You know you’re getting old when the musicians that you admired and followed during your youth start to die , from old age.
Musicians from the 1960s and 70s weren’t supposed to do that, they were supposed to die young from the excesses of youth, to then be remembered forever by old people as the ones who burned out much too fast, to be held in high esteem for their limited musical legacy, think of Jimi Hendrix playing stadium gigs in these modern times, playing Glastonbury this year, or would he just be doing “The American Songbook” because he’d run out of tunes of his own like some others who easily spring to mind.
This week a musician who gained my admiration when ah wor nobbut a lad died at the age of 69, which back in the day, back when we were all just teenagers, would have been considered “a good innings”, my grandparents all died before that age and four years beyond retirement age seemed to be all you should fairly expect, moreover you should retire gracefully, take up wearing cardigans and slippers, smoke a pipe and stare at the fireplace all day waiting to die.
Fortunately its not like that now.
69 years of age seems like a very young age to die from the viewpoint of someone who is only 11 years younger than that target, a very “short innings”, rather unfair really, I certainly expect more for my motto is, and has been for 20 years now, “Don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t dance” I’m going to live for ever and if 100 is not achieved then I will be complaining to someone, if my children want to inherit anything of mine before they shuffle off this mortal coil themselves then they will have to shoot me on my 120th birthday.
If you don’t want to watch the whole video (above) then jump to 2mins 30 secs and listen to him describe how he came to write “Never say Never Again”…
The Faces were a band I followed from 1970-ish until their demise in ’75, bought all the albums, still have the albums in the loft somewhere, still listen to the music from time to time, hell I even cut my hair like them, cut it myself locked in the bathroom with my mothers huge dressmaking scissors and a whole can of Sylvikrin hairspray, my mother wasn’t a dressmaker by the way, she found threading a needle to be a difficult task, its just that somehow she’d found a pair of huge dressmakers scissors one day and kept them in the sideboard drawer for effect and probably to show them off to our posh Auntie Doris who was actually very skilled with a needle and thread and was probably eternally jealous that “Our Joyce has a lovely pair of dressmakers scissors that she doesn’t know how to use”.
Ian Mclagan’s Hammond organ keyboard playing was always featured on their albums, always got a solo part here and there in a time when electric keyboards didn’t do any of the work for you, a time when if you wanted to play a refrain across three octaves you had to be bloody quick with your fingers and not rely on a memory chip inside the plastic case to save three quarters of it for you.
There isn’t a huge legacy of Faces music to catch up on, all the more reason to look it up on the likes of Spotify, they only released four albums over three years and then in ’75 a live album after Ronnie Lane had left them, a live album that Ian McLagan wasn’t all that impressed with, “There are better bootlegs out there than Coast to Coast” is how he described it, and don’t confuse the Faces albums with the solo output over the same period from Rod Stewart for he used a lot of session musicians on his own albums, they aren’t really the same animal at all.