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Stephen Peter Marriott (30 January 1947 Ė 20 April 1991), popularly known as Steve Marriott, was an English singer-songwriter, guitarist and musician. He is best remembered for his powerful singing voice which belied his small stature, and for his aggressive guitar playing in the rock groups the Small Faces (1965Ė1969) and Humble Pie (1969Ė1975 and 1980Ė1981).
In Britain, Marriott became a popular, often-photographed mod style icon through his role as lead singer and guitarist with the Small Faces in the mid to late sixties. Marriott was influenced from an early age by his heroes including Buddy Holly, Booker T & the MG's, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and Bobby Bland. In later life Marriott became disillusioned with the music industry and turned his back on the big record companies, remaining in relative obscurity. He returned to his music roots playing the pubs and clubs around London and Essex.
Marriott died on 20 April 1991 when a fire, thought to have been caused by a cigarette, swept through his 16th-century home in Arkesden, Essex. He posthumously received an Ivor Novello Award in 1996 for his Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and was listed in Mojo as one of the top 100 greatest singers of all time.
Black Sabbath frontman, Ozzy Osbourne, named Marriott the fourth greatest singer and Clem Burke of Blondie named him the sixteenth greatest singer and wrote under his name, "greatest rock singe[r]." Paul Stanley of Kiss has said, "He had a great voice" and went on to say, "Steve Marriott was unbelievable". Keith Richards listed Marriott as one of his five favourite artists of all time. Steve Perry, of Journey fame, has claimed that, "One of my favourite vocalists was Steve Marriott."
Steve Marriott was born on 30 January 1947, at East Ham Hospital, Manor Park, Essex, (now London), 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., 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. For a short time he also sold pie and mash. Kay worked at the Tate & Lyle factory in Silvertown. Bill was an accomplished pub pianist and the life and soul of many an 'East End' night. Marriott's father bought him a ukulele and harmonica which Steve taught himself to play. Marriott showed an early interest in singing and performing, busking at local bus-stops for extra pocket money and winning talent contests during the family's annual holiday to Jaywick Holiday camp near Clacton-on-Sea. 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'. They would play the local coffee bars in East Ham and perform Saturday morning gigs at the Essoldo Cinema in Manor Park. Marriott was a cheeky, hyperactive child, according to his mother Kay, and well-known by his neighbours in Strone Road for playing pranks and practical jokes. While he was a pupil at local Sandringham Secondary Modern School, Marriott was said to be responsible for starting a deliberate fire in a classroom, though he always denied this.
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 Noel 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 a total of twelve months, playing various boys' roles during his time there, for which he was paid eight pounds 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 brand 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 enrollment at the Italia Conti Academy, he quickly gained acting roles, working consistently in film, television and radio, often typecast as the energetic Cockney kid. 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 promptly vanished. In the same year Marriott formed The Moments,originally called The Frantiks. The Frantiks 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. Despite the single being hawked around the major record companies, no one was interested and the song was consequently never released. They then changed the band's name to The Moments or 'Marriott and his Moments'. They played support for artists such as The Nashville Teens, The Animals, Georgie Fame, and John Mayall, playing venues such as the 100 Club in Soho, London, and the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond. The Moments gained a loyal following, and for a short time had their own fanzine Beat '64, dedicated to 'Steve Marriott's Moments', started by Stuart Tuck. 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.
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. Marriott was invited by Lane and Jones to perform with "The Outlaws" (previously called "The Pioneers") at the band's regular gig The Earl of Derby in Bermondsey. However the trio each ended up completely drunk and Marriott enthusiastically destroyed the piano he was playing, much to the amusement of Lane and Jones. The landlord sacked them and the band was finished. 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 Steve 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. 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. In fact, 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 said by some to be 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.
"It was fantastic, I loved it, Muddy Waters recorded it but I
couldn't sing like Muddy Waters so it wasn't that much of a nick. I was
a high range and Muddy was a low range so I had to figure out how to
sing it. So I did and that was our opening number for all the years we
were together. Every time we were on stage that was our opening number,
unless we had a short set. That's where Jimmy Page and Robert Plant
heard it. Robert Plant used to follow us around. He was like a fan." -
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.
Later they moved into Beehive Cottage in Moreton, Essex. The property was jointly purchased with Ronnie Lane and wife Susan and was where Marriott established his music studio, "Clear Sounds". 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; however, they lost the dynamic live sound that had made them famous. 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:
"You grow apart for Christsakes. You're talking about people living
together from the ages of seventeen to twenty-two and that's a growing
up part of your life and we got to hate each other, no doubt about it.
We didn't speak to each other for fucking years. Maybe ten years." -
"The following day after the Alexandra Palace gig (where Steve walked
off), I was back home and I got a call from Ronnie Lane who said Me,
Kenney and Mac would like to come round and see you. I thought, Hello,
what's all this about? Anyway, they all came round to my horrible little
flat in Earls Court and asked me to join the Small Faces. All I could
say was it's a bit late now. Why couldn't you have asked me while we
were in Paris? We'd all be in the same band together and Steve wouldn't
have left." - Peter Frampton.
