Tuesday, June 4, 2013

40 Year Itch : Plonk's Last Gig


Nobody thought he was serious at first because "I'm leaving the band" was a group catchphrase: the stock Faces response to any disappointment or setback. If you got slightly rained on between the hotel porch and the limo, you would automatically say, "I'm leaving the band".
      Rod Stewart in Rod: The Autobiography

On June 4, 1973 Ronnie Lane performed his last concert with The Faces at Edmonton Sundown in London. He was disillusioned by the band, which seemed to be spending too much time backing up Rod Stewart. On the final album, Ooh La La, Stewart barely showed up to the recording session and then bashed the album in the press.

In an interview Lane did with Dave McNarie in 1983 he blamed Rod Stewart for his departure:

There were things that Rod, if he’d been worth his salt, should have saved for Faces albums. But, it became obvious to me after a while that Rod was saving all his good ideas for his own albums, and very little for the Faces albums. I thought, "I’ve been through all this before. Steve Marriott left the boys right up the lurch, now Rod’s going to leave us up the lurch. So, the only thing to do is, I’ll leave first." Y’know? So that’s why I left the Faces!

By most accounts, Plonk's departure tore the heart out of the band. Ronnie Wood began making his case to join the Rolling Stones and Rod Stewart was doing his superstar thing.

Lane formed Slim Chance in 1973 and toured Europe in a kind of gypsy circus, complete with fire eaters and jugglers.  Aside form a UK#11 hit in 1974 called "How Come", Lane saw more critical success than commercial success.1976's One for the Road is the must own album. While recording 1977's classic Rough Mix with Pete Townsend, Lane was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

''The odd spasm of double vision I didn't take very seriously at first,'' he said in 1987. ''I just put it down to that heavy Saturday night I just had. But it came on me very suddenly when I was trying to put the bass line on a song that I'd written. My fingers just would not work, and I thought, 'What the hell has happened to me?' From there it led to crippledom.''

He died twenty years later in Colorado at the age of 51.

1. Cindy Incidentally
2. Angel
3. True Blue
4. I'd Rather Go Blind
5. Jealous Guy
6. You Wear It Well
7. Maggie May
8. Borstal Boys
9. Twistin' The Night Away

 Rod Stewart - Vocals
 Ronnie Lane - Bass
Ron Wood - Guitar
 Ian McLagan - Keyboards
 Kenny Jones - Drums

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