New FACES Releases in the Works
The UK label, Strange Fruit, are working with band members to compile and
release live BBC material. I spoke with Mac recently about the new compilations:
Mac: There's three long cassettes [of material], one of which is
the Peel sessions. There's a "BBC sessions", which is about twenty songs,
and there's fifteen songs from Peel sessions, and another thirteen songs [from Peel
sessions]. There's two Peel sessions, in 1972 and 1973.
Ron (Wood) and I went through it all, listened, and made notes. They're
unearthing more stuff, because I'm also working on a Faces 3-CD box-set. Warner
Bros. UK started the ball rolling. Me and Ronnie went through his warehouse and
found loads of live stuff and some studio stuff that we [still] have to go
through. There's stuff I mixed for the Rhino compilation, and there's another couple
of tracks that I've already mixed that will go on the Warner's set.
I also want to drag some of the stuff that Rod used, like "True Blue",
"Losing You" [songs appearing on Rod's Mercury solo albums that were performed
by the Faces]... we made copious lists, Sid Griffin and I. Sid and I are working on
this with the guys at Warner Brothers. Sid used to be in a band called the Long
Ryders, and he lives in England now. He did a Flying Burrito Brothers compilation
for Rhino, compiled and annotated it. He's quite an anal-ist, himself!
(Laughter) He does good work. He asked me if I'd be interested [in
working with him on the project], and I said, "Of course!" He
made a list and I made a list, we put them together, and found he knew of things I wasn't
aware of, and vice-versa.
Ronnie has all the live stuff that the awful live Faces album (Coast to Coast) came
Dave: Oh, yeah! Isn't that a fucking torturous thing,
considering what you did achieve as a live act? There was a ton of [live recorded
material] laying around that was so much better. It seemed like 'product for
product's sake'. "Let's get out of the contract..."
Ian: Yeah, but you know what? I know we were so fucked
up when we were doing that! We actually put a lot of time into it. It was
only recently that I found... it's right in front of me, actually: it's an invite
[to that concert]:
Thursday, October 18th
at the Green Cafe
Dylan came to it. I mentioned it in All the Rage, as well.
Anyway, earlier that night we recorded at the Palladium, then went to the party for
at least three or four hours, then went on to the studio [to work on the live album].
Then we played the next night and recorded. So I know we were
burning the candle a bit at both ends. I know there's some good stuff [in the Coast
to Coast master tapes] because it sounded good at the time, and when I heard the
finished release I was so pissed off because it was like a different record. We have
eleven reel-to-reels of that material, which we'll be going through. We'll pick the
bones out of it. We'll find some good stuff in there, or we won't use it!
There's lots of live stuff. We want to make one CD purely live.
Some of the box-set will be... not outtakes, because we're not into
that... but both versions of "Maybe I'm Amazed", live and studio...
Dave: Recorded in the studio in L.A.?
Ian: Yeah. All the A-sides and B-sides, and a
couple of things that nobody's heard. And, if there's time and money, I'd like to
get Rod in the studio to finish a couple tracks that were all finished except for vocals.
Dave: "Ooh La La"-era?
Ian: Actually, later.
Dave: What was the impetus for the Warner Bros.
box-set to come together?
Ian: Well, they came to me. I think they
liked the Rhino collection and were pleased with how it came out, and it apparently is
selling decently in England. They think its about time. We'd been put on a
back burner because Rod is a living act with a manager, you know what I mean? His
career is ongoing, whereas the Faces career finished in '75. I'm doing what I can,
but the Faces doesn't have a leader or a manager who is fighting, you know? Warners
picked up the ball, and away we go!
People just don't know, for the very reason that Rod tours as 'Rod
Dave: They don't recognize the Faces as being the
genesis of all that good material...
Ian: Well, his fan club does, but the public
don't. The public only know "Do You Think I'm Sexy"...
Dave: It's like all the people that think "All
Right Now" was an early song by Bad Company. They have no idea that Free even
existed... That kind of thing.
Ian: I didn't know Bad Company did "All Right
Dave: ...uhhh... they didn't.
Free did. What I'm saying is that most people recognize it as a Bad Company
song. They don't have a clue that Free even existed. It's all Bad Company.
Ian: I bought that Free two-CD set...
Dave: "Molten Gold"?
Ian: Yeah... Is it? I can't see it from
here. It's on the other side of the room.
Yeah, it's very, very heartwarming to know there's people that care.
Its great to turn people on to the Faces, the same way its great to turn
people on to the Small Faces. Eventually, we'll be able to do that by putting the
stuff out as it was supposed to, not the way Charly or fucking Decca want to put it out.
Kenney and I are trying very hard to get the rights to that stuff.
We want to put a Small Faces box-set out that is not like anything you've ever
heard. All it will be is A-sides and B-sides and albums as recorded. No
eighteen versions of "Wham Bam, Thank You Ma'am". No "Pig's
Trotters" and crap like that, which are basic tracks we never finished.
Dave: The first-ever re-release, in the original
format, of the Small Faces oeuvre.
Ian: That would be a wonderful thing.
Dave: Absolutely. I'm the first to admit I'd
be out there buying every oddball and bootleg track that I can, because I'm a fan.
But it's not right to have all that shit out there when the labels can't see fit to have
legitimate releases of the material in its original format. And then the labels
bitch about bootleggers undermining their profits, when [the labels] don't put
out fair-market-value releases of their own!
Ian: I get emails from fifteen-year-olds to
seventy-year-olds and beyond... My beef is that young kids who hear about the Small
Faces go out and buy a CD, and if they get the wrong one... which, invariably, they'll have
to because we can't control [the product] yet... they're not hearing what we put
out, and they may be thinking, "Hey! That's not good!" First off,
we're not even getting paid for it, and now the legacy is fucked! But, we're working