Ian Patrick "Mac" McLagan
May 12, 1945-December 3, 2014
Ian McLagan, best known as the keyboardist for the Small Face and later the Faces, has died. McLagan was 69 years old. Earlier today, it was reported that McLagan was in critical condition after suffering from a head injury. A statement on McLagan's website said that the keyboardist had died from complications from a stroke he had the day before. McLagan was approached to join the Small Faces in 1965 after original keyboardist Jimmy Winston left. McLagan was joined by guitarist/singer Steve Marriott, bassist/singer Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenney Jones. Together, the band released three studio albums and many hit singles- including "Here Come The Nice," "Itchycoo Park" and "Afterglow (Of Your Love)."
Marriott left the band in 1969 to form Humble Pie. The band were close to breaking up until they were approached by singer Rod Stewart and guitarist Ronnie Wood, both of whom begged them not to split. The band rehearsed with Stewart and Wood, ultimately continuing as the Faces (the "small" monkier was dropped given that Stewart and Wood were 5"9 and 5"10). The Faces would release four studio albums, leaning more towards a hard rock/blue sound than the psychedelic rock of the Small Faces. The group split in 1975, but McLagan would go on to rejoin reunited versions of both bands. Aside from his work with the Small Faces/Faces, McLagan would often play for the Rolling Stones while they were on tour. Before his passing, McLagan was currently in a reunited version of the Faces with Wood, Jones, singer Mick Hucknall and bassist Glen Matlock.
I'm very saddened to hear about Mac's passing. With Mac gone, three of the four Small Faces have now passed: Steve Marriott died in a house fire in 1991 and Ronnie Lane died from multiple sclerosis in 1997. The Faces meant to reunite with Rod many times but nothing became of it. Kenney Jones announced that the four surviving Faces would reunite for a tour next year.
This is such a shame.
Rest in peace, Mac.