9.21.2010

STEVE MARRIOTT: KILLED BY A CIGARETTE, DRUGS, OR THE MOB?


Today out of nowhere Steve Marriott's life came into my mind. I wondered whatever happened to Steve. The official story is that Steve died from smoke inhalation in a huge fire at his large home in England. It was also rumored that he had ingested a lot of valium and alcohol on the plane returning from a US tour in 1991. Quite possible as I know how much I hate flying and have had other rockers tell me that they take various sleeping pills and alcohol to endure long overseas flights.



Steve's Bio: Stephen Peter Marriott was born at East Ham Hospital in London. At the age of twelve, he appeared as the Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart's "Oliver!" In 1965, he founded The Small Faces (so called because they were all under five foot four) with Ronnie Lane, Kenny Jones and Jimmy Winston, although the latter was soon replaced by Ian McLagan.

 They became one of the leading bands of the late sixties, with twelve hit singles, including "All or Nothing" which reached Number One in August 1966, and the classic album "Ogden's Nut  Gone Flake".


Humble Pie In March 1969, Marriott left to form Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, Greg Ridley and Jerry Shirley. They continued until March 1975, with Dave Clempson replacing Frampton in 1971, and toured America twenty-two times. Marriott's later projects met with limited success, including an attempt to reform the Small Faces without Ronnie Lane.

On April 20th. 1991, he returned from a tour of the States to his house in Arkesden, near Saffron Walden in Essex, having taken a huge amount of alcohol and valium to overcome his fear of flying. The inquest was unable to determine whether he had been smoking in bed, or whether he had upset a candle, by the light of which he used to read before going to sleep, but the court heard that the fire had been so great that the smoke had filled the High Street of Arkesden, and that he had taken enough drugs and alcohol to kill him even if the house had not caught fire At least that is the "official story"


Steve Marriott Humble Pie 1973 Steve Marriott is the voice you hear on one of my most very favorite retro songs Itchycoo Park by The Small Faces. His voice was soft, clear and with a definite psychedelic edge. After the demise of The Small Faces Steve began Humble Pie. It was shocking to me at the time to realize the soft voice of Itchycoo Park was singing 30 Days in the Hole and I Don't Need No Doctor.


After reading many articles on Steve's career it came as no surprise to learn that he was nearly penniless and received almost no royalties from his music. This sadly is a similar story that I hear from lots of musicians from the retro era. Business vs creativity. Many artists left their business details to unscrupulous "managers". They trusted the wrong people or abused too many substances to notice they were being robbed by the very people that were trusted to care for them. Truly tragic, as a artist (oil painter) once told me, "The artist always gets screwed..."



I found this article which seems a bit far fetched... but I love a good mob conspiracy story! The mob did it! The mafia murdered Steve Marriott? Read this article below and see what you think.

The Steve Marriott Saga: How the Mob, Peter Frampton and Daddy Osbourne Snuffed Out The Small Faces and Humble Pie By Don Jacobson The other day I was listening to a great old album on WREK-FM, one of our better non-commercial, student-run stations, from Georgia Tech in Atlanta. 
 
The program was Stonehenge, WREK's weekly "deep tracks" classic rock show, and the album was Humble Pie's first effort, 1969's "As Safe As Yesterday Is."  It was so good, it got me wondering, why didn't Steve Marriott ever become the ultra-special hyperstar he should have been? What happened to him in the years between Humble Pie's break-up in 1975 and his premature, accidental death in a 1991 house fire? 

In my resulting research, there was a non-surprise: Marriott was totally besotted by cocaine and booze, which eventually led to an induced mental illness. But there was also something else that I wasn't aware of. In the long, ignoble history of musicians being ripped off by unscrupulous, power-mad managers, Marriott had to take the cake.

He never realized any kind of financial gain from his fabulous output of talent. Sandwiched around one visionary but unsuccessful handler (the Rolling Stones' Andrew Loog Oldham) were two other, uh, less-than-saintly guys, including Sharon Osbourne's daddy.


