LONG AGO AND WORLDS APART: As the organist for '60s British quartet The Small Faces, Ian McLagan was responsible for creating the prototypical mix of blues vocals, r&b rhythm, and rock guitar that would forever be associated with the mod subculture. Teen dreams in their own country, with fans that included The Who and The Beatles, a tight-fisted manager kept the diminutive pretty boys from ever touring the States, all but ensuring that their one US hit, "Itchycoo Park," would be the only time they'd see the charts. In 1969, when main man Steve Marriott tired of the teenybopper image and left to form the "heavier" Humble Pie, the remaining Faces dropped the Small from their name and recruited guitarist Ron Wood and singer Rod Stewart (pre-"Young Turks"). Going more for the rawk this time out, they had a career well into the '70s. McLagan would surface again in the early '90s as part of Stewart's "MTV Unplugged Show" and with his own Bump Band. He is currently touring with Billy Bragg and the Blokes.
After Glow: Despite your father and mine having no clue who The Small Faces were, the band's albums were an essential part of every British teen's collection. Their influence is massive, even when uncredited. Robert Plant was an early groupie, and Led Zeppelin's reading of "Whole Lotta Love" borrows heavily from Marriott's distinct vocal phrasing. In the late '70s, The Sex Pistols would do a piss-take cover of their hit "All or Nothing," and perennial mod revivalists The Jam would consistently point to them as a reference. In the '90s, bands like Oasis, Primal Scream, Gene, Blur, Ocean Colour Scene, and just about every other Britpop band would speak of their awesome power. In short, there would be no British rock without these lads.
Show Me The Way: After years of struggling for rights to their music, McLagan and drummer Kenney Jones (the only surviving members), released the first approved, remastered collection of The Small Faces. The Darlings of Wapping Wharf Laundrette is a double-disc anthology available from Sequel Records/Castle Music Ltd. Accept no substitutes!
Here Comes The Nice: In a rare appearance, Ian McLagan will be playing some tunes and reading from his autobiography, All The Rage (Watson-Guptill), Thurs, Sept 28 at Music Millennium NW, and Fri, Sept 29 at Borders downtown.