Ronnie Lane + Jimmy Page – Pic of the Week
Mark Bowman Images
Today (April 1), we honor the birth date of one of the most beloved musicians of his era, Ronnie Lane. This Rock and Roll Hall of Fame rocker was a driving force in two British bands of note, the Small Faces and later, the Faces, being joined by singer Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood. Ronnie Lane often brought folk-based songwriting and sensibilities to the bands he joined, giving his songs a organic feel that was very reflective of the times that he lived in.
In 1973, at the height of his career with the Faces, Lane quit the group to form his own band, Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance. They toured England in a caravan in the mid-70's and played before English townsfolk that were astonished to see the former Face playing in obscure rural villages, complete with a circus tent, jugglers and clowns.
In addition, Lane established the Ronnie Lane Mobile Studio after he left the Faces, in which some of rock's greatest anthems were recorded, most notably, Led Zeppelin's 'Kashmir.' Ronnie Lane also recorded an excellent album with the Who's Pete Townshend called 'Rough Mix,' which included a Lane-penned song that the April 1st born rocker called 'April Fool.'
During this time, Lane was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that robbed him of his ability to play his instruments and affected his vocal capabilities. To this end, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman, Joe Cocker, Steve Winwood and other musicians performed a special tour known as The A.R.M.S Tour in 1983, where shows were performed in Great Britain and the United States to raise awareness of MS and to promote a cure for the debilitating illness.
Ronnie Lane finally succumbed to this dreadful disease in Trinidad, Colo. in 1997 at age 51. An excellent movie produced by the BBC, 'The Passing Show - The Life And Music Of Ronnie Lane' was released in 2006 that chronicled the life and legacy of this extraordinary man and musician.