The Small Faces’ 50th anniversary trumps a Faces reunion — at least as far as keyboardist Ian McLagen is concerned.
Though Faces frontman Rod Stewart, who’s been spelled by Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall for the group’s reunion shows since 2009 (including its 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction), recently said the Faces are “earmarking” a 2015 reunion, McLagan tells Billboard he and drummer Kenney Jones are focusing more on celebrating the golden anniversary of their previous band.
“Kenney and I are planning on 2015,” McLagen says. “What I want to do is play a few shows with Kenney and some special guests. I mean, there’s plenty of fans of the Small Faces that we know of, and I want to see if they’ll come out and play.”
He also wished someone had mentioned the idea of the Faces for 2015 to him.
“Well, it’s just that nobody’s talked to me about it,” McLagen says. “I just read it in the paper. I don’t want to slag (Stewart) off, but why don’t you call me and Kenney? We don’t have to call Rod or Ronnie (Wood) about the Small Faces, because we’ve only got one year to celebrate the 50th anniversary. We can’t do it in 2016, and we’re not gonna do it in 2014. The suggestion I read in the paper is we get together in 2015. Not acceptable! Why wouldn’t he call me to ask if I’m fucking busy? I’ve got gigs. I’m a working musician. I work every day.”
McLagen and Jones will actually start the Small Faces celebration on Jan. 27 with the release of the limited edition box set “Here Come the Nice — The Immediate Years 1967-1969.” The 3,000 signed copies spread 75 tracks, many previously unreleased, across its four discs, along with a 72-page hardback book that includes track-by-track annotation and testimonials from David Bowie, the Who’s Pete Townshend, Robert Plant and others.
“The book is really amazing,” McLagen notes, though he adds that he’s not necessarily keen to sit down and listen to the music. “I heard some of it in the studio in London with Kenney; we spent a few hours going through the stuff, which was amazing. It sounds great. But to sit down and listen to the stuff that I’ve recorded, it’s not really what I would choose to do — do you know what I mean? It’s good to hear how good it sounds, but to actually sit down and listen to one track after another, that’s not really me.”
While McLagen and Jones muster together their 2015 plans, the keyboardist is also planning for a busy 2015. He plans a spring release for his new studio album, “United States,” which was recorded in the fall of 2012 but has been waiting for a label deal. He’ll take his Bump Band on the road throughout the year and will also take part in an all-star Johnny Cash tribute tour that’s currently being planned. He’s also working on two books — a memoir and a novel called “Fade To Black.” He’s also planning to revamp his web site.