Mod’s Artful Dodger: Steve Marriott’s Legacy Is Alive And Well
The Small Faces and Humble Pie frontman was daring, impudent, uncontrollable and innovative.
It’s such a shame that Steve Marriott isn’t around to see the appreciation and activity surrounding his musical legacy. All Or Nothing, the musical about the life of the Small Faces set in the modern era and written by Carol Harrison, followed an acclaimed 2016 London run by touring the UK.
Having played to packed houses both in the capital and on several tours around the country, early 2018 saw the show return to London at the Arts Theatre; in summer 2019, fittingly, it visited the mod capital of Brighton.
Steve’s post-Small Faces band, Humble Pie, continue to be revered by rock fans everywhere. His talented daughter Mollie Marriott, after singing with the likes of Paul Weller and the Gallagher brothers, has been building a reputation in her own solo career, notably with her much-praised debut album Truth Is A Wolf. She was also creative consultant for the musical.
Mollie’s dad, “the real modfather,” as he was once called, was born in Manor Park in Essex on January 30, 1947. He was taken from us in tragic and premature circumstances in a fire in April 1991, at the age of just 44, but what a lot he packed into his years of passionate musicianship.
Marriott was just 12 when he formed his first band. He was 13 when he was first on the London west end stage as the Artful Dodger in Oliver!, 16 when he landed his first solo record deal with Decca and 17 when the Small Faces got together. Fuelled with his brilliant songwriting, much of it with fellow Small Face Ronnie Lane, and Steve’s distinctively soulful rock helmsmanship, the group became an essential part of what we remember as the swinging 60s. He was daring, impudent, uncontrollable, and innovative, and the Small Faces packed more into four years than most bands do in a lifetime.
Listen to uDiscover Music’s official Small Faces Best Of playlist.
Then Steve managed the almost impossible achievement of creating another band who were also instantly successful, but with a harder rock sound that would see them fill American arenas in the 1970s. Humble Pie were another perfect vehicle for Marriott’s effusive talent, and after his glory years, Steve embraced various reunions of his two groups and numerous side projects, happy for any stage on which to express himself. We hope he’s looking down on the momentum and respect that’s rightly being afforded his catalog, and his daughter Mollie’s work, and enjoying it all.
Buy or stream the deluxe edition of the Small Faces album.
April 20, 2016 at 3:19 pm
Hi!-Are there any plans for a DVD recording to be made? I’ve been a fan of Humble Pie since I was introduced to their music when I was thirteen years of age..I live in Australia so it’s unlikely that I’ll be able to see the show.
January 30, 2017 at 4:10 pm
Steve was an incredible showman and musician. First saw him on stage in Philadelphia while I was a young teenager, at a Humble Pie concert. He was loaded with energy on stage and his voice was unmistakable. I was fortunate enough to see HP several more times before they called it quits but like most, couldn’t get enough of their music. Steve was a super-talent and is sorely missed…
January 30, 2018 at 5:02 pm
The Small Faces were such an influential band during the time when when there were great changes going on in music, especially in the UK. Listen to Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake which was the culmination of that change from a completely record company controlled ‘group’ to a band who were experimenting with the technology available and under the influence of psychedelia. Side 2 of this album featured a cockney themed story through narrative by Professor Stanley Unwin and songs which may not be to everyone’s taste. Song Of A Baker is a highlight for me.
February 3, 2018 at 4:25 pm
sheer legend the original modfather so good his daughter is carrying on the legend so sad we lost such a wonderful musician so young hope you are partying in heaven x
September 25, 2020 at 12:55 am
Another fan from Australia here. I only discovered HP a few years ago after becoming interested in Steve Marriott and being enchanted by his voice and charisma in the small Faces. I am now the same age he was when he died/was murdered… I have every book written by his bandmates and his biography ‘All too beautiful’. The people who got to see him perform live are so very blessed.