Ronnie Lane Interview
by Dave McNarie
Kentish Town, 3 November 1983
Setting: In late 1980, at the age of fifteen, I arranged to interview Ronnie for the first time. I had been working in radio for a few years and was beginning to do interviews with a few people whose music I admired. After several long-distance calls, I managed to get the people at publicist Keith Althamís office to arrange the interview with me. The rules were simple: I would send a list of questions and a blank cassette for Ronnie to record his answers on, at his leisure. Obviously, this method leaves a lot to be desired but it was the only method available at the time. After successfully arranging the interview I sent a "thank you" note to Althamís office, in which I mentioned my willingness to help promote whatever projects Ronnie was involved in at the time. Suddenly, and by parties still unknown, the interview was cancelled.
I continued attempts at rearrange a meeting with Ronnie throughout 1981 and into 1982, when I traveled to London for the first time to do several other interviews. The people at Althamís office were as helpful as possible and were, in fact, instrumental in helping set up interviews with several others. However, when it came to Lane I was simply told: "he isnít doing any press at the moment". It wasnít until months later that I read the interview with Kurt Loder for Rolling Stone, in which Ronnie described his battle with MS. Like many others, it was the first I had heard of his illness.
In the fall of 1983, I returned to London for another series of interviews. Upon my arrival, I again contacted Althamís office in the hopes Ronnie was again willing to talk. Despite the fact Altham no longer represented Lane in any capacity, his people were incredibly helpful. Within an afternoonís time, they had given me Ronnieís home number and address. I only needed to contact him to finalize the arrangements.
I arrived that Thursday at the flat Ronnie shared with his then-girlfriend, the attractive, intelligent, and witty Boo Oldfield. It was a small, cozy place off Kentish Town Road in Camden Town. I was led upstairs to the living room, which was literally stuffed with memorabilia from Ronnieís career: walls lined with guitars and bass guitars, and one of Macís old organs from the early days in a corner. How heíd managed to hang on to all this stuff throughout his troubled recent past defies logic. Boo sat me on a sofa next to the keyboard, and told Ronnie I had arrived. After some time, he proceeded very slowly up the steps to where we were.
Though Ronnie never possessed an Atlas body, he did look rather frail. More indicative of his condition were his molasses-like movements. However, his spirits were high and his personality didnít betray any of the despair that had seemed ever present in the Kurt Loder piece from the year prior. He even looked better than the photograph that had accompanied that piece. As soon as he was seated, the warmth and humor began flowing: "Get off the phone, Boo! Weíre doing an interview!"
LANE: UhÖ where should we start at? ĎEllo, Salt Lake City!! ĎOwís that?
DAVE: Letís start somewhat chronologically, then. The Faces stuff:
LANE: Oh, yeah. The Faces stuff...
DAVE: Youíve probably been over that ten thousand times by now.
LANE: I donít know where to start with that...
DAVE: When did you actually begin performing?
LANE: Well, I started to perform in a public house, a pub, down in Stepney. That was like my first gig. That was on my own. I didnít play bass then, I just played the guitar and I sang a bit. Thatís where I met Kenney Jones, who was just a young lad then. Well, we was all young. Kenney Jones was at school.
Tryiní to get a bass player down in London at that time-- I donít know if itís still the same-- you couldnít do it. Nobody wanted to play the bass. I donít know why. Everybody just wanted to play lead guitar, or they wanted to be the singer, or they wanted to play drums. Nobody wanted to play the bass. Even the advent of someone like the Beatles and Paul McCartney, it didnít make anyone want to play the bass.
So, I got fed up with this. I thought, "this is stupid! Iíll play the bass!" So, I went... I talked me dad into it, cuz heíd bought me a nice guitar. A Gretsch Tennesseean, heíd bought me! I talked him into letting me have a bass. Well, I was gonna pay for it, but I had to kinda sweet-talk him a bit, cuz he was still payiní for the Gretsch guitar.
DAVE: I suppose so!
LANE: Yeah! And I says, yíknow, "Iíve seen the bass I want and itís not that much money." It wasnít as much as the Gretsch TennesseeanÖ There it is, there (pointing to one of several guitars and bass guitars mounted on the walls of the room). It cost forty-five pounds, which is about $80, $90, I suppose. We went down to the shop and I went into the shop, and this little fellow came up to me and said, "yeah?" I said, "I want that bass, there, yísee?" So, he says, "Oh, yeah? Thatís a good bass!"
So, I got talkiní to this fellow, and he turned out to be Steve Marriott! Thatís how I met Steve Marriott! He had lots of soul records, Tamla / Motown and all that, so I went back to his house and I ended up giving him the Gretsch Tennesseean, and me playiní the bass! And thatís what started the Small Faces.
DAVE: What time was this?
LANE: Oh, this was í64, í63 maybe. í64, we was traveling around. í65 we had a hit record. Cor! í63! Just made me think! Thatís twenty years ago, wasnít it?! How Ďbout that?! Weíre all gettiní on!
DAVE: Most of the good bands are.
LANE: Still, itíll all come around again. It never will be the same, but youth is youth. Itíll always get something exciting going.
DAVE: Yeah, Iím hoping for it!
LANE: Yeah! Probably, people were saying exactly the same thing when Glenn Miller and all that was about. Well, they was sayiní the same! When rock-n-roll first came out: "Oh, all this crap! Itís not as good as when I was a kid!!" which was Glenn Miller and all of that.
And then rock-n-roll came along and, "wow!" I mean, I like Glenn Miller Ďn all that, but I think I like rock-n-roll a bit better!
DAVE: Itís kind of hard not too!
DAVE: How were the Small Faces doing at the time? When you first started, how were you all living?
LANE: Oh, we did very well. We was taken over by a manager who put us in a house. We was all living together. He paid us each twenty pounds, which is forty dollars, a week and ripped us off for the rest of the money that we made! We had quite a few hit records, but we didnít make any money out of the Small Faces at all!
In actual fact we ended up, when the group eventually broke up, in a lot of debt! Cuz we thought that all the bills were getting paid by this manager and he wasnít. He was pocketing the lot. And we ended up in a lot of debt. So, there you go!
DAVE: The Small Faces, in retrospect, are considered one of the few bands that were actually "mod". There was the Who, that sort of conformed to the mod clique as a starting point for getting a following. The Small Faces were, later at least, said to have been legitimately mod-- to have emerged from the mods. But is that actually true?
