The Week in Radio: Satisfaction guaranteed with this guitar hero

Obviously, any rock legend hopes he'll die before he gets old, but there's always the possibility that taking all those substances will have a pickling effect. So post rehab and the comeback album, what's the coolest thing the veteran legend can do? The answer, surprisingly, seems to be radio. Bob Dylan, whose 70th birthday is being celebrated in style on BBC radio next week, delighted his fans by turning DJ for Theme Time Radio Hour. Others from Alice Cooper all the way to Barry Manilow have followed suit. Forget the old accessories of the pop star life, the yachts, the jets, the African orphans. For the music legend, a show of your own is the ultimate must-have and Ronnie Wood has it in spades.

Wood, who this month won a Sony award for Music Radio Personality of the Year, was hired in 2010 by Absolute Radio in an inspired move that garnered loads of publicity. It helped that Ronnie took to broadcasting like a natural, describing it as "great therapy", yet in true rock star style his performance is not always consistent. Sometimes, he is forward with the memories, recalling that he saw Jimi Hendrix on the night he died or why Bill Wyman refuses to fly, but at other times he's less chatty. Last weekend, for example, he sounded a little drowsy and was skimping on the rock'n'roll detail, but he still got out his guitar and played a riff, confiding, "It's in the early stages of being written so you can nick that one if you want." He can get technical, discussing a song's DNA, or he can be disarmingly straightforward, "You can't really understand the lyrics," he remarked of one track, "but the bits you can understand are about eating strange food." Though you yearn for more talk, the atmosphere is unpretentious, intimate and decidedly mellow, and his music choices are faultless. It's only rock'n'roll, but frankly, that's what's great about it.

I wouldn't venture to say with Ronnie, but what a lead guitarist most needs is "musicality, personality and a thumping great ego" according to Nick Barraclough, who once played in a backing band to Chuck Berry and whose Twangmasters on Radio 4 provided a riveting insight into the world of the lead guitarist. The difference between riffs and licks, for example. "A riff is a signature part to the song, a lick is a short phrase identifiable to you," or whether the thickness of the paint, or the dye in the lacquer changes the guitar's tone. (Yes, apparently.) Band psychology matters too. "The lead guitarist and the lead singer are the pilot and the co-pilot of the band, but which one says he's actually flying the thing is the problem." By common consent everyone's favourite was George Harrison and the best bit came when veteran guitarists attempted to crack the rock equivalent of Fermat's Last Theorem – exactly what chord Harrison played at the beginning of A Hard Day's Night. The answer, in case you never fathomed it, was "an F shape over a G base with an added G on a high E string".

Rock stars who do get old often wash up in Surrey, and indeed Guildford was the location for Mark Davies Markham's neatly conceived Deep Down and Dirty Rock'n'Roll, starring the genuine ex-pop star, Suggs, playing Ed, lead singer of Lost Youth, who wants a comeback. His problem is Zac Smith, "the mythical dead one" of the group, whose new life as Carl Johnson, financial adviser, is starting to fall apart. This was cleverly done, rippling with metaphor and beautifully performed both by Burn Gorman as Zac and by Suggs. Indeed, Suggs who has an impressive acting career, is now, like Ronnie, a sparkling advertisement for the sorted second act of a music legend's life.

Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick