Ronnie joined The Faces along with Kenney Jones and Ian McLagen. They were joined by Ronnie Wood who had previously been in The Birds, The Creation and The Jeff Beck Group (on bass and a vocalist also from the Jeff Beck Group called Rod Stewart. He left The Faces in 1973 and formed his own band called Slim Chance. Other band members included Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle. This band had hits with How Come and The Poacher which reached the top 20 and top 40 in the UK respectively. Ronnie's debut solo album was called Anyone for Anymore and included some original songs and some "folky" cover versions. He then embarked on an ambitious tour called The Passing Show which came complete with jugglers and fire eaters. Financial problems helped to ensure the break up of the original Slim Chance after this.
The second Slim Chance included Brian Belshaw on bass, Steve Simpson on guitar and mandolin, Ruan O'Lochlainn on keyboards and saxophone, Charlie Hart on keyboards and accordion and Colin Davey on drums. This line-up produced two well-received albums, Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance and One For The Road. The group split up in 1977.
He joined the reunited Small Faces very briefly. He joined with Ronnie Wood to make an album called Mahoney's Last Stand. He then made an album called Rough Mix with Pete Townsend. This album also featured Gallagher, Lyle and Hart from Slim Chance. See Me was produced in 1979 but by then was already suffering from Multiple Sclerosis and withdrew from live work. His health continued to deteriorate and he moved to the USA with his wife and children. There were a number of rock benefits to help raise money for him to pay medical bills.
He htrid to continue performing. He guested at a pub gig with Steve in 1981 as Blind Drunk and played on the Magic Mijits album that was finally released in 2000. In 1990, he embarked on a tour of Japan and has also toured in the USA. Ronnie continued trying to perform live including an earlier Faces reunion but, in his own words, "my body just gave up."
An allergist suggested that his MS may have been caused by mercury poisoning through the fillings in his teeth and he started to have these replaced. He claimed in a 1987 interview that this had helped and that he was fitting into the Texas lifestyle and was stimulated by the music scene. He performed with a band called the Tremors in New York and the set included Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, some Faces material, songs from Rough Mix and a number of covers. He was offered a contract by Andrew Loog Oldham after this show.
Ronnie's illness was one of the factors preventing a Faces reunion. Rod Stewart said:
"Ron Wood and I may have been the two glamour boys up front, but Ronnie Lane was the heart of the Faces."
He adds that the Faces may have survived longer had Ronnie Lane not had left, but their livers may not have lasted!
Ronnie died at home in Trinidad, Colorado on 4 June 1997.
Recently a recording of Ronnie Lane and Kenney Jones in the Outcasts emerged. This shows Ronnie handling lead vocals on blues tracks. This is available on YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYVmtn6DyiU&feature=youtu.be.
Ronnie Lane Links
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