LANE: Well, yeahÖ Yes. We leant towards being the mod thing. I mean, letís get this straight: Payiní for a guitar on a hire purchase, an HP, and being in a bandÖ it didnít really help you to be a mod. Because to be a mod was a very expensive job. It was a very expensive hobby. A real mod would have something like fifteen suits in the wardrobe, and spent all his money on clothes. And, letís get this straight, every week the fashion completely changes. Only subtly, but subtly enough for that suit to be out, yíknow? Therefore, to be an actual, real mod, we couldnít really do it. But we leant towards beiní mods, and when we started having hit records and that, yeah, we was mods all right! (Laughs) Yeah! Of course!
DAVE: With all the managerial problems and other troubles, when did the Small Faces start to fall apart?
LANE: The original Small Faces started to fall apart round about 1968, I suppose. Our first hit was in í65Ö Yeah, about four years we had. We just feltÖ
Well, Steve Marriott, really, didnít feel that we was moving on at all. And, he wanted to be in aÖ It was the time of the supergroups. He wanted to be in a supergroup and all that and obviously the Small Faces, to him at the time, was not a supergroup. Which it wasnít. So he left. And in a way it was quite a relief. Although it was quite a shock, in a way it was quite a relief.
I supposeÖ well, I can only speak personallyÖ I leant, I relied on Steve, really. I relied on Steve very much to sort of be the lead singerÖ (Long pause) I relied on him too much.
So, when he left, it kind of chucked me in the deep end, yíknow? And it was a relief, because it wasnít nearly as bad as what I thought it was going to be.
DAVE: You got to change your style and start to work for yourself again?
LANE: Yeah! Yeah, yeah! Well, youíve got to find your confidence in yourself, which is, as I say, a relief! (Laughs)
DAVE: The Small Faces were...
LANE: That was the end of the Small Faces. Next was the Faces!
Well, the Faces came aboutÖRonnie Wood, he was an old pal of the Small Faces. He used to come round and see us when we was the Small Faces. He phoned me up one day and said, "would you want to fancy coming to play bass with my band that Iím forming?" So I said, "Yeah, sure."
At the time, every day, in the morning I was definitely going to keep the Small Faces. I was going to keep the boys out of the Small Faces, which is Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones. I was going to stay with them. Come the evening, I was going to go on me own, I was going to try for myself. And that was every day. Come the morning, Iíd be stickiní with Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones, come the evening Iíd be...
So anyway, Ronnie Wood phoned up. I says, "Yeah, alright, Iíll come and have a look." So I went down there and there was Mickey Waller, he was the drummer. Some other fellow, some American guitarist who was vaguely sort ofÖ He had a name. I wouldnít say he was famous, but he had a bit of a name. I canít remember it now, though. [Most likely, Ronnie is referring to ex-Blue Cheer guitarist Leigh Stephens, who jammed with Lane, Wood and Waller in mid-1969óD.M.] Anyway, I played bass and I said, "No, not really." I said, "Why donít you come play with me, Mac, and Kenney?" He said, "oh, all right." And he came round the first night (pointing to an organ across the room) on that particular organ, actuallyÖ That was there, anyway. Mac was playiní it. We was trying out some Booker T and the MGs numbers, you see.
The Small Faces were great (because) we were based, basically, on Booker T and the MGs. Not a lot of people realize that, but we was.
DAVE: Judging from the music that you played, there really wasnít that much similarity.
LANE: No, but kind of discipline we had was.
Booker T and the MGs, I always thought, were famous for "itís not what you play, itís what you donít play."
Anyway, he came around and it was terrible! The result was absolutely abysmal. I remember thinking to myself, "Cor, dear! We lost this one!"
Anyway, Woody stuck! Woody stuck. Then, Ian Stewart, the piano player out of the StonesÖ We knew him, and I was talkiní to him, and he offered us the Stones rehearsal room, which was in Bermondsey. We went down there to rehearse and Ron turned up with his mate, who was Mr. Stewart. He didnít come downstairs to the basement where the rehearsal was. Rod stayed upstairs and sort of listened, which was a bit weird.
Anyway, this happened three or four times and in the end I think it was Kenney Jones that said to Rod, "why donít you come down and have a sing?" Cuz none of us could sing. Weíd try, but we just couldnít get it across. So he did, and that was the Faces. Well, it wasnít the Faces; it was just a bunch of geezers.
We went to the record company, and we was trying to think of a name. The record companies werenít interested unless we kept the name, ĎSmall Facesí. I thought, "aw, bloodyÖ Thatís stupid! Itís not the Small Faces. Itís a completely different band." Really, the whole set-upÖ we werenít really mods anymore, to start with, so the Ďfaceí bit of it didnítÖ
DAVE: Ö hold any meaning.
LANE: ...yeah, didnít hold anymore. The whole Mod thing was over. In actual fact, the Mod thing died in í66, really.
DAVE: I figured early í68Ö
LANE: Well that was when it really petered outÖ
DAVE: Last gasp.
LANE: Yeah. The potency of it went out in about í66.
Anyway, they wanted us to keep the name, so the first album that came out was called Ďthe Small Facesí, with Rod on it. But, then we said we want to drop the ĎSmallí, and we became just the Faces.
We kept touring America, and the more we kept touring America the tighter the band got. Iíll say something about AmericaÖ well, thereís a lot I can say about AmericaÖ
DAVE: Not all good, Iím sureÖ
LANE: Well, I donít know. Itís not a bad place. Iíve been to worse places.
No, the thing about America is that it really makes a band good. It really polishes a band up. It hones it. Because the kids, they basically know whatís a good band. You know what I mean?
DAVE: Yeah, at the time, maybe. I know what youíre saying, but I donít particularly agree with it any longer.
LANE: Oh, yeah? Well, I havenít been there for a long time. Not to play. Iím talkiní about í69, í70. It was hot then, very hot. After a gig, some kids would come to the dressing room and theyíd start telling you where you went wrong, and what you should be doing, and things like that. And I sat up and thought, "ooh, bloody hell! This is a bit different to England!" Well, it impressed me, ya know? But, then again, I am stupid! (laughter)
DAVE: You can tell that oneís going on the radio.
DAVE: You can tell that lineís going on the radio!
LANE: (Laughing) Yeah!
Now then! Where was I?
DAVE: Youíre hitting America, touring.
