Ray's reunion with Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood
PUBLISHED: 11:02 11 July 2013
An Exmouth care home owner got to relive his role in the music business in the 1960s, when he was reunited with Rolling Stones legend Ronnie Wood.
Ray Lovegrove, who runs Manor Lodge Residential Home in Portland Avenue with his wife Georgina, was invited to an art gallery launch in London after they bought one of Ronnie’s paintings.
It wasn’t until he walked through the door that Ronnie realised it was the Ray he had known back in the day, and they were soon talking about old times in the recording industry, which Ray had been introduced to completely by chance in 1964.
He said: “I was drinking in my local in East Finchley, and Peter Quaife from The Kinks walked in.
“We got talking, he asked if I had a driving licence and said ‘I’ll get you a job’. Next thing I was on the road with The Kinks as a roadie.”
Ray’s job with The Kinks soon saw him meet record producer Shel Talmy, who worked with The Kinks and other top groups such as The Who.
He employed Ray as his PA and driver for around a year, before Ray got a job at the iconic Marquee Club.
“I worked with some of the biggest artists, but at the time it was just a job, just gigging and enjoying it.”
It was during this period that Ray first met Ronnie, at a party thrown by the group The Mojos, when Ronnie was playing with his first band The Birds.
Ray said: “We met, chatted, had a drink – we were all teenagers – and it just went from there.
“Over the years we bumped into each other a few times – he was just a guy I knew, who did very well.”
Having settled down at Manor Lodge, it was when Ray bought the limited edition print of one of Ronnie’s paintings, which had then been customised by Ronnie, that he was invited to the opening of Ronnie’s exhibition at Fine Arts Gallery in Mayfair, alongside the Duchess of York and her daughters and other celebrities.
“He said ‘I know you, let’s cover some ground’. We went over a lot of old times and it was nice.
“I kept saying ‘Come down to Exmouth to see me’ and he said ‘Where’s that?’”