Then, after Steve formed Humble Pie with Peter Frampton, he hooked up with Dee Anthony, one of the most important and powerful American rock managers. Anthony was indeed successful in getting the band a contract with A&M Records, and was the one who encouraged them to go the hard boogie, arena-rock route, a sound that turned them into one of the best live bands around and eventually yielded the hit "Thirty Days In The Hole." (Anthony later used the same formula for Frampton and his Comes Alive! album.) 

But, like a broken record, millions of dollars of royalties disappeared. Marriott, who was so poor he had been reduced to stealing food, thought Anthony had diverted the considerable Humble Pie royalties to push a now-solo Frampton, and demanded that Anthony tell him where the money was.

John Gotti Big Paul Castellano

At that point, Marriott was taken into a meeting that included John Gotti, Paul Castellano and other members of the Gambino crime family, at least according to Marriott's official biography, All Too Beautiful. That ended his impertinent money questions.

 

https://www.facebook.com/pages/RetroKimmercom/171044865989?ref=hl

31 comments:

  1. one of my favorite vocalistS of all time...Really liked the interviews, I've never seen before. I need to share..

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  2. Hmmm. It's possible.

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  3. He was great and the real deal. R.I.P. Steve

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  4. I loved him too but I didn't know for years that his voice was Itchycoo Park and 30 days in the hole!

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  5. I didn't read the article, but I know the story. I choose the mob didn't have anything to do with his death, directly. They may have contributed to his bad mood, then the argument with wife, perceptions and judgment altered by drugs. If I didn't know of someone who departed the same way, that is the lit cigarette, I may think differently. I suppose I see the mob as more profit oriented. But who really knows?

    I do believe everybody 'stole' something from him. From Hendrix on down. If you compare him with his contemporaries he had much more expression and originality.

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  6. I doubt seriously that Gotti and Castellano would meet a rock singer.. an underling maybe. But it is tragic to know how many rock musicians were ripped off and had so much power at a young age with no idea who to trust.

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  7. Scott Dailey9/23/2010 10:11 AM

    Interesting ... sad, he was great !!

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  8. Larry Newman9/23/2010 11:55 AM

    "I met him once in Ann Arbor, he was rifling through the albums at Schoolkids Records, that was back in the late 70's, maybe early eighties..."

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  9. Patt McKenzie9/23/2010 11:55 AM

    "He was quite a guy, used to party with him and the guys when he was with Humble Pie ."

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  10. he and I shared a grip of Mandrax back in '68 ."

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  11. Fred and Lise Bender9/23/2010 6:56 PM

    "Steve was one of the best singers in rock, now Justin Beiber they can rip him off. but that won't happen."

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  12. Mike Burgett9/23/2010 6:57 PM

    "WOW Kim, That's wild, What an entertaining fun front man Steve was, And complete with chrome plated pipes"

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  13. I understand Marriott left Small Face because they wouldn't let Frampton in, and he thought Frampton was a genius. That is why he started Humble Pie and called it that. He wanted his old band mates to be jealous and "Eat humble Pie".

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  14. I find it incredible that the guy personally meets with the main mob players, was impoverished to THAT extent, dies in blaze, and more commenters don't at least mention it's likely. --- Kim, how soon before the death does the bio say he met w/ the mobsters?

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  15. Good point, it can't be worse then the cigarettes, but this is not interned to be a full time replacement for a decent pipe. I have done this quite a few times over the years with NO ill effects. The weed burns well and if you can find something else instead of the foil for a bowl, hey more power to ya!
    cigarette case

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  16. I saw Humble Pie in I think 1972. The horrible Black Oak Arkansas opened up for them. I think it was the Academy Of Music. Never in my life did I here a lead singers voice like Steve Marriot. Him and Frampton trading licks with there stacks of Marshalls sounded great. People were up and dancing. Hanging off the balcony's. That was a great night. So so many rock stars have succumbed to pills, Cocaine, Heroin, and etc. It's very easy to get into it when your a RocknRoll star.

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  17. Whoops-I did a whole long speal & I guess it got sucked-up in computer land.

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  18. A CIGARETTE, DRUGS, OR THE MOB?
    I'd say all of the above, plus the CIA, the Cubans, and the ghost of LBJ.

