Roland Schmitt sent me a cassette about two years ago. It's an interview
with Ronnie Lane, conducted on his behalf by Ed Mayberry and Jody Denberg.
On the eve of Ronnie's 43rd birthday, Ed and Jody sat down with him at his
Austin flat and asked several questions submitted my Roland. It is here.
Roughly 20 minutes, and with a classic last remark by Ronnie. I like the
way Ed and Jody knew it was the perfect final comment, and cut the tape right
after. Big Thanks, as always, to Roland Schmitt.
Added a fourth chunk of conversation with Ronnie Johnson to Lane's
Audio Page. Two more chunks to go, but it will either take major
editing or word from a higher source before I let those babies past my own
Back in May, I had a sit-down with Ronnie Johnson, Ronnie Lane's bassist and
friend during a good portion of his days in Austin, Texas. I threw a mic
on the motel table, and we chatted for a good long time about whatever came
up. Initially, I intended on condensing the results into a written
article, but have since converted the cassette recording into an MP3. I
have begun editing the whole thing into a version worthy of release on this
website, and the first chunk is online now. As we weren't editing
ourselves at all during the conversation, I have done so for reasons of both
length and content. Sorry, some things are best left on the cutting room
I will continue to add more of
this Conversation with Ronnie Johnson as time permits today. I have
a couple hours before Brett Favre and the Packers take the field, so I should
get another chunk or two online by then. Also, I've been given permission
by the label to rip a chunk of Holy Man Jones' take on You Can Make Me Dance for
you to download and listen to here. (see below)
All audio from the interviews with Ronnie Lane
which I conducted is now online. That's
just over two hours of Ronnie sounding brilliant... me sounding like a rambling
teenager, way out of his depth. I'd done many interviews by that time,
most of them far better, but I'd never been so keen to interview anybody as I
was with Ronnie; I was awestruck. Please forgive my youthful naiveté...
Note, if you bother to listen, how afraid I was to say "multiple
sclerosis" or even "MS". Ronnie'd barely come out of that
closet, yet I was entering it. Unfortunately, that does set the stage for
My Dinner With Ronnie.
The interviews are broken into
segments of roughly ten-minutes each, the next bit picking up where the prior
left off. The second interview portions are hilarious for me to hear
again, as it's been so long since I'd listened... Ronnie with a very young Rube
in his lap, describing the photographs off the cover of the "One for
the Road" lp, which I had just purchased and handed him: "That's
your Mum!" "Where?!... I didn't know you had new
trousers!" "Those aren't new, they're old!"
We've only been left glimpses of
what Ronnie Lane was capable of. Had he matured without being robbed by a
damned disease, he'd now be a healthy hopeless romantic, writing some of
the most disturbingly peaceful songs we've never heard, and watching Bonanza
All the Best to Faces Fans
for keeping the flame, for proving Top 10 is garbage in comparison to any real
music written and performed by real musicians who didn't learn "soul"
from B. Spears.
All the best to Mac,
who proves you don't have to be Ronnie Lane to be considered the best songwriter
of the Faces. Mac's new album will knock you down. Like Lane, he's too kind and generous ever to understand just how damned good he
is. All the best to Mac, simply for being the Mac we all know and respect,
and for kicking ass without ever feeling the need to take names.
All the Best to Woody,
for coming clean (well, y'know), for sounding better and being exponentially
more productive than he has been in years, and for writing more. Well,
bless Ronnie simply for being the Gent he is, pure and simple.
All the Best to Rod,
who overcame "throat cancer", being dumped by a new label, being
shamed as down and out, being signed to Clive's new label, for Clive pushing Rod
again, and for Rod going from Hollow-wood Gutter to ROYALTY again. In the
space of a few months, Rod went through more "public" traumas than he
probably ever did privately in five times that same span of months. For
those that think he sold out by doing two "classics" albums,
listen to the originals for what they're worth before you judge Rod. He is
still a great interpreter; but, now it's time to get him writing again, or at
least choosing another path. It's time for Clive to prove he's not milking
the Golden Calf, and allow ROD to determine his own destiny in what may prove
the most difficult transformation of Rod's career. I, personally, welcome
the opportunity to wish Rod luck, and not just because, for once, I really think
he's up to the task.
All the Best to Kenney,
for getting back into music. He's so laid back that he's under the radar.
