Thursday, December 4, 2014

Farewell, Ian McLagan

He pounded the keys with some of the best British bands in Rock & Roll history. Ian McLagan's career began when he replaced original Small Face Jimmy Winston, and continued barreling ahead when that band lost its "Small" and gained Rod Stewart. His bluesy yet joyful playing also gave a boost to Rod's excellent early solo albums. After Faces broke up and guitarist Ronnie Wood joined The Rolling Stones, Ian could often be found doing what he did best on stage (and on occasion in the studio) with the biggest Rock & Roll band in the world, even if he was doing his work outside the spotlight.

McLagan's story doesn't end with his four highest profile gigs. Dylan, Springsteen, Chuck Berry, Nick Lowe, and Frank Black are a few of the other incredible artists who've benefited from Ian McLagan's assistance. So did the former Kim Moon when she fled an unstable and dangerous home life with Keith Moon and found a calmer one with a guy who played in some of Rock's wildest acts.

Of course, we should not mistakenly cast Ian as some sort of perpetual sideman. He also had a long-running solo career since 1979's Troublemaker, right up to United States released just this past.

Tragically, Kim McLagan died in a car accident in 2006. Eight years later, Ian has followed her at the age of 69 after suffering a fatal stroke. We fans can still find a lot of joy in the amazing work he left behind, such as the intro of "Too Bad". Damn!

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