|Birth Day:||January 30, 1947|
|Death Date:||Apr 20, 1991 (age 44)|
Frontman for Small Faces and for Humble Pie who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame posthumously in 2012.
As per our current Database, Steve Marriott died on Apr 20, 1991 (age 44).
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Steve Marriott wore glasses with no lenses to look more like his idol Buddy Holly.
Steve Marriott was born on 30 January 1947 at East Ham Memorial Hospital, Plashet, East Ham, (London, E7), England to parents Kay and Bill Marriott who lived at Strone Road, Manor Park. Born three weeks premature and weighing just 4 lb 4 oz (1.9 kg), he developed jaundice and was kept in hospital four weeks before being well enough to go home. Marriott came from a working-class background and attended Monega Junior School. His father Bill worked as a printer and later owned a jellied eels stall, called 'Bill's Eels', outside the Ruskin Arms hotel. For a short time he also sold pie and mash.
In 1959 at the age of twelve, Marriott formed his first band with school friends Nigel Chapin and Robin Andrews. They were called 'The Wheels', later the 'Coronation Kids', and finally 'Mississippi Five'. They later added Simon Simkins and Vic Dixon to their line-up. From a young age, Marriott was a huge fan of American singer Buddy Holly and would mimic his hero by wearing large-rimmed spectacles with the lenses removed. He wrote his first song, called "Shelia My Dear", after his aunt Shelia to whom he was close. Those who heard the song said it was played at a jaunty pace in the style of Buddy Holly and his bandmates also nicknamed him 'Buddy'.
In 1960, Bill Marriott spotted an advertisement in a London newspaper for a new Artful Dodger replacement to appear in Lionel Bart's popular musical Oliver!, based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, at the New Theatre (now called the Noël Coward Theatre) in London's West End, and without telling his son, applied for him to audition. At the age of thirteen, Marriott auditioned for the role. He sang two songs, "Who's Sorry Now" by Connie Francis, and "Oh, Boy!" by Buddy Holly. Bart was impressed with Marriott's vocal abilities and hired him. Marriott stayed with the show for twelve months, playing various boys' roles during that time, for which he was paid £8 a week. Marriott was also chosen to provide lead vocals for the Artful Dodger songs "Consider Yourself", "Be Back Soon", and "I'd Do Anything", which appear on the official album to the stage show, released by World Record Club and recorded at the famous Abbey Road Studios. In 1961 the Marriott family moved from Strone Road to a new council flat in Daines Close, Manor Park.
Following Marriott's successful acting debut in Oliver!, his family encouraged him to pursue an acting career. In 1961 he auditioned and was accepted as a student at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in London. Because his family were unable to afford the private school fees, it was mutually agreed the fees would be deducted from acting work the school found him. After Marriott's enrolment at the Italia Conti Academy, he quickly gained acting roles, working consistently in film, television and radio, often typecast as the energetic Cockney child. Soon he lost interest in acting and turned his attention back to his first love, which was music. His parents were devastated and his decision to give up acting caused a family rift. As a result, he left the family home for a short period to stay with friends.
In 1963, Marriott wrote "Imaginary Love" and touted it around the big record labels in London. On the strength of "Imaginary Love", Marriott secured a Decca Records deal as a solo artist with Dick Reagan (also an agent for Cliff Richard). Marriott's first single was a song written by Kenny Lynch, "Give Her My Regards", with Marriott's self-penned song as the B-side. The single was released in July 1963 and was commercially unsuccessful. In the same year Marriott formed The Frantiks, who recorded a cover version of Cliff Richard's song "Move It" with ex-Shadows drummer Tony Meehan, who was brought in to help with production.
They are noted as performing a total of 80 gigs in 1964. The group was asked to record a single for the American market, a cover version of The Kinks' UK hit song "You Really Got Me", released on the World Artists record label (1964). When their version of "You Really Got Me" failed to get attention, Marriott was dropped from the band, with members claiming he was too young to be a lead singer. According to Don Craine, frontman of London R&B band The Downliners Sect, Marriott applied to join the band as a replacement harmonica player. Craine did not invite him to audition because he knew Marriott wanted to be lead vocalist.
On 28 July 1964, Marriott first saw his future Small Faces partners, Ronnie Lane and 16-year-old drummer Kenney Jones. They were all performing at the Albion in Rainham, with their bands. Lane and Marriott met again by chance in the J60 Music Bar, a music shop in High Street North, Manor Park, where Marriott was working after his recent departure from the Moments. Lane came in looking to purchase a bass guitar, and afterwards was invited to Marriott's home to listen to his extensive collection of rare American R&B import records. With their shared love of R&B the trio were soon firm friends.