Humble Pie toured constantly over the next three years, completing nineteen tours in the U.S. alone. The band's next album releases, Humble Pie and Rock On, benefited from their touring. Their live album Performance Rockin' the Fillmore (1971) became the band's most successful release to date. During these recordings, Marriott's strong vocal performances became the focal point of the band. Dee Anthony pushed Marriott to take more of the on-stage spotlight, something he had, up to then, been sharing with Frampton and Ridley. Mariott's new prominence is said to have resulted in Frampton's decision to leave the band. (Frampton was replaced by Clem Clempson.)
Some close to Marriott would say that his personality would change for the worse when he toured America. Eventually, possibly as a result of excessive alcohol and drug use, Marriott started showing signs of mild schizophrenia. He had regularly taken amphetamines (speed) and smoked cannabis in his days in The Moments and Small Faces, and in the latter half of the 1960s he also experimented with LSD. But towards the end of his Small Faces career and in Humble Pie, Marriott allegedly developed a destructive cocaine and alcohol addiction, which is thought to have been the cause of his marriage breakups and to have contributed to his premature death in a house-fire.
"He (Steve) became another person in order to cope with the
pressures, he would say things like, Please tell me that youíll leave me
if I go on tour again because if you say that Iíll have justification
not to go, if I go and have to be that other person again Iíll just go
mad. This would be said in a moment of truth but the next day had
changed his mind and heíd be up and off.... He was married to his music
and I didnít mind that especially in the early years when he would play
me new songs on an acoustic guitar but what didnít make me happy was
when he was in the home studio, out of his brain, trying to come up with
the next album because he was being pressurised into it. He would just
disappear into the studio for three or four days at a time. He never
slept and there would be all sorts of strange people in there with him.
It was a crazy business and even the nicest people get mixed up. All
sorts of chemicals were presented to him and he became addicted to them
in the end. It was drugs that destroyed our relationship. Before the
home studio was built Beehive Cottage was our sanctuary, afterwards it
just became his workplace." - Jenny Rylance
"We were all doing too many drugs, weíd lost sight of our business
arrangements and no-one within the band had any control over money
matters. But the main reason was that we were making bad records, it all
came to a head in early 1975. The rot had set in so deep it was
inevitable." - Jerry Shirley (Humble Pie).
Marriott released his first solo album, Marriott, in 1976 and moved back to England. Pam gave birth to their first child Toby on 20 February 1976, and they were married on 23 March 1977, at Chelsea Registry 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 in England. Marriott 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.
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.
"Steve told me, I was good and stood at the back for a while but then
Keith would hit this lick and I just couldn't keep my mouth shut. Keith
wanted him in but there was no way that once Steve opened his mouth Mick
would have him in the band. He knew Steve would never stay in the
background. They were the one band in the world that Steve would have
loved to have been in. He just wanted to work with Keith." - Pam
Due to the success of re-released singles "Itchycoo Park" and "Lazy Sunday" in 1975 and 1976, McLagan, Jones and Marriott were persuaded to reform 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 proved a financial and commercial failure 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.
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 England or go to jail. 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 with Jim Leverton and (most notably) former Mountain guitarist Leslie West called The Firm, but after Leverton had to leave the U.S. 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 lineup 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. They recorded the heavy rock album On to Victory (1980), followed by Go for the Throat (1981), and both proved reasonably successful. They also toured America as part of the Rock 'N' Roll Marathon bill. In the latter half of 1981, Marriott was beset with personal problems. His marriage was almost over and after he broke his wrist in an accident and was hospitalised with a suspected burst ulcer, whilst opening for Judas Priest and the new Humble Pie line-up disintegrated.
During a visit to England 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 The 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.
"Steve and Ronnie went to America to see Clive Davis of Arista
Records. They played him the tape. Clive Davis was tapping his foot and
tapping his very expensive pen on his very expensive desk. He said
"Yeah, thatís great man". Steve said "So you like the tape, Clive".
Steve then stopped the tape, ejected it and said "WELL YOU CANíT ******
HAVE IT!" The story that Steve told me was that it would have meant
touring and Ronnie just wasnít up to it. It would have meant pretty much
carrying him everywhere, no tour, no album. Thatís why the Mijits never
came out at that point in time. Its been gathering dust for ages" - Jim
Accepting that his marriage was over, Marriott moved back to England. With no home and no money, he stayed at his sister Kay's house in the spare bedroom. 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 his future third wife Toni Poultney at a Packet of Three gig.
Due to his financial situation, Marriott jokingly later renamed the group Steve Marriott and the Official Receivers. In the mid 1980s Marriott and Toni moved to a rented cottage in the small village of Arkesden. The 16th-century cottage was also used for location shots for the home of the title character in the BBC's long-running television series Lovejoy, starring Ian McShane. Marriott became well-known locally, often popping into the pub opposite his home to buy bottles of brandy and borrowing glasses. He once turned up wearing trainers and a dressing gown and became something of an eccentric figure, playing pranks, particularly on the owner of the pub.
