Drummer Kenney Jones verified that he had indeed been negotiating a Faces reunion with Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, despite keyboardist Ian McLagan’s incredulous comments in December. “We’ve been talking,” the drummer told Billboard on Wednesday. “Woody’s management and myself, we were talking to Rod’s management.”
In early December, Stewart had told a Boston radio jock that the band members were all “earmarking” 2015 for a reunion. But later that month, McLagan told Uncut magazine that the singer had made the announcement without having spoken to him or Jones. “Why would we fuck around with the Faces when we’ve got bigger fish to fry?” the keyboardist said.
Instead of a Faces reunion, he said he was more interested in reuniting the Small Faces – McLagan and Jones’s late-Sixties band, which became the Faces after frontman Steve Marriott quit to form Humble Pie and they brought in Stewart and Wood. In his Uncut interview, McLagan said Stewart would “have to wait until 2016 because 2015 is the Small Faces’ year.”
“Mac didn’t realize we were talking because it was in its early stages, but he understands full now,” Jones said to Billboard in an effort to make sense of the confusion. He added that Stewart “probably presumed everyone knew we were doing it, so there was nothing intentional.”
Jones said that Stewart’s longtime bassist, Conrad Korsch, would likely stand in for Faces four-stringer Ronnie Lane, who died in 1997. In recent years, Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock had been filling in, while Simply Red vocalist Mick Hucknall had sat in for Stewart.
The drummer told Billboard that, in addition to making plans with Stewart, he and McLagan had been active in the compilation of a Small Faces box set, Here Come the Nice – The Immediate Years 1967 -1969, which is still forthcoming. He said he was also working on a script for an animated interpretation of the Small Faces’ 1968 concept record Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake. He also said he was planning a way to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Small Faces’ debut single, “Whatcha Gonna Do About It,” which came out in 1965.
But regarding the Faces – who had planned to reunite with Stewart at their 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction but did not, due to the singer suffering a sudden illness – Jones remains optimistic. “We’ve been talking about it [for] long enough,” he told Billboard. “You’ve got to start talking about it about a year ahead of you’re going to do something. The Faces never finished on a good note, so it would be nice to finish on a good note, and that would be that.”