The SMALL FACES – ” Steve Marriott “

Posted: April 22, 2019 in MUSIC
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Remember The Face: Steve Marriott

Today is a poignant landmark for admirers of one of the UK’s most charismatic and distinctive rock frontman, as it’s exactly 25 years since we lost Steve Marriott. The former leader of the Small Faces and Humble Pie died in a house fire on 20th April, 1991, at the cruelly young age of 44.
Thankfully, Steve’s achievements as a true figurehead of pop and rock music, especially in the 1960s and ’70s, are now widely acknowledged. His talents are currently being celebrated at London’s Vaults Theatre, in the highly recommended musical All Or Nothing The Mod Musical, which brings the Small Faces‘ story vividly to life.

Marriott, was from Manor Park in east London, was a born performer, starting his first band at the age of 12 and starring on the West End stage in Lionel Bart’s hit production of Oliver! at just 13 years old. Further stage roles followed, but as All Or Nothing documents, his heart was always in music.

His dreams came true when the Small Faces, formed in 1965, made it big and enjoyed several years of hit singles and increasingly influential and experimental albums. Marriott’s wanderlust and disillusionment with the business of music led him to leave the band and form Humble Pie.

Humble Pie

There, he developed a creative partnership with a new group of like-minded players, including Peter Frampton. “It was the best band you could ever be in as far as I was concerned,” said Frampton, “because you’ve got my idol there. Steve would open his mouth and gold came out.”

Marriott fronted Humble Pie from 1969 to 1975, and briefly in a reunited version in the early 1980s. He also made some notable albums in his own name, including the 1976 solo debut Marriott. 1990’s Marriott & Band included versions of his treasured Small Faces songs ‘All Or Nothing’ and ‘What’cha Gonna Do About It.’

Shortly before the end of his life, Marriott was interviewed by Paul Sexton, and reflected with quiet satisfaction on his career. “I was seduced at 18,” he said, “and it was quite good but it paled very quickly. I realised it had nothing to do with music and everything to do with the shape of your bum…what’s been has gone, and I’m very proud of it.

“I’ve got what I wanted, which is just enough money to live on, in no great style but a nice way, and to have some respect from other musicians and play the pubs and clubs, where the music’s still real.”

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