Due to past experiences, in later years Marriott became wary of success and fame as well as involvement with big record companies, and turned down lucrative concert and recording deals with names such as EMI. Because of this attitude, the band grew resentful, believing that he was holding them back, and Packet of Three was disbanded. For the next year Marriott took time off. By now he was 44 years old. He had health problems, was overweight, and had a scruffy appearance. There was little left of the striking 1960s mod icon. Film-maker Paolo Sedazzari recalled, "I remember going to see him in the 1980s, and he was brilliant. Great voice, great guitarist but what I couldn't get over were the dungarees and the mullet haircut. That was really disappointing". According to his wife, Marriott still smoked cannabis and took cocaine, but nothing compared to what he had once consumed. In his later years Marriott liked reading; his favourite authors included Stephen King, Philip K. Dick and anything on Noel Coward, whom Marriott had always admired.
In May 1988, Marriott started rehearsing with a band from Birmingham, the DT's, though by the time they starting touring they were called Steve Marriott and the DT's. 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 Poultney were married at Epping Registry office. Afterwards, they threw a party at their cottage.
During this period Jim Leverton got in touch and Marriott formed a new group called Steve Marriott's Next Band, with Leverton and ex-members of both the DT's and The Official Receivers. When several members left due to financial disagreements, the band name Packet of Three resurfaced.
By 1990 Marriott was playing an average 200 gigs a year, when Frampton flew into England 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. Two recorded songs from this final effort, "The Bigger They Come" and "I Won't Let You Down", with Marriott on vocals (and guitar), appeared on Frampton's album Shine On: A Collection. A third song, "Out of the Blue", featuring both Marriott and Frampton, was featured on the first solo recording Frampton made after Marriott's death. A fourth song, "An Itch You Can't Scratch", has been found on many illegal compilations and even on one of two "authorised" British releases. The recording date, and whether Frampton played on it, have never been verified.
On Friday 19 April 1991, Marriott and his wife Toni Poulton were on a flight home from the USA, where he had been recording songs for a future album with Frampton. During the flight, according to his wife, Marriott was drinking heavily and was in a foul mood, and they constantly argued. On arrival in the UK they were met by a mutual friend and ate at one of Marriott's favourite restaurants, where he consumed more alcohol. They returned to their friend's house and decided to stay overnight, since it was now the early hours of the next morning, but upstairs in bed, Marriott and Poulton continued to argue. Poulton finally fell asleep and was unaware that Marriott had called a taxi and made his way home alone.
At approximately 6:30 am on 20 April, a passing motorist saw the roof of Marriott's cottage ablaze and called the fire brigade. It was reported that four fire engines were needed to put out the fire. In newspaper interviews, Assistant Divisional Fire Officer Keith Dunatis, who found Marriott, said:
"It was a tough fight getting upstairs. We searched the bedroom areas
and it was very hot, we knew immediately that no-one could have survived
the fire. We began to feel around the walls and discovered him lying on
the floor between the bed and the wall. I would say he had been in bed
and tried to escape. As soon as I saw the body clearly I knew who it
was. I used to be a fan, it's difficult to put my feelings into words.
The scene was horrific in that corner of the room. I saw him lying there
and thought what a pity it all was. I deal with many fires but this one
was like walking down memory lane. We managed to salvage all his guitars
and musical equipment. I feel a bit upset, all the firemen do. It was
like seeing part of our lives gone forever." - (Fire Officer)
Since Marriott was found lying on the floor between the bed and wall, investigators concluded he may have tried unsuccessfully to escape after being awakened by the blaze. Disoriented and confused after inhaling large amounts of thick smoke, Marriott had turned left instead of right towards the bedroom door and safety. He had been unable to rectify his mistake before being overcome with smoke. At the inquest, a verdict of accidental death by smoke inhalation was recorded. Marriott's blood was also found to contain quantities of valium (taken earlier for flight nerves), alcohol and cocaine.
"He (Marriott) was certainly the most talented person I ever worked
with. He was like a brother to me and I was devastated when he died. He
always lived on the edge and I was always waiting for a 'phone call to
say that he had died but I never dreamed it would be under those
circumstances. He's never got the credit he deserves. He should be in
the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame because he was the greatest white soul
singer that England ever produced. I'm certain that if you caught the
likes of Rod Stewart and Paul Rodgers in a private moment and asked them
who was the main man, they would say, Steve Marriott." - Jerry Shirley
Marriott was married three times. His first wife was Jenny Rylance and his son Toby was born during Marriott's time with his second wife Pam Stephens, in 1976. His third wife was Toni Poulton. He also had two daughters, the first was Tonya, with Terri Elias in 1984. His second daughter Mollie Mae was born in 1985 when Marriott was with his childhood friend Manon Piercey.
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 The Small Faces or Humble Pie catalogue. The pre-1980 Humble Pie line of Peter Frampton, Clem Clempson, Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley were reunited for a one off performance. Other guest appearances included two original member 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. Other musicians such as Alan White, Gem Archer, Midge Ure, Zak Starkey, Rabbit Bundrick, Steve Ellis and Tony Rivers appeared in band lineups during the two and half hour 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.