Start Me Up: Rolling Stones legend Ronnie Wood opens studio in Canning Town for budding musicians
- Credit: Dave J Hogan
Ronnie Wood from the Rolling Stones opened a music studio in Canning Town to help budding young musicians.
The rock legend chatted with youngsters while touring the new Links Studio - which is based at the Community Links centre in Barking Road - on Tuesday, July 3.
He told the Recorder: "It means so much to help these young kids and to see the expression on their faces when they get a bit of encouragement. I love to help them out.
"I remember when I was a little kid having the privilege of hanging out with my elder brothers. They all played a range of instruments. They helped me - put my fingers on the fretboard of the guitar.
"And that's a bit like giving [youngsters here] a helping hand."
On returning to Newham, Ronnie said: "I enjoy it every time."
Joined by wife Sally, Ronnie posed for photographs in front of the band's famous tongue and lips logo outside the studio.
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Guests heard how Ronnie hot-footed it to Canning Town from one studio - where he was jamming with fellow rock star Sir Rod Stewart - to be at the launch of another.
During his visit, the 74-year-old superstar presented youngsters with a poster and set list from the Stones' gig at London Stadium on May 25, 2018.
While at the concert, Mick Jagger called out: "Anyone here from Canning Town?" To which the crowd replied with a resounding, "Yes".
Proceeds from the gig went towards the purpose-built studio, which will host workshops as well as courses leading to qualifications in music technology and sound engineering.
At the launch, Ronnie listened to tracks created by young people from Newham where more than half of children are deemed to be in poverty, according to Trust for London.
The musician said: "I started with nothing so I can really appreciate what these young stars are going through.
"They are going to be duly inspired, I hope, by the building and all the things that the studio has to offer and the opportunities they can get in the arts."
Chi Kavindele, director of Community Links, said the studio will give "vulnerable" youngsters an opportunity to get excited about the future again.
"Young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, from disruption to school life to curtailed employment.
"We want this to be a gateway for future artists, producers, and engineers."
Studio manager, Joelle Reefer, said: "I've been blown away by what we've got to offer."