Steve Marriott

(1947—1991) singer and guitarist

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b. 30 January 1947, London, England, d. 20 April 1991, Essex, England. As a child actor, Marriott appeared in The Famous Five television series in the late 50s and made a West End theatre debut as the Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart’s Oliver! in 1961. That same year, Decca Records engaged him as an Adam Faith soundalike for two unsuccessful singles. Next, as singing guitarist in the Moments, he had another miss with a sly cover of the Kinks ’ ‘You Really Got Me’ for the USA market. Then followed Steve Marriott and the Frantic Ones (amended to just the Frantics). This venture was, however, less lucrative than his daytime job in an East Ham music equipment shop where, in 1964, he met fellow mod Ronnie Lane (bass) with whom he formed the Small Faces after recruiting Kenny Jones (drums) and Jimmy Winston (keyboards). Knock-kneed and diminutive, Steve emerged as the outfit’s public face, attacking the early smashes with a strangled passion revealing an absorption of R&B, and an exciting (if sometimes slipshod) fretboard style that belied the saccharine quality of such songs as ‘Sha La La La Lee’ and ‘My Mind’s Eye’. With Lane, he composed the unit’s later output as well as minor hits for Chris Farlowe and P.P. Arnold.


From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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