Let’s raise a glass in the memory of poor old Plonk. Ronnie Lane was a founding member of the Small Faces – famous for the vocalist Steve Marriott – and the Faces – famous for the vocalist Rod Stewart. Lane eventually left the Faces to go solo. Instead of the rockers and dirty-booze ballads of before, Lane started concentrating on a mix of Folk, Country and Rock with his group called Slim Chance. It was a new vision of gypsies, wanderers and life on the farm. This odd departure worked, earning Ronnie two top 40 hits in Britain with the release of his 1974 album Anymore for Anymore.
After this success, Ronnie went on to start “The Passing Show” – a tour of the UK that featured tents, a ringmaster, carnival barkers and dancing girls. He lived a life on the road until the tour dissolved from lack of money and problems with the various motor vehicles. In 1977, Ronnie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease that also affected his mother. He eventually moved to Austin, Texas in 1984 where he started up a new Slim Chance. He played until 1992 before moving to Colorado. In 1997, Lane succumbed to pneumonia.
In my house, Plonk's music is much loved. He had a life that was too short, but that still left a treasure of music behind.