The existing members of The Faces are planning to regroup for "a test show" that could lead to a North American tour after reuniting at Rod Stewart's birthday party last month (Jan15). A day after revealing his other band the Rolling Stones are considering a U.S. tour in 2015, Ronnie Wood tells Radio.com a full Faces trek is also in his sights.
He says, "We just played at Rod's 70th birthday a couple of weekends ago in L.A. Rod and Kenney were very enthusiastic about a Faces reunion.
"I said, 'Give me a break! I've gone out with the Stones over the summer, I've got my artwork to do, I'm up to my neck in projects!' But you never know. We were thinking of getting a test show together, and if something comes of it, then we might come to America."
Sadly Wood, Stewart and Jones will have to hit the road without bandmate Ian McLagan, who died late last year (14).
Fans of the Faces have been given a boost as they dream of a reunion - Rod Stewart performed with former bandmates Kenney Jones and Ronnie Wood at his weekend (10-11Jan15) birthday party. The British rocker was celebrating his 70th birthday at his home in Beverly Hills when he invited his former Faces pals to perform with him.
Sources tell Hello! magazine that Stewart was very much the star of his own bash, performing 1940s standards with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, but the highlight of the night, organised by Rod's wife Penny Lancaster, came when Jones and Wood hit the stage with the singer to perform a pair of songs as a tribute to keyboard player Ian McLagan, who died last month (Dec14).
Jones has confirmed the big news in a post on his Facebook page, writing, "Great night and played with my mates Rod and Woody. Only two songs but it was fun."
Stewart, Jones and Wood have been attempting to regroup the Faces for years and prior to McLagan's death a get together was beginning to look likely following a series of top secret rehearsals.
British rocker Ian Mclagan has died, aged 69. The legendary keyboard player, who was a member of the Small Faces and the Faces, was admitted to an Austin, Texas hospital after suffering a stroke. He died on Wednesday (03Dec14).
A message on his official website reads: "It is with great sadness and eternal admiration that we report the passing of rock and roll icon Ian McLagan.
"He died today, December 3, 2014, surrounded by family and friends in his adopted hometown of Austin, TX, due to complications from a stroke suffered the previous day."
His manager Ken Kutchnick adds, "He was a beloved friend to so many people and a true rock 'n' roll spirit. His persona and gift of song impacted the music across oceans and generations."
McLagan's death comes on the day he was scheduled to hit the road with labelmate Nick Lowe for a North American tour. The two rockers were set to hit the stage at the First Avenue in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Wednesday night (03Dec14).
The 69 year old joined the Small Faces in 1965 and became a member of the Faces when singer Steve Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined the band.
The group split up in 1975 and McLagan became an in-demand session musician, often joining Wood onstage for Rolling Stones gigs.
He has also led his own Bump Band and recently rejoined the Faces for dates with Mick Hucknall as frontman.
His death will come as a huge blow to his Faces bandmates, Stewart, Wood and Kenney Jones, who were hoping to stage a reunion next year (15).
McLagan's life was tinged with tragedy - his second wife, Kim Kerrigan, died in a traffic accident in 2006 at the age of 57.
She left her first husband, The Who's Keith Moon, for the keyboard player. Kerrigan and McLagan wed in 1978, one month after Moon's death.
The late rocker's autobiography, All the Rage: A Riotous Romp Through Rock & Roll History, was released in 2000. He updated it for a re-release last year (13).
Fans of classic rockers The Faces had better start praying for the planned full band reunion because frontman Rod Stewart has revealed he won't be touring in five years. The band get together has been on and off for decades, with Stewart pulling out of reunion dates a few years ago, forcing his bandmates to replace him with Simply Red star Mick Hucknall.
But now the plans are on again and Stewart and guitarist Ronnie Wood are working on a comeback.
However, Rolling Stones star Wood had better start speeding up the process - because the singer is considering retiring from the road.
Stewart, 69, tells the Kansas City Star, "Touring is what I do. Nothing compares to it... I prefer getting onstage (to recording). It's an immediate satisfaction, sending an audience home happy. I want to make the most of it.
"Nothing lasts forever. I still have the energy to do it, and I look forward to at least three or four more years of it."
But he's still keen to hit the road with Wood, Ian McLagan and Kenney Jones before he calls it a day, telling the publication, "It will happen, but the ball is in Ronnie's court. When the Stones stop touring, they stop for a long time. So whenever he's finished, I'll be available.
