- Early Years:
- April 1, 1946: Stanley and Elsie Lane strike gold as Ronald
Frederick Lane is born in East End London. After quitting school
at age 16, Ronnie attempts several jobs while at the same time
making further connections in the music scene. At a local pub
called The British Prince in Stepney, East London, Stanley Lane,
(Ronnie's older brother) introduces Ronnie to a 13 year old Kenney
Jones. They hit it off immediately "it was like I already
knew 'im - like I'd known 'im all my life." (Kenney Jones)
The two chaps form The Outcasts, with Ronnie already starting
to write some original numbers. During this period, Ronnie realizes
his limitations on guitar. This realization combined with both
his unselfish nature and the idea that a bass player would always
be able to find work, lead to his resolution to take up the bass.
It was this decision that led to the formation of the Small Faces.
Ronnie's trip to the music store with his Dad proves quite favorable
as they are serviced by none other than Steve Marriott. (click
here for a more complete story) Ronnie buys himself a bass
and gives Steve his guitar and the rest is history. During this
period, Marriot introduces Ronnie to his Motown and Stax collection,
permanently leaving an influential mark upon young Ronnie. Shortly
after, Ian 'Mac' McLagan is recruited to play keyboards replacing
Jimmy Winston and the first of many special music lineups is
- Small Faces Years: (see
Small Faces Room for Ravers for a more extensive story)
- The "small" Steve Marriott,
Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, and Kenney Jones seemed to exude the
Mod appeal and therefore, it is no surprise that a name such
as the Small Faces was chosen. According to Steve Marriot, there
was a girl he knew called Annabelle, who told him to call the
band the Small Faces because they were little and had little
boat races. Anyway, the name fit, and once Ian McLagan replaced
Jimmy Winston, there wasn't a fool around that could dispute
the fact they were legitimate small faces.
- Obviously, since the Small Faces were Mods themselves, other
Mods greatly identified with them. In fact, looking back historically,
the Small Faces along with the Who, appeared to be the two definitive
Mod bands of the 60's. However, the Who were more of a reluctant
Mod band, pushed by publicist's to gear themselves towards a
Mod audience, but never truly embodying the Mod image and ideals
such as the Small Faces did.
- During the Small Faces era, Ronnie dabbled in many areas
of employment. At the famous product testing job, he was fired
after trying to get Steve Marriott a free amplifier. Ronnie,
along with Mr. Marriott, moved on to a brief stint as dishwashers
for the Lyons Corner House. The excessive amounts of bleach used
along with other factors, caused Ronnie to quickly move on to
another job. Next, came a job for the Ministry of Defense. This
job ends in a quick firing after coffee is spilled over a blueprint
for a nuclear submarine and other stains which result in the
breaking of the Official Secrets Act.
- The woes in the employment field only help to reinforce the
idea, among band members, the need to focus on their music careers.
Shortly after, in 1965, they have their first commercial hit.
"What'Cha Gonna Do About It," a number penned by Ian
Samwell , reaches number 14 on the UK charts. Their second single,
an original number entitled "I've Got Mine," fails
to chart, but about a year later the boys break through with
a number one hit single.(UK charts) "All or Nothing,"
a Lane/Marriot composition, permanently establishes the Small
Faces as the elite band of their time and many would agree that
their material still holds up today.
- While the Small Faces enjoyed success in Europe, they never
achieved similar feats in the U.S. Mainly due to manager Don
Arden's unwillingness to relinquish control of the band so they
could tour and promote their records in the States. However,
speaking as a U.S. citizen, their sole charting single, "Itchycoo
Park," remains an oldie radio favorite, and despite not
being liked by most of the band members, it is still an incredibly
popular and beloved song.
- Like all good things in life, they must end at some point.
After Steve Marriot walked off stage New Years Eve, 1968, the
band basically broke up. Marriot went on to form Humble Pie with
Peter Frampton and Ronnie, Mac, and Kenney went on to form the
Faces with Ronnie Wood and Rod Stewart.
- The Faces years: (see
the Faces Good Boys... When They're Asleep for more details)
- Drinking and Partying......... the end (just kidding!)
- It was 1969, Ron Wood and Ronnie
Lane decide to form a band and shortly after Kenney Jones and
Ian McLagan jump the wagon. Wood's buddy from the Jeff Beck Group,
Rod "the Mod" Stewart, drops in and eventually joins
the boys, forming what is to eventually become the Faces.