C'mon, Rog, you hired Kenney on the McVicar soundtrack... That was at the same
time you started (and continue) to slag him for crap Who albums. Rog and Pete
are the bad guys when it comes to those albums, not Kenney. Hey, Rog, Iove
your TV show, your voice, but Pete's material was wrong for the post-Moon Who,
the production was amazingly synthetic and wrong, and Kenney was made to play
crap material, yet you blamed it all on Kenney. Seems you, ROG, were at the
corporate meetings, not Kenney. Fuck me, fuck you, but that's the real
lie. Kenney is culpable for the songs on the Quad soundtrack
album, which he was allowed to actually perform on... few mention
it wasn't Moonie, much less that it was Kenney, on those cuts. Oh, and the
way Kenney was screwed into joining the Who, which he turned down flat how many
times? ALL THE BEST TO KENNEY... keep playing, so long as it feels
like play instead of work.
All the Best to Tetsu,
who is still a mainstay in Japanese music, whether it be jazz, fusion, rock, or
something we've yet to label. Let Tetsu choose how anonymous he is, yet
remember he is respected for his work with Koss and Free, and for his days with
the Faces. Someday he may feel as good as we fans do for his work.
Oh, and all the best to Ronald
Hey, folks, I received a gift CD in the mail the other day, sent to me by this
record label because it is of direct interest to Faces fans: It bears
a cover of a classic Faces tune. The band, Holy
Man Jones, covers "You Can Make Me Dance, Sing, Or Anything" on
their debut, "Let It Rain". It easily falls within my scale of
likeable remakes, as HMJ did the song on their own turf, with their own
commitment. It's not like Black Crowes, who overcame their Photostat cover
demeanor with nifty guitar work (they are/were a fine band on record, yet their
concerts became wearisome to the ear... particularly considering how often Black
Crowes fluffed Ronnie's bassline on "Three Button Hand Me Down", and I
won't even discuss their attempt to hire Mac!)... this is more like an acoustic
version... not like the worst aspects of MTV Unplugged, but more like the best
aspects of the Subdudes. I do recommend you lend it an ear and
decide for yourself.
The fact it is coming from an indie
label in the heart of Britain doesn't effect or affect my words, but it does
tend to make my open recommendation even stronger. The label's
website has seemingly decent info on the stores which stock this CD, and I
will ask the label's main man, Ayo, for permission to sample an ample taste for
you for download here later. Such is my conviction.
I have put the entire first interview with Ronnie Lane online in audio
format. It may be found here.
I do have the forum working at top-notch speed; due to the errors caused by the
forum crash, we have lost about one month's worth of posts and several new
accounts; also, I'm still
working on getting the chat room back online. Please feel free to post on
the forum, and I do apologize for the chat room being down. It is
my New Years Resolution to fix the chat, but I think I have a trick up my sleeve that will
debut prior to the chat room! If you love the sound of Ronnie Lane's
voice, it's Ho Ho Ho all the way!
Mandatory overtime means I won't see another day off until sometime after
Christmas. Sorry, but I don't think I'll be able to work on the
forum/chat issues until then, as I do have to find time to eat and sleep.
I've kind of got the forum & chat room working again, but it's not 100%...
I need to recover more data, as well as totally reinstall the chat system, so...
PLEASE DON'T USE THE FORUM OR CHAT
UNTIL I'VE FIXED IT 100%
I'll let you know here.
Well, major disaster on the Forum today... lost the whole shebang. 5
hours later, I've got it back up and working (lost a couple weeks worth of
posts, but, hey, at least it works!), but still need to get the chat room
working again. But, hell, this is my one day off, so I'm taking the
neighbor's dog for a LOOOONNNG walk... I need it more than the dog at this
Rod was on Letterman here in the
States the other night... sat in with the band for the whole show, then closed
with a cut from GAS2 and a bit of chat with Dave. Not bad, eh?
More details about the Tom Wright Exhibit opening, with an essay
by contest winner Mike Horne, plus a new photo
gallery of shots Mike took.
