Kennney Jones (the Small Faces, The Who)

English musician Kenney Jones, was born 16 September 1948. Throughout his musical career Jones has been a member of The Small Faces Faces and The Who. Having previously been in a band with Ronnie Lane, Jones was one of the founding members of the English rock group, the Small Faces which formed after The Jeff Beck group split in 1969, alongside former members Ronnie Wood and lead vocalist Rod Stewart. The Small Faces were part of the Mod revolution of the 1960s. Their hits included “All or Nothing”, “Sha-La-La-La-Lee”, “Itchycoo Park” and “Tin Soldier”. After the departure of lead singer/guitarist Steve Marriott in 1969, the group recruited singer Rod Stewart and guitarist Ronnie Wood to replace Marriott. Both were formerly from the Jeff Beck Group. The band changed its name to the Faces, as the original name was associated with the small stature of its members, and Stewart and Wood did not fit the description. the Faces found great success in the UK and mainland Europe And released their debut album, First Step, in 1970. The group went on to release Long Player and A Nod Is as Good as a Wink… to a Blind Horse in 1971. Their last LP, was entitled Ooh La La, and was released in 1973. Jones remained with the band until its dissolution in late 1975, recording four studio albums and a live album with them.

In November 1978, Jones was invited by guitarist Pete Townshend and manager Bill Curbishley to join The Who, replacing their original drummer Keith Moon, who had died on 7 September 1978 of a Heminevrin overdose at the age of 32. The Who were formed in 1964 by Roger Daltrey (lead vocals, harmonica and guitar), Pete Townshend, John Entwistle (bass guitar, brass and vocals) and Keith Moon (drums and percussion). They became known for their energetic live performances which often included instrument destruction. The Who have sold about 100 million records, and have charted 27 top forty singles in the United Kingdom and United States, as well as 17 top ten albums, with 18 Gold, 12 Platinum and 5 Multi-Platinum album awards in the United States alone.

The Who rose to fame in the UK with a series of top ten hit singles, boosted in part by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline, beginning in January 1965 with“I Can’t Explain”. The albums My Generation, A Quick One and The Who Sell Out followed, with the first two reaching the UK top five. They first hit the US Top 40 in 1967 with “Happy Jack” and hit the top ten later that year with “I Can See for Miles”.Their fame grew with memorable performances at the Monterey Pop, Woodstock and Isle of Wight music festivals. The 1969 release of Tommy was the first in a series of top ten albums in the US, followed by Live at Leeds, Who’s Next, Quadrophenia, The Who by Numbers, Who Are You, and The Kids Are Alright. Saldy though Keith Moon tragically died at the age of 32 in 1978, after which the band released two studio albums, the UK and US top five Face Dances and the US top ten It’s Hard before disbanding in 1983.

However they re-formed at events such as Live Aid and for reunion tours such as their 25th anniversary tour and the Quadrophenia tours of 1996 and 1997. In 2000, the three surviving original members discussed recording an album of new material, but their plans temporarily stalled upon Entwistle’s death at the age of 57 in 2002. Townshend and Daltrey continue to perform as The Who, and in 2006 they released the studio album Endless Wire, which reached the top ten in the UK and US. The surviving members of the Who also played a barn-storming set at the Glastonbury Festival.

The Who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, their first year of eligibility; the display describes them as “Prime contenders, in the minds of many, for the title of World’s Greatest Rock Band.” Time magazine wrote in 1979 that “No other group has ever pushed rock so far, or asked so much from it.” Rolling Stone magazine wrote: “Along with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Who complete the holy trinity of British rock.” They received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the British Phonographic Industry in 1988, and from the Grammy Foundation in 2001, for creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording. In 2008 surviving members Townshend and Daltrey were honoured at the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honours. That same year VH1 Rock Honours paid tribute to The Who and Jack Black of Tenacious D called them “the greatest band of all time. The Two surviving members of the Who also performed towards the end of the 2012 Olympic Closing Ceremony in London, after much persuasion.

The Observer listed the Small Faces’ 1968 release Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake one of the “top British albums of all time”. In 2007, the Small Faces were honoured by Westminster Council with a commemorative plaque placed at what was Don Arden’s offices in Carnaby Street, the band’s “spiritual home”. Jones himself unveiled the plaque. In a BBC interview, Jones said: “To honour the Small Faces after all these years is a terrific achievement. I only wish that Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane and Don Arden were here to enjoy this moment with me”. Since the death of Ian McLagan in December 2014, Jones is the sole surviving member of the Small Faces Small Faces have been cited as a major influence on musicians for the past 35 years, including Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher.

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