"If we could just keep McLagan quiet for a bit, we could get on with it. But he seems to come out and say the most negative things about me. But Ronnie and me want to do it... He emailed me the other day and said, 'I've got a few nights off. Let's get dinner'. I said, 'I'm on holiday in the south of France'. He said, 'OK, let's wait until we're 78'."
The Small Faces and The Faces' induction at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 was ruined by Green Day's "horrifying loud and bad" performance for keyboard player Ian Mclagan. The veteran rocker, who has also performed with The Faces bandmate Ronnie Wood's other group, the Rolling Stones, was suffering from a migraine headache at the induction ceremony and admits he wanted to kill Billie Joe Armstrong and his cohorts during their set honouring inductees Guns N' Roses.
He tells Salon.com, "I don't really get it (their music). It's too young for me. It feels like kids making a lot of noise.
"I had a migraine that day, it was a bad one. I got it about two hours before the show. I'd ordered a meal, it was an hour late, it got to me just before I was supposed to leave. I was angry and I had a migraine. I get there, I'm 15 feet from the front of the stage, right in the middle, second table. Green Day come on. If I had a gun, they'd all be dead. And I'd be happy about it.
"(They were) horrifyingly loud and bad, two things you shouldn't be. Especially if you're at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."
And the punk trio's performance wasn't the only thing McLagan hated: "I wanted to kill Guns N' Roses as well. Apart from that, it was nice to be inducted, it was a big honour."
Ironically, Green Day will become eligible for Hall of Fame induction in 2015.
McLagan is now part of the concerted effort to reunite the existing Faces - Rod Stewart, himself, Wood and Kenney Jones - for a planned tour.
After a fantastic season, Shameless delivers a (mostly) fantastic finale. Let's take a look:
Surprise, surprise! I thought Fiona was going to stay in prison until next season, but she gets out early due to over-crowding. Her parole officer gives her a firm talking to, and sets her up with a waitressing job with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (whoa!), as well as the nearest NA and AA support groups. Fiona returns home late to a silent house (a conceit that's quickly becoming all too familiar) – but after yet another chilly homecoming, she wakes up to the hero's welcome she always wanted. Unfortunately, the happy reunion is somewhat tempered with news of Ian's bipolar disorder. As she talks it over with Lip, we get another heart-to-heart between them: she finally admits that she is the one driving the bus that is her life, and vows to take responsibility for her actions from here on out. And with that, character growth and a light at the end of a long tunnel finally come to be. Here's to Season 5!
And guess who else is back on track? Frank... and unfortunately not in a good way. He manages to sneak out right under Sheila and Sammi's bickering noses, and appears to be off the wagon once more. He has Carl (his one remaining enabler) wheel him out over a frozen Lake Michigan, where he proceeds to cuss out God ("I'M STILL HERE, YOU F**KER!"). Sure, it makes sense for the character, but watching him take that first blissful gulp of booze was shades of heartwrenching and disappointing. Guess Frank is back to square one.
Now, after the events of last week, Mickey comes back to the Alibi Room, fully armed and ready to brawl again – and he's surprised to find, with the notable exception of his incarcerated father, nobody cares that he's gay. The Alibi regulars return his volley of, "If anyone's got anything to f**kin' say, then f**kin' say it!" with a laundry list of all of their favorite gay celebrities – Mickey's still reeling a little when Kev pours him a beer on the house and toasts to "butt buddies." But alas, it's not happily ever after for Ian and Mickey, just as we expected. First, Mickey's wife rather convincingly threatens to stab them both in the heart with screwdrivers if he doesn't take on his fair share of parenting. And then things take a serious turn for the worse when it becomes clear that Ian has finally crashed into the depressive stage of manic depression. Mickey's flummoxed, but the Gallaghers spot what's going on right away. When Fiona informs him that Ian will need medical attention, maybe even a stint in the psych ward, Mickey insists that he be the one to personally nurse Ian back to health. Which is sweet, if ill-informed – here's hoping that the two of them can weather it together.
Oh, and they just had to end the season on a cliffhanger: it turns out that Jimmy/Steve (now known as "Jack," ugh) is still alive. To which, I say, "Meh." I was never a huge fan of Justin Chatwin's, and honestly wasn't too bothered that he was gone, especially since he had such an outlandish offing. But, grumblings aside, I'm already counting down the days until Season 5.
