The International Writers Magazine: Review
STORY OF A GREAT SOUL HERO
All Too Beautiful
(official Steve Marriott biography) by John Hellier and Paulo
appraisal of Small Faces Steve Marriotts life is well
overdue. John Hellier has previously authored works on the Small
Faces but is also the publisher of Darlings of Wapping Wharf
Launderette one of the UKs best-selling fanzines,
as well as promoter of the recent Steve Marriott and Ronnie Lane
Paolo Hewitt has
written several notable biographies including the Small Faces, Oasis
and The Jam. Consequently, this biography has been entrusted to two
writers who know their subject and are passionate about it.
STEVE Marriott was one of the most important figures in British rock
and pop music in the 1960s and 1970s but also one of the least celebrated.
Like Steve Winwood, his amazing white soul voice belied his youth or
His writing partnership with Ronnie Lane in the Small Faces produced
some of the best singles of the decade and one of the most idiosyncratic
albums in Ogdens Nut Gone Flake. In aspects other than
his height, Steve Marriott was huge.
Steve Marriott was highly talented and widely respected for this. However,
underneath all this was a different character. The schizophrenia that
was exaggerated by the cocktails of drinks and drugs meant that, from
time to time, another character appeared, not Marriott but Melvin the
Ultimately, this other side was his downfall, the source of his marriage
break-ups and, finally, his early death. Even those who worked with
Marriott found his hyperactivity and playing of pranks very difficult
and wearing. Not just his marriages broke down but also his relationships
with former colleagues such as Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagan, Peter Frampton.
Steve Marriotts passion was music. He had a love of American R&B
such as Ray Charles and Bobby Bland and this was clearly audible in
his own work, not just in the Small Faces but also in latter incarnations
of Humble Pie and later groups such as Packet of Three. Like his colleagues
in the Small Faces and Humble Pie, Marriott did not receive the rewards
due to him because of the way in which the music business operated.
"All Too Beautiful" is the biography of one of musics
greatest talents. There was no doubt that he was extremely gifted as
a songwriter, a singer, a guitarist and as a performer. However, his
problems with drinks and drugs, the Inland Revenue and money in general
meant that he did not enjoy the rewards of his success.
© Rob Mellett April 2005
all rights reserved