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Ian McLagan: Last Orders, Please

A personal tribute to Ian McLagan, the late, great Small Faces and Faces keyboard player, and a man who brought an instant party to every barroom he ever walked into.

Meeting rock stars never gets any easier. As First World problems go, I know this reads like a doozy, but trust me: those that we worship from afar can prove to be truly terrible human beings up close. Sometimes, who cares? As a rock writer you’re there to get the story, and if the story is that your subject is an arsehole, then so be it.

That said, there are occasions when you’re about to enter the orbit of someone with whom you already share an enormous amount of emotional baggage, despite the fact you’ve never actually, physically met. You may have fallen in love to the soundtrack of their songs or adopted an entire lifestyle based on their personification of teenage rebellion. These are the people who simply cannot afford to be arseholes. This is why I’ve never been more nervous than on the day I met Ian McLagan.

Ian McLagan was part of a gang of pineapple-haired reprobates who ram-raided my blameless 11-year-old life in October ’71, spirited me away from formal education and into the arms of rock’n’roll.


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