Ian McLagan Interview    Part Four

DAVE:   You started with the Stones then.  As you say, the Small Faces petered out as you ignored it...Mac

IAN:   I ignored Steve's phone calls.   I wouldn't answer the phone for a while there. 

I worked with the Rich Kids.  Mick Ronson called me up, they were recording quite near where I lived, and I went in and cut a couple of tracks.  They asked me if I'd do a tour, so I toured with them and had a laugh.   There was talk about doing some more, but then I got a call from Keith [Richards] in Woodstock.  (The Stones) were rehearsing for their tour of '78.

It was June the 5th.   Keith said, "Hey, you want to tour with us?" and I said, "fucking right, I do!"  I was on the plane the next day.  I think the first gig was the eighth of June, it couldn't have been any later.  I rehearsed the same day I got there, and we went through til about four or five in the morning.  Had a nap for awhile, and then about noon I was woken up.  "C'mon, we've got a plane to catch".  "Where we going?"   "Virginia".  The gig was the next night. Frantic, frantic.  I never looked back after that.

I finished that tour, then stayed on in LA.   There were about two or three weeks off, and then we recorded for a couple of weeks.  I kind of forgot about home for a bit there.  I was living in Wandsworth, in London.  I got that phone call on the fifth, I left Wandsworth on the seventh of June, and I got back in mid September.   Then Keith Moon died.

DAVE:   September 8th.

IAN:   And I got on a plane immediately, because my wife is his 'ex' and she was in a state, and the press were hounding her, at the door night and day.   They kept phoning up and banging on the door.  I got home just in time for the reception after the funeral.

DAVE:   Back to touring with the Stones?

IAN:    No, they didn't tour again until '81.  Actually, we did television [in October of '78].

DAVE:  Was that Saturday Night Live?

IAN:   Right. The tongue-in-mouth episode [Mick gave Woody a surprise during taping].   Whenever they show that now, they leave that song out, I don't know which song. Shattered?  I never got paid for it.

DAVE:   Not even the reruns?

IAN:   I get the reruns, whatever they pay for them.  [Doing SNL] was kind of like a wedding present [from the Stones], because I got married the next day.  Stu was the only one that turned up [at the wedding], God bless him.

DAVE:   So, it's 1979 now.  The New Barbarians start.

IAN:   I moved, too.  In October [1978], I turned back to England and realized I had all that money from the Stones tour that I'd left in LA.  Woody had moved over there.  There was nothing in London for me, with the punk scene and everything and Steve Marriott being very stupid.  I said to Kim, "why don't we move to LA?"  I could go because I had a green card, but she couldn't go unless she was married to me, so I proposed to her on that basis.  We didn't want to get married again, having both had bad marriages.  We didn't use the ‘L’ word or the 'M' word, love or marriage.  I said, "Well, look, for business reasons...", and she agreed.  Keith [Moon] had a house in Malibu.  When the Who's management found out that we were going to be in LA anyway, and we didn't have a place to live, they said, "would you be caretakers of Keith's house for three or four months?"  We stayed there a year and a half.  We didn't have to pay rent, and we had a lovely house on the beach next to Steve McQueen's house... Mac's Troublemaker LP

DAVE:   Lovely neighbor?

IAN:   He was lovely.  It was his neighbor, Keith Moon, that was horrible!  It prevented me from saying 'hello'.  

We lived happily there.  The first thing I did when I got to L.A. was record with Woody.  Then Woody's manager, Jason, became my manager.  On the New Barbarians tour,  he got me a record deal.  Then I cut my first album, Troublemaker.   Cutting my second record, Bump in the Night, at a studio up the street, Bonnie Raitt came down and checked the studio out.  She liked the band, too, and we cut a couple of tracks with her. The next thing you know, I'm in her band.   When the Stones asked me to tour again, I took time off [from Bonnie] to do that. 

DAVE:   Which studio in Malibu?

IAN:   Shangri La.

DAVE:   Yeah, the Band's old studio.

IAN:   The Band were out of there.  Rick Danko often used to turn up, and Richard Manuel. Elvis Presley reportedly owned that building.  It was also supposed to be a whorehouse at one point, and also Hopalong Cassidy owned it. It's now a private home.

