Ian 'Mac' MacLagan (Small Faces) : We would go from city to city on the internal airlines of Australia, Ansett Airlines. And in those days you couldn't drink on the plane internally in Australia, Oceania. And it didn't concern us anyway, we were going from somewhere, Melbourne probably, to Sydney to catch... We'd finished our Australian tour, which had been fraught with very bad press. I mean we'd been hounded by these guys. They were swine. It was like the National Enquirer of the day.
They just pounced on us. They pounced on me when we arrived at Sydney airport. They sat us down and said "Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones, Ian MacLagan,
you're a drug addict, aren't you?" And I said "Oh, fuck off! End of interview! End of story right there." I'd been busted just previously. Anyway, the point is we'd get off a
plane in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, everywhere we got off the plane there'd be these reporters just hounding us, like it mattered. They were saying "you dirty filthy
bastards!". They'd insult us like, and The Who as well, and we were all lumped into it.
Anyway, the end is that we were glad to get out of Australia, though the kids were great and the shows were fine, basically.
We were on the flight to Sydney to make our connection to New Zealand, and the Australian band... they knew better, but we didn't... they were passing a bottle of beer around and the stewardess saw it…
Kenney Jones (drummer, Small Faces) : The support act was an Australian band and they were with us. They were passing round booze – we didn't have any – and at that time it was illegal to take your own drink on a plane.
Ronnie Lane (Small Faces) : A couple of stewardesses took a very dim view of this … and refused to serve us any coffee. I woke up with Paul Jones very loudly demanding his coffee. The stewardess burst into tears and went up to the pilot and reported this whole incident.
Ian 'Mac' MacLagan : …when we asked for coffee she said "No, none of you get anything and we're going to have you arrested."
Kenney Jones : The air hostess got really nasty and called the captain. He came back and told us we were all arrested and he was going to land the plane in Melbourne, where the police were waiting for us.
Ron Blackmore (tour manager) : Next thing I know, I'm sitting in my seat, looking up the aisle, and I could see this guy (the Captain) in a uniform and hat on. He's walking down the aisle, and he's looking at all the seat numbers, as he's coming down. I remember thinking out loud, 'This guy's looking for me!' I would have been the only name he would have had, because all the tickets were bought in the name of Aztec Services.
He stopped right at my seat and he said, 'Are you the leader of this mob?' And I said, 'I'm the tour manager, if you're referring to the group of people that are on your flight.' He said, 'Well, as far as I'm concerned, they're a mob, and I'm here to tell you that they'll all be arrested on arrival at Melbourne airport.
Ian 'Mac' MacLagan : The pilots called the police and we weren't allowed off the plane until everyone got off, and then we were marched off and we raised our hands in the air like it was a joke. We were leaving the country anyway, so we didn't give a damn.
Kenney Jones : We all got off the plane and walked out with our hands up.
Ian 'Mac' MacLagan : So they took us to the first class lounge and said "You can't leave here". So the waitress comes up and says "What would you like to drink", and we said "Large ones!". So we drank there for an hour and got on our plane, and that was it.
John 'Wiggy' Wolf (production manager) : We all just guffawed with laughter.
Steve Marriott (Small Faces) : We were deported. The police saw us out of their country.
Kenney Jones : Of course, by the time the story got to England, it all became our fault, even though we got an apology and the stewardess was sacked. That was a classic example of how things got twisted in the press.
(Sources of all quotes from several interviews)