An Open Letter to J. Geils Band and Faces: Do the Tour!

We're not getting any younger, fellas, and neither are you...

By , Columnist

Fans sometimes get the short end of the deal.

I have two bands from my youth that I adored. I bought all of their albums, hung on every note they created, anticipated any news about them... well, you know what I'm talking about. You've done the same damn thing. But, once in a while, fans do get lucky. In the not too distant past, The Police reassembled for a defining closure that they did not provide when they disbanded. But amends were made when they reconvened and mounted a massive, far-reaching tour leaving all fans highly satisfied.

And yet, there are some of us that may never get the finishing tours that we want. Talking Heads are one such band. Following a brilliant performance at the band's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there floated the anticipation that maybe the four would do a “final tour,” even try a recording session. It hasn't happened yet.

JGeilsBand.gifThe worst negligence toward a fan-base comes when a band toys with a well-received show here and there as J. Geils Band does. This once heavily popular band enjoyed two defining periods of their musical career, referred to as the Atlantic Years and the EMI Years. The Atlantic Years represent their time with the great Atlantic Records in a span that lasted from 1970 with the release of their fine, fine debut album, The J. Geils Band, through the last title, Monkey Island in 1977, where they tried a truncated version of the band's name with simply Geils.

During those years, they killed with singles (“Looking For A Love,” “Give It To Me,” “Must Of Got Lost,” “You're The Only One”), two live classics (“Live” Full House - 1972, Blow Your Face Out - 1976), and nine charting LPs. They shifted to EMI Records, releasing four high-charting albums including the little heard, long out-of-print final studio set, You're Gettin' Even While I'm Gettin' Odd (1984), and with well-received singles (“One Last Kiss,” “Come Back,” “Love Stinks,” “Centerfold,” “Flamethrower,” “Freeze-Frame”). Soon after, the band split. Peter Wolf enjoyed a solo career.

In 2009, the band had reunited for a series of one-off shows that were successful. They reveal that the band maintains the same fiery elements that made them a fine group in the first place. With that kind of magic in place, the welcoming of this band for a world-wide tour would be not only satisfying for fans who are waiting to see them again or for the first time, but it would line pockets with money. The fact that they “tease” with performances here and there simply leaves me empty.

Do the tour, laddies! We're all waiting for it, and you know it.

Faces.jpgBut there is another. Back in the '70s, the final incarnation of Faces (they were Small Faces before, equally exciting with Steve Marriott in the lineup) left a growing fan-base in frustration when Rod Stewart became increasingly hard to get to sessions for Ooh La La (1973). Ron Wood, the band's guitarist, was helping out The Rolling Stones, which also made it difficult for Faces to move forward.

Soon, the band fell apart, and that was the last we've heard of them until recently when the former members of the band, including Ron Wood, decided to do one-off shows, and flirted with the potential of doing a tour. But there was one awful problem. Rod Stewart, the band's distinctive vocalist, was not on board. Instead, the reunited members elected to invite Mick Hucknall of Simply Red to perform the vocal duties.

Rod Stewart, in a short interview with Billboard Magazine, was asked the inevitable question, “Is there any chance of that rumored Faces reunion with Ron Wood?” to which Rod answered, “The trouble with Ronnie, we get together and we mess about, but the thing is, he is still committed to The Rolling Stones. Talking for myself and the rest of the band, we need a commitment, not just 'Well, I've got next month off.' It doesn't work like that. It's not very professional. If he can give us the time, then I'll commit to it. I would really love to.”

All that translates to (after you clear away the BS) is that Rod Stewart is likely the sticking point. Here's why. The Rolling Stones are on hiatus, a long one. It's long enough for Mick Jagger to assemble SuperHEAVY, record, and possibly tour the band out in support. It's long enough to allow Keith Richards to work in film and play about with other musical asides. And it's certainly long enough to allow Ron Wood the time to pursue a worthy three or four month tour to properly give closure to the tens of thousands of Faces fans who await such a proper reunion (and NOT a Mick Hucknall-fronted version either, all apologies to Hucknall).

Do the tour, Rod (and Ron)! We're all waiting for it, and you know it.

There are others that do this same nonsense. The two I've mentioned are just my personal issues. If you have one that irks you (because they are in the mode, not reasonable refusals), I'd like to hear about them in the comments sections. Entertain me...because J. Geils Band and Faces aren't.

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Matt Rowe began his life with an AM radio, listening to anything that was considered music. Since, he has labored intently to build a collection of music, paring it down, rebuilding, and refining as he sees fit. His decided goal is to keep up with new music by panning for the nuggets among literal mountains…

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