Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane - Mahoney's Last Stand (1976)

Here's a soundtrack from a movie (alternatively titled Mahoney's Estate) that nobody seems to remember anything much about. The soundtrack (released four years after the movie - if indeed the movie was ever released) has faded into obscurity too, although it's a good album in its own right - perhaps the absence of any images or credits from the film on the LP sleeve is an indication that the album should be approached on its own merits.

The two Ronnies were, of course, members of the Faces, one of the best rock bands of the early 70s, until it was overshadowed by Rod Stewart's solo career. Indeed, all the Faces bar Rod appear on the first track on this album. Ronnie Wood had just joined the Rolling Stones when this album was released, and Ronnie Lane, since quitting the Faces before their last tour (I believe because he didn't get to perform his own songs) had produced three quite exquisite albums with his band, Slim Chance. There's a budget-priced compilation CD called How Come that's currently in print. Check it out if you can't track down the Slim Chance albums. I think they might be in print in Japan, but the original LPs aren't too difficult to track down if you have the patience. His most famous work outside the Small Faces or the Faces is Rough Mix, his 1977 collaboration with Pete Townshend, which is usually available in one form or another. Pete appears on a couple of tracks on this album. I'd guess he did a few overdubs on this material while they were preparing Rough Mix.

Ronnie Wood is one of rock music's great team players, first with the Jeff Beck Group (where he was relegated to bass guitar beside his more illustrious leader), then with the Faces, Rod Stewart and the Stones. A gifted multi-instrumentalist (his slide guitar playing is particularly exceptional) who is often underestimated, possibly due to his drunken, laddish image. He's put out the odd solo album, but I have only heard the first one, which is pretty good.

This album was begun at the height of the Faces' fame (such as it was) and completed a couple of years after they split. I gather it was reissued with some bonus tracks (looks like they were Faces outtakes) on CD in Japan several years ago, but is currently out of print.

Ronnie Lane, sadly, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few years later and died in 1997. Ronnie Wood continues to roll with the Stones when they are rolling. There was talk of a Faces reunion a few years ago but it just wouldn't have been right without Ronnie "Plonk" Lane.

Recorded at Olympic Studios, London.
Produced and Engineered by Glyn Johns.

LP mastered by George Piros at Atlantic.

A1: Tonight's Number (3:10)*
A2: From the Late to the Early (3:36)
A3: Chicken Wire (2:00)
A4: Chicken Wired (3:45)
A5: I'll Fly Away (0:31)
A6: Title One (3:42)
A7: Just for a Moment (Instrumental) (2:55)
B1: "Mona" the Blues (4:27)
B2: Car Radio (4:50)
B3: Hay Tumble (2:55)
B4: Woody's Thing (1:45)
B5: Rooster Funeral (3:55)
B6: Just for a Moment (2:55)

ATCO records, USA. Cat # SD 36-126.

* I just realised that 'Tonight's Number' is on the excellent Faces box set, Five Guys Walk Into a Bar, so I've omitted that one. Sorry about that.
320kbps mp3 
[links fixed 22/1/12]

Tonight's Number
Kenney Jones- drums
Ronnie Lane- bass
Ron Wood- guitar
Pete Townshend- guitar
Ian McLagan- piano
Bobby keys- brass
Jim Price- brass, baritone horn solo
From the Late to the Early
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Benny Gallagher- bass
Ron Wood- guitar, harp, vocals
Ronnie Lane- guitar, vocals
Chicken Wire
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Rick Grech- bass
Ron Wood- guitar
Ronnie Lane- banjo
Ian McLagan- harmonium
Chicken Wired
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Ron Wood- guitar,vocals
Ronnie Lane- bass, banjo, vocals
Ian McLagan- piano
I'll Fly Away
The Wood / Lane vocal ensemble:
Ron Wood, Ronnie Lane, Glyn Johns, Bruce Rowlands, Billy Nicholls
Title One
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Ron Wood- guitar
Ronnie Lane- bass, guitar, percussion
Bobby Keys and Jim Price- brass
Just for a Moment (Instrumental)
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Ron Wood- guitar, harp
Ronnie Lane- guitar, percussion
"Mona"- The Blues
Rick Grech- drums
Ron Wood- guitar,vocals, harp
Ronnie Lane- bass
Car Radio
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Ron Wood- guitars
Ronnie Lane- bass
Ian McLagan- piano
Pete Townshend- percussion
Bobby Keys- tenor sax
Hay Tumble
Micky Waller- percussion
Ron Wood- bass, guitars, harp
Ronnie Lane- guitar
Rick Grech- violin
Woody's Thing
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Ron Wood- guitars
Ian Stewart- piano
Rooster Funeral
Ron Wood- guitar,vocals
Ronnie Lane-  vocals
Rick Grech- violin
Just for a Moment
Bruce Rowlands- drums
Ron Wood- guitar,vocals, harp
Ronnie Lane- bass, percussion, vocals

All selections written by Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane except I'll Fly Away, which is traditional and arranged by Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane.

Lorks a'Lawdy. Just found a poster for the film. Looks, er, interesting.

I guess at least that goes some way to explaining the various poultry references in the song titles.
UPDATE (27/7/11):  I recently watched the excellent DVD Ronnie Lane - The Passing Show, which features a couple of short clips from the film, so it exists somewhere. Quality-wise the clips look like a videocassette dub from a TV broadcast. I'm in no hurry to see it, though. Enjoy the music.


  1. excellent work, thanks, very thanks friend.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. it's gone, fileserve.

    but thanks for the review at the least.

  4. The film is currently available in its entirety on YouTube: It's a bit rough around the edges in many respects, but I find the film to have a curiously affecting mixture of humor and wistful melancholy.