London Trip, part four

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London Trip, Part 4

 

(L-R) Luke and Ruben on the Lane to Fishpool


Fishpool 11/2000

Two days after the interview with Kenney, Rupert and I drove to Wales, near Shropshire.  We picked up Luke and Ruben Lane, Ronnie's two sons, who showed us the backroads and took us to the Fishpool, where Ronnie and family moved in late 1973.   This is where most of the Slim Chance material was written, rehearsed, and recorded.  The Fishpool is featured on the cover and record sleeve of One for the Road.  It's also where Clapton, Townshend, and many others would go to escape the oppression of stardom.  Clapton, in particular, spent a lot of time there, getting back into music after kicking smack in the early 70s.  He played with Ronnie and Slim Chance quite a bit in those years, doing impromptu jams at several local pubs.  He also recorded the demo for "Wonderful Tonight" at the Fishpool, outside in the yard, sitting in a wheelbarrow.  And we need not forget that Clapton wrote and recorded with Lane, particularly on Rough Mix and See Me.  Slim Chance also opened for Clapton on a late 70s tour.

Part of Ronnie's old farmland Looking down on fishpool from a few yards up the lane
Peeking over the hedge Right behind the car is where Ronnie struggled with some horns


After showing us around the Fishpool, Ruben and Luke took us to the pub closest to their old home, where we hid a few pints.  We then drove back to their current home, several miles away, where they live with their mother (Ronnie's second wife), Kate.   We were treated to the old Lane hospitality (thanks for the excellent curry, Kate!), and several hours of discussion over tea.  Kate pulled out a fantastic scrapbook full of stuff (see the original lyric for "Tell Everyone" in Ronnie's own hand (r)). 

Ronnie's original text for "Tell Everyone"

Luke, Ruben and Rupert head for the pub.


They refused to let us leave, and once it was dark we realized we wouldn't know how to anyway.  Instead, we all jammed ourselves into the car and went back towards the Fishpool, and did a pub-crawl of all of Ronnie's old haunts. A Yank is a pretty rare thing in that area, so tons of folks that knew Ronnie sussed why I was there, surrounded by his family, and introduced themselves to me. After several pints, we made our way back to the Lane's, where Rupert and I spent the night curled up on two couches in front of the fire.


The next morning, Ruben (a dead-ringer for his father) made coffee for us before Rupert and I drove back to London.  By late afternoon, I was in South London, interviewing Charlie Hart, Ronnie's right-hand man throughout the days of Slim Chance.  The next morning I flew back to the States, which meant I missed interviews with Billy Nicholls and Mick Green, amongst others.  These interviews will be conducted soon, so keep an eye out for them, as well.

Luke (left) and Ruben (right) at Fishpool, 11/2000

The dip in the ground at the center of this photo is usually filled with water.  That's where "Fishpool" got it's name


Thanks to all those who were were so kind and helpful during my trip, particularly to Rupert, Luke, and Molly; and, of course, the Lanes.

That's Dave McNarie, lost in the depths of Wales

 

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