Hall Of Fame for Faces and Small Faces

Well, it’s about fucking time.

The tragedy is that two people who really needed to be there last night missed it. I love both The Small Faces and The Faces and would have given anything to be at their induction, but the stars just didn’t align. As for Rod Stewart, well…hopefully he really had the flu. I’d hate to think his unwillingness to share the spotlight with his former mates had extended beyond reunion tours and all the way to the podium.

Especially because there were two other people who sadly couldn’t be there, because they’ve left this mortal coil. Small Faces founders Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane are no longer with us, but their music and influence lives on, hopefully more so after this induction brings attention to their incredible body of work. I know for a fact that Ian McLagan pays tribute to both every night, at every show, and I am sure he did so again last night from the stage.

Ron Wood and Mac remember the Small Faces

Typical of the lack of respect both bands received in their prime, they had to share an induction rather than be considered individually. That’s a bit daft considering the impact both bands had in their time, and how different they were musically despite sharing three members.

The Small Faces were the mod movement, running off a string of pop and psychedelic singles that set the tone for the late 60s. Steve Marriott’s dynamic voice and presence was ethereal, and he and Lane wrote great songs. They never toured the States – their crook of a manager couldn’t skim if they did – but in England they slot alongside The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who.

The Small Faces:Tin Soldier

The Faces, on the other hand, were brash and boozy rockers that turned arenas into parties where the audience was not only entertained but often dragged back to the hotels for a nightcap. Each packed about as much wallop into a few short years as anyone ever has, and when you realize that half of the output of The Faces between 1971 and 1975 wound up under Rod Stewart’s name alone, you realize what a gross oversight this has been.

The Faces: “I’m Losing You”

But those that really matter – the fans, the bands they influenced – had both bands in their own personal Hall decades ago.

Of course, going any further would just stir up old feelings and make me mock the Hall for ignoring so many other artists; odds are that Lady Gaga will get in before Deep Purple or Cheap Trick. At least they did the right thing and moved the ceremony back to Cleveland.

So I will take the high road instead and simply revel in their greatness, like I always have and always will. Pint in hand, of course.

Happy boys...happy.


Filed under Editorials, Music

9 responses to “Hall Of Fame for Faces and Small Faces

  1. SueBeeDoo


  2. Mark Cunningham

    As much as I applaud the Hall of Fame for bestowing this long-overdue honour, the convenience of lumping the Small Faces and the Faces together leaves me cold. It’s about as relevant as combining an award for The Move and ELO.

    Yes, both bands shared three members but the similarity ends there. They were two very different bands. One exuded a great sense of style, were ambassadors for the mod movement, wrote fantastic songs, were fronted by the best rock vocalist in Britain (arguably the world) and produced one of rock history’s most ambitious and inspirational albums: Odgens’ Nut Gone Flake. The other, whilst responsible for a handful of truly great songs and a lot of memorable gigs, are mostly famous for being fun-loving drunks and kicking a ball around a stage.

    You’re absolutely right. The two people who really should have taken the glory are tragically no longer around. Two of the greatest songwriters and characters who ever lived.

    I wasn’t at the ceremony but from where I’m sitting it smells of Hollywood-style ignorance.

  3. Paul Sikorski

    Nice tribute. While noting “overdueness,” it must be said that there was an even more egregious wrong made right at the induction. The hall finally got around to inducting the *first* “proto” rock combo–the Crickets! How in God’s name there can be a rock n’ roll hall of fame without them in it is beyond me.

    With one obvious exception, they’re all still alive and playing well. I saw them last Summer and can testify. When they play in Europe, Albert Lee usually sits in. JI Allison (co-author of “Well All Right”) chose not to attend, out of protest. The slight was just too galling to him. I’m inclinced to agree!

  4. I had the privilege of working with the late Steve Marriott for 3 years in the early 80’s. I worked with some amazing singers over the years, including Glenn Hughes, but none that gave his all during a live performance like Steve.

    Had he lived, I’m not sure how the ensuing years might have changed him but the Marriott I remember might not have shown up for the ceremony. He had a bit of a love/hate relationship with fame.

  5. Mike Masterton

    Small Faces / Faces are different band’s the people in charge od this award have no clue,it IS American isn’t it ?

  6. Michael Toland

    I was at the ceremony. The Faces (with Mick Hucknall filling in for Rod the former Mod) were the first band to bring the ENTIRE crowd (and by that I mean the rich fuddy-duddies who were there just to be seen supporting Cleveland, as well as the music industry folks and the fans) to their feet without the usual prompting, and they friggin’ rocked. They played the Small Faces’ “All or Nothing,” “Ooh La La” and, of course, “Stay With Me,” which blew the roof off the place. Hucknall had this “I can’t believe I get to do this” smile on his face, and Woody looked like he was having the time of his life. That performance is what rock & roll is all about, and no amount of compromise or political bullshit on the part of the nominating committee can change that.

    It’s a lesson Guns ‘n’ Roses could stand to learn, since they cranked through their three songs with note-perfect competence but an obvious lack of interest. It didn’t help that Myles Kennedy, the singer subbing for Axl Rose, has the pipes but all the charisma of a piece of dry toast. Were they not watching when the Faces hit the stage, put all the crap behind them and simply rocked their (and the audience’s) balls off?

  7. drbristol

    Not the first time I wish I could swap lives with Michael Toland for a day.

    When musical kismet happens, and fans like you and I see and feel the obvious magic, I often wonder what goes through the performer’s minds. Do they feel they can capture this lightning in a bottle and perpetuate it, even for just a short time? Are they fearful (or smart enough) to walk away and spike the ball, knowing that the magic is a one time thing and old problems are just around the corner?

    When Rod did his Unplugged show so many years ago, I was hoping he would realize that he and Woody were never as good apart as they were together. (My god – was that really twenty years ago next year?) But instead…I got twenty years of soccer mom music.

    Oh, what could have been. Oh, what should have been.

    P.S. – No truth to the rumor that Hucknall will tour with the Faces under the name Simply Rod.

  8. Gary Frenay

    Amen, to that, Bill. I am so moved that Ronnie Lane finally got some recognition. That and seeing Marriott on the cover of the latest MOJO, seems to imply that they live on.

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