DAVE:   Go into detail about the two albums.

IAN:  I cut the first album with... Bobby Keys came over one day and said, "Have I got a song for you." It's when we were living in Malibu.  He played me Little Troublemaker, and I loved it.  Obviously, he was playing sax on the demo.  I asked who was playing guitar and he said, "That's Johnny Lee Schell.  He's a Texan.  It's his song.  He wrote it, he's singing it, he's playing guitar."   "Okay, where do I meet him?"   So he brought him over, and we got on like a house on fire.  He was my right hand man.  Of course, Bobby was, as well.  I got Jim Keltner in, and Jim brought Paul Stallworth on bass.  We formed a little band right there and started rehearsing.   Jim Keltner said to me, "wait a minute!  Where's the piano?"   "Oh, I'm going to overdub piano.  I'm going to cut everything with guitar, because I wrote all the songs on guitar."  He said, "Oh, no, man, you've got to play piano!"  "Fuck no! I don't even know parts!"   He said, "well, come on!  Let's learn 'em!"  He cracked the whip on me, but it was great because it worked out well.  We set up with Jim and I facing each other, which you should never do: put the piano next to the drums. Bump in the Night

DAVE:   Yeah!  Where's the separation?

IAN:   But we set up baffles and let the separation disappear, fuck it.  We cut the album like that.  It was great!  Eye contact, it's very important.  Otherwise, I'd have been in a booth, facing a wall!

DAVE:    Keltner was incredibly busy as a session man.  Did that cause him to bow out?

IAN:   No, no.  I didn't tour.  I toured to promote the album, but didn't do gigs.  When I went in to do the second album, my manager had a back injury.  He'd put on the Barbarians tour, and his back went out during that tour.  He was a very, very large man, overweight, and he was in trouble, so he was on his back.  And I just carried on recording without a manager, and the budget went 'up the pictures', as we used to say.  It went west.

We cut an album with Renee Gayer, too, which was called So Lucky, which was one of my songs which she covered.  And then Bonnie's album, Green Light.   We did all three albums in the same space of a few months.  We were going backwards and forwards, album to album.  Then I got a call from the Stones to tour with them, and I jumped at that chance, and had to finish all the keyboards on all the albums in one night.  Manic!  I got home at about four or five in the morning, Kim and I are making love, and we have a 5.2 earthquake. 

DAVE:   That's not a good sign, if you can tell there was an earthquake!  [Laughter]

IAN:   And after the Stones tour, I went back with Bonnie and toured with her until '84.

DAVE:   Steady relationship going on there.

IAN:   Still is.

DAVE:   I tell you, Bonnie's one of the best slide guitarists I've ever heard in my life.  Just phenomenal.

IAN:   Absolutely.   I kept the band together and quit Bonnie, and that didn't work out, and I quit music, basically, until I got a call from Dylan. 

DAVE:   I forgot to ask you about Ziggy!  Zigaboo!  A great drummer!

IAN:   Oh, he's fantastic!

DAVE:  I've been a Meters fan since I bought Cabbage Alley, and then I found the old albums on the Josie label...

IAN:   Oh!  Right!  Woody turned me on to Sissy Strut.

DAVE:   I was fucking floored by it!

IAN:   When Woody got back from that last Jeff Beck tour [1969], he bought me that album, and we looked at the album cover.  Woody didn't know Leo Nocentelli's name, but he recognized him and knew he was the guitarist.  From the photographs on the album, we picked out that George had to be the bass player, Art had to be the keyboard player, and Zig, we just knew, had to be the drummer.  It's funny like that [being able to guess which instrument a person plays based solely on what he looks like]. 

He was great.  Zig was fucking great.  Odd choice, though, for the Barbarians.

DAVE:   That's what I thought!  I thought the whole rhythm section was odd.

IAN:   Stanley Clarke was even odder!  Uptown black man and a downtown black man. Quite different.  A country boy and a city boy.  Zig rocked, man!  And Stanley did his version of rock.  I mean, it worked.