Want details on the Tom Wright exhibit? Here's a news
story (with photos), and here's a personal account sent in by Mark Staycer:
The Tom Wright "Knew and
Used" photo exhibition premier here in Traverse City, MI. was splendid. The
evening began at the Dennos Museum with a "mix & mingle." It was
sold out. Met "Mac" and he was kind enough to autograph "All the
Rage" for me. Guests then attended a lovely panel discussion/slide show in
the theater. There was also a fitting tribute to Chuch. The Wholigans performed
a powerful 3-song set to cap the Dennos events. Guests then drove to Streeter's
nightclub and were treated to an all-star jam featuring "Mac" on
Hammond B3, members of Bob Seger's band, Wholigans, other notables from the
Detroit rock music scene. I had a rare opportunity to perform "Dizzy Miss
Lizzy" in my full John Lennon get-up. Also enjoyed chatting with
"Mac" and The Wholigans over a pint in a quiet dining area. In all, a
memorable experience. The Tom Wright photo exhibition will be on display at the
Dennos Museum through January, so if you can make the trip, I highly recommend
it. Representatives from VH1, Rolling Stone, NY Times, LA Times, etc. were in
attendance as well. Lot's of photos and video taken so I'll probably be able to
send you something for your archives. I'll ask around. Weather had been terrible
on Wednesday with 50 mile an hour wind gusts, but things finally settled down by
late afternoon on Thursday. Weather today is gorgeous. I reckon there must have
been close to 1000 people at Streeter's. This was a huge event for Traverse City
and do hope those who arrived from out of town enjoyed themselves. I always
suggest that people go on holiday up here as there's so much to see and do. Send
me your mailing address and I'll look around for photos and video for you. As
for my own John Lennon tribute, I've hooked up with a McCartney
look-alike/sound-alike and we've got a debut performance coming up on the 23rd
at Union Street Station, another cool club in town. I've been booked for
Orlando, Virginia Beach, Cleveland, Liverpool, Ontario, and elsewhere. Hope
you'll catch the show someday. Strawberry Fields Forever. Mark Staycer. www.ImagineLennon.com.
Robert Matheu at Creem
(Boy Howdy!) is starting to get a section together for the Faces on the Creem
it here). More to follow, plus there will be a contest coming up for
some cewl Creemy goodies. Stay tuned, sports fans.
Also, info on Rod's latest release,
"As Time Goes By... Great American Songbook Vol. II", will be posted
as soon as I have more than a couple minutes to do an update for this
site. Until then, Ian's got his bit up at www.rodstewartchronicle.com,
and there are a couple nice articles here:
(ignore the jabs at Sir Elton,
they're good friends and extract Michaels at every opportunity)
Looks like I need to re-install my web-building software... I can't even upload
changes to this site without errors. Note the entry from earlier
today: It only uploaded part of my update, which is why it says "and
a guest to the" and suddenly ends.
OK, here's what the full announcement was SUPPOSED to read:
The Tom Wright Contest has resulted in a winner. The following person gets
to take him/herself and a guest to the
Premiere of the Tom Wright Collection
Nov 13 2003
Traverse City, Michigan
Michael Horne of Michigan.
Michael got the highest score on the quiz, and also submitted his answers before
anyone else. I wish him and his son the best as they enjoy this
'once in a lifetime' experience. As I am unable to attend, Michael is
planning on taking some shots and putting an essay together for this
website. Yeah, Mike, I said "essay". You never really
leave high school, do you? p.s. Mike: Your enthusiasm is very
The Tom Wright Contest has resulted in a winner. The following person gets
to take him/herself and a guest to the
Premiere of the Tom Wright Collection
Nov 13 2003
Traverse City, Michigan
Looks like we have a winnah! But, keep the entries coming in... the
contest doesn't end for another eleven days, and whomever wins must be able to
verify they will be attending the event. A Tentative "congrats"
goes out to Michaal Horne!
Here's the BIG NEWS: Want to go
to the opening of an exhibit by a world-famed rock photographer, legendary tour
manager, and friend of most of the musicians you praise? Want free tickets
to the exhibit? Want free backstage passes? Want free tickets to the
jam session that follows? Read on... (There will be a contest to win
two free passes to all of the above, and the contest will start this weekend.)
Wright is coming back with a vengeance, and we all benefit as a
result. For those not "in the know", Tom has had a life as
varied and exciting as any in rock history, albeit being too far
behind-the-scenes for Joe Q Stoner to recognize his name. Anybody familiar
with Mac's ALL
THE RAGE, the history of the Who, James Gang, or rock photography in
general, certainly has more than passing knowledge of Tom Wright.
Paraphrasing Mac's autobiography,
here's how Tom invited himself into the Faces world:
The second time
[Faces] played Detroit, I woke up to a deafening pounding on the door. I
looked at my watch. It was 9 A.M.! This was war! "FUCK OFF!" I
yelled from the bed. They had to be suicidal, whomever they were. I
jumped out of bed in a rage and opened the door to find two strangers, one
with an afro the size of a hedge. The other was all sweaty, with an
intense look on his face.
