Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ronnie Lane's Passing Show

It's been awhile since I've watched this great documentary about one of my all-time favorite musical personalities : Ronnie Lane! I was very fortunate to have older musical cousins who took me to my first real rock concert when I was 13 years old. It just so happened to be the Ronnie Lane ARMS benefit concert at Madison Square Garden on December 8, 1983. The show featured a who's who of rock royalty (Clapton, Beck, Page, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Joe Cocker, Paul Rogers.........) all pitching in to do benefit shows for their pal Ronnie Lane who'd come down with MS - Multiple Sclerosis. Ronnie never really became famous in his own right in the United States - most folks knew him as the bass player in the Small Faces (and later just THE Faces). Lots of folks knew his one major hit song of the 60s though - "Itchycoo Park" (by the Small Faces). I honestly had very little idea of who he was when I went to the show, but it was heartening to watch rock's greatest stars rally behind their stricken friend for whom there was a tangible love that was obvious even from my seat far behind the stage.

Since that time, I have become a stone Ronnie Lane fan. One of my favorite LPs of all time is the one Ronnie did with Pete Townshend, "Rough Mix". In my opinion, it's one of the best things Townshend ever did - and I think Ronnie's material one-ups Pete's! That would be a brilliant pub-argument someday! This great documentary is on youtube in six parts - I don't know if it really captures the total awesomeness of Ronnie Lane (I think hearing the music helps complete the picture), but there are some pretty hilarious moments here (as well as a few tugs on the ol' heart-strings). Ronnie Lane strikes me as the kind of guy you'd see sitting in the local bar or the local supermarket, yet had the ability to cast a magical musical spell that could just leave you slack-jawed and scratching your head about the meaning of life............well worth the time spent - have a look..........

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