DAVE:   I remember one of the last gigs I tried to catch when I was trying to get out of LA, just trying to get the fuck out of that town, Joseph and Leo-- don't ask me how to pronounce his last name...

IAN:   Nocentelli?  We used to call him 'No-can-telly', but it's 'nah-sin-tell-ee'.

DAVE:   Right before I quit L.A., Leo and Ziggy were playing together off of Sunset in some club, and I stood in line for a couple hours just to get bumped. 

You say the Stones didn't give you much of a chance to rehearse.  What did Dylan give you? One day?

IAN:   No.  Dylan-- that was better.  The Stones gave me one day.  On the second tour, I was rehearsing with them for two weeks out at Longview Farm in Worcester, Mass.  But, with Dylan, we had about a week.  I had a couple of days with him before we went into the Wiltshire Theater in LA, and we actually did three or four, maybe five days there. Rehearsing with Dylan was almost hardly worth it, because he'd always throw in songs you never heard. 

DAVE:   He's kind of like Rice Miller, Sonny Boy [Williamson] the 2nd, kind of the same deal: Just get up there and do it totally different every time.

IAN:   Ab-so-fucking-lutely!

DAVE:   That's the way to go:   Keep you on your toes.  Why play the same song the same way, over and over? 

What was the Dylan tour like?  I understand it wasn't the best rhythm section going there at the start.

IAN:   I thought the rhythm section was fine.  Yeah!  Colin Allen was great!

DAVE:   I've got Real Live, which is fine enough, but I've heard that early on in the tour the rhythm section took a while to click.

IAN:   Yeah, well, it was a very strange combination.  Colin Allen had been with Zoot Money back in the '70s, when Andy what-you-call-it from Police was with him.

DAVE:   Andy Summers.

IAN:   Right.  That's the last time I'd seen Colin.  I hadn't seen him in fifteen years.  I hadn't met Greg Sutton before.  But the rhythm section was fine.  It was very ramshackle.  Dylan wasn't very communicative, and we could have done with another player.  We could have done with another guitarist.  He wasn't very helpful, but that's the nature...

DAVE:   The nature of Bob...

IAN:   After Dylan, there was a long drought.  There was no work around, and I didn't have a band at that point.  Then I did the Everly Brothers tour, and then Albert Lee called me.  Then nothing again...

DAVE:   Well, Last Chance to Dance was right around then.

Last Chance to Dance ep

IAN:   That was Loco.  "Ian McLagan's Loco" was the name of the band. And I was pretty loco, acting crazy. 

I was just doing little gigs, writing and sending off songs.  I was spending all day, every day, making little tapes of songs, going through managers and sending stuff off.  Of course, being ignorant, I didn't know the producer's name.  If I wanted to send a song to Tina Turner, I would send it to her manager.  Well...

DAVE:   The manager doesn't give a rat's ass.  You've got to send it to someone who has an ear.

IAN:   Right.  I mean, I've got a song for Joe Cocker now.   I'm thinkin',  'I should send that to his manager--- No! What's the point?'   I sort of spent my time doing that, and did the Everly Brothers tour in '85, then carried on getting more and more session work from producers who wanted 'that old sound'.  I do a lot of young bands' work. It was a very slow trek back, a slow build-up.  I'd stopped doing drugs and everything.   I was broke, shit-broke.

DAVE:   That's one reason to stop.

IAN:   Well, yeah, but I was shit-broke and wasn't doing drugs!  And no way of earning any money.  I shudder to even think about it at this time.  It was fucking horrible.  I was in the wrong town to be broke.   Nobody was interested in what I had to say, musically.  I tried and tried, and I put that EP out.  That company went bust straight-away.  I forget now what happened after that.

DAVE:   The Faces reunited in '86 in Wembley.

IAN:   Oh, yeah.... a shambles. Rod took advantage of us all.

DAVE:   "Let's not rehearse, let's drink"?

IAN:   Well, that's a Faces rule.  Rehearse?   Rehearse what?!

