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Ron Wood of The Rolling Stones: 'I Turned Down the Chance to Join Led Zeppelin'

Ron Wood -- aka Ronnie Wood -- of The Rolling Stones recently revealed that he once turned down the opportunity to join the band that would become Led Zeppelin.

The guitarist, a former member of the Jeff Beck Group, was talking on his Absolute Radio show when he told the story of how Peter Grant, his old manager, asked him about joining a band called The New Yardbirds.

Wood refused, calling those guys "a bunch of farmers."

"Peter Grant used to manage myself and Jeff Beck and Rod Stewart and Mickey Waller and Nicky Hopkins back in the good old days," Wood said. "He was behind a band that was going to be called The New Yardbirds. I had an offer to join, and I said, 'I can't join that bunch of farmers.'

"Anyway, they eventually changed their name and turned out to be Led Zeppelin, and he managed them as well."

The New Yardbirds was the original -- and short-lived -- name of the band Jimmy Page had formed after The Yardbirds self-destructed in 1968. As Wood said, they went with the moniker "Led Zeppelin" instead -- probably a wise choice.

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.