* How come we never got closure on Debbie/Matt?
* Also, what's going on with Lip and Amanda? The music swelled romantically when they kissed at her creepy sorority event, but then he's quite shaken at the sight of Mandy (someone I never thought he seriously cared for) at the local diner. Guess we'll have to wait until next season.
* Ah, poor Carl. The first heartbreak of many.
* Speaking of heartbreak, Sheila broke mine when the council refused her petition to adopt, though I'm honestly glad we're not going down that road.
* Also: hello, Dichen Lachman!
Even by Shameless standards, this episode has a lot going on. To recap the recap: Frank gets a new liver, Fiona goes to jail, Lip cons a cool $10,000, Debbie gets Carried by Matt's girlfriend, and Mickey comes out and a full-out brawl ensues. Whew.
With Fiona in the "pokey," it's all up to Lip to keep the family running – and with their sole breadwinner gone, they're in a bit of a jam. So Lip bails on meeting Amanda's parents – and she's correspondingly angry at him, until they come up with the perfect solution: since she wants to use him to scare her parents, they decide to all have dinner at Chez Gallagher, for maximum scare-factor.
It works – especially seeing as Bonnie's entire cadre of homeless siblings are screaming in the living room, whilst a put-upon social worker surveys the whole scene. It works so well, in fact, that Amanda's dad pulls Lip aside and offers him 10 grand in cash. What's a Gallagher to do? He takes it. Amanda storms out, smug father in tow. Things aren't looking good, until it turns out that the whole thing was a set up. Apparently, Amanda's dad has a habit of bribing her boyfriends – so voila! The Gallaghers are golden for Fiona's remaining 80+ days in the clink, and Lip might just have a real girlfriend for once.
Lip's not the only Gallagher headed for a happy ending (pun intended): the Ian/Mickey romance has building all season to stunning (and gory) heights. Tired of being blackmailed by his wife, and faced with an ultimatum from Ian, Mickey reaches boiling point at his father's jail-release party. He comes out to the entire Alibi Room, and subsequently gets attacked by Terry. Ian in turn attacks Terry and the whole thing has to get broken up by the cops. Luckily, one of the gay cops gives Mickey a free pass, while Terry gets hauled back to jail for violating parole. Bloody and beat up, Mickey and Ian engage is some profane witty banter (as only they can), and the scene might just be their sweetest to date.
The whole episode is delightfully framed with its titular character Emily. She's a little wisp of a girl who's hoping for a heart transplant. Oddly enough, when Frank wakes up with his brain "screwed on backwards" (in the ever-eloquent words of Carl), he mistakes her for a decades-younger Fiona. He gives her what must be a long-awaited apology, and she, thinking of her own abandoning father, forgives him in Fiona's place. In an ultra sweet moment (Shameless is a show of contrast, isn't it?), they even hold hands across hospital beds. It's not a surprise when her flat-lining gurney is carted away, but she serves to create a beautiful tableau for Shameless' least beautiful character.
* Poor Debbie. Matt's girlfriend employs her half-brother to seduce her and humiliate her in front of the whole school. Upside? Matt dumps aforementioned girlfriend, and agrees to take Debbie to the dance. Yay?
* I laughed for a full minute when Carl suggested that the Asian-American social worker might be Amanda's real mom (not only was she far too young for a college-age daughter, it had just been established that Amanda was "bought" from a whorehouse).
* Also, Lip and Amanda's celebratory kiss after seeing his stellar report card was adorable, especially as we pan out to very disapproving looks from both of her parents.
* Frank offering to take "Fiona" to Claire's to get her ears pierced: aww!
* Mickey taunting his dad with tidbits from his sex life while both of them were facedown on the hoods of squad cars getting handcuffed was kind of epic.
At a distance, Shameless looks like it's got all it needs to be a smash hit/critics' darling: superb acting (performed by a cast of fresh talent, with a few seasoned pros leading the way), a down-and-out underdog family, expertly written black humor, and sensitivity to delicate subjects like drug abuse (and people abuse), alcoholism, and mental health. In short, it's got the makings to sweep some major awards, in addition to being a prime watercooler topic. But is it?