After that, nothing much happened.  I just became a fucking session boy, which I hated.  I suppose the next thing must have been Lindley.  I started working with him in January, and worked till December 31st, and I earned good money with him, God bless him!  Played a lot, toured a lot, and made some money.

DAVE:   What's he up to these days?

IAN:   He's doing a duo with a percussionist. I got email from Japan which mentioned Lindley was playing the next night. I told the guy [who sent the email] to give David my love. He came back with another email, stating Lindley couldn't believe I'd asked after him. He said he bought Lindley's bootleg CD, and I was all over it.

Oh, yeah!  I called up [David's] rhythm guitarist, who used to basically manage him back then, Ray Woodbury. Ray called me back and said, "It's all really early stuff, and it's got Smitty on very foul DX7." That's Smitty Smith, who's a great player, but he used to play a cheap DX-7 with the waggle bar.  I was calling just to see if I was on [the CD] so I could add it to the discography, but there's nothing to add as a result. He says Lindley's working on a Volume Two, which I'll probably be on.

Anyway, that was a great year. I kept pretty busy.

DAVE:   In a sentence, sum up David Lindley for me.

IAN:   He's a nut, he's a genius.

DAVE:   Oh, he's a genius, all right.

IAN:   We called him 'the Nut'.  He's a very, very funny, very, very intelligent man.  But don't ask for lateral thinking. Is that the right term?

DAVE:  Connected thought.

IAN:   No, no!  He doesn't do that.  We played Japan once, and when we arrived he was very confused after a long flight in from L.A.  We got to the hotel lobby, and everything was organized and they're handing us room keys and bowing.   Lindley turned to Ray Woodbury and says, "where's the equipment?!"   Ray says, "Lindley, it's there.  Look!"  Huge flight cases with guitars and amps are sitting right there.  He turned and said, "sound check in the lobby in half an hour!"  And he was deadly serious.  He wanted to make sure all the stuff was there.  "No, Lindley!  You can't do that."

DAVE:   I've only heard Garth Hudson speak once, in the Scorsese film, but I kind of figure Lindley's the same guy, with a little Roky Erickson thrown in.

IAN:   Yeah, yeah.  A little.  Oh, yeah, Lindley's very funny.

DAVE:   Let's bring up the Ronnie Lane tour.

IAN:   1990.

DAVE:   He had just moved...

IAN:   To Austin, because I visited him in Houston.  I was there for ten days.  Then he came out to visit me and stayed three or four days at the house.  Then he asked me if I'd tour, and I said, "fucking right I will!  I won't play Itchykoo Park, though!"  "Aw, fuck, man!  I wrote that!"    I said, "I don't care.  I hate it." 

I'm a horrible bastard.  

DAVE:   Susan Gallegos had already married him?

IAN:   Yeah.   Actually, I did a Georgia Satellites album out here in Austin, and Ronnie and I hung out.  Ronnie came to the studio, and we went and had dinner.  "Ronnie," I said, "I notice you and Susan have got identical rings on your ring fingers."   And he [mumbled], "...nnnnyeahh.... engaged."   Or maybe he'd just gotten married, I forget.  I said, "you at least sound happy about that."

DAVE:   1990 leads into...

IAN:   1991!  Steve died.

DAVE:   Had you had any contact with him?

IAN:   Yes.  I was playing Thursday nights at the Coconut Teaszer on Sunset.  This geezer hands me a phone number halfway through the set, says "Steve wanted me to give you this. He's in town."  I put it in my pocket, knowing full well I wasn't going to use it. 

DAVE:   Pity.

IAN:   I'd do the same thing again.  It's just the way it is.

DAVE:  Then you began a tour with Woody?

IAN:   Actually, Woody's tour started in '92 and went through '93, because we went to Japan in '93.

DAVE:   Yeah, you were touring with Woody, and Lane came on at the old Austin Opry House and sang Ooh La La?

