If there had never been a Steve Marriott, I doubt that there ever would’ve been a Jack White (on the positive side) or 80’s pop-metal (on the negative side).
Marriott was the driving force behind one of the best — and now virtually unknown this side of the Atlantic — British bands of the 60’s, the Small Faces. In addition to Marriott, the Small Faces included an A-Team of rock musicians: Kenny Jones (drums; later Keith Moon’s replacement in The Who), Ian Maclagan (organ/piano side-man for numerous rock luminaries), and Ronnie Lane (bass; singer-songwriter and leader of The Faces, the post-Marriott band fronted by Rod Stewart and featuring future Stone Ron Wood — it was always Lane’s curse to be a really great songwriter and singer stuck in the same band with more “charming” singers or writers).
Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites) on Marriott:
Here’s Marriott with the Small Faces doing “Little Tin Soldier.” I had never listened to this tune until a few weeks ago, sadly (I was more aware of the Humble Pie-era Marriott) … it kind of blew me away. Let me know what you think:
The Small Faces, “Little Tin Soldier” (1968)
Here’s a clip that’s prime Pie-era Marriott; you can find the roots of some of the worst of 80’s hair-metal in this version of Ray Charles’s “I Don’t Need No Doctor.”
And, now, for my fave Marriott track, “30 Days in the Hole.” Unfortunately, there’s not a good live version to show you, but this slide show that goes on with the (mostly) live album track is worth sitting through. We covered this regularly in the RRSL Mach 2 era … opened with it, as a matter of fact. It kicked a$$, as you might imagine — and Marriott should get all the credit!
Unfortunately, Steve Marriott died in 1991, a victim of a household fire that may have started from his falling asleep with a lit cigarette. He left quite a legacy, although sometimes you have to dig to find the good stuff. I recommend the re-release of Itchycoo Park (Small Faces) and Smokin’ (Humble Pie), if you’re interested in hearing more!