"Consider Yourself“ is a hit song from the 1960s original West End and Broadway musical Oliver! – And the leading vocals are sung by a 13 year old unknown actor, Stephen Peter Marriott, better known as Steve Marriott!
|Steve Marriott age 14-15.|
|Steve Marriott 1966/67|
The road to fame through acting was not the one that Steve wanted to follow. Through his veins flowed the blood of a musician, and that, against his family’s wishes, was the path he chose. From there on in his powerful soulful voice and forceful guitar playing dominated every band he played with! From his first ‘childhood’ group- The Wheels, and later with the Small Faces (1965–1969) - and Humble Pie (1969–1975 and 1980–1981), Steve commanded the act! In Britain, Marriott became a popular, often-photographed mod style icon through his role as lead singer and guitarist with the Small Faces. Not only was he a gifted singer and guitarist but also an amazing songwriter. In fact you’d have a hard time deciding who was the best ‘Mod’ composer-Townsend or Marriott!
These God given attributes, led to many jealous confrontations within the band's working environment. Add to this a severe case of bad management, and you end up with a Rock fiasco!
Envy’s green stretched further than home ground. According to Ronnie Wood in his autobiography Ronnie, Marriott was Keith Richard's first choice to replace Mick Taylor in The Rolling Stones – ‘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 Marriott
|Steve and Jenny Rylance|
What twisted jest of fate led to this Icon, to end his days playing in small clubs for peanuts, when he should have been filling stadiums and concert halls throughout the World! We cannot bring excuses of drugs- tell me a 60’s musician who didn’t; bad management- The Rolling Stones, (to name just one band), survived more than one ‘midnight cowboy’; internal conflicts with other band members- The Who, besides others, rode this path and blossomed. Can someone tell me what the fuck happened! The small East End Cockney singer frightened the shit out of his fellow musicians.
In 1966 I was a student at Kingsway College, in Euston, London, and in our lunch break we used to go to a small café situated in an alley behind our building. Walking in, one September Friday, who should be sat there but the Small Faces- obviously we were surprised and showed it! As we left they waved bye. I had some good friends, who used to bring me into a cult TV programme called Ready Steady Go!, and I had tickets for that evening's show, one of the acts appearing was the Small Faces! I happened to be near their podium when they came on; Steve must have remembered me from the café, as he jokingly shouted ‘Oi, are you following me!’, and then they were on air, doing a great rendition of ‘All Or Nothing’- which, by the way, was Steve Marriott’s favourite composition. As he remarks in this interview from 1985 link.
|Steve in his Humble Pie era|
Steve Marriot died on 20th of April 1991 when a fire, thought to have been caused by a cigarette, swept through his 16th-century home in Arkesden, Essex, UK. Even now so many years after his death, Steve Marriott has not been initiated into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! All I can say to that is fuck them! Steve will always be the Ace Face!
I leave the closing paragraph to this post to the firemen who found him- “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).
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