IAN:   It was actually called the Terrace.  That was Ronnie's last performance, as it turns out, singing Ooh La La.  It's quite funny, because Woody eventually came over to sing it with Ronnie.  Ronnie started it himself.  They started the intro, and Ronnie started singing before the intro was over!   [Laughter]  He was all gung-ho, you know!  Woody ended up sitting kind of on Ronnie's lap, and Ronnie's looking round like, "what the fuck you doing?!" Ronnie's in a wheelchair...   He gave a big old kiss to Ronnie on the cheek.   There's some great photographs of that moment, a series of about ten, bang, bang, bang, bang. It was all such a photogenic moment.Lane can't get away in time.

DAVE:   I'd love to see the look of horror on his face!

IAN:   Yeah!  He just laughed.

DAVE:  Is that where the Manor Downs shot on your website came from?

IAN:  That was the night before Ronnie's last appearance on any stage.  That was at Manor Downs, which is only about five miles from where I live.   Yeah, I just brought up what you did to the photo on my screen. Yeah, it's good, what you've done.

DAVE:   Tip of the iceberg.  If my wedding gift would come through, my real computer, then I could really do something.  I have a friend, AJ, who worked for IBM and he's making me one.

IAN:   Making you one?  Oh!

DAVE:  By that time, who knows, I'll be the guy making the official Faces website.

IAN:   Well that would be fine with me!  That's one thing that's absent on the web.  But, Martin does a fucking good job with the Small Faces!   I've never actually met him, I've only spoken to him.  I've been in London several times and talked to him on the phone, never got to see him.

DAVE:    Do you remember this story? It's in one of Woody's art books.  A little anecdote about you being on a tour, and your with some foreign-speaking taxi driver with Ronnie Lane up front...

IAN:   That was in Belgium, and Ronnie put his tongue in his mouth!

DAVE:   Yeah!

IAN:   He put it in his ear as he was driving along.  Ronnie was really pissed.  That's in All the Rage, as well.  We were all so keen to get out of Belgium, because it was so flipping boring, so we did the gig and our plane was waiting for us at the airport.  On the way, we had these bottles of wine we were drinking, and Ronnie had to stop for a pee.  He got out the cab, and fell into a ditch and went, "AAAaaaaAAA!!"  He was up to his knees in mud, drunk.  He got back in the cab, "fucking hell!"   He was never much of a drinker, Ronnie, you know.  He could apply himself, but he wasn't very good at it.  He could apply himself to the task, but he'd get drunk too quick. 

DAVE:   Speaking of boring tours, is touring still as much fun or a pain in the ass as it used to be?

IAN:   Twenty-two hours a day is a pain tin the ass, and the two hours on stage are always as much fun, if not more.  It's all that waiting around.   I've also been getting a bit morose here the last couple of days.  If I want to get up and pour myself a beer or take a crap, I know where everything is.  If I want to drive down and go and see somebody, I've got my car keys.  If I leave this house, my independence leaves me and I'm in the army again, and that's what I don't like about it.  I'll be stuck in good old London Town, in the fucking tourist area, with no friends to drink with, and that's stupid, isn't it?  I'm already pissed off about it. You think, "Where's that shirt I want?"  "Oh, that shirt is at home".  "Where's my love?"  "Well, she's at home"   You know?

No matter how old I get, I always want to play live. There's no three ways about it. But, I want to tour with my band now.  As soon as I leave the house I'm fine.  I get into a groove on the road straight away.  I get on the plane and I'm fine because I accept what's happening.  I read a book, have a drink, have a meal, blah blah blah

DAVE:   What's your favorite tour that you've ever done?

IAN:   One of my favorites was with Ronnie Wood in '92.  I enjoy it all, really.  I enjoyed touring with David Lindley.

DAVE:   Then you began with Bruce right around that time.   Bruuuuuce.

IAN:   That's right!  In fact, I was in Japan with somebody, may have been Woody or Ronnie Lane, while I was recording with him, because that lasted about eighteen months, recording in bits and pieces. Brooooce.  I remember, because I flew all the way back from Japan without drinking because I knew I'd have to go straight into the studio.  I was so jet-lagged.  A friend of mine was staying at  our house, so he drove my car to the airport, and Kim drove hers, and I gave her a quick kiss and said hello, she took the bags and I drove my car to the studio.  It was about six or seven o'clock.  By midnight, we hadn't done anything, and I'm nodding off.  Bruce says, "Are you all right?"  I told him the story, and he said, "I didn't know!  You can go home!"   "...thanks..."