LANE: Yeah, yeah, yeah! We started hittiní America, and we was getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and we was makiní a helluva lot of money. Making the kind of money which was bordering on obscene. Like, we was being encouraged toÖ "well, you might as well hire that jetliner to get from Baltimore to New York because, if you donít, youíll have to pay it off in taxes when you get home." Thatís the kind of money we were spending, and it really began to make me feel uncomfortable. Some kind of a social conscience was bugging me. Also, the whole thing about the Faces was beginning to fall apart.
So, in the end, I uh... I left. Once again, to some sense of bravado, I suppose. But I left, anyway.
DAVE: This was í73?
LANE: Yes, it was í73. Ten years ago. Everything keeps going in threes! I wonder what will happen come í93!
DAVE: The Small Faces music was rather psychedelic. How did the change come about to switch from that to the very bluesy sound of the Faces?
LANE: We stopped taking acid! (Big laugh) To be blunt about it. Thatís basically what it was all about.
By saying that, Iím not going to encourage people to take such a thing, because itís dangerous. We were bloody stupid, really! All right, we was lucky! But thereís a lot of people that wasnít.
DAVE: The happier, folksy sort of carnival music you went on to play in your solo career actually started showing up two or three years earlier, when you did the cover of "Stone" on (Pete) Townshendís first solo album.
LANE: Yeah thatís right.
DAVE: When did you actually decide to quit the Faces and go off and start this? Or, when you left the Faces, did you already have this in mind?
LANE: Well, when I quit the Faces, I didnít have anything like this in mind at all! (Laughs)
DAVE: No, no, no!
LANE: Coming down with MS? (laughs)
DAVE: No. Iím talking about Slim Chance, actually!
LANE: Oh... Slim Chance Well, when I left the Faces, I didnít know what I was going to do. I just had to get out of that whole (thing). I had to get off the roundabout, yíknow? It was sickening me, quite honestly. The whole thing was beginning to sicken me. Iím trying to cast meself back to what I thought then. I thought, "well, I didnít get in a band, I didnít persevere with a band to get sickened like this. So, itís time to bail out." So, I bailed out.
At the time, as I said, I had quite a bit of money that (the Faces) made over in America. I thought Iíd try something out with it. I put on a show in a tent... in a big top, you know?... and I took it around this country and lost all my money! (Laugh)
DAVE: Was that the Passing Revue?
LANE: The Passing Show.
And then, really, that was the end of my "spin of success". Then, I took up farming, would you believe?
DAVE: Oh did you? I didnít know about that!
LANE: Yeah! I got some sheep. I had bought a place out in Wales. I had a hundred acres and I wasnít doing anything with the hundred acres. Once again, my social conscience a bit started to bug me, so I thought, "well, you should do something with it." I was renting it out to some farmers, and they was paying me quite good money and I thought, "if they can pay me money, then why havenít I got a few sheep on it?"
So, I went to college, would you believe? I had sixty sheep, and I was lambing and everything. In actual fact, I got all the sheep in to cut their hooves, trim their toenails. I was having to do this, which is quite a hard job, really. And it wasnít until the sheep started to beat me up that I realized there was something wrong with me, you see?! (Laughs) And I got it all checked out, and found out I had MS.
DAVE: When did you find out?
LANE: That I had MS? I think it must have been around Ď76, Ď77.
DAVE: Had you done the Rough Mix album?
LANE: Oh, yes, Iíd just done it. Iíd just done it! When I did the Rough Mix album, I didnít know I had it then. Yeah.
DAVE: That album was a bit of a comeback for you, wasnít it? It was the best-selling Townshend album prior to Empty Glass, so it did get some acclaim.
LANE: Did it?
DAVE: Oh, yeah!
LANE: Oh, well, I donít know. I donít know anything about it. I mean we made it, the record company gave us an advance, and thatís the last I heard of it! (Laughs)
BOO: (Whispering) Glyn Johns!
LANE: Oh! Glyn Johns always said it was the best album that he made, or something like that...
DAVE: It probably was.
LANE: ...which I found...
Well, I canít really understand that at all, because...
DAVE: Oh, God! Itís a masterpiece.
DAVE: That album is a masterpiece.
LANE: What, Rough Mix?! (Obviously pleased)
LANE: Is it?? (Laughing)
DAVE: Oh, yeah. Sheer genius.
LANE: Wowee! (Laughing)
I know itís been re-released. But, I donít know...
Well, if it was a masterpiece, then why didnít it do better?
DAVE: Well, a lot of albums that were masterpieces didnít do better though, did they? Because, when you get down to it, 90% of the people that buy albums donít know what theyíre buying. (Laughing) Or else you wouldnít have people like Tom Jones still selling albums!
LANE: Now, Tom speaks very well of you, Dave!
BOO: Swinging his hips in Las Vegas...
DAVE: It appears that, after you found out you had MS, things just slid for you until now. I was out with Jim McCarty the other night... you know Jim?
DAVE: He was the drummer in the Yardbirds...
LANE: Oh, yeah!!
DAVE: It wasnít until Jim mentioned the ARMS concert at the Royal Albert Hall that I knew about the concert. [I had interviewed McCarty during my first visit to England and had become quite friendly with him. At this point, it was the norm for him to ring me up to meet at a pub for some music and drink. In fact, while Jim and I were out drinking the night I arrived in London this second time, he filled me in on Ronnieís progress and the ARMS gig, etc., as best he could. Also, we twice saw a familiar face onstage at the Ĺ Moon, Putney: I had several times seen a band called Juice On The Loose in and around London, and the two times I saw them with McCarty the band featured ex-Lane alumni, Charlie Hart. I even had to approach Hart the second time I saw him to confirm itóDM]
LANE: Yeah, it was... my existence instigated it, I suppose. The money wasnít for me, it was to get a hyperbaric oxygen chamber for people with MS. I walked around for years wondering why Iíd got the bloody thing, quite honestly, and suddenly I got the answer: What better fellow to get it?
DAVE: Whyís that?
LANE: Well, because I can do something. I can instigate something like the Albert Hall, which would raise enough money to get a chamber! To get an oxygen chamber, a decompression chamber is what it is. Itís called a hyperbaric unit.
DAVE: What did happen between 1977 and now?
LANE: Oh, a lot of things. I mean, like, for a long time I was... I started to drink quite heavily. (Long pause) And I made a couple of albums. (Pause) My marriage broke up. I met Boo. Hello, Boo!
And thatís brought us up to date, I think. Nothing great, yíknow?
BOO: He was rescued by ARMS... Action Research into Multiple Sclerosis.
He went to the States and tried the venom (treatment).
LANE: Yeah. Oh, yeahÖ
BOO: Came back here in a terrible state, thinking he was getting better. Brainwashing himself into saying he was getting better.
And (then) ARMS took him in hand.
DAVE: The venom treatment didnít do anything?
BOO: It was frightening, the venom treatment. I meanÖ
DAVE: It must have been bloody painful.
BOO: You can try to persuade yourself that every injection your giving is going to make him feel better but, when I went down the road I was thinking about it. In coming back, I really felt he was being poisoned. And he was so enthusiastic about it that he kept on upping the dose!
(Ronnie was very close to his microphone and, at this point, you can hear him chuckling under his breath.)
LANE: And then I got forked tongue! (Laugh)
BOO: It was terrible! He smelled of a snake! He started smelling of a snake!
LANE: You know what a snake smells like?
BOO: Action Research, these people that have taken him (in), they had open minds, you know? He was the only person they knew that was on the venom in England. They were doing blood tests and things like this, and they didnít see that it was helping him at all. But, they didnít tell him. It was up to him to sort of own up to it! (Laugh)
And, eventually, the venom ran out. There was no more venom.
DAVE: That was the, uhÖ Whatís his name, Sessler?
LANE: Freddie Sessler.
DAVE: Freddie Sessler inÖ
DAVE: Florida, yeah. And then he moved to Jamaica, and you guys came back and had a yearís treatment left that heíd given you.
BOO: Yeah! You know a lot about that!
We had about two or three monthís treatment...
If the placebo effect could work on Ronnie, it would have worked with the snake venom, you see? Thatís one thing I know. If that venom was going to work, and it was like a placebo thing, it would have worked for Ronnie because he was so determined for it to work. Ab-so-lute-ly determined!
DAVE: So, when it didnít even work as a placebo, you knew it had nothing...
BOO: And as soon as he stopped taking it he slowly started getting stronger.
DAVE: Oh, really? It was actually deteriorating his health?
BOO: Oh, yeah!
LANE: Oh! I was in a terrible state!
BOO: People believed he was on his deathbed, yíknow? They really thought...
LANE: I got in a terrible state.
BOO: He really was. Walking around the block and... Oh, dear, limping around the block...
And then he started the HBO treatment, and thatís the only thing I can honestly say (has helped), with diets and everything else. After he had the first twenty treatments of HBO, itís the first time I ever saw anything really positive thatís happened to him. Living with it, you watch all the time. You just watch for anything!
(After the initial treatments of) HBO, he was up until midnight for about two weeks! (Laughter) He was writing music! He was walking without his sticks! He had enough energy and strength to walk without his sticks! It lasted for two weeks.
DAVE: See, the only thing that Iíd actually heard about (your having MS)...
Iíd arranged for an interview with you about two years backÖ
LANE: Oh, yeah?
DAVE: Thatís long before I knew anything about the MS, and...
BOO: Well, he was a closet MS for ages and ages and ages.
DAVE: Iíd gone through Althamís office and had this interview arranged and everything. At the time, it was going to be through the mail. I was going to send over a list of questions along with a cassette for you to record your answers on and send it back. But, when I decided to come to England, I went ahead and pushed it a bit more for a person-to person interview. I thought you were still recording and all this, so I got an immediate cutoff. Then I found through a Rolling Stone article with Kurt Loder...
BOO: ...Kurt Loder...
LANE: Oh, yeah!
DAVE: Thatís actually how I found out that you had MS...
Actually, in that article, that was at the time you thought the venom treatment was actually helping him?
BOO: Oh, yeah! Ronnie was determined for that to work!
DAVE: How bad off did it make you, then?
DAVE: How bad off did the snake venom treatment put you?
LANE: Well it, uh... It really didnít do anything. As Boo said, I was pretty determined that it would work. Because I knew there had to be something that could help. I mean, I couldnít believe what was happening, you know? The kind of... the kind of fatigue that you get is very hard for someone...certainly, for someone that hasnít got it, to imagine. You know? And youíve got nothing else to do except sort of sit down and think, because it doesnít actually stop your mind thinking or anything like that...
BOO: It can do, but it hasnít...
LANE: It can do... but it didnít.
So, you know, I was... Itís so strange to think... You think, "why am I like this? Iím like Iíve been in some sort of terrible car accident, but I havenít." You know? "And, Iím so tired, as if Iíd been up for three weeks. And I havenít," you know? Youíre kind of thinking all these things. Itís like a bloody nightmare, and yet itís not a nightmare! Youíre really there, in the middle of it. Itís kind of weird!
Where was we? Me minds gone...(Laughter)
DAVE: We were going from Ď77 all the way up to the present...
It seems youíd hit rock bottom.
LANE: Yeah. Well, the point is...
BOO: The point is, heíd got MS and wasnít telling anybody. So, people would look at him...
He was drunk, as well. And even when he was straight he looked drunk to everybody. Because thatís MS: it makes people look drunk, and things like that
And there was all sorts of people toppiní themselves quite successfully. Keith Moon went. Then John Bonham went. Then Lennon got shot.
BOO: Oh, wonderful! All these lovely disasters going on!
LANE: And, believe it, if anybody wanted to get there it was me! And all these fellas was doing it effortlessly!
BOO: (Through laughter) He was really miserable!
LANE: I was very miserable.
BOO: Antisocial and miserable! (Laughter)
DAVE: This was Ď79, Ď80?
LANE: Oh, yeah. Well, I wasnít as bad off then. I didnít get this attack until just over two years ago, wasnít it?
BOO: You were in a terrible state then. You should have, I mean...
LANE: I wasnít in a good state, but I was walking all right, basically.
BOO: You were walking... you had that attack... You had that attack in the Royal Wedding...
LANE: Two days after the Royal wedding. [July 31, 1981óD.M.]
BOO: Then you flew to the States, and walked too far and had another attack.
DAVE: What is an Ďattackí, though?
BOO: Loss of action.
LANE: Well, itís a kind of a weakness that accumulates in a limb...
BOO: We can get into a completely different thing, now...
This concert thatís going to America now...
DAVE: Yeah, itís a tour now...
BOO: Itís forming ARMS International, for everybody that has MS in America to get together...
DAVE: Why donít you come closer to the microphone... Take a seat.
BOO: No! Ronnie can say it! Come on, Ronnie!
LANE: Yeah, well this tour now, that was the Albert Hall concert, is going to America. Itís going to raise...
