelsea boots and suits who were producing the greatest sound I had ever heard. This was British Beat at its best. The chunky guitar riffs, the thumping beat and somebody was even flicking the lights on and off in time to create a rudimentary light show.

I was spellbound and smitten.

I was fourteen. They were great. I’ll never forget.

I wrote about all this and more in my book – ‘In Search of Captain Beefheart’ – It is the story of my life with Rock Music – a memoir of a search for that excitement!

Thanks Ronnie. I’ll buy that book. It might have an entry for that wondrous night.

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