DAVE:   You should be more forthright, more forthcoming.  Just tell him what the story is!

IAN:   It's my fault, really.  When they called up and said, "is Ian McLagan available?"  Kim said, "well, he's out of town, but he'll be back."   "He'll be fucked up and jet-lagged"

DAVE:   "He won't be worth a fuck for a week, but he'll be back."   You know that you were the first session since the E Street Band broke up?

IAN:   Yeah.   Viva Las Vegas.

DAVE:   Were you in on the sessions for both albums?

IAN:   It was all on long [series of sessions].  He cut a lot of tracks in the very first days with Jeff Porcaro, Bob Glaub, and Roy Bittan.  We did track after track after track, day after day after day.  There was a little gap, I went back in, and Bob Glaub was off.  Different bass player.  We did some stuff, and then I didn't hear anything for a while. I went back in after Japan for more of the same. Then it kind of dwindled.  I went back in, and he was at A&M by this point. It had been at different studios every time.  I was working on two songs at the same time, basically.  He was mixing in the next room.  I put organ on one, then I put piano on another, and that's all that's on the record.

Lovely geezer. There are very few nicer people in the business. He's a real sweet man, and a real listener, too. He likes to hear stories, you know? And he's got some stories.

DAVE:   How much were you on Luck of the Draw?

IAN:   I was on one track. Remixed on one track.

DAVE:   And that's the album that got her all the awards and attention again..

IAN:   Was it?  Well, that's basically because of me!

DAVE:   And around then was the Slide On This tour, the Ron Wood tour.  Chuck Leavell was there, too, wasn't he?

IAN:   No, no.  He did the first gig, actually the first radio gig we did in New York.

DAVE:   That's what was recorded and put out on CD?

IAN:   Yeah!  You know your stuff.  Almost.  After that, Woody and Rod had done Unplugged, which Rod didn't call me to do.   While they were doing a radio plug for it, drunk as skunks, I called in.  Actually, it was one of the radio station's guy's idea for me to call in and fake like I had a question.  Woody asked me if I'd tour with Rod, and I said, "why doesn't he ask me?"  Rod asked, and I said, 'yeah'.  I toured with him from '93 til '97 which got me out of LA and into Austin, thank God!

DAVE:   L.A!  Don't make me go to L.A. again!

IAN:   Me either, mate.  I don't want to go to London!    Where are you at?  Utah?

DAVE:   Southwestern Utah, just over the border from Nevada, about an hour and a half from Vegas.

IAN:   I don't suppose I'll ever get to play anywhere near there, not with Billy, anyway.  Billy would never play Vegas, and that's a fact.

DAVE:   Why should he?  He's got better taste than that, I would hope!

I ought to send you a tape of the interview I did with Ronnie. I think you'd get a blast out of that.

IAN:   Ronnie Wood or Ronnie Lane?

DAVE:   Lane.  It's funny, though. The day after I interviewed Ronnie, I was over at Si Kirke's house doing an interview with him, and Ronnie Wood came over, because they're mates.  It didn't even occur to me to mention that I'd just seen Ronnie the day before.

IAN:   Ahhh!  Simon's a lovely man, isn't he?

DAVE:   Yeah, he is.  Great guy.  And if he can't remember, he'll make something up that's just as entertaining.

IAN:   Haa Haa!  What's he doing now?

DAVE:  Bad Company reformed, the original Bad Company. 

IAN:   So who's playing guitar?  Oh!  Bad Company would be Mick Ralphs.  And Boz?!

DAVE:   Boz Burrell, yeah!

IAN:   See, he wasn't playing bass back then [in Boz and the Boz People].  In fact, I go into this in the book.  I used to try and get him to play Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett stuff.  He didn't get it.

DAVE:   He was more of a jazz vocalist.

IAN:   He was a jazz vocalist, yeah.  He came up to me years later at the Speakeasy, this club in London, and says, "Hey, Mac!  You were right!  I get it!"  I thought it was really big of him, you know?

