Drummer Kenney Jones was a founder of the Small Faces, one of the most
popular bands in the UK in the '60s. In the U.S., however, Jones is
best known for his stint with the Who, as a replacement for the late
The Who's choice of Jones had a certain symmetry. In the mid-'60s, the
Small Faces became famous around East London for their "mod" style in
clothing, just as the Who were the embodiment of "mod" hipness in
London's West End.
Born 51 years ago today in London, Jones studied drumming as a youth.
He met bassist Ronnie Lane in the army.
In 1965 singer/guitarist and former child actor Steve Marriott,
keyboardist Jimmy Winston (soon replaced by Ian McLagan), Lane and
Jones formed the Small Faces ("small" for their height and "faces"
because of the Who song "I'm the Face," meaning "I'm hip") in London.
The band's rowdy club performances and its debut single "Whatcha Gonna
Do About It?" brought the Small Faces near-instant popularity. The
group continued its success in its home country, charting with such
top-10 singles as "Sha La La La Lee," "Hey Girl," "Itchycoo Park,"
"Tin Soldier" and "Lazy Sunday." Of those singles, only
"Itchycoo Park" had chart success in the U.S.
Frustrated with their lack of progress, Marriott quit to form
Humble Pie in 1969. Jones, Lane and McLagan regrouped with singer
Rod Stewart and guitarist Ron Wood, renaming themselves the Faces
since the new members were quite tall. Although the Faces had hits
with "Stay With Me" and "Cindy Incidentally," their recognition was
eclipsed by Stewart's burgeoning solo career.
As the '70s wore on, various Faces left the group, which disbanded
officially in 1976. Jones and Marriott re-formed the Small Faces for
a few years at that point. But when Moon died in 1978, Jones was
tapped by the Who as their new drummer. Officially becoming a band
member the following year, he toured with the superstar band for
Jones was present on such Who records as 1981's Face Dances,
featuring the hit "You Better You Bet"
and the following year's It's Hard, including "Athena."
In 1989 the three original members of the Who elected to tour
without Jones, who joined Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers on the 1991
LP The Law.
Last year Cleopatra Records released the Small Faces'
Masters collection. This year Rhino Records issued the Faces
retrospective The Best of Faces: Good Boys ... When They're Asleep.
Also in 1999, Jones put together a 50-track Small Faces anthology
titled The Darlings of Wapping Wharf Launderette, distributed
only in the UK.
Other birthdays: B.B. King, 74; Bernard Calvert (Hollies), 56; Betty Kelly (Martha and the Vandellas), 55; Ron Blair (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), 47; Peter Zaremba (Fleshtones), 45; and Richard Marx, 36.