Kenney Jones of The Faces is the drummer on The Rolling Stones classic ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll (But I Like It)’, not Charlie Watts.
Kenney tells Noise11.com that he got a call from his Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood late one night when Charlie was away on holiday. “I don’t know where Charlie was. I think he might have been in the south of France,” Kenney said.
The Faces band members all lived close to each other. “Ronnie Wood, myself and Ian McLagan lived around Richmond Park. I lived on one of the gates called Robin Hood gate, Ronnie Wood lived on Richmond Gate and Ian McLagan lived on Sheen Gate,” he said.
Ronnie would call Kenney when he needed something and Kenney would pop over. “Ronnie Wood would always call me up as soon as I got one foot into bed,” Jones said. “It was quite late. He’d call me up and say, ‘Kenney, we haven’t got a drummer. Can you come around and play on this’. I’d given Ronnie one of my drum kits so the drum kit was permanently set up there in his studio.
“I went around and this time it was just Jagger in there, Mick Jagger and Ronnie. Ronnie had just got all this outboard equipment, all these new toys to play with in the studio. He was twiddling the knobs which left me and Mick Jagger in the studio, just guitar and drums and that’s how that song came about.
“Ronnie came in and said ‘keep playing, I just want to put the two of you down’. It was just Mick Jagger and myself, guitar and drums and we did the track. Ronnie Wood came in, pressed the button, picked up the bass and played on it. I thought it was a demo for whatever they were doing. I forgot all about it.”
The Rolling Stones ended up using that demo version as the official release of ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’ before Ronnie was a member of the band. “The Stones went into the studio later and tried to recreate that song. They couldn’t capture the feel so they ended up using it,” Kenney said.
Charlie Watts didn’t care about being replaced. “When I found out later it was actually me playing on drums on it I called Charlie up and said, ‘I didn’t mean to play drums on your album’ and he said ‘that’s okay. It sounds like me anyway’. He’s a lovely guy, Charlie. A perfect gentleman”.
The Rolling Stones released ‘It’s Only Rock and Roll’ in 1973. That same year The Faces released their last album ‘Ooh La La’. Wood officially joined The Rolling Stones in 1975 and was officially credited as a member on the 1976 album ‘Black and Blue’.
On August 28, 2015, Warner Music will release the 5-disc Faces box set ‘1970-1975 You Can Make Me Dance, Sing Or Anything’ featuring the four original albums remastered and expanded and a bonus disc of additional non-album songs and rarities.
The full Noise11 interview with Kenney Jones is coming soon to iHeartRadio Music News, powered by Noise11.com.
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