Book review: The Faces 1969-75

alkasura, book reviews, bus stop, menswear, rod stewart, ronnie lane, ronnie wood, the faces

Ok, so this can’t possibly be a proper book review, because I don’t own the book. The reason I don’t own it, is because it costs £345. It’s £345 well spent, if you have the money, in my opinion. But it’s still £345. You pay for superior materials, lush production and great exclusivity; it’s bound (ha!) to hold/increase its value. It also contains a lustworthy amount of photos of rockstars in beautiful clothes.

I did, however, get to see a preview at the launch, at Genesis HQ in Guildford, on Tuesday night. Once the crowds had cleared somewhat, the feather-headed pseudo-mods had drifted away, I had spotted Peter Blake (again!! It’s the Zandra Rhodes effect; you start feeling bored of seeing them everywhere!) and gobbled up as many canapés as I could find, I carefully flicked through the book and tried to take some lousy phone shots of the photos up on the walls. I was in heaven. Men in satin. Men in flares. Men in feather boas. Men in platforms….

Rod in an Alkasura cherry jacket.

The "Bus Stop" blouse.

Men in blouses. Fantastic.

Funny Faces


Personally I’m a Ronnie Lane kinda girl. Rod Stewart is fine in this period, and he wears some of the most brilliantly bonkers gear out of all of them. Ronnie Wood is tolerable, but he doesn’t float my boat. Ian McLagan has instantly gained major points in my book for being seen wearing a Bus Stop Forties-lady print blouse throughout the book. And Kenney Jones is….there. But put them all together, and it’s just magical. The photos are largely unseen; vivid, candid and energetic.

I’ll just have to keep hoping for that windfall so I can buy the damn thing! The Faces: 1969-75 is available here:

Give me those happy days toytown newspaper smiles

psychedelia, ronnie lane, sixties, the small faces

There are a few people for whom I would dearly love to go back in time, purely to engulf them in the biggest hug of their life. Ossie Clark is one. Barry Evans is another. If I didn’t think he’d have me arrested for harassment, I’d go and find Richard O’Sullivan (Man About The House) and do it right now.

High up on my list is Ronnie Lane. Definitely my favourite Face, both Small and otherwise, and an absolute genius. He had it pretty rough in his later years, and he was just so gorgeous and fabulous, and all in all…very huggable.

I’ve been feeling a bit down lately, for various reasons, and a little under the weather too. But I happened to fling Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake on today, and it cheered me up good and proper. I love the footage of them performing the album as well, and Happy Days Toy Town is just such a brilliantly uplifting song. Both lyrics and performance. So here it is, and I hope it cheers up anyone else who might be feeling gloomy out there…

Life is just a bowl of All-Bran
You wake up every morning and it’s there
So live as only you can
It’s all about enjoy it ‘cos ever since you saw it
There aint no one can take it away.

So life is just a bowl of All-Bran – very true!
What you say has made it very clear
To be sure I’ll live as best as I can
But how can I remember to keep it all together
When half the moon is taken away?

Well, I’ve got the very thing
If you can laugh and sing
Give me those happy days toytown newspaper smiles
Clap twice, lean back, twist for a while
When you’re untogether and feeling out of tune
Sing this special song with me, don’t worry ’bout the moon
Looks after itself

Steve: Can I have a go?
Ron: Yes
Steve: Yeah?
Ron: Sing now:

Give me those happy days toytown newspaper smile
Clap twice, lean back, twist for a while
Well now you’ve got the hang of it
There’s nothing you can’t do with it
If you’re very tuned to it you can’t go wrong.