Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood: We weren't ready for Mick Jagger's heart op

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Ron Wood, left, and Mick Jagger, of the Rolling Stones perform during the "No Filter" tour at Soldier Field on Friday, June 21, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)
Ron Wood, left, and Mick Jagger, of the Rolling Stones perform during the "No Filter" tour at Soldier Field on Friday, June 21, 2019, in Chicago. (Photo by Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP)

Ronnie Wood has admitted the Rolling Stones were left totally “gobsmacked” by Mick Jagger’s revelation he was having heart surgery.

The band returned to the stage in Chicago last night after postponing their tour in April this year so 75-year-old Jagger could undergo a heart valve replacement.

Wood, 72, told the Canadian Press: “We thank our lucky stars. This was certainly a swerve - a left-hand ball - for us. We weren’t ready for this.”

The guitar player recalled how Jagger revealed his health problems to the band for the first time during rehearsals in Miami.

Wood explained: “He called us to his room, we knew it was something serious. I think he needed a bit of support, which we gave him.”

Read more: Mick Jagger "feeling pretty good" about his health in first interview since heart surgery

Wood admitted the band were “all gobsmacked” and her and Keith Richards, 75, took their families to Turks and Caicos to “get over the shock.”

He added: “We just tried to stay positive and wait until the surgery had been done.

“When we got a big thumbs up from that, and from Mick, we breathed a sigh of relief and were able to carry on with our lives again.”

Last night Jagger, Wood, Richards and 78-year-old Charlie Watts - who have a combined age of 300 - opened their No Filter Tour at Chicago’s Soldier Field where they showed the world they were ready to rock one again.

According to critics Jagger skipped, spun, sprinted and pranced before the sell-out crowd of 60,000, opening the show with Street Fighting Man.

He told the audience: “It feels pretty good!”

Making a joke about the tour’s delayed start and his health issues, he quipped: “We love Chicago so much we decided to start the tour here instead of Miami.”

The set list included classics Let’s Spend the Night Together, Gimme Shelter, Brown Sugar, Sympathy for the Devil and You Can’t Always Get What You Want.

Wood posted a video on Instagram from his dressing room backstage before the concert opened, in which his three-year-old twin daughters can be heard playing in the background.

The coast-to-coast North American tour will include stops in Florida, Texas, Arizona, California, Washington, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

Read more: Mick Jagger lucky to be alive, says younger brother Chris

Tickets sold for the original dates are being honoured, but those who couldn’t attend were able to get refunds by accessing their Ticketmaster accounts.

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