- The Faces go on to record 4 successful studio albums. On
each album, 2 to 3 songs feature numbers sung and written by
Lane. Some highlights include: "Stone," "Last
Orders Please," "Richmond," "Your So Rude,"
"Debris," "Glad and Sorry," and "Flags
- While the Faces were partying and frolicking in their success,
Rod Stewart was simultaneously working on a solo career. Rod's
solo career was beginning to take over and the comraderie between
fellow Faces along with the quality of the music, began to spiral
downward. Ronnie Lane, fearing that the Faces would turn into
Rod Stewart and the Faces, jumped ship and began his own band.
- Slim Chance Years:
- The formation of Ronnie Lane's
Slim Chance occurs in 1973, and shortly afterwards, they attempt
an overly ambitious tour dubbed "The Passing Show."
Ronnie, with help from his wife at the time, Kate, becomes consumed
with the gypsy lifestyle, resulting in Ronnie taking to the road
in pure troubador fashion, to travel and tour. Basically, it
involved a giant touring circus, featuring jugglers, fire eaters,
dancing girls, and of course, the musicians. With only one hit
single in the bag ("How Come?"), the brilliant though
tragically fated tour, came to end shortly after it began. Financial
woes, permit/safety issues, and other unfortunate factors, made
the Passing Show a failure (financially speaking), and caused
Ronnie Lane to basically go broke.
- Despite these obstacles, Ronnie manages to release 3 excellent
albums with various lineups of Slim Chance: (more
info click here) Anymore for Anymore, Ronnie Lane's
Slim Chance, and One For the Road. Next, due to financial
necessity, he records the brilliant Rough Mix with his
buddy Pete Townshend. Shortly after, he discovers that he is
inflicted with the horrible disease Multiple Sclerosis. Due mostly
to symptoms from the MS, Lane releases only one more solo album,
See Me, in 1979. For many reasons, Ronnie never goes on
to achieve the same success as he did with the Small Faces, the
Faces or his ex-bandmates. Steve Marriot's Humble Pie had its
share of success; everybody knows about Ron Wood's profitable
run with the Stones, and of course, Rod Stewart, may be the best
known of them all.
- In the early eighties, Steve Marriot and Ronnie Lane reunite
for one record, calling themselves the Majik Mijits. The album
is a gem but due to Ronnie's illness, it is never released during
his lifetime. Record executives demand for a tour and other such
nonsene, cause the album to be permanently shelved. However,
it is available now, and definitely worth quite a few or possibly
thousands of listens. In 1983, with a little help from his friends,
the A.R.M.S. concert (Action Research into Multiple Sclerosis)
is launched in hopes of raising money to treat MS patients with
hyperbaric oxygen. The concerts are a smashing success but due
to financial mismanagment (having nothing to do with Ronnie),
most of the money is squandered.
- The Texas Years: (for more details buy the Live in Austin disc and
read the great liner notes)
- In 1984, a wheelchair bound Lane, moves to Houston, Texas.
With the help of Chelsey Millikin, Lane moves to Austin in 1985
and by 1987 his music career begins to take off. Ronnie is introduced
to the Tremours, and shortly after Bobby Keyes is recruited,
and a brief tour follows.
- The gang play a memorable show at the Limelight in New York
City, but once again due to health reasons, Ronnie is unable
to tour for too long. During his music career in Austin, he was
to play with many different lineups of what in Ronnie's mind
was always called "Slim Chance." Ronnie went on to
record more than a half dozen Austin radio shows as well as perfom
as many gigs as his body would allow. A wonderful compilation
of this era, Ronnie Lane, Live in Austin, has just recently
been released and is well worth the purchase.
- In 1985, Ronnie, goes to England for a Faces reunion concert.
- In 1990, Ronnie, along with Ian McLagan, went on one final
tour in Japan.
- Now the sad part....
- In 1994, Ronnie along with his third wife Susan, and her
family, move to Trinidad, Colorado. On June 4, 1997, Ronnie Lane
died in Trinidad, CO, at the age of 51.
- I have designed this website in Ronnie's loving memory. I
hope that his memory and legacy will live on forever!
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