They weren't fazed. The intense one said, "I'm Tom Wright, and this is the
Chuch. We've got a rented limo, a gram of coke, some pot, a bottle of
Cold Duck, and a six pack of beer on ice. I'm a fantastic photographer,
we're going to take you out in the Arboretum, I'm going to take some really
cool pictures of the band."
Tom became the official Faces
photographer. He'd already studied photography at Ealing, where he was
great buddies with Pete Townshend. He'd already been expelled from Ealing
and England for a small dose of pot. He'd already done incredible
photographic studies in Ibiza. He was tour manager for the Who, James
Gang, you name it.
And, of course, the Chuch was Royden
MaGee III, who became a roadie for the Faces, and Ronnie Wood's guitar
technician from that time until his death last year, during Stones rehearsals in
Toronto. If you ever asked Woody how he got a specific sound, he'd
invariably reply, "ask the Chuch."
So, here's the
Tom has come out of a sort of sabbatical
to launch a website.
He's also going to have an exhibit opening in Michigan very soon. Before I
blab on and on, go here and read up on the whole
shebang. Root through Tom's site, and any other info you may find
about Tom Wright. Then come back to read up on how to enter the
MORE TO FOLLOW!
(p.s.: contest winners must prove they will actually be going to the
2003- Big news coming later today.
Ted Wood, Ronnie's older brother,
passed away. Not much I can say, as I'm absolutely stunned. There is
an article here
about Ted's passing. Of course, our collective best goes out to the entire
Wood clan. To hell with 2003.
Thanks to Ian Roberts for letting us
Tonight, PBS begins airing the Martin Scorcese-produced
LANDMARK series about American blues music, simply titled, "The Blues".
It is a multi-part documentary that should certainly put to shame any other documentary
of any reasonable quality on this topic--- not to diminish many of the fantastic
documentaries that stand beside it, but, c'mon, it's Martin Scorcese, and the
depth and scale of this project is simply unmatched.
In a series of eight films,
different directors put certain key areas of the blues into perspective on the
canvas. These directors are Scorcese, Wim Wenders (my fantasy choice
for the Ronnie Lane biofilm), Richard Pearce, Charles
Burnette, Mark Levin, Mike Figgis, and the man with no name, none other than Clint
If you want to know why music as you
know it exists, or even how the Faces were able to do such alarmingly good work,
you must watch this series to gain perspective, depth, and (hopefully some)
understanding. If "The Blues" is available to you, yet you
willingly choose to ignore it, you are likely a fool. If not, you are in
the middle of a personal crisis and are therefore dismissed from persecution.
Mac sent a good note today... he's
greenlighted the archiving of the Saxon gig from the other day, so I'll edit it
down today and get it online. He wants to wait until he gets a hard copy
from Chet, who engineered the gig, but that could take decades, so I'll clean up
my copy and put it up. He also says the new contracts point to a Feb '04
release of "RISE AND SHINE!", to coincide with the release of
the Rhino Faces Box Set (fingers crossed). I'll contact Rhino this week
and start the press process, so stay tuned for fine-tuning.
Mac also mentioned his schedule,
which is incredibly busy. Bumps are busy, Blokes as well, and Lindley just
added Joe Walsh to the lineup for the Fillmore gig. Can you say Funk
49? Good God, why not play "Yadig?" for the first time in thirty
years. What a brilliant jam, readymade for Mac to slaughter.
Some great candid shots of Faces
Live are on the way, via Gary Marcum. Wow, Ronnie Lane and Rod sharing a
mic, and Ronnie, bent back in pure performance, issuing out his unforgettable
vocals. Nice. It's nice to be nice.
Just got a 2-plus hour call from Rupe
Williams- the Ronnie Lane documentary he's spearheading is coming along
great. So far, he's got about 10 hours of filming done, including segments
with Ronnie's brother, Stan, Charlie Hart, and Bruce Rowlands. Pete
Townshend and Eric Clapton have agreed to be interviewed for the film, and
Woody, Kenney, Mac, and Billy Nicholls are also to be interviewed.
Actually, the list of those to be involved stretches beyond the
horizon. And some of the stuff he got from Stan to root thru and use in
the project... alarming! I'd tell you some of what he's found, but no
point starting riots. Just another Mystery Train, eh, Rupe?
Wow, some actual NEWS to post for a
change! Mac has
been signed to labels for the release of his brilliant forthcoming album, Rise
and Shine!. In the UK/Europe, he will be handled by Sanctuary,
the same label that did the landmark Small Faces Ultimate Collection.
In the States, his label is Gaff
Music (no relation to Billy, of-godamned-course). An article about
Gaff and Mac can be found here.
