Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane
My big sister’s bedroom is still locked tight – you think she’s on to me? Well, since we can’t riffle through her record collection I might as well share an LP from mine. Today we’re spinning Mahoney’s Last Stand, a 1976 soundtrack album by Ron Wood and Ronnie Lane, both members of the Faces.
The soundtrack music – mostly instrumentals – was recorded for the 1972 Canadian movie Mahoney’s Estate, which starred Sam Waterston and Maud Adams. The soundtrack was originally supposed to be released in North America but some kind of legal hassles delayed the movie for almost two years and the soundtrack for more than three years. So the album was finally released about a year after the Faces broke up.
Lane was of course the Faces’ bass player and Wood the guitar player. And Mahoney’s Last Stand features an all-star cast of sidemen including Faces bandmates Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones, Pete Townshend on guitar, Ric Grech (Blind Faith) and Benny Gallagher (Gallagher and Lyle) on bass, Ian Stewart (Rolling Stones) on keyboards, Bobby Keys and Jim Price on horns, Mickey Waller (Rod Stewart) on drums and producer Glyn Johns on backing vocals!
If you like the Faces’ bloozy, boozy-woozy good-time music, you’ll like the numbers here. “Car Radio” puts the pedal to the metal, and “Tonight’s Number” (with Jones, McLagan and Townshend) kicks out like Rod Stewart is going to jump out of the shadows and start wailin’ at any moment. But who needs him: Wood and Lane ably share vocals on the steppin’ “Chicken Wired,” and Wood’s Dylanesque voice is perfect for “‘Mona’ The Blues.” And “Just For A Moment,” an unmistakably Lane contribution, is supplied in two doses: an instrumental and a version with Lane’s sweet vocals.
While the album was being delayed due the legal wrangles, Lane re-cut “Chicken Wired” for his first solo LP, and he often played the song in his live appearances. In 1998 the Mahoney’s Last Stand soundtrack emerged on CD with a bunch of bonus tracks – some rejects from the original recording and a couple of tunes that were early versions of songs that would eventually appear on Ooh La La, the final Faces studio album (1973).
Wood would of course join the Rolling Stones in 1975, and Lane would quit Faces shortly after Ooh La La. He had some brilliant moments after that before succumbing to complications from multiple sclerosis in 1997. Ian McLagan, now a proud resident of Austin and the genius behind the World’s Greatest Free Happy Hour, often pays tribute to his dear friend Ronnie Lane. It’s fitting, because “Plonk” was a genius.