Ronnie Wood Rod Stewart Kenney Jones Ronnie Lane Ian McLagan
2012 Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame inductees
For a while after Steve Marriott left Small Faces to form Humble Pie with Pete Frampton, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones and I decided we'd stay together if we could make it work, and eventually we hooked up with Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart, who were about to leave Jeff Beck’s band for better things. We’d jam for a while and then have a few drinks in the local pub.
“All shorts” was how we were described back then by the barman, and it had nothing to do with our lack of height. It was a reference to our liking for large brandies. In fact, the early days were extremely shambolic, and we never wasted too much time rehearsing, especially while the pubs were still open. That said, we must have done something right musically, because we signed with Warner Bros soon after, and were on our way to the States before the ink was dry.
Could I mention here that the jolly old USA took us to its heaving bosom, took us home, fed us and made us feel very welcome, which I have to say was the opposite of how we were being treated in England. In fact, after playing Detroit City several times on that first tour in 1970, they took us so much to heart that we were, just like the automobiles, ‘Made In Detroit.’
Never a band to be burdened with too many hit records (it was never easy to get Rod in the studio after he’d changed into his pajamas), there were nevertheless plenty of his to go around, ‘Maggie May’ and ‘You Wear It Well’ among them. The tours were as mad as Marx Bros movies, and they kept getting bigger, if not better, and definitely more financially rewarding.
Eventually, even Mother England took us in and cooked us a hearty breakfast. However, when Ronnie Lane left, the heart and soul was gone from the band, and when we began to be billed as ‘Rod Stewart and the Faces’, it was all over bar the shouting, though we carried on until the final derailment at the end of 1975, when Rod left the band by announcing to the press that the ‘Faces are over.’ That’s when Ronnie Wood took The Stones up on their offer, and Kenney, Ronnie, Steve and I got back together again as Small Faces part 2, thinking it would be just as wonderful as it had been before. We soon found out you can never go back, and Ronnie Lane knew it before any of us, and he promptly left us… again.
So there you have it. There’s much more to it, of course, and my book, All The Rage, will tell you all, everything you’ll ever need to know about the goings-on, but the Faces were a music-making band of characters, and if you’re not familiar with our music, then check out ‘Five guys walk into a bar…’ there’s tracks you’ve never heard before and performances you won’t believe you missed! And it will be as good as it gets to having the Faces back together again until that happens. 2015 is looking good to me.
Where’d they all go?
At the end of 1975 each member of the Faces went on to create more music.
joined THE ROLLING STONES and has been with them now for thirty nine years. He’s made umpteen solo albums and enjoys the good life in England and Ireland. Happily married to Sally, he's playing like never before on the latest Stones tour, and continues to rock!
left the band in late 1975, went solo and has sold a vast chasm of albums since then. He likes a laugh, a game of football, and a drink as long as he doesn’t have to pay for it. He’s consistently made the charts, and his albums sell in the millions. Rock on Rod!
joined THE WHO for a few years and has since worked hard to get SMALL FACES royalties from record companies that think they can get away without paying us. He also runs a world renowned polo club in Surrey, England, does good work for children working with the Small Faces Charity, and has his own band, the Jones Gang.
returned to Japan and apart from a sighting from Ronnie Wood in the 90′s, has only been heard of sporadically in my neck of the woods. I wish him well and hope he’s OK
recorded several solo albums, wrote a fantastic book, has an amazing band, the Bump Band, was welcomed into the Texas Hall of Fame, and the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame, and only tours and records with the best of pals. He moved to Austin, Texas in 1994 and produced the Faces collection ‘Five guys walk into a bar…’ He was planning to join Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones for the Faces reunion gig last year, unfortunately that was not to be... but his music and his spirit lives on!
left the band in 1973 to go solo and struggled to make ends meet. Though he made some beautiful records he eventually left this place for a better one, casting a long shadow and leaving friends everywhere. Rock on Ronnie. We released a tribute CD, ‘SPIRITUAL BOY – an appreciation of Ronnie Lane’ in 2006. I'm as proud of this as anything I’ve ever done, and it’s dedicated to Ronnie Lane, naturally.
Now, for your listening pleasure, here’s a selection of what can be found in any decent record shop in the FACES bin, somewhere between FABIAN and FASTBALL
‘First Step’ (aka ‘Small Faces’ in the US) 1970 Warner Bros.
Just that, a first step and a decent beginning
‘Long Player’ 1971 Warner Bros
A better album, but not quite there yet
‘A nod is as good as a wink… to a blind horse…’ 1971 Warner Bros
Now you’re talking. This is the shit!
‘Various Artists/Reading Festival’ 1973 GM
Haven’t heard this one for years… zzzzzzzzz
‘Ooh La La’ Equally as good as ‘Nod’s’, and Ronnie Lane’s swan song. Petrolini never looked better!
‘Coast To Coast’ 1974 Warner Bros/Mercury
There are better bootlegs than this, but some like it enough to rave abut it… Not me.
‘Snakes and Ladders’ (Best of) Warner Bros
A good selection – includes ‘Pool Hall Richard’ and ‘You Can Make Me Dance…’
‘The Best Of The Faces’ 1977 Riva
A double album with ‘Borstal Boys’ and a live ‘I Wish It Would Rain’. How it came to be on this label is anyone’s guess
‘Good boys… when they’re asleep…’ 1999 Warner Bros/Rhino
Rhino did a great job, and I’m very proud of this. Includes ‘Open To Ideas’, a previously unreleased track. This selection honours Ronnie Lane as much as anyone in the band.
‘Five guys walk into a bar…’ 2004 Warner Bros/Rhino release. Produced by Ian McLagan.
Tells the whole story. Everyone at Rhino did a wonderful job in spite of having been taken over in the middle of the project.
The latest release from Rhino records, is You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (1970-1975), a 5-CD box set containing expanded editions of all four LPs this box contains 26 bonus tracks (17 previously unreleased) spread across its five discs, and every track has been freshly remastered from the original analogue tapes.
The box includes First Step (1970), Long Player (1971), A Nod Is as Good as a Wink…to a Blind Horse (1971), and Ooh La La (1973), and adds never-before-released bonus tracks to each album. In addition to the studio albums, the collection also features a bonus disc that gathers up nine essential tracks that didn’t appear on proper albums, including the 1973 single ‘Pool Hall Richard,’ a live performance of The Temptations’ ‘I Wish It Would Rain’ from the 1973 Reading Festival, and ‘Dishevelment Blues,’ a song that came free as a flexidisc in copies of the British music publication New Music Express.”
You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything(1970-1975)