“If they were giving me shit he’d always protect me, jump to my defence”Ronnie Wood

Exclusive to Stu, the following are excerpts taken from interviews with Ronnie Wood at his home in Kingston-upon–Thames during June 2003.

He was the man that made it all function; he made things happen and you didn’t necessarily have to be right on top of him to see how he did it. You just knew that things would get done. All the roadies respected Stu. He always had the same beaten up old wagon and was always cutting corners and talking about the ‘Carnet’. We would trust Stu and the equipment if we were leaving a city; you knew it was going to get back in one piece, by hook or by crook.

Stu never lost anything that I know of, which was quite important, although he lost a few motors – but he eventually managed to salvage them as well. I think he was allergic to electric things; he pretended to be anyway. He would always give you a hand, but he’d make the job a little bit longer than was necessary, just to put the emphasis on the fact that he was working on it. Stu was important in picking up on jams or songs in their early stages, while they were still working them into shape. He loved to get his teeth round rock’n’roll – as you know, it’s only rock’n’roll and if anything was rocking he would love to be straight on it, and he’d tell you when it was damn good! If there was a new song that came up, like say ‘Summer Romance’ or ‘Where The Boys Go’, or any of those kind of up-tempo, fun things, and it was in a key that he liked, he was always on it.

Normally with a piano player, it’s a case of you’re on this one or you’re not. There was none of that with Stu: he’d just choose whether he was going to be there or not, and no one would flinch. Sometimes, Mick would turn around and say, ‘There’s not meant to be a piano on this, Stu,’ but he’d carry on with the song and Stu wouldn’t move – he’d just keep on playing.

Ronnie Wood