Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Ian McLagan, 1945-2014
Bobby Keys just passed away. I don't like doing the obituary thing on these pages, but we now just lost Ian McLagan and I feel like I have to. Ian McLagan made one night in 2003 one of the best nights I ever had.
There's a jazz club in New Orleans called Snug Harbor, one of the best of its kind. It's also the first place I visit once I step foot on the grounds of the Crescent City. Quiet and cool, with a fine restaurant on the left and a very hip and friendly jazz bar on the right. I walked in, just a few hours after deplaning, and asked for a table. As I walked through the room, I noticed Ian sitting by the window. It's rare when I care about meeting my rock and roll heroes. I never want to. But tonight was different. It was New Orleans.
I introduced myself and apologized for the intrusion. I explained I was a fan and felt like this was a great way to start this particular visit to my favorite city. Ian all but asked me to join him. We discussed Jazz Fest, my record store, Austin and more. It felt like an hour, but was probably five minutes. He asked about the record store and wondered if I'd be interested in a boxed set he was putting together of the Faces. I'm sure I gushed all over his gumbo, but we had a nice chat about rarities, hits and just boxed sets in general. We shook hands and I made my way to my table to finally meet my party.
I was as high as a kite.
15 minutes later, as I was shoving one of the best burgers in New Orleans into my face, I felt a presence over my shoulder. I assumed it was the waiter. It was Ian.
"Sal? Sorry to bother you but, you really think people are gonna want Faces rarities?"
I said yes, though it probably came out as "Frrsnpsstlullss."
He thanked me. He thanked ME.
Ian McLagan was one of my favorite musicians, was part of some of my favorite records of all time, wrote one of the greatest rock and roll memoirs ever and he was a gentleman.
Rest In Peace, good man.