DAVE: Why donít you explain how you decided to get this ARMS gig came together...
LANE: Oh, right. Well...
BOO: (Giggling) He didnít know about it in the beginning!
DAVE: Who started it, then?
LANE: No, I didnít. This is something that Boo (started). Boo, you come around here! Boo! Cuz she keeps shoutiní out from the kitchen! She wonít come out here and talk, ladies and gentleman! Come on, Boo! Come and get it over!
BOO: No! You can say how you found out about it, because you thought I was having a scene with somebody! Tell how you saw it from your eyes! All my sneaking about and giggling!
LANE: (Laughing) No, no, no, no, no, no!!
No, Boo got the idea. And, when she first told me, I didnít... I thought it was too much of a long shot.
DAVE: What was the idea at the time?
LANE: To do a gig to raise the money to buy one of these hyperbaric units, an eight-man one to start doing people in London, because there wasnít one in London. And I thought to myself, "this is ridiculous! This is supposed to be the capitol of this country, and we havenít got one!"
DAVE: London doesnít have a lot of things...
LANE: Yeah, right! Itís a bit like the Middle Ages over here, isnít it?
DAVE: In a way it really is.
LANE: You hear that, Salt Lake City?!
DAVE: Salt Lake City is too, though!
BOO: Have they got a decompression chamber?
DAVE: (Laughing) Salt Lake City???
BOO: How far below sea level is Salt Lake City?
DAVE: It isnít. Itís a couple thousand feet up.
BOO: Oh, itís up? I thought it was down and thatís why they didnít need one...
LANE: Well, what about this interview, you??!
BOO: Go on.
LANE: Where was I? Yeah! Boo had the idea for the gig. We set up a meeting of people that have MS, to see if we could get any weight from people around here. We invited Glyn Johns to come along, and he couldnít make it so he sent Ian Stewart, yísee? Ian Stewart came along and we had the talk, and the man from ARMS who sort of know all about these things-- and knows how to speak properly, as well... not like me... He obviously convinced Ian Stewart, cuz Ian Stewart went back to Glyn Johns and said, "I think theyíre onto something here, and we should help Ronnie."
So Glyn Johns came out of the woodwork and said that he would get the gig together that Boo had envisioned. He contacted Eric Clapton and everybody and thatís how the... Now, then, it was originally for the Hammersmith Odeon, but Eric Claptonís manager said, "if youíre going to get this band together, Ericís got to do a gig for Prince Charles. Really, if Ericís gonna do it, I think itís in order that this band does one for Prince Charles, also." So, that was agreed, and the Albert Hall was booked. Thatís how it ended up from the Hammersmith Odeon into the Albert Hall.
Of course, it was a great success. I mean, a supergroup!! (Laugh) There was never a supergroup like that one! And it did very well! And, would you believe, they all enjoyed themselves so much that they didnít want to break it up? So theyíve all agreed to take it to America!
DAVE: Exactly who is in this supergroup?
LANE: Well, thereís Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Stevie Winwood, Bill Wyman, and Charlie Watts. Is that the lot?
BOO: (whispering) the bongo player...
LANE: Oh, and the bongo player. His name is Ray Cooper.
BOO: How many is that?
LANE: Itís like a football team, isnít it?
BOO: Whereís the picture?
DAVE: He used to be with Elton Johnís band.
LANE: Right! He used to be with Elton John.
DAVE: Did a whole load of session work, as well.
BOO: Oh, heís fantastic!
LANE: Yes! Heís pretty good!
LANE: Oh! And Kenney Jones!! How could I possibly forget my old compatriot?!
Anyhow, weíre taking it to America to raise some money. Obviously, we would come to America.
Doh! And Chris Stainton! And Andy Fairweather-Low! And Fernando (Saunders), the American bass player for Beck. And Stevie Winwood wanted him.
Anyway, weíre coming to America now to raise some money to start an Action Research into Multiple Sclerosis in America, would you believe? Because Americans get it as well, yíknow?
Something is very strange about (MS)as well. I think itís a bit strange, anyway. It seems only to be-- in a sick way, itís quite funny, or is it just ironic-- it seems to be a white manís disease. I have not yet seen a black man with multiple sclerosis.
DAVE: Sometimes disease does have a race barrier, yeah.
LANE: Oh, yeah!
BOO: Well, we donít get sickle cell anemia.
LANE: Yeah, thereís also black manís diseases that white men donít get. But, MS definitely seems to be a white manís disease. I havenít seen any redskins with it, either! (Laughter)
DAVE: Okay, letís see how many more racial connotations we can get in here!
BOO: No, theyíre SAFE, you see?
LANE: Yeah! Iím glad for Ďem! Iím glad for Ďem! I thought perhaps that it would cheer Ďem up!
So, where are we now, I ask?
DAVE: Oh, how much touring will you do over in the States?
LANE: Theyíre going to do two nights in Dallas, would you believe? I donít know why weíre starting there, but there must be a method to the madness.
(At this point, the tape runs out and is replaced with a new tape. As the second tape begins recording sound, Lane is petting his Great Dane.)
LANE: Trampus!! I love you, Trampus! I do!!
Yes! Should we get that again?
DAVE: Yeah, go ahead, hit it again.
LANE: Right! Weíll have two nights in Dallas. Weíll have three nights in San Francisco, two nights in Los Angeles, and two nights in New York.
DAVE: How much money is expected to be raised from all of this?
LANE: Cor!! I dunno! I mean, New York alone is Madison Square Garden, yíknow? Phew!
DAVE: Iím sure youíve all gotten out your calculators and...
BOO: Nope! (Laughing) Thatís all down to Glyn Johns!
LANE: Glyn Johns is doing all that.
BOO: Thank goodness!
LANE: Anyway, itís all going to Florida to start up...
BOO: Well, no, itís not all going to Florida. Itís all going to ARMS, to set up ARMS (In America). And Florida... Professor Neubauer is the doctor in Florida that has an HBO center. And, in fact, heís the leading man on hyperbaric oxygen.
LANE: He started it.
DAVE: How long ago did this treatment come about, then?
BOO: A long time ago!
DAVE: It just hasnít gotten that much attention...
BOO: Well, what happened was there was a report made by a Dr. Fischer that was, I think, in 1978. That report came about (because) the MS Society hired Fischer to disprove Neubauer, and he couldnít disprove Neubauer! Iíll show you a video in a minute. He couldnít disprove him, and his report was completed in 1980, and itís only just come out this year!