Don't get us wrong, its ratings are more than respectable, and it's also critically well-received: it's just that it doesn't have that same sort of buzz that surrounds its more popular contemporaries, nor the awards that generally follow. Joan Cusack received guest star Emmy nods, and William H. Macy scored a Critics' Choice nomination, but other than that, it's shockingly under-decorated. Perhaps moving over to the comedy category can help the show, but then again, it's an increasingly dark hour of TV (though it should be mentioned that John Wells is the man who deemed his shockingly unfunny adaptation of August: Osage County a comedy).
So why isn't Shameless getting the recognition it deserves? Well, first off, there's the gross-out factor (some of my friends who are fans joke that they can't watch the show over dinner; still others claim they can smell Frank's Pigpen-esque filth through the screen) – and, on a less superficial level, there's also the fact that it can be very disturbing. In Season 2, Frank tricked a "friend" out of a desperately-needed heart transplant in hopes of inheriting her pension. In a more recent episode, Fiona's cocaine-fueled partying led to her baby brother's near death (and possible brain damage). These people are intensely flawed, to say the least. Shameless lives in the uncomfortable gray area between the feel-good aura of a show like The Mindy Project and the glamorous (by comparison, anyway) anti-heroism of shows like Mad Men and Breaking Bad. Frank Gallagher is a character you very rarely root for, not even as he inches his way towards death.
Plus, unlike the more streamlined programs that follow careful A-story/B-story/C-story structures, it's, well, kind of mess. The threads of the story get tangled easily. Though its frenetic structure may seem untidy at first glance, it's one of the things viewers who stick with it come to love most: the frenzied, overlapping plotlines mirror and represent its characters' own hectic lifestyles.
Shameless continues to turn many of our preconceived notions about TV storytelling on their heads, even as we blaze through this "golden era" of television, where it seems every show and its brother are revolutionaries. It pushes envelopes and breaks down barriers, juggles a sprawling ensemble cast, and perhaps most importantly of all, brings heart to its heartless depiction of Chicago's South Side.
In other words? If you're not watching, you should be.
Long story short on this week's Shameless: Carl ransacks a liquor store for candy, Kev holds Mickey at gunpoint, then Ian holds Mandy's boyfriend at knifepoint, and Fiona "pulls a Frank." Oh, and Frank gets his kidney stolen/gets married to Sheila.
This week, the Gallagher household goes through a very familiar routine: checking hospitals, drunk tanks, and under bridges – only this time, they're looking not for Frank, but for Fiona. In her absence, the Gallaghers come to realize just what their lives would be like without their big sister; and as they all worry that she's lying dead in some gutter somewhere, they begin to regret the way they've been treating her – Lip and Debbie in particular.
Meanwhile, a misunderstanding with Sammi's drug dealer (don't worry, she's just getting pain meds for Frank, whose main refrain for the episode is "more pills"), leads to Sammi and Sheila scraping together 26 grand to buy Frank a black market liver transplant from a very shady doctor/cab driver. Unfortunately, they find all too quickly that they've been swindled. Not only did the "doctor" fail to replace Frank's liver, but he also stole one of his kidneys – leaving Frank in critical condition. Now Frank has mere hours (perhaps days) to live, so Sheila decides to do the wedding on the spot. It ends up being a bizarre combo of wedding and funeral, as each of the kids say their last words to their dad (Debbie forgives him, on the condition that he dies. If he lives, he can forget about it). And just as the wedding's sealed with a kiss, the doctors come to cart him away – turns out, his worsened condition bumped him up on the transplant list. So that's how they save Frank – my fan theory was that Fiona was going to give in and give him her kidney, but I suppose that would be far too schmaltzy for a show like Shameless.
So where was Fiona this whole time? Oh, passed out in the back of some druggies' van. I think I say this once per recap, but I'm thinking Fiona has finally hit rock bottom. After an all-night bender with the dreaded Robbie, she ends up in the middle of nowhere with some of his unnamed friends – who then proceed to leave her at a gas station. Luckily, she's able to contact Lip, and after facing the thought of truly losing her, he's finally able to forgive her. He apologizes for his behavior, reminding her just how much she has done for all of them – and after weeks of unresolved anger and contempt, they're able to reconcile, and the moment is both heartfelt and well-earned.
But, Shameless being Shameless, it's not all coming up roses: even in the midst of their reconciliation, Lip's taking her straight to the police station, and the end of the episode finds Fiona face-to-face with her probation officer. Fade to black, indeed.
* Mickey finally confronts Ian re: his possible bipolar disorder after Ian threatens Mandy's abusive boyfriend with a knife. In his eloquent words: "Are you smokin' meth?"
