Ronald Frederick "Ronnie" Lane (1 April 1946 - 4 June 1997) was an English singer, songwriter and bass player (nicknamed "Plonk" while in the Small Faces and later "Three-Piece" in The Faces) best known for his membership in two prominent English rock bands, the Small Faces (1965-69) and Faces (1970-75).
After initial success with the singles, he commenced a tour called "The Passing Show", touring the UK as a carnival, complete with tents, barkers, etc. Viv Stanshall, from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, was a short-lived ringmaster (of sorts).
Lane moved to Island Records and issued Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance and One For The Road. In late 1976, he joined a short-lived reformation of the Small Faces, but quit after two rehearsals, to be replaced by Rick Wills (who currently plays alongside the former Small Faces drummer, Kenney Jones, in the Jones Gang). However, since Lane had already signed a contract with Atlantic Records as part of the reformed Small Faces, Atlantic informed him that he owed them an album. Pete Townshend recorded an album with Lane, titled Rough Mix, which was released in 1977. Rough Mix was lauded as contender for best album of the year by many critics, but the label did not promote it, and sales were thereby lacklustre. Rough Mix not only left Lane out of debt to the label, but it cemented his credentials as a solid performer.
During the recording of Rough Mix, Lane was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (his mother had also suffered, and died, from the disease). Nonetheless, he toured, wrote, and recorded (with Eric Clapton, among many others) and managed to release yet another album, See Me, which features several songs written by Lane and Clapton.
Around this time Lane travelled the highways and byways of England and lived a 'passing show' modern nomadic life in full Gypsy Traveller costume and accommodation. Playing a lot of acoustic music in the open air for his adopted extended family, the sheep , the early morning and the rolling hillsides, in retrospect it could be said that he became the first New Age traveller/performer of the British Isles, at least a decade before the term was commonly used.
In 1983, his girlfriend, Boo Oldfield, contacted record producer Glyn Johns in the hopes of getting a concert going to help fund Action for Research into Multiple Sclerosis, a London-based organization. Johns was already arranging Clapton's Command Performance for Prince Charles, so they decided to book the Royal Albert Hall for another couple of nights and hold a benefit concert. The resulting A.R.M.S. Concerts featured Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts, Kenney Jones, Andy Fairweather-Low, and more. With the addition of Joe Cocker and Paul Rodgers, they toured the U.S. It was during this time that Rodgers and Page started the band, The Firm.
ROCK CHICKS AT WAR; Next Month a Concert Celebrates Ronnie Lane, the Faces Idol Whose Music Made Millions - and Rod Stewart a Star. but Lane's Real Legacy Is a Tale of Bitter Wives, Feuding Impoverished Children. and a Battle for Money That Would Have Sickened Him
Mar 20, 2004; Byline: DAVID JONES EARLY next month, some of the biggest names in British pop will gather at the Royal Albert Hall to pay...