Ian McLagan, Keyboardist for Small Faces and Faces, Dead at 69

Dan Reilly

By Dan Reilly

on 12.03.14 in News

Ian McLagan, the keyboardist in both the Faces and Small Faces, as well as a sideman for groups including the Rolling Stones and a solo artist, died earlier today in an Austin, Texas hospital from a stroke, according to reports from Paste and Ultimate Classic Rock. He was 69.

Among the England native’s early bands was Boz People, which featured future King Crimson and Bad Company bassist and vocalist Boz Burrell. He joined the Small Faces in 1965 before the band found success with singles such as “Sha-La-La-La-Lee,” “Itchycoo Park,” “Tin Soldier,” and “Lazy Sunday.” The band split a few years later, with McLagan and drummer joined forces with Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, previously of the Jeff Beck Group, to form Faces in 1969. They would go on to have hits with “Stay with Me” and “Pool Hall Richard,” among others, before breaking up in 1975.

At that point, “Mac” toured as a sideman and occasionally recorded with Wood and the Stones, providing such memorable parts as the electric piano groove on 1978′s “Miss You.” McLagan also performed with Wood’s side project, the New Barbarians, which included Keith Richards and saxophonist Bobby Keys, who died yesterday at age 70. His long list of credits includes work with Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Westerberg, Billy Bragg, Frank Black, Melissa Etheridge, Warren Haynes, Nick Lowe, and many more, on top of maintaining a solo career that continued up to his death. His most recent album, United States, came out last June. In 1978, McLagan married Keith Moon’s ex-wife Kim Kerrigan, and their marriage lasted until 2006, when she was killed in a car accident.

In recent years, the Faces played a handful of reunion gigs, many with vocalist Mick Hucknall. Both of the groups were inducted as one unit into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Rod Stewart was supposed to perform with them at the ceremony, but had to cancel due to an illness. There was still talk of plans to reunite for a tour up until McLagan’s death.

Below, watch a performance of McLagan’s “I’m Your Baby Now,” which Wondering Sound premiered less than two months ago.