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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.

Damian Fanelli

Damian is editor-in-chief of Guitar World magazine. From 1998 to 2014, he was one third of Mister Neutron, an instrumental rock act that toured the universe and elsewhere and released three albums via Austin-based Deep Eddy Records. These days he performs with several New York City-area bands and can often be spotted with one of his many, many, many B-bender-equipped guitars. In past lives he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor – and he still can’t believe he got to write the liner notes for the latest SRV box set.