AW Book Review
Kenney Jones “Let The Good Times Roll”
This has been around for a couple of years now, and after waiting in vain for any Australian bookstore to stock it I ended up ordering it from Book Depository (free shipping to Australia – you gotta love that).
Like a lot of drummers I suppose, Kenney is kind of the forgotten man of the bands he was in – The Small Faces – almost the second best band of the sixties – and then The Faces and The Who. I’m rather ashamed to say I thought he was a bit thick, having heard his pretty unenlightening answers on the Word podcast back when the book was released. But actually he is no fool, and writes splendidly, at least at the beginning of this very readable book. He’s pretty honest too, especially about his relationship with Roger Daltrey, and admits he was wrong about a couple of issues he took a stand on back in those days.
But of course it’s the story of The Small Faces that is most engaging, one I knew about already of course, having read Ian MacLagan’s book “All The Rage” which came out some twenty years ago.
Kenney relates it all lovingly, and also musically – he was a serious musician not just a happy-go-lucky skins-basher, and he talks a lot a bout learning stuff on the drums and how he related to other musicians, and doing sessions, learning to read music and so on.
Then there’s all the rollicking fun stuff, a lot of involving Keith Moon, the hotel room destruction and so on. And the sad stuff – like Steve Marriott leaving the band. “I do still feel short changed with regard to the Small Faces, and I lay the blame for that on Marriott. It’s the only thing I’ve ever not liked about Steve – that his actions deprived the Small Faces of a future”. Told you he was an honest talker.
Surprisingly it turns out our Ken from the East End is a bit of a polo player (as well as sometime helicopter pilot – these rich pop stars, I dunno), and a lot of the later chapters are devoted to how he bought a chunk of land next to his Surrey estate and turned it into the Hurtwood Polo Club where other polo playing mates such as Prince Charles often come to play.
But he still keeps playing, and forming bands (The Law with Paul Rodgers – no I hadn’t heard of them either) and enthusing about his love of playing.
After reading it I went back and listened to the first CD of the “Here Comes The Nice” box set. His drumming is so distinctive, and he drives the band in the same way Keith Moon did with The Who – no wonder Townshend wanted him in after Keith died.
A good lad, and great pop drummer, and a top read.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
The Small Faces, The Faces, The post-Moonie Who
One thing you’ve learned
Kenney is a bright lad