What a sad week for music especially for Rolling Stones fans because within a few hours both Bobby Keys, a session saxophonist who famously played on Brown Sugar and one-time Stones sideman as well as an original member of the Small Faces and the Faces, Ian McLagan have died.
Ian McLagan, who was born on 12 May 1945 in Hounslow and has always been referred to as Mac, got his break in the early sixties in a group called Boz people with future King Crimson member Boz Burrell. By 1965, he was a member of the Small Faces, who scored with songs like Itchycoo Park, Tin Soldier and their only UK number one, All or Nothing.
On Wednesday morning, there was a news alert that Mac had been involved in an accident near his home in Austin, Texas and well-wishers were tweeting furiously wishing him well, however there was little information about the accident. KXAN radio had reported that he had suffered a head injury which came from Tim Basham, a journalist for Paste magazine who was in the hospital at the time. Within a few hours he had passed away and the official Small Faces fan club website said that he had a massive stroke.
When Steve Marriott left the band in 1969, Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood were both recruited to took his place, and the band renamed itself the Faces and recorded classics like Stay With Me, Cindy Incidentally and the longest title ever of a UK hit single, You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything (Even Take The Dog For A Walk, Mend A Fuse, Fold Away The Ironing Board Or Any Other Domestic Shortcomings) before breaking up in 1975.
That year, after Wood joined the Rolling Stones, McLagan became an auxiliary member of the band, joining them on tour and occasionally in the studio. His most memorable contribution is the distinctive electric piano that can be heard so prominently on their 1978 hit Miss You which went to number one in the US and number three in the UK.
McLagan had played with many rock luminaries over the years, including Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. He’s also performed with Izzy Stradlin, Paul Westerberg and was a member of Billy Bragg‘s band. He was most recently on tour with Nick Lowe.
He also fronted his own Bump Band, which are based in Austin, where McLagan lived and died. Since the late seventies, he’s released nearly a dozen solo albums, including his most recent, United States, which came out in June this year.
In 2000, McLagan published an autobiography, All the Rage: A Riotous Romp Through Rock & Roll History, which was updated in 2013 after his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Small Faces and the Faces the previous year.