Newly-sober Ronnie Wood will be looking out for his bandmates when the Rolling Stones perform four shows in London and New Jersey later this year (12) - because he doesn't want them suffering backstage.

Wood has managed to get sober after multiple trips to rehab and he's looking forward to his first Stones dates with a clear head, especially now that bandmate Keith Richards has cut back on his boozing.

Wood tells Rolling Stone magazine, "Keith is a pleasure to play with now. It was a pain on the last tour, toward the end, because he was really going for it on the drinking and denial.

"Now he's realised that he has gotta look after himself. I'm not going to preach to him. I will step in if I see any danger."

And sobriety appears to have given Wood a new-found empathy for drummer Charlie Watts' back issues.

He adds, "It takes a heavy toll, playing them drums. It all goes to his back... (and) he suffers terribly."

The guitarist reveals Watts books strenuous massage sessions after each performance to help him unwind.