Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones opened a music studio in Canning Town to help budding young musicians.
The rock legend chatted with young people during a tour of the new Links Studio – which is based at the Community Links center in Barking Road – on Tuesday, July 3.
He told the Recorder: âIt means so much to help these young children and to see the expression on their faces when they receive a little encouragement. I like to help them.
âI remember when I was little I had the privilege of hanging out with my older brothers. They all played a range of instruments. They helped me – put my fingers on the neck of the guitar.
“And it’s a bit like giving [youngsters here] a hand.”
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Back in Newham, Ronnie said: “I appreciate it every time.”
Joined by his wife Sally, Ronnie posed for photos in front of the band’s famous logo on the tongue and lips outside the studio.
Guests heard how Ronnie had taken it to Canning Town from a 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 young people with a poster and set list from the Stones’ concert at London Stadium on May 25, 2018.
During the concert, Mick Jagger shouted, âAnyone here from Canning Town? To which the crowd responded with a resounding âYesâ.
Proceeds from the concert went to the specially designed 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 in Newham where more than half of children are considered to be living in poverty, according to Trust for London.
The musician said: “I started from nothing so I can really appreciate what these young stars are going through.
“They’re going to be duly inspired, I hope, by the building and all the things the studio has to offer and the opportunities they can have in the arts.”
Chi Kavindele, director of Community Links, said the studio would give “vulnerable” young people the opportunity to get excited about the future again.
âYoung people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, from the disruption of school life to the reduction of jobs.
“We want it to be a gateway for future artists, producers and engineers.”
Studio Director Joelle Reefer said: “I was blown away by what we have to offer.”