I mean, what is it all about?! So, this whole concert is also a little bit of the rebel coming out of rock and roll!
Itís not quite as straightforward! They know...
LANE: One thing is for sure: thereís a bit more to this Multiple Sclerosis Society than meets the eye! Without a doubt!
BOO: In this country.
LANE: Because they blocked going ahead for hyperbaric oxygen, and theyíve really got no right to because...
BOO: They like the double Ėblind trial. Okay, theyíre playing it super-safe. But, when ARMS was formed about six years ago... this is an English group of everybody who is fed up with going to MS Society meetings, and theyíre told "youíve got a disease..."
LANE: "...accept it!..."
DAVE: "Leave it at that..."
BOO: "Youíre slowly going to become disabled. So, be a good boy now and go into your wheelchair, and make it easy on the people who have to look after you."
That sort of whole mentality: "Thereís nothing we can do for you." And that, to me, is killing somebody before theyíve even started. The whole "Action Research" is "Up you, MS Society!" And itís all people and friends and relatives of people who have MS that started it. The person thatís going around now about hyperbaric oxygen, his wife died! Not from MS, but from septicemia, from bedsores. Itís disgusting, isnít it? But, HBO helps the bedsores! It helps the skin heal. And, in fact, in Whipp's Cross Hospital and in Ascot, another hospital, they have HBO units where they put people who have bedsores into their HBO chamber, completely...
DAVE: ...for that alone...
BOO: ...And what do they call those bone surgeons who saw off legs? What are they called?
BOO: Orthopedic surgeons! Orthopedic surgeons use the HBO to help heal after amputations. And itís a treatment for gas gangrene as well.
DAVE: How does it help?
BOO: What it does is it forces oxygen into your system... how many times? Seventeen times?
LANE: Seven times.
BOO: Seven times as much oxygen into your system, and it literally forces it through, because itís under pressure...
LANE: So each breath you take is like taking seven times more than what you do in this room, yíknow?
BOO: What they think it is, because MS is stress related as well...
LANE: You can get high on it, too!
BOO: Uh, no higher, I bet, than having a good keep-fit class!
LANE: Well, I donít know about that! Iím not able to do that!
BOO: Well, with you, youíre not able to keep fit, but you know...
Do you ever do exercises and that sort of thing?
DAVE: Yeah, sure.
BOO: I reckon thatís what itís like. Just feeling fit and sort of on top of the world.
When people are under stress, the liver (releases) more cholesterol into your bloodstream. And what they think is happening with MS is that cholesterol is getting blocked in the little capillaries on the central nervous system, and where the blockage is plasma is leaking onto the Myelin Sheath. That is like an insulation wire, and when the Myelin Sheath deteriorates itís like the wires fuse. Short-circuit. And thatís, basically, what MS is.
What oxygen does is disperse the cholesterol, and it reduces all the inflammation. It seems to be doing the same thing that steroids do, without any side effects.
DAVE: Oh, steroids have been a treatment?
BOO: Steroids is a general treatment for MS.
LANE: Iíve been on that, as well!
BOO: Oh! You should see him on steroids! Puffed up like this! He looked like a hamster full of food! A really bulky face. Really ill!
LANE: You name it, Iíve tried it!
DAVE: Why is the MS Society so against new treatments?
BOO: They didnít start putting money into research-- not as much money as they do now-- until ARMS formed. Theyíve been helping people be cripples!
LANE: The Society was a great organization if you want to be a cripple, you know what I mean?
BOO: You know, taking all the cripples out on holiday and things like this, but not so much getting you out of the chair!
DAVE: Is that exactly what they do? Take them off on holiday and such?
BOO: Thatís exactly what they do! Thatís right!
DAVE: Shit! Thatís ridiculous!
LANE: Take you off in a Crippleís Coach...
LANE: ...to sit by the Crippled Sea... (laughter) ...gonna have a cripple party!
BOO: Ronnieís mother has had MS all of Ronnieís life.
The MS Society has been around for about thirty years.
DAVE: But how much do they actually spend on trying to help the people, to actually find a cure and...
BOO: Since ARMS was formed six years ago, theyíve put in about a million pounds a year into research.
DAVE: Have they ever put that much into research before, though?
BOO: Not a lot. Not a lot.
DAVE: And yet, when treatments do come about, however controversial they may be, they like to cover them up, or at least keep people from trying it...
DAVE: And whatís the point in doing that when thereís no sure way?
BOO: Theyíre putting thousands of pounds into this double-blind trial at the Whippís Cross Hospital and, according to Professor Neubauer, the way theyíre doing it is not going to succeed anyway. And itís going to take three years, and three years to anybody with MS is the difference between having an arm or losing it. Because, I donít care, they might still have the arm there, but if they canít use it, they might as well chop it off! You know? And each limb, each leg, each part of the body-- They go blind. People go blind with MS! You can lose your mentality. You can lose any part of yourself!
LANE: You can lose your sense of humor! (Laughter)
BOO: Yeah, sure! (Laughter)
LANE: Thatís real rough, that is!
BOO: Real bad!
So what theyíre doing at the Whippís Cross as far as we know, theyíre putting people in for their twenty treatments, some in an oxygen chamber, some in just pressurized air without... just air under pressure, for the blind trial business. And then theyíre just going to watch those people after the twenty treatments...
DAVE: And leave it at that...
BOO: ...and leave it at that! And just watch them over the next two years. And I know whatís going to happen. I know from Ronnie! After two weeks of the twenty treatments, he starts running down, so he needs to go for a weekly top-off after that. Now Ronnie, after twenty treatments, didnít get another treatment for four months afterwards so, really, it was like him starting all over again. It took him four or five months of weekly top-offs to...
DAVE: ...just to get back to where he was...
BOO: ...to get back where he was when he finished the twenty treatments. But, during that time, he had an attack! And he literally crawled into a chamber and walked out of it. Really! Using a wheelchair in, and he walked out of it! So, the MS Society can...yíknow? (Laughing) And all the doctors!
Because there arenít any side effects. There arenít any damaging side effects. Maybe people go deaf for a couple of weeks, just from irritation in the ears from the pressure. But it doesnít last forever. Thereís nothing permanent.
DAVE: How much does this sort of treatment cost?
BOO: It costs us, for our unit that weíre opening, about 30,000 pounds to buy the chamber , have the property for a year, and set us up for a year. But then, after that, itís just maintaining... It costs about four pounds a dive. And everybody thatís involved in it, hopefully, will be volunteering to take people down. So, friends and relatives of whoever is inside the chamber will be taking... Everyone will be trained.