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  19. Arsenal Classic Rock6/11/2015 2:29 PM

    I grew up in the 'awesome rock' era of the 60's and 70's. I was listening to Humble Pie's Rock On CD. I'm amazed by the talent and musical style they had! it's a shame Steve didn't stick around to show the new breed how it's done.

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  20. I'll never know why people feel the need to fashion elaborate conspiracies around the death of anybody famous. He died in an accidental house fire after having been out for a meal and a few drinks. It's not a terribly unusual or implausible scenario.

    There is a well-known problem solving principal called "Occam's razor" which states that among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. Keep it simple, dont let your imagination run away with you.

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  21. Matty, you are absolutely right. It was such a tragedy what happened, there is no need to overload it with a crazy fictional story.

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  22. One of the most fun concerts Ive ever seen was Humble Pie at the Aragon the On to Victory tour in Chicago he threw his harmonica into the crowd I wished that I caught it

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  23. He was signed to leber krebs by david krebs at the persuasion from cheryl krebs ,who was a singer,songwriter,producer,manager and married to david . Cheryl became very good friends with steve mariott who asked to be signed davids management company which consisted of aerosmith ,acdc,scorpions and other great talens. Cheryl recognized the intense talent of steve m and became the liaison between steve and david therefore getting steve signed by david in a diner somewhere in Europe on a napkin. Piece of rock history for you .
    Cheryl krebs

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  24. Vickie Dumont11/17/2015 6:57 PM

    I seen Humble Pie in an old run down theater in Detroit called Eastown..With no music and the audience partying and not even paying attention, Steve whales out 30 days in the hole..Everyone shut up and was in awe..That famous great voice took over everything. .I wanted him to sing the whole song with no music..It was by far the best I had and will ever hear..As high as everyone was, not 1 person that I talk to that was there that night forgot that part of the show..R.I.P.

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  25. Best singular musical talent ever. A natural if there ever was one, with energy that matched his talent. Tragedy.

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  26. Greatest singular music talent of our time. A natural in every sense, nuclear powered, and I still listen to him almost daily. Tragedy!

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  27. Best singular musical talent ever. A natural if there ever was one, with energy that matched his talent. Tragedy.

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  28. interesting, I was told very similar account but from different perspective. i had worked with Spooky Tooth vocalist Mike Harrison in late 70 s he recounted a strikingly similar version as told to him by an equally broke & bitter Greg Ridley. Ridley was a member of early ST & from MH home town.

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  29. Here for a good time, not a long time. I knew Stevie when he lived in Atlanta. You got the part about Cocaine and Booze right. I took him to an Atlanta Braves game once. As soon as we sat down he turned to me and said "I could do a line that long", as he pointed to the 1st Base line frome home plate to the outfield. I believe he could too. Rock and Roll.

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  30. I also knew him in Atlanta- where I was living at the time. He came over to me in a little bar where we had gathered to enjoy the band "The Satillites", (now Georgia Satillites)We became good friends. You are right-He was broke- He left owing me $100.00- and even though I didn't care about it- He did. and He called me from Europe to apologize. He was doing alot of cocaine.(Thats what the hundred was for) and I did not care for the people that were around him in his Atlanta residence, I think a studio set up for him. I used to know which but I forget. At the time- I really did not know who he was, as I was raised in South American jungle- until He told me he sang "It's all to beautiful" Music was all we had down there. and the british groups, and Motown was IT! I think he liked that I did not know who he was.(I did see Humble pie in Jacksonville, Fla- Headlining for Three Dog night.years ago-way before) But we all went to some concert and everyone was looking at him. Steve , Rick Richards, and I had a nice evening talking at the residence, and being silly goofing around with a piano.I remembered I played "Swans on the Lake" Johnsons First Book- Piano, I learned when I was 10 years old. Good memories. I miss him so much.He deserved so much more. My heart goes out to his family. I am sorry that he and his wife were fighting before the fire happened. and to his son- whom I met. He loved them all so much. Sorry I am going on. I just googled him and it brought back good memories. I am 64 this month- and I would give alot to see him again. He is in a happier place now. I will look for him there someday. Thanks for listening- Rebecca Dana

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  31. Your post is very nice.

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