* Oh, and speaking of Mickey, he and Kev get into it. Mickey steals from the register, so Kev threatened him with a gun. Then Mickey threatens Kev with his brothers and some assault rifles.
* Which leads to a truly terrifying/hilarious/awful scene (Shameless™) where Kev almost accidentally takes out V and his newborn twins (yep, the twins came this episode) with a rifle.
* Though honestly, does Mickey really have to be after Kev? I'm getting tired of the Milkovich hitmen squad.
I predicted that last week's episode of Shameless might just be the nadir of the season, and that this week we'd get a little more lightness. Well, I was half right. We did get more lightness. this was the funniest episode of Shameless of the year – much of that was due to Mickey's seemingly endless barrage of one-liners (at one point he yells at a sugar daddy trying to solicit him and Ian, "Well, this ain't Macy's, b**ch – you ain't window shopping!"). Last week, was not, however, the nadir of the season.
This episode finds Frank very close to death, Fiona faced with the impossible task of finding employment after committing a felony, Debbie waging war on Matt's new girlfriend (she's a Gallagher, after all), Carl "popping his robbery cherry," and Liam continuing to show signs of PTSD or permanent damage. Lip – well, Lip at least seems to be doing fine – with not one, but two FWBs.
Fiona's finally out of house arrest, but she must find a job within 30 days – she starts the search out as optimistically, but soon finds that checking the "yes" box to the question, "Have you ever committed a felony?" pretty much excludes you from employment. She has a brief moment of hope when her Narcotics Anonymous group leader says she'll refer her to her boss, but then it turns out her "boss" is a pimp. After finding that pounding the pavement is an exercise in futility, she goes back to World Wide Cup, in hopes that they'll say that she was "downsized" instead of fired for disorderly conduct (so she can collect unemployment). Her former coworker seems amenable, but Mike's sister is decidedly not. She humiliates Fiona in front of the office, and brings voice to some of Fiona's worst fears: that she's not a good person, and that she ruined Mike's life. There's only so much a person could take, but I sure wish Fiona could find someone/someplace/something other than the horrendous Robbie to turn to. Alas, the end of the episode finds her at his apartment.
Meanwhile, Frank's condition is worse than ever, but damn if Sammi's not going to give him the send off he doesn't deserve. She does everything she can for him, but he refuses to admit that he's dying. He screams at her, she screams back – all she wants is for him to stick around, and all he wants is to go to the Alibi Room ("I was always happy there"). Oh, and Sheila's back too – turns out Roger Runningtree was a criminal (he was collecting Native American reparations, even though he was Mexican). Anyway, to combat her serious empty nest issues, she wants to adopt Runningtree's nieces and nephews (remember "Stinking Wind?"). Only problem is, she needs a marriage certificate to legally adopt them. So on top of Sammi desperately trying to keep him comfortable (not to mention alive), Sheila's setting up wedding plans ASAP – she needs to marry him before the funeral. After much hullabaloo, Sammi's finally able to please Frank: by bringing the Alibi Room to him. The look on his face; the mix of joy, gratitude to Sammi, and wistfulness as he sits at his makeshift bar with his non-alcoholic beer and all of his drinking buddies is priceless. It's one of those moments the show does so well – in a show where every character misbehaves so much, there are these pockets of humanity at its sweetest.
* The episode derives its title from Carl's new friend from detention, Bonnie. Yes, Carl has managed to find a mate even more psychopathic than himself – she pulls a Heathers on him and convinces him to rob a convenience store with a "fake" gun. Hey, maybe Carl can be the new Gallagher clan breadwinner!
* At this point, we're actually spending more time with Mickey than we are with Ian (which is fine by me, as Noel Fisher's a much more interesting actor than Cameron Monaghan).
* Carl: "How can you tell when you're in love with someone?" / Debbie: "When you want to rip someone's heart out and stomp on it until it's soup."
* Debbie engages in all-out war with Matt's new girlfriend – she makes threatening phone calls and leaves a snake in her car. Matt's new girlfriend is not to be messed with, however – she threatens Debbie with a metal baseball bat. Game, set, match.
* Lip's "arrangement" with Amanda (formerly his roommate's girlfriend) seems promising – the schedule she makes for him (in five minute increments, with "BJ breaks") and so-called "backdoor only" virginity are the perfect level of crazy for a show like Shameless.