Kenney Jones says that, in typical Faces fashion, the group has some work to do before being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday [April 12] in Cleveland.
The drummer tells Billboard.com that he, guitarist Ronnie Wood and keyboardist Ian McLagan will definitely perform with Rod Stewart for the first time since the 1993 Brit Awards, but they haven’t rehearsed yet and aren’t sure exactly what three songs they’ll be playing. “We’ve got some time for a rehearsal on Friday, and we’ll see what happens,” says Jones, who on Friday will also join Wood and McLagan in presenting a copy of “Faces 1969-75,” their deluxe limited edition book published by Britain’s Genesis Publications, to the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives. “We haven’t made our mind up totally on what we’re gonna do ’cause everything in the Faces, it’s always a surprise and things change.
The Faces, circa 1971
Anything can happen with the Faces, so we don’t want to say what’s happening until we’re actually on stage doing it.”
Jones did say that the Faces’ signature hit, “Stay With Me,” was a sure bet and added that the group will also play one song by the Small Faces, which is being inducted concurrently with the Faces. Also up in the air — who will fill in for the both groups’ late bassist, Ronnie Lane.
“At the moment we’re not sure,” Jones says. “Everybody who’s there in the induction wants to play bass with us, so we’re kind of leaving it for the last minute.”
Despite the uncertainty, Jones says the prospect of a Faces performance with Stewart is as exciting to the group as it will be to the induction ceremony audience. “We got together about three years ago with Rod just to see if the magic was still there,” Jones recalls, “and after a couple of minutes the magic was still there. We sounded just the same. That’s what amazed me. But nothing really changes because the Faces have continued, socially, since we split up. We get together, we go out to dinner, we’ve enjoyed each other’s company over the years. And whenever we’re together we cause havoc wherever we go. We’re naughty little boys, still. So when we get together to play, it’s like it never ended.”
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Jones, Wood and McLagen played some Faces shows in 2009 and 2010 with Mick Hucknall fronting the band. As to whether the Rock Hall reunion will bring Stewart back into the fold, Jones says “the problem with Rod is his manager keeps booking him a year or two in advance, so every time we get close to trying to do something, everybody’s schedules get in the way. It will happen at some point, for the right reason, when time allows.” But he also feels that the Faces have shown they can play without Stewart, too.
“The idea is whilst we’re waiting for the real thing, we want to work with different people and different singers and have a great time,” Jones explains. “That’s what happened in the Faces, anyway. If anyone was around and they wanted to sit on stage with us, they sure did. Bobby Womack used to get up on stage with us, Tina Turner, lots of people like that.”
Jones says some new Faces music is definitely within the realm of possibility, too. “Woody and I have sort of been touching on that,” he says. “Woody’s got some songs. Everyone’s got some different ideas, and it would be lovely to go in the studio and do something.” In fact, Jones, Wood and former Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor have reportedly worked up a track that will be used for the season finale of CBS’ “CSI: Miami.”
But while he expects a happy and boisterous occasion, Jones says some of the joy will be tempered by memories of Lane and the Small Faces’ late frontman Steve Marriott. “It’s a very exciting and happy occasion, but it’s also a sad occasion that Ronnie and Steve are not there to share it with us,” he notes. “All we can do, (McLagan) and I and the rest of us, is just make people aware that it’s not just us. And (Lane and Marriott)….will certainly be there in spirit with us, and we’ll certainly remind people they’re a part of it as well.”