Ian ‘Mac’ McLagan was the keyboardist who made The Small Faces, and then The Faces soar; bringing colour and depth to some of the greatest music of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Following Mac’s passing in 2014, friend and disciple Paul Weller remembered a musician whose influence will live on for generations…
“He always had a great spirit about him, a really vibrant person. Obviously, the Small Faces had a big impact on me… He’d been the missing component in that group, and for Kenney Jones, Steve Marriott and Plonk [Ronnie Lane] to meet him – he looked the same and had the same musical influences – it was obviously meant to be.
"I was lucky enough to play with him a few times. The first time I met him was in the early ’90s when he was living in LA with [McLagan's wife] Kim. He was playing some bar in Pasadena, and I phoned up and managed to meet him at this little pub, and I got up and did a song. Then we invited him a few days later to play some Wurlitzer with us at the Greek Theatre. I saw him whenever I had a chance after that, and he played with us live. Like any great musician, he had a very unique sound to him. From all his influences, like Booker T. and Jimmy Smith, whoever they may be, it’s a lovely thing that it goes into your system but it comes out as something special to that person. He’s a massive influence on a lot of musicians, young and old; thank God generations to come will be able to discover his music, his music in the Small Faces and Faces, and beyond that. You hear something and you know immediately it’s Mac.”
As told to Mark Paytress. This article originally appeared in MOJO 255