However Marriott bore no animosity toward Plant. He is quoted as shouting "Go on my son!" and wishing him luck when he first heard Plant's version on the radio. Arden paid the band a wage of £20 a week each, along with accounts in clothes shops in Carnaby Street. On Boxing Day, 1965, Arden arranged for them to move into a rented house, 22 Westmoreland Terrace, Pimlico. In his autobiography, McLagan describes the house as "party central", a place where the likes of Marianne Faithfull, Brian Epstein, Pete Townshend and other celebrities would hang out. Marriott was just 18 years old.
Later, they were said to be one of many influences on the formation and musical style of British hard rock group Led Zeppelin. Marriott is reputed to have been Jimmy Page's benchmark when selecting a lead singer, and there are unmistakable stylistic and timbral similarities between the voices of Marriott and Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin's lead singer. Plant was a fan of Small Faces and a regular at their early gigs where he also ran small errands for them. Zeppelin's classic song "Whole Lotta Love" is a direct take of Marriott's version of the classic song "You Need Lovin'", originally written by Willie Dixon and recorded by American blues singer Muddy Waters. Small Faces would regularly perform "You Need Lovin'" in their live set, and the song also appears on their debut album Small Faces, released by Decca in May 1966.
Later Marriott moved into Beehive Cottage in Moreton, Essex, a property he had bought jointly with Ronnie Lane and wife Susan and where he established his "Clear Sounds" music studio. In 1967, after a dispute over unpaid royalties, relations between the Small Faces and Don Arden broke down and Arden sold them on to Andrew Loog Oldham, who owned the Immediate Records label. The band were much happier at Immediate, spending more time in the recording studio and far less time playing live, but they lost the dynamic live sound that had made them famous.
Rylance finally left Marriott in 1973. She said: "The drugs and the drink I would tolerate no more. It broke my heart to leave Steve but it had to be done, I was ultimately the stronger". Due to the break-up of his marriage and growing drug use, some band members said that Marriott at times became domineering, aggressive and intolerable to work with. Humble Pie disbanded in 1975, citing musical differences as the reason for the split. Financial mismanagement and widespread substance abuse within the band also played a part. In an interview in 2000 with John Hellier, Jerry Shirley said:
Marriott had liaisons with many women and had four known children with four of them, including one of his three wives. His first wife was model Jenny Rylance (1968–1973). He met American air hostess Pam Stephens in 1975 and their son Toby was born in 1976. They married after Toby was born. His third wife was Toni Poulton. They were married from July 1989 until Marriott's death in 1991.
After the departure of Mick Taylor in 1975 from the Rolling Stones, Marriott was considered as his replacement; however, Mick Jagger allegedly blocked the move after Marriott upstaged him during the audition. According to Ronnie Wood in his autobiography Ronnie, Marriott was Richards' first choice to replace Mick Taylor.
Due to the success of re-released singles "Itchycoo Park" and "Lazy Sunday" in 1975 and 1976, McLagan, Jones and Marriott were persuaded to re-form Small Faces. Rick Wills took the place of Lane, who pulled out after just two rehearsals. Unknown to the others, Lane was suffering from multiple sclerosis. The band recorded two albums, Playmates and '78 in the Shade, but the albums were both critical and commercial failures and they disbanded. Marriott did not make any money out of the venture. His earnings were used to extricate him from old binding management contracts. Due to financial problems, Marriott was forced to sell Beehive Cottage, which had been his home since 1968, and move to a small terraced house in Golders Green, London.
Marriott released his first solo album, Marriott, in 1976 and moved back to Britain. Stephens gave birth to their first child Toby on 20 February 1976, and they were married on 23 March 1977, at Chelsea Register Office in London. The money from Humble Pie's farewell tour soon ran out, and Marriott was reduced to stealing vegetables from a field next to his home. He went on to form the Steve Marriott Allstars with ex-Pie bassist Greg Ridley, drummer Ian Wallace and ex-Heavy Metal Kids' guitarist Mickey Finn, and found a new manager, Laurie O'Leary. In the 1980s O'Leary asked Marriott to meet a friend of his, the infamous Ronnie Kray, who was incarcerated in Broadmoor Hospital for the murder of George Cornell. Marriott gave him a signed photo.