DAVE: Where is this going to be?
BOO: Our North London one is going to be in Islington, I think.
DAVE: How much did it initially cost to take Ronnie down?
BOO: Well, if itís National Health, itís nothing!
DAVE: Oh, yeah! Thatís right! So, in the States, itís....
LANE: In the States, I think...
BOO: Itís difficult to say. In America, Neubauer costs about ninety dollars a dive. But then itís much more plush. I mean, weíre getting a warehouse together, you know? (Laugh) Itís going to be really rustic! The people are going to get the treatments, but itís not going to be...
DAVE: You donít get the cocktails...
BOO: No, but not only that, youíve got Professor Neubauer, and heís a doctor. Youíre talking about proper medical treatments, where here weíre just... I would like to employ a nurse, to have on the premises all the time. And it would be nice if National Health do take it over as they find out it does work, you know? Itís just helping too many people!
DAVE: How much of a help do you think this is, as long as you do the topping off? Does it just stop the deterioration, or does it also help bring back a bit?
BOO: Well, what happened with Ronnie was this fatigue, this terrible fatigue... youíre too tired to even think, if you can think of it that way. Youíre just too tired to think and cope with normal problems. For a start, it gave him the energy to exercise and get back what heíd lost. And, if you have no energy to even exercise, you just waste away! And it also breaks spasms.
What happened in Dundee, Professor James had this little boy of four years old. And when he was seven months old, his arm was twisted around in a spasm, and they couldnít do anything with it. This is a stroke victim, and HBOís got a lot of research... When he was four years old, he went into the chamber. His mother really persuaded them to put him in the chamber. He went in the chamber, and after a certain amount of treatments, it released the spasm.
This is what happens with Ronnie. His leg goes into spasm. Itís so stiff he canít work it, canít move it. And it seems to slowly be breaking the spasm. Slowly, slowly, slowly. So, thereís just general improvement with him, because he is able to exercise.
LANE: Thank you, Professor Boo! (Laughter)
BOO: Well, itís true!
LANE: So, where are we now, I ask? Oh! How the salt got into the lake of Salt Lake City.
DAVE: Yep thatís right.
LANE: And you said, "Aww! Thatís boring!"
DAVE: Well, you never heard of Lake Bonneville, did you? The Great Salt Lake used to be a huge lake...
LANE: Lake Bonneville... Yeah, Iíve heard of it.
DAVE: Thatís good.
LANE: Isnít that where they used to do races or something?
DAVE: Yeah, the Salt Flats.
LANE: Triumph made a motorbike called the Bonneville. I think thatís where it got itís name.
DAVE: Anything else you want to say about Salt Lake City?
LANE: Yeah: "Good old Salt Lake City!"
DAVE: I think thatís about it...
LANE: "Good on ya, man!" (Big laugh) Oh, well...
DAVE: You used to live in Twickenham by (Pete) Townshend. Werenít you and Pete good friends, sharing the religion of Meher Baba and all?
LANE: Yeah. Yeah, sure. We were good friends. Well, we are good friends.
In actual fact, it was Townshend that Boo approached to put this (ARMS) gig together, and he said...
What did he say, Boo?
BOO: That was a joke! That was a joke!
He said, "yeah!"
LANE: He said, "yes". But, when it came that it was actually going to happen, he said "no"!
DAVE: As Townshend is so apt to do!
LANE: Yeah! Yeah, old Trousers!
BOO: Then he changed his mind again. He said "yes", and Glyn said "no way!"
LANE: Glyn had got it all together, anyway. So, that was the end of that.
DAVE: (Townshend) must be a pain to have to work with...
LANE: Who, Pete??? He can be... difficult!
DAVE: (Laughing) Itís hard for him not to be, I suppose.
LANE: Yeah, well, on Rough Mix he did write that song, "(Just Want To Be) Misunderstood" You should play that song, just to sort of... "Itís all true, folks!!!"
DAVE: Yeah...! I think Iíve got it here, actually.
DAVE: Thereís Slim Chance. Mahoneyís Last Stand... Yep, here it is. Rough Mix. Damned good album.
LANE: How Ďbout that?
DAVE: Oh, yeah... on Slim Chance, whatís that song thatís the bare bones of "Annie"?
LANE: Aaaahhhhh!!!"Give Me A Penny"! Yeah!!
A bit of an arrangement came out of that. I thought, "thatís nice! That could be a song!" So, I wrote "Annie"! (Laughs)
Arrangements often come like that. You think of a line in an arrangement, and you think, "Blimey! Thatís better than the song! Iíll use that later on!" So, you do!
Well, I do! Perhaps thatís cheating, but "nuts"!
DAVE: You wrote the original, so whatís the point in arguing?
LANE: Absolutely! I donít mind nicking off meself! Thereís no law against it, because Iím not going to sue meself! Or am I wrong??! (Laughs) I probably will!
DAVE: (Pointing to one of several guitars hanging on his walls) Isnít that the guitar from the back cover of Slim Chance?
LANE: No, that oneís gone. I gave that one away. That was the one I gave to Topper, the fellow that comes around and takes me swimming now and again.
BOO: (Moaning) Youíre a naughty boy for doing that.
Heís very generous, you know.
LANE: Well, I think what he does for me is generous!
He plays a guitar, and he had his stolen. You see how many guitars I have up there on the wall, and I donít play them that much... He didnít have a guitar to play around and do a few gigs with, so I said, "yeah, take it", yíknow?
And she says Ď aww thatís too generous...í
BOO: (Protesting) Well, it is, because itís your work, your music, your sound...itís your special sound...
LANE: (Gesturing to guitars) Well, what about all these? What about all these, then? Eh?
Now, that one there, that acoustic bass: I got that idea from the Mexican street bass. I had a place in Ibiza with no electricity, you see?... back when I was in the Faces, of course, rolling in money. I thought Iíd Like one of those Mexican street basses, but they were awful! So I got Tony Zematis to build me that one with the nice neck and all on it.
That one there is another Tony Zematis guitar. I bought it off the wall just to take on the road to write some songs with.
That one is a Resonator guitar, which was originally a Gretsch. Once again, the neck on that wasnít very nice so I asked Tony to make me that one, which he did.
That one there is Eric Claptonís! Yep! I nicked it off him! (Laughs) And heís not getting it back!
