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24 September 2014

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Still room for ravers...5 July 2004
The Small Faces
A story of rags-to-riches-to-rags: Marriott (foreground) with the Small Faces in his Mod heyday

Millionaire style, mafia associates, struggles with the Taxman and schizophrenia. Steve Marriott's life story had it all, says Lord Crowley...

WIN: a signed copy of 'All Too Beautiful'

audio Lord Crowley's groove-filled radio show on 94.9FM every Saturday between 6 - 8pm: you can listen via your computer - click here

Lord Crowley

Realplayer required. Download here (The BBC cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites.)



This week sees the publication of the book All Too Beautiful written by Paolo Hewitt with John Hellier. It's the definitive story of one of London's all time great rock n rollers: Steve Marriott...

"When I met him in '83, Marriott was wearing a shabby tweed overcoat and looked like he could've just returned from pulling a fruit and veg stall out of Berwick Street market..."

An exhaustive account of the East End musical maverick, it spans his beginnings as a child prodigy, his memorable work with arch top Mods the Small Faces, and all the way through to his later work with Humble Pie, his subsequent solo career and his untimely death in 1991.

I had the pleasure of meeting Marriott back in the winter of 1983, outside the old Giaconda Cafe (a Small Faces hangout back in the 60s) in London's Denmark Street.

It's a meeting I'll never forget.


He was being interviewed for the NME by Paolo, who kindly invited me to come along to meet him once the interview had wrapped.

Steve Marriott
The whirlwind in action in 1971 (photo unknown)

What a character Marriott was! A veritable whirlwind of energy and humour and a mountain of quips and anecdotes.

I'm pleased to say I have a picture of the occasion, which I treasure to this day.

It's interesting looking back at that photo now because he couldn't have been more of a contrast to the sharp-dressed teen icon who set the pace back in the day.

He was wearing a shabby, long tweed overcoat and a flat cap and looked like he could've just returned from pulling a fruit and veg stall out of Berwick Street market!


But reading the book reminded me that this period saw Marriott returning to his roots and playing the pubs with his band The Packet Of Three, a long way from the arenas and mega sales of former contemporaries like Rod Stewart and Peter Frampton, a fact which irked him something rotten apparently.

Which is why it's nice to see this book and the success of various recent compilations that give the man his 'propers'. His proper respect.

We won't see the like of Steve Marriott again and All Too Beautiful captures him perfectly. A right riveting read as they say.

'All Too Beautiful' by Paolo Hewitt and John Hellier is published by Helter Skelter books and is available on limited special offer @£15.

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