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Steve Marriott

On 30/01/1947: Steve Marriott was born in Manor Park, London. His father Bill was an accomplished pub pianist and would buy Marriott a ukelele and harmonica for him to play. Marriott taught himself and would busk at local bus stops for extra pocket money.
In 1959, Marriott formed his first band called The Wheels. They were later called Coronation Kids and then Mississippi Five.
In 1960, Bill Marriott put Steve forward to audition for the part of the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, without Steve's knowledge. Steve was hired and was with the show for 12 months.
In 1961, Marriott was accepted into the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, London. With the academy, Marriott would get several acting roles, usually being cast as a cockney kid. He soon gave up his acting career though and went back to music.
In 1963, Marriott wrote the song "Imaginary Love" and he touted it to the various big record labels in London. Decca Records signed him as a solo artist. In the same year, Marriot's first single with Decca was released the song "Give Her My Regards" written by Kenny Lynch. The single promptly vanished. Also in 1963, Marriott formed the Moments (orginally called the Frantiks). They supported acts such as the Nashville Teens, the Animals, Georgie Fame and John Mayall.
In 1964, after their cover of the song "You Really Got Me" failed to gain success, the Moments fired Marriott from the band. The other members claimed he was too young to be a lead singer. In July 1964, Marriott met Ronnie Lane and Kenney Jones for the first time when they were all performing at the Albion in Rainham with their bands.
In 1965, Marriott then joined The Checkpoints. He was with them for a couple of months. After Marriott left the Moments, he had started working in the J60 music shop in Manor Park. It was there where he met Lane again when he came in to buy a bass guitar. The two of the discovered their shared interest in R&B and became friends. Mariott joined Lane and Jones to perform with the Outlaws at their regular gig at the Earl of Derby, Bermondsey. The trio got drunk and Marriott ended up destroying the piano. The landlord sacked them and the band was finished. Mariott, Lane and Jones formed a band with Steve's acquaintance Jimmy Winston (who was later replaced by Ian McLagan). Marriott's friend Annabel commentated on how they all had small faces. Soon they named the band the Small Face. They were also all 5'6 or under. The band signed with Don Arden within six weeks of forming. In August 1965, the band released their debut single "Whatcha Gonna Do About It" with Decca Records. It went to number 14 on the UK Charts. Marriott would write or co-write most of the Small Faces' hit singles. The band would be successful with such hits as "Itchycoo Park", "Lazy Sunday", "All or Nothing", "Tin Soldier".
In 1967, Don Arden sold the band to Andrew Loog Oldham at Immediate Records Label after a dispute over unpaid royalties.
In 1968, the Small Face released the album "Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake". After the album, Marriott was keen for the group to evolve and wanted to bring in Peter Frampton. The other band members refused to let him join. After a bad live performance on New Year's Eve, 1968, Marriott quit the group.
Marriott then went to join the rock band Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, Jerry Shirley and Greg Ridley.
In 1969, Humble Pie released their debut album "As Safe As Yesterday Is". After returning to the UK after an American tour the band discovered Immediate Records had gone into liquidation. They moved across to A&M Records. The band toured extensively for the next three years, with 19 US tours.
In 1970, Humble Pie released the album "Humble Pie".
In 1971, Humble Pie released the album "Rock On" and their most successful album up that point the live album "Performance Rockin' the Filmore". In the same year, Frampton left the band and Marriott was pushed more forefront of the band. During that period, Marriott was developing a destructive cocaine and alcohol addiction.
In 1973, Marriott's wife Jenny Rylance left him after struggling to cope with his addictions.
In 1975, Humble Pie disbanded.
In 1976, Marriott released his first solo album "Marriott". Marriott formed the Steve Marriott Allstars with Greg Ridley, Ian Wallace, Mickey Finn. Also that year, a court ruled that Arden owed the Small Faces £12,000 in unpaid royalties. He agreed to pay monthly instalments but disappeared after only making the first payment.
McLagan, Jones and Marriott reformed the Small Faces after being persuaded by promising sales from rereleases. They recorded the albums "Playmates" and "'78 in the Shade". The albums didn't sell well and they soon disbanded.
In 1978, the Inland Revenue informed Marriott that he owed £100,000 in back taxes from when he was in Humble Pie. Marriott left London and moved to California. There he formed the band The Firm with Jim Leverton and Leslie West. Leverton had to leave the US due to visa problems and the band broke up. Marriott was now broke and forced to collect empty glass bottles for small change.
In 1980, Marriott contacted Jerry Shirley to discuss a Humble Pie reunion. They recorded the song "Fool for a Pretty Face" together. The new lineup included Anthony "Sooty" Jones and Bobby Tench. They got a record contract with Atco. In the same year, they released "On to Victory".
In 1981, Humble Pie released the album "Go for the Throat". The album and the previous album were reasonably successful. The band started to disintegrate with Marriott having personal problems. Marriott's marriage was nearly over, he broke his wrist and was taken to hospital for a suspected burst ulcer. Humble Pie then broke up. Also in 1981, Marriott visited Ronnie Lane whilst in the UK. The two of them got together to record the album "Majik Mijits" with Jim Leverton, Mick Weaver, Dave Hynes, Zoot Money and Mel Collins. Due to Lane being in a wheelchair, they didn't tour to promote the album. The album was not released till 19 years later.
Marriott went back to New York and went on the road with Jim Leverton, Goldy McJohn and Fallon Williams for a year and a half. When McJohn left they changed their name to the Three Trojans.
After his marriage was over, Marriott moved back to the UK. He had no money and so stayed in his sister Kay's house. Marriott formed the band Packet of Three and toured the pub circuit. He asked for the money from gigs in cash as the Inland Revenue were still pursuing him for back taxes.
In 1984, Marriott released the album "Steve Marriott Live at Dingwalls 6.7.84" with Aura Records. Marriott rented a house with his friend Manon Piercey.
In 1985, Packet of Three toured in Canada, America and Europe. During the same year, Mariott joined the collective Spectrum for their recording of "All of Nothing" for the Band Aid Trust.
Packet of Three disbanded after the group began to believe that Marriott's wariness of fame was holding them back. They had turned down various high profile concert and recording deals.
In 1988, Marriott rehearsed with the band the DTs. They went on tour with the new name of Steve Marriott and the DTs.
In 1989, Marriott had his vocals on the track "Shakin' All Over" for the film "Gnaw: Food of the Gods II" after Stephen Parsons recruited Marriott.
Trax Records asked Marriott to record the album "Thirty Seconds to Midnite".
Marriott formed a new group with Jim Leverton and ex-members of the DTs and the Official Receivers called Steve Marriott's Next Band. After several members left they renamed themselves to the old band name of Packet of Three.
In 1990, Frampton asked Marriott to reform Humble Pie to produce a one off album and a reunion tour.
In 1991, Mariott flew out to Frampton's recording studio in Los Angeles, but Marriott had a change of heart and returned home.
On 20/04/1991, Marriott was killed when his cottage went on fire. The verdict was accidental death by smoke inhalation, with the most likely explanation being that Marriott lit a cigarette before bed and fell into a deep sleep. His blood was found to contain valium (taken for flight nerves the previous day), alcohol and cocaine.
In 2007, Marriott, the other members of the Small Faces and Don Arden were honoured with a plaque in Carnaby Street, London at the site of Don Arden's offices.

The Music History Calendar is written by the Blues Rock artist Marshland Pete
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