That one there was a fellaís who stole some money off me, so I kept it. (Laughter)
That one there is a 12-string Resonator, and Iíve never, ever seen a 12-string Resonator before, so I imagine itís probably the only one in the world...
DAVE: And that is obviously a Mustang...
LANE: Thatís a Mustang bass, which, originally, was Keith Richardsí, and heís not getting it back, either! Unless he asks...
And thatís my old bass from the Faces.
DAVE: Yep. Iíve seen that one on a cover or two.
LANE: Yup. They can all tell a story.
DAVE: What period of time did you enjoy most with the Faces, then?
LANE: From 1969 until Ď71, I would imagine. They were very high years, they were. Very high years...
DAVE: In more ways than one, Iím sure...
LANE: Oh, yeah! You name it, it happened!
DAVE: The first cover, where youíre all on the couch and Ronís got the Mickey Mouse doll...
LANE: Thatís right! (To Boo) And we were all sitting on Katieís sofa, would you believe, Boo?
BOO: Whatís that?
LANE: The first Faces album, which we was called the Small Faces then. It had Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, so I donít know what was "small" about them!
BOO: Rod Stewartís not that big, is he?
DAVE: Except maybe Rodís mind... Or was it later that he got egotistical?
LANE: Just a bit.
DAVE: Still hasnít gotten off his high horse yet, has he?
LANE: Never will, mate. He never will.
BOO: Whoís that, then? Rod Stewart?
BOO: Do you know what he did over here? He announced to the world that he was coming over here to sing for his "old mate, Ronnie Lane". (He) didnít contact anyone at all, he just made this great big announcement in all the Sunday papers. And then he just disappeared!
(Boo then shows me a number of scrapbooks pertaining to Ronnieís career, one of which includes a newspaper article about Rodís non-appearance at the ARMS concert entitled, "Most Unpopular Man Not At The Royal Albert Hall")
It made so many people so angry that he would say such a thing!
DAVE: How was (Jimmy) Page? He seems in pretty bad shape.
LANE: In actual fact, I think that gig might have got him off it!
DAVE: Oh, really?
BOO: Heís had a good talking-to!
LANE: They all gave him a right rollickingí!
BOO: You think about it! He was with Eric (Clapton), who was completely sober! Everybody in that...
LANE: Eric was sober?
DAVE: Youíre shitting me!
BOO: No way!! Itís amazing! Iím so proud of him! Heís my hero!
That whole band have been there and come back again. The one person that was out of it was old Jimmy, and he surrounded himself with the right kind of people.
DAVE: Does he still have that French girlfriend of his?
BOO: (Rolls and then closes her eyes in despair)
LANE: If anyone can tell someone like that to come off it, itís someone thatís been there and come off it. If someone hasnít been there people say, "they donít understand, they donít understand." He canít say that with someone thatís bloody well been there!.
BOO: In fact, with Eric completely ignoring Jimmy...
DAVE: Did he?
BOO: Oh, totally, because he doesnít want to know about it! Jimmy really, really, really, really pulled himself together. He had to.
DAVE: He was at deathís door, there. He was getting close.
LANE: Yes, he was.
DAVE: What type of diet are you on? Are you still on a restricted diet?
LANE: Well, Iím not as bad... I donít keep the gluten-free and all that, the macrobiotic diets and all that. Iíve tried all them! Cor! No, Iím just on a lowfat diet. I donít have butter. I donít have milk, unless itís skim milk, and things like that.
DAVE: Youíre using wheat flour again now?
BOO: He was on the gluten-free diet for two almost. Wasnít it, Ronnie?
LANE: That was about the same time as the snake venom and all?...
BOO: No, that was before the snake venom. About six months before he started the snake venom he started the gluten-free. That really helped. I wasnít so sure that it was just giving up drinking. That helped, anyway. He started swimming fourteen lengths, and walking back here. He was doing real good.
DAVE: But he wasnít overexerting himself?
BOO: If you overexert yourself with MS, youíre likely to put yourself into an attack, because itís stress. It all comes back to this stress thing. He slowly built up to that. There was a slow buildup to fourteen lengths.
LANE: In actual fact, Iím going to go swimming today.
BOO: If youíre up to it.
LANE: What do you mean, Ďifí Iím up to it?
BOO: You were tired today.
LANE: Aw, nuts! Iím going to do it!
BOO: Aw, nuts!
Although I stopped the tape, Ronnie, Boo and I continued chatting and sipping tea for some time. In all, I was at the flat for over three hours that day. Ronnie and I ended up walking down to the street, with Ronnie dropping me off at a nearby tube station as he drove off to go swimming. We talked about several things of interest which, as I remarked to Ronnie at the time, I regret not getting on tape. He said that turning the deck back on would be fine, but I chose not to impose on him any further. It had really turned into a chat more than an interview, so why ruin the moment?
However, it is worth mentioning that, while on the way to his car, Ronnie spoke of his last project with Steve Marriott, the Majic Mijits. Ronnie said that the project was going along fine, the material had been recorded, Island Records had shown more than passing interest, and that everything pointed towards an album release. Keith Richards even loaned them 45,000 pounds to defray costs on finalizing the project. However, Ronnie claimed, Steve stole the money. He presumed this was to bankroll another reformation of Humble Pie. When Lane and Marriott next spoke on the phone, Ronnie alleged, Marriott said, "Ronnie? Is that you? I thought you were dead!" Although one wishes this sort of thing hadnít occurred, I have found no reason to doubt Ronnieís account.
As Ronnie dropped me off, he invited me to return for another interview after his return from the ARMS tour of America. "There should be some stories worth hearing", he said. I rode the tube home that evening, listening to Rough Mix on headphones. I was in heaven. What was my most difficult interview to arrange was also my most enjoyable to do. In fact, to this day it is still my favorite for a variety of reasons. It certainly isnít, technically, a very good interview: there are too many gaps and very little depth or continuity. For me, though, it wasnít about being technically good. I wanted Ronnie to enjoy himself more than test his wits or memory. I let him lead the way and simply followed along, occasionally giving topics to see if they interested him. As the conversation it became, it was pretty good. It was also a true joy to be involved in.
My thanks go out to Keith Altham and all his staff back in 1980-83, particularly Erica. Thanks, also, to Boo Oldfield and, of course, Mr. Ronnie Lane.
© Copyright 1983, 1997 by D.C. McNarie. May not be reproduced in any manner without prior written consent of author
© Making Time 1995-2008