Music News

Ian McLagan Dead At 69

Small Faces/Faces Keyboardist Reportedly Had A Massive Stroke

McLagan at the Iridium in June 2013. Photo by Arnie Goodman
McLagan at the Iridium in June 2013. Photo by Arnie Goodman

Ian McLagan, the keyboardist best known for his work with the Small Faces and the Faces, has died, according to reports coming out of Austin. He was 69 years old. Details are still coming in, with reports saying that he was admitted to a hospital after suffering a head injury and that he had a massive stroke on Tuesday.

McLagan began his career as a sideman with various groups, but during the British Invasion, he took on a permanent gig playing keyboards with The Small Faces. The band were a success in the U.K. behind hits like “Itchycoo Park,” but they had a hard time breaking through in America. Frustration with the band’s direction led founder Steve Marriott to quit the Small Faces in 1968, but McLagan stayed in the band with Kenney Jones and Ronnie Lane when–with the additions of Ron Wood and Rod Stewart–they became The Faces. This iteration of the band became an even bigger success, releasing classic albums like Ooh La La and A Nod Is As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse. The Faces broke up in 1975, but they have since reunited for periodic tours with Simply Red singer Mick Hucknall on vocals and Sex Pistols bassist Glen Matlock filling in for the deceased Ronnie Lane.

Aside from the Faces, McLagan was also a sideman for the Rolling Stones in the late 1970s; his piano can be heard on the band’s hit “Miss You.” McLagan also released several solo albums and performed regularly in Austin with The Bump Band. McLagan was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame with the Small Faces and the Faces in 2012.

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