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The Faces

Stone is from The Faces first album, The First Step … well, that is the case if you were in Great Britain when it was released in 1970.

If you were in America, you probably were given the impression that this was another album from Small Faces. The band’s management was concerned that changing the name (due to the new personnel – Steve Marriott left, Rod Stewart & Ron Wood joined) could be detrimental to sales. The band stuck firm to their resolve to change names in Britain, where they became The Faces.

Stone comes from the songwriting talents of Ronnie “Plonk” Lane (1946-1997) and the teachings of Meher Baba. Lane was introduced to Meher Baba by Pete Townshend from The Who and he later described Stone:

… he encapsulates the whole story of what I believe is the true story of creation in this beautiful perfect little song based on a chart that Meher Baba had done called the Circle of Evolution.


The song was included on Pete Townshend’s first* solo album, Who Came First (1972). For this album the song was called Evolution and it was missing a few verses. (* Townshend had done some earlier private release solo material.)

Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane (image from LastFM)

Pete Townshend & Ronnie Lane (image from LastFM)

The connection between Peter Townshend (The Who) and Ronnie Lane brings to mind my old schoolmate – Greg Totman. The branch in the “family tree” of British Rock containing these two was brought to our neighbourhood and my peers in Penrith by Greg – well that’s how I experienced it. For this reason (and a few others*) Greg pops into my mind whenever I listen to Jeff Beck, The Faces, Small Faces, The Who, The Yardbirds – I just can’t help it.

* A notable one is his hosting of a small party where Ogden’s Nutgone Flake played a central part – See Short Memories #288-291.

Stone & Blind Prayer are connected by …

The Faces and Rod Stewart’s paths were pretty much synchronised from the moment he and Ron Wood joined the 3 remaining Small Faces … well, until Stewart’s light started shining more brightly as a soloist.


Other Stuff You Might Enjoy.

* Evolution from Who Came FirstPete Townshend (vocals: Ronnie Lane)

* Evolution from a 2004 Ronnie Lane Tribute Concert – by Pete Townshend.

* Ronnie Lane Documentary (unfortunately I can’t locate Part 1); Part 2 (35m 17s); Part 3 (13m 40s) – a very interesting documentary.

* The Forgotten Music Of Ronnie Lane – a really good appreciation (with clips) by Josh Lieberman

* Ronnie Lane – written by John Pigeon.

* Top 10 Ronnie Lane Songs – Stone didn’t make the list

Destination next?

North:   Song Of A Baker by Small Faces
East:     Highwayman by Highwaymen
South:   Eyesight To The Blind (The Hawker) by The Who
West:    Blind Prayer is back there.

Crossroad 29