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The Passing Show (The Life & Music of Ronnie Lane) DVD by Ronnie Lane

Founder for "The Small Faces," guitarist/vocalist and composer Ronnie Lane lost his battle with multiple sclerosis in 1997 at age 51. This DVD charts the "The Small Faces" pop band since its mid-‘60s origin to the Rod Stewart era, where it was renamed "The Faces." The footage includes interviews with Eric Clapton, famed producer Glyn Johns, Pete Townshend and Lane’s former band-mates. We learn that Lane’s truck-driver dad told him at a young age that "if you learn to play an instrument, you’ll always have a friend" amid remembrances from Faces drummer Kenney Jones and others. Lane grew up in London’s working-class East End district, while forming "The Small Faces," which was an appropriate name, given the fact the artists were small in stature as Clapton states that they looked like "hobbits." Lane was a gifted songwriter and with the 1969 departure of vocalist Steve Marriott and guitarist Peter Frampton, he enlisted vocalist Rod Stewart and future Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood. The video features performances of both incarnations of the group, where Rod the Mod is shown dancing around the stage and playing to the crowd. Hence, "The Small Faces" became recognized as Stewart’s band, due to the advent of his spiraling popularity.

At times, they made tons of money, performing in arenas and stadiums, but Lane’s focus was more on artistry and recording equipment, as his band-mates purchased expensive cars and homes. Lane’s infatuation with touring the USA also signified the cross-genre applications witnessed on his post-Faces ensemble, "Slim Chance." Immediate popularity was not in the cards however, but Lane’s fusion of Americana roots music with pop/rock yielded a singular sound that some considered to be, "heavy." The artist battled the bottle amid drug abuse. Yet, his affliction with multiple sclerosis led him to form a Houston, TX., based foundation (Arms of America), run by a local female attorney who subsequently cooked-the-books. Overall, this flick provides an all-encompassing panorama of Lane’s mega-talented musical persona. Influential and admired by his peers, the artist’s turbulent life is cohesively depicted here. Lane was a trooper who never gave up when the chips were down, where health and artistic related doom, gloom, joy and triumph were morphed into Lane’s complex and rather, entangled legacy.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ronnie Lane
  • CD Title: The Passing Show (The Life & Music of Ronnie Lane) DVD
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Eagle Rock
  • Rating: Three Stars
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