RIP Ian McLagan, Rock Legend and Adopted Texan

Ian McLagan (second from right) and the Bump Band in 2006
Ian McLagan (second from right) and the Bump Band in 2006

Austin is in a state of shock this afternoon after the passing of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Austin music icon Ian McLagan. McLagan, 69, suffered a stroke at his home in Austin on Tuesday night.

According to sources who wish to remain anonymous, McLagan, who was scheduled to play with Nick Lowe in Minneapolis tonight, suffered severe head trauma when he fell in his bathtub as a result of the stroke. According to a post in the Austin Chronicle, McLagan died at Austin's Brackenridge Hospital at 2:39 p.m.

McLagan was a member of the legendary Small Faces, an English rock "mod" band that included Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, and Kenney Jones. McLagan joined the band in 1966, replacing original keyboardist Jimmy Winston. McLagan played on all the Small Faces hits -- "Itchykoo Park," "Tin Soldier," "Lazy Sunday," and "All Or Nothing," as well as the 1968 psychedelic classic album, Ogden's Nut Gone Flake.

When the volatile Marriott disbanded the Small Faces to form Humble Pie, McLagan was one of the members of the Faces, a different ensemble that included Rod Stewart and current Rolling Stone Ron Wood. The Faces recorded several albums, all of which included McLagan. The band became one of the highest-grossing touring groups in the world during the first half of the '70s, thanks in part to their Stewart-sung breakthrough hit "Stay With Me."

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The Faces disbanded in 1975 when Wood became a member of the Rolling Stones. McLagan was asked to join The Who, but had already committed via Keith Richards to tour as a sideman with the Stones. Along with saxophonist Bobby Keys, McLagan is the second Rolling Stones sideman to pass away this week.

In 1993 McLagan relocated to Austin, where he fronted Ian McLagan and the Bump Band for years. He also remained an in-demand sideman and recorded with a laundry list of important artists: Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Cocker, Jackson Browne, Bob Dylan, Melissa Etheridge, John Mayer, Izzy Stradlin, Paul Westerberg, Billy Bragg and Austinite Tony Scalzo. He had recently formed the Empty Hearts with Blondie drummer Clem Burke.

When he wasn't on the road, McLagan could often be found with his Bump Band at beloved Austin dive bars the Carousel and more recently the Lucky Lounge, where they recorded a live album last year.

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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