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The University of Texas at Austin


In Memoriam: Ian McLagan

(L-R) Ian McLagan, Ronnie Wood, and Rod Stewart, Tom Wright Photograph Collection
(L-R) Ian McLagan, Ronnie Wood, and Rod Stewart, Tom Wright Photograph Collection

The Briscoe Center is saddened by news of the death of Ian McLagan at age 69. McLagan was best known for playing keyboards for The Small Faces (later The Faces)—part of the first wave of British rock acts to break into the American mainstream in the 1960s.

McLagan eventually settled in Austin and was a friend of the Briscoe Center. In 2007 he was a featured speaker at a celebration of the center's Tom Wright Photographic Collection, which documents the American rock scene from the 1960s to the 1990s.

McLagan joined The Small Faces in 1965. Their best-known song in America was the 1968 hit "Itchycoo Park." Over the course of his career, he worked with many other musicians, including Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Bruce Springsteen and the Rolling Stones, many of whom the photojournalist Tom Wright also photographed.

McLagan met the photographer Tom Wright in the early 1970s. Wright photographed McLagan and other members of The Faces on tour and they became friends.

(Video) Ian McLagan speaking at the 2007 celebration
of the Tom Wright Photograph Collection

"He said he was going to take the best pictures and he actually did," said McLagan in 2007 at the Briscoe Center celebration of the Wright Collection. "On the road, the best room after a gig was his room because his bathroom was full of the photographs being developed that he'd taken that day. So you always knew what was going on and what had gone on because it was in the bath."

The 2007 event coincided with the publication of Tom Wright's, Roadwork—Rock and Roll Turned Inside Out. Draft and manuscript copies of the book are part of the Tom Wright Collection and include numerous candid photos of McLagan.

"Tom Wright's archive provides significant visual documentation of a profoundly significant era in American popular culture that is an important subject for social and cultural historians," said Don Carleton, executive director at the Briscoe Center. "His images of McLagan and his band mates will live long in popular memory and will always hold pride of place in the archives of the center."