The Ruskin Arms
The start of the Small Faces Tour of London is fittingly a pub. The Ruskin Arms is located in High Street North, Manor Park London E12. The nearest London Underground station is East Ham. The pub was run by the parents of Jimmy Winston (real name Jimmy Langwith, the Small Faces' original keyboard player. Jimmy's old bedroom became an Indian restaurant attached to the pub. Anyone who has visited the restaurant during Small Faces conventions at the Ruskin Arms can testify to the friendly service and excellent food.
It was here that Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane met up with Jimmy who had previously told them that he played keyboard in a band with a weekly spot at the pub. On 25 January 1965, Steve joined Jimmy on stage to play harmonica. After the gig, Steve and Ronnie invited Jimmy to join their new band for which they had already recruited Kenney Jones as drummer. Jimmy was not just recruited as an organ player, more importantly his brother had a van. They later used the pub to rehearse upstairs and it was the venue for some of the band's early gigs.
Incidentally, Steve Marriott's father Bill used to run a fish stall opposite the Ruskin Arms.
More recently since 1997, the Ruskin Arms has been used as the venue for the Small Faces conventions and the Ronnie Lane Tribute Concert. It was closed in September 2008 with Small Faces tribute band The Small Fakers playing one of the final gigs.
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