In 1976 a court ruled that Arden still owed the Small Faces £12,000 in unpaid royalties. He agreed to pay in monthly instalments, but disappeared after making just one payment.
Late in 1978, the Inland Revenue informed Marriott that he still owed £100,000 in back tax from his Humble Pie days; he thought manager Dee Anthony had made all the necessary payments. O'Leary, Marriott's manager, advised him to leave Britain or go to prison. He sold the house in Golders Green and moved to California. Marriott, Pam and son Toby were staying with friends in Santa Cruz and Marriott formed a new band called The Firm, with Jim Leverton and (most notably) former Mountain guitarist Leslie West. But after Leverton had to leave the US due to visa problems, and disputes over potential royalties, the band broke up. Marriott was by now completely broke and forced to collect empty glass bottles to redeem them for small change. According to Leslie West, Steve needed the money and accepted a lucrative offer to reform Humble Pie.
In 1980, Marriott contacted Jerry Shirley, who was living in New York City, to discuss a Humble Pie reunion. Shirley agreed and they recorded "Fool for a Pretty Face", which Marriott had written earlier. The new line-up included Anthony "Sooty" Jones, who was well respected among American east coast musicians, also vocalist and guitarist Bobby Tench, former member of the Jeff Beck Group. The song proved good enough for them to secure a recording contract with Atco. In the UK their material was released by Jet Records, owned by ex-Small Faces manager Don Arden.
During a visit to Britain in 1981, Marriott became eager to see Ronnie Lane. By this time Lane had begun to use a wheelchair. After an emotional meeting, Marriott suggested they gig together. They got together with Jim Leverton, Mick Weaver, Dave Hynes, Zoot Money and Mel Collins to record an album called Majik Mijits. The album features songs by Lane and Marriott, though none were co-written. Due to Lane's illness, they were unable to tour and promote the album.
Marriott wrote or co-wrote most of Small Faces' hit singles. In an interview in 1984, Marriott was asked what his best Small Faces songs were: "I think 'All or Nothing', that I wrote, takes a lot of beating. To me, if there's a song that typifies that era, then that might be it. Words regardless, cos it's only a silly love song, but the actual feel and arrangement of the thing, and maybe 'Tin Soldier'". In 1967, Marriott wrote the evocative rock-ballad "Tin Soldier" to woo model Jenny Rylance. They first met in 1966 and Marriott was immediately smitten, but Rylance was dating up-and-coming singer Rod Stewart and so the two became friends. She later broke up with Stewart and had a brief romantic liaison with Marriott, but much to his disappointment ended it to go back to Stewart. Rylance and Stewart later split for good after a rocky four-year relationship; when Marriott found out he pursued her relentlessly, leading him to write "Tin Soldier". The song was a hit for the band in 1967 and for Marriott a personal triumph. He and Rylance were married at Kensington Register Office, London, on 29 May 1968.
Marriott had three daughters. The first, Lesley, was born to fellow teen Sally Foulger before Marriott became famous. She was originally known as Sarah Lisa Foulger (born 9 June 1966). She was adopted but later found out who her father was and has been accepted by her siblings. The second was Tonya, with Canadian Terri Elias in 1984. His third daughter Mollie Mae was born in 1985 when Marriott was with his childhood friend Manon Piercey.
After the success of the group's number one hit concept album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake Marriott was keen for the group to evolve and wanted to bring in ex-Herd frontman Peter Frampton, but McLagan, Jones and Lane refused. Marriott started to feel the band had reached the end creatively and began to spend more time with Frampton and Greg Ridley. After rumours in the press about the band splitting up, which were always officially denied, Marriott quit the group, storming off stage during a disastrous live performance on New Year's Eve, 1968. In a 1984 interview with NME reporter Paolo Hewitt on the subject of leaving the band, Marriott said:
Accepting that his marriage was over, Marriott moved back to the UK. With no home and no money, he stayed in the spare bedroom of his sister Kay's house. Marriott formed Packet of Three, again playing the pub circuit. He insisted on being paid for each gig in cash as the Inland Revenue were still pursuing him for back taxes. In August 1984, Aura Records released Steve Marriott Live at Dingwalls 6.7.84. Marriott contacted longtime friend Manon Piercey, and they quickly developed a close relationship and rented a house together. Piercey gave birth to daughter Mollie Mae on 3 May 1985. With Piercey's help, Marriott reduced his excessive drink and drug habits. His sister Kay said: "Steve would say, I'm not drinking any more, and he'd stop, six weeks, two months, he was very strong willed; if he wanted to, he could". In 1985 Marriott was still touring with Packet of Three playing Canada, America and Europe.
