Ronnie Wood and Kenney Jones: Had Me a Real Good Time
Photo by Tom Wright
Do you think that side of The Faces has caused people to minimize how good the band actually was? Even your biggest fans tend to talk about how much you drank before they talk about how you sounded.
Wood: Well, we went to rehearse first. We’d do one song, then [go] down to the pub. Got to get our priorities right.
Jones: I think we just liked having a great deal of fun together, and how better to enjoy each others’ company than with a beer or two—or a brandy or two in those days. But we were really good when we were sober.
Wood: We were a good band underneath—very soulful. And we used to take what we played very seriously. It never came across like that because we couldn’t keep a straight face—we were too busy having a ball and enjoying every moment of it. But no matter how drunk we were, we always pulled it together when it came time to play, and I think that’s what saved our lives. You’ve got to get it together when you play in front of an audience—you owe it to them. That’s a big gift that we had as musicians, to be able to pull it together—and pull it apart at the same time.
The two of you went on to join two of the biggest bands of all time. Was it a difficult transition going from the knockabout approach of The Faces to the huge machines of the Stones and The Who?
Jones: You know, we must have been good, or good enough, anyway—Woody joined the Stones, I joined the Who, Mac was playing with Bob Dylan, and Rod was Rod. I thought, [if] there is something in this after all that, we must have had something special going.
Wood: I think it was a challenge for Kenney like it was for me. The whole plethora of songs that we were presented with—The Who and Stones songbooks—even though I knew the songs in my head, I had to learn so many of them.
Jones: Someone said to me the other day that he remembered seeing me with The Who at Shea Stadium and I forgot all about that. I had no idea.
Wood: A gig is a gig.
Do you think The Faces ever made an album that really captured everything that the band was capable of?
Wood: No, we never did. Did we? There was always a loose link, a part of the album we sort of thought was filler.
Jones: Funny enough, a lot of people now have taken to the tracks that we didn’t think much of. They’re kind of favorites, and it surprises me.
Wood: There’s a whole fan club for “Flags and Banners,” and it’s like, “Really? You like that one?” It’s good that you cater for all tastes, without knowing it.
Jones: If you ask for my favorite Faces album, I’d say just take two or three tracks from each one and that would be the way to describe us.
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