DAVE:   He didn't understand Otis?!

IAN:   No, he didn't like it.  He wanted to go jazzier.   But, he got it eventually.

DAVE:   '93 had the supposedly proper Faces reunion.   Was that another screw-up?

IAN:   Oh, the TV thing.  Rod got a Brit Award-- it's a load of old rubbish.  We did two songs at the end of the show.  It was another 'little taste', but it was bullshit.   We decided we'd get back together at Woody's studio in Ireland and go through some of the tracks, which I eventually did and mixed Open to Ideas for the Rhino CD.  But, Rod never arrived.   He promised, then said, "I never promised I was going to Ireland!"  I went over there to work on it, and Woody said, "you'll never guess who's in that room over there!"  And I said, "Rod Stewart?"   "No!  Not that fucking cunt!  No, Bob Dylan!"  So, we worked for a week on Woody's tracks and Dylan's songs.  It was going to be for Woody's album, but he went out and toured with the Stones (instead).

DAVE:   Did any of that material ever come out?

IAN:   Yeah!  Not our versions.  Bob recut everything, and that's his recent album.  Can't be on everything.  That new Lucinda Williams album, I'm all over that, the original tracks. I've got tapes, and they're better than the finished things.  Gurf Morlix, who produced my record, produced that.  He was her lead guitarist and vocal harmonizer and main man for many, many years. She just changed her mind after it was all done.  And with Donald Lindley now fresh in the grave...  That was such a great band!  Did you ever see that band?  Her band was un-fucking-believable!

DAVE:   Who died?

IAN:   Donald Lindley, her drummer.  It was in January or February.  Great, great drummer.  I played with him in six different configurations.  I played with Lucinda Williams for the South by Southwest tour in 97 or 96.  He played in my band one night here when my drummer was sick, I played with him with Joe Ely, I played on some sessions with him.  He was a brilliant drummer!   Brilliant.

DAVE:   What happened to him?

IAN:   Cancer.  Fucking cancer.

DAVE:   The Who Covers Who album in '93?

IAN:   Oh, the rip-off, you mean.

DAVE:   Was that as well?  How is that?

IAN:   The guy never returned my calls after that.  I faxed him and wrote to him.  He paid for the session, and I've no idea what happened after that.  I got one copy, bought it.

That's Ronnie Wood playing my dad in Pictures of Lily.   He does the spoken part.  Of course, Roger [Daltrey] sings it [on the original], but I thought it would be great if Ronnie would speak it.

DAVE:   You did a bunch of kick-ass sessions that year.

IAN:   Loads of sessions!

DAVE:   The Buddy Guy stuff, Carla Olsen...

IAN:   Some days here in Austin, they play Ooh La La by the Faces, Buddy Guy's It Feels Like Rain, the new Tony Price record, the new Robert Earl Keen record, and Miss You.  I swear, I've heard 'em all in one afternoon.  I'm thinking, 'did I die?'

DAVE:   Is that KGSR?

IAN:   KGSR, yeah!  Whenever I hear two tracks in a row featuring somebody, I shudder. You know what?  The day Donald Lindley died...  I was listening when they played two tracks by Lucinda, and I thought, 'oh, my God, she's dead!'  I called Jody, the DJ, from my truck when I was driving.   "Jody," I said, "tell me the truth."  He said Donald Lindley had died.  "Oh, my God!"

DAVE:   We've got you touring with Rod again in 94.  On April 1st, you signed papers [for your house] in Manor.

IAN:   That's right!  I was in Austin on the 31st of March, got Ronnie Lane to the gig.  I told him that night I was moving to Austin.  He was like, "...ohh...oh, great."

DAVE:   On his birthday.

IAN:   Yep!  We took him out for lunch, and I signed the papers.   I didn't realize that he'd already decided to move.

DAVE:   Is that why you got the cold reception from him?  He'd already made up his mind to move?

IAN:   It was too hot for him here.  It wasn't good.

DAVE:   How much longer was he there before he bailed?

IAN:   He was here about two months after I moved in. I moved in May 20th, and he was gone by July.

 

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