During Live Aid in 1985, London-based Phoenix Modernist Society joined mod revival bands such as the Lambrettas and Purple Hearts, with 1960s stars such as Chris Farlowe and PP Arnold. Together they cut a version of "All or Nothing" for Band Aid Trust. Kenny Lynch persuaded Marriott to get involved, and the single was released under the collective name the Spectrum.
In 1985, Marriott ended his relationship with Piercey when he met Toni Poulton at a Packet of Three gig.
In May 1988, Marriott started rehearsing with a band from Leicestershire, the DTs, though by the time they starting touring they were called Steve Marriott and the DTs. Despite being out of the public gaze, Marriott was still asked to participate in various projects. Andrew Lloyd Webber asked Marriott to record two songs for his musical Evita, though after becoming drunk at the meeting Marriott ungraciously declined. Film composer Stephen Parsons asked Marriott to sing the title track "Shakin' All Over" for the low budget horror film Gnaw: Food of the Gods II (1989); Marriott agreed, seeing it as easy money. While recording the song, Trax Records asked Marriott to record a solo album. Thirty Seconds to Midnite was recorded at Alexandra Palace. Marriott used the money to buy a narrowboat. On 14 July 1989, Marriott and Toni Poulton were married at Epping Register Office. Afterwards, they threw a party at their cottage.
By 1990 Marriott was playing an average 200 gigs a year, when Frampton flew into Britain and asked Marriott to reform Humble Pie to produce a one-off album and a reunion tour. The payment would be enough to allow Marriott to take things easier. He agreed, and they flew out to Frampton's recording studio in Los Angeles on 27 January 1991. They began writing songs, but the project was never completed, as Marriott had a change of heart and returned home.
The Small Faces song "All or Nothing" was played as the requiem at Marriott's funeral held on 30 April 1991, at the Harlow crematorium. Amongst the mourners, noted attendees included ex-Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones, as well as Peter Frampton, Joe Brown, PP Arnold, Terence Stamp, Jerry Shirley and Greg Ridley. Among those who sent wreaths were David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) and Rod Stewart and his then-wife Rachel Hunter. Nothing was heard from ex-Small Faces members Ian McLagan or Ronnie Lane.
According to David Bowie on a 1999 episode of VH1 Storytellers, in 1964 he and his good friend Marriott planned to form an R&B duo called 'David and Goliath'. Instead, Marriott, Lane and Jones decided to form their own band, with Marriott bringing along his acquaintance, Jimmy Winston (Winston was later replaced by Ian McLagan). Marriott's friend Annabel, an ex-student from the Italia Conti, came up with the band's distinctive name after commenting that they all had "small faces"; the name stuck in part because they were all (apart from Winston) small (none being over 5 ft 6 in tall), and the term "face" in English mod culture was the name given to a well-known and respected mod. Small Faces were signed to Don Arden within six weeks of forming and quickly became a successful mod band highly regarded by the youth cult's followers when their debut single "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" hit the UK singles chart.
To mark the 10th anniversary of Marriott's death a tribute concert was held at the London Astoria on 20 April 2001. All the songs performed at this concert were from the Small Faces or Humble Pie catalogue. Pre-1980 Humble Pie alumni Peter Frampton, Clem Clempson, Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley gave a one-off performance. Other guest appearances included two original members of the Small Faces, Kenney Jones and Ian McLagan, Paul Weller, Noel Gallagher and Bobby Tench from Marriott's 1980's Humble Pie line-up and John's Children. Other musicians such as Alan White, Gem Archer, Midge Ure, Zak Starkey, Rabbit Bundrick, Steve Ellis and Tony Rivers appeared in band line-ups during the two and half-hour concert, released on DVD as the Stevie Marriott Astoria Memorial concert. The proceeds of the concert were donated to The Small Faces Charitable Trust set up by Kenney Jones in memory of Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane.
In September 2007 Marriott, along with the other members of the Small Faces and manager Don Arden, were honoured with a plaque unveiled in Carnaby Street, on the site of Don Arden's offices, the spiritual home of the band in the 1960s.
On 25 June 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Steve Marriott among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.
Currently, Steve Marriott is 75 years, 3 months and 22 days old. Steve Marriott will celebrate 76th birthday on a Monday 30th of January 2023.
Find out about Steve Marriott birthday activities in timeline view here.