Thursday, 4 December 2014

ian mclagan RIP

Ian Mclagan died yesterday (Dec 3rd) of a massive stroke age 69. The keyboard player for the Small Faces, The Faces, The Stones on occasions, along with his own bands was still playing and even expecting to be on stage the day he died. Living in Austin, Texas for the last years of his life, and still playing with his band in local bars and clubs in probably much the same way as he'd begun his young music life. Although the huge success in the UK and eventually the US with The Small Faces brought international fame it was one also of the cautionary tales a rock and pop musician could find themselves sucked into -

    In 1965, he (McLagan) was hired, for the princely sum of £30 a week, to join Small Faces by their manager, Don Arden, replacing Jimmy Winston. Once the 'probation' period ended, his pay was reduced to £20 a week, which was what the other band members were getting. They never received more than that because Don Arden collected all the proceeds of their hard-earned work, and it wasn't until 1997 that they started receiving any royalties.

His interview for the documentary - Small Faces : All Or Nothing 1965-1968 (The British Invasion Series) he explains much of the story behind the band without any signs of being too scarred by the whole Faces/Arden business.
When he's asked about which Small Faces song was his favourite. In that familiar affable London manner of his he replies -

    "The Small Faces finest moment was when we cut Tin Soldier. I don't think we cut a better track, a better tune, a better performance from all of us. It's the best thing we ever did as a collective, as a band, song, everything."
And who can argue with that.. here's the video of 'Tin Soldier' with Steve Marriot in outrageous form, PP Arnold having real fun with the backing vocals and Mclagan's keyboard driving the song along with that 60's mod swagger.
As one YouTube commenter said "The happiest guy in Austin has left town".
So long Ian.