When Rod Stewart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 1994 he was unable to make the event. An earthquake had just hit Los Angeles hard and he didn’t want to leave his children. Stewart pledges to make up for that next year by heading to Cleveland to reunite with the Faces, who will be inducted next year – even if he’s not exactly seeing eye-to-eye with his former keyboardist Ian McLagan.
Tell me your first reaction to the news.
I was absolutely over the moon, as one should be. I never thought that would happen. I was a little disappointed with Ian McLagan’s remarks about how the two bands shouldn’t be lumped in together. I think that was a little out of order. I think Mac should think himself lucky that he’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I know that Woody [Ronnie Wood] and I talked about it and we’re over the moon. I’m in as a solo artist and now as a group member, and he being a Stone and a Face. I’ll knock him into shape when I see him, McLagan. It’s great. It’s wonderful. Hopefully the band is going to get together. I said that I’d do it if we can get the rest of the band together. I was with Ronnie a couple of weeks ago. He came up to Las Vegas with me and he said, “I’d love to do it.”
The Faces have always been a very under-appreciated group, so it’s nice they get this spotlight on them.
Yeah. We’re sort of partly to blame for that. We were just always bloody drunk, to be honest with you. It was a very fleeting existence. It was all over in four years, five at the most. It would be nice to get the appreciation.
I can understand why both groups are getting in at the same time. The Small Faces and the Faces are basically the same band with a different singer.
Yes, it was. I can give you a rundown of history. Steve Marriott left to chase a solo career. Ronnie and I were both out of work. Was I? Yeah, Ronnie had been fired by Jeff Beck. Once he left, Jeff knew that I wasn’t happy. I decided to leave anyway because I missed my mate. The Faces got together in the Rolling Stones’ rehearsal room in the East End of London and they were all playing away. Ronnie Lane was singing, but it wasn’t very powerful and they decided that they wanted a new singer. Kenny Jones had already spoken to Ronnie Wood about where I was. Ronnie said, “Why don’t you have a listen? Stand on the top of the stairs, have a listen, and see what you think of the band.” I said, “Okay.” I stood at the top of the stairs and they played well, but nobody was doing any singing [laughs]. They were just doing Booker T and the MG’s songs. So, Kenny came up the stairs and said, “We haven’t got a singer, do you want to join?” I went, “Yeah!” And that was it. We went down to the pub and the Faces were born.
You’re definitely willing to perform with them again at the ceremony?
Oh, yeah! I’d love it. If they’re all available I’ll definitely make myself available.
Did you mind at all that they’ve toured without you these past few years?
No, not at all, mate. It’s something that I would want to do, but it’s getting a commitment from Ronnie –who is hanging onto what the Stones are going to do. He’ll suddenly say, “Hey, let’s tour next week!” I’ll say, “Hold on Ronnie, I’ve got commitments! I’ve got commitments for the next year.” If we all sat around and said, “Let’s do it next summer, or let’s do it for charity” or whatever reason, I would do it. It’s not totally ruled out.
It’s nice you’ll get to attend this time, because you missed your own induction because of the [1994 Los Angeles] earthquake.
Yeah, I was supposed to leave the day after. Two of my children, Renee and Liam, they were just one and three. They were just terrified. Absolutely terrified. I just couldn’t leave them, so I missed it. But I’ll be there this time!
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