Mac, to answer your question, Lincolnton is northwest of Charlotte, here.
As partial celebration, Mac will be
airing live online tonight from his gig at the Saxon Pub in Austin. To
tune in, go to KGSR.com
and click on the black "listen" button in the top right corner of the
window. Show starts at 10 pm Texas Time (CST), which is 11 pm EST, 8 PST,
and 4 am GMT. To double-check what time it currently is in Austin, click here.
Also, our very own Lynney will be on
the BBC Saturday morning. That's the "Far Flung Listener"
segment of the Vanessa
Feltz Show, BBC 94.9, at 9:45 am GMT, or 4:45 am EST. Once again, you
can listen live over the web if you tune in here.
Forgive me, I've been sick in bed for
days. It allowed me to watch all of Danger UXB, plus a load of Walter
Mathau films I missed. "A New Leaf" and "Kotch" are
both must-see films, whether you like Walter or not. Of course, I'd seen
"The Taking of Pelham 123" a few hundred times, but it was on the top
of the pile yet again. Wow, the way Lalo Schifrin's themes cut against
Walter's stunning performance is still a perfect example of how to edit a film
together. I guarantee both Scorsece and Tarantino consider it a landmark
film, and both are notorious for choosing great music for their films.
Another huge update on the way.
It will kick some minor ass. Speaking of ass-kicking, has anybody ever heard of the
Blasters? At one time, they were the best band on this planet, to hell
with Nikki's asides. Damn, they could shake a house down in two minutes.
Straight outta Compton, Nigga, these white boys from the hood made music that
will forever be tops. If you've never heard them, then you have no
clue how 'original' rock can save this stupid world. Well, yes, they are
that damned good.
I was lucky enough to
interview Blasters lead man, Phil Alvin, in the late 80s. He told me of
the tech rev to come, he told me of downloading music via a phone
chord. He then quit music for a couple years to prove a mathematical
theory that had never been proved by baffled 24/7 mathematicians. Yes, Phil is one
smart sonofabitch. He described to me how musicians would sell music
directly to fans via the phone, 10 full years before Al Whore decided he should
own credit for the web. And Phil is one of the best rockers I've EVER heard.
Hand in hand, deary. The Blasters are a damned legend... and Mac is
the only guy that would have improved the band via his key skills.
Listening to them now, Mac would have kicked ass in that band. Mac would
have felt like he was living in Lubbock... and we all know that's a damned good
feeling. Holleywood remains pure, and by invitation only, unless you just
care to jam with the band at hand.
more news articles have been archived: Two about the Faces,
two about Rod, one about Woody, one about
Mac, and 47 about Ronnie Lane.
newly archived articles: 24 about Ronnie Lane,
three about Ian McLagan, and two about Kenney Jones.
Four new articles
about Kenney Jones archived online now.
about Ronnie Lane, four articles about Kenney
Jones, one article about Ron Wood, and one
about the Faces added to the site.
this in a while! Wanna see what one of the earliest versions of this
website looked like? I'm warning you, it ain't pretty. Timewarp.
Dave Marsh and Creem's Robert Matheu
have allowed me to reprint an article Marsh wrote about the Faces for Creem in
April, 1973: the Rock'n'Roll Circus.
Ten new articles about Ronnie Lane
The new chat room seems to be a great
success. Just three minutes after I got it working, Julie logged on for a
chat. Then, two minutes after, Lynne was onboard. Hell, that is a
success rate (compared to older chat rooms I've tried) of about
977,468,396,021.022665%. Not bad, eh? Also, the last couple days
have been stellar for this site. The hit count is around 5000 per
day. I remember not long ago, when I debuted a recent interview I'd done
with Mac, and that was this site's stellar day: 500 hits! Well, folks, keep
sending in what you have, get involved on the Forum and the Chat, and let's make
"Five Guys" a bicoastal chart success when it debuts.
Finally, a new chat system for the
Faces site that is actually secure and easy to use! Check it out here.
You must be a member of the Faces Forum to use the chat feature, so join today.
Four more photo galleries
added today... forty-odd new photos in all.
Brian Howell sent in scans of his 1972 UK
Faces Tour Programme, so they are now online in Brian
Happy birthday, Lena. Goodbye,
A new gallery is open with 9 more news
clippings: the Julie Scrapbook. Another Forge
Scrapbook page has been added, featuring four more articles from
Major new galleries opening from submitted
scrapbook clippings. The first gallery, the Forge
Scrapbook, is submitted by Paul. Major thanks!