When Steve Marriott Quit the Small Faces and Spawned Two Bands
As the '60s drew to a close, Steve Marriott was growing tired of what he saw as the Small Faces' limitations.
Despite expanding their sound on the classic Ogden's Nut Gone Flake album in 1968, Marriott's heart just wasn't in it as the next year got underway. "I've changed in myself," Marriott had told an interviewer in September, "and the group has changed as things have happened to us."
His participation in the Small Faces would come to an end in March 1969.
First, however, Marriott tried to rebuild. He and bassist Ronnie Lane had produced a single called "Sunshine Cottage" for the Herd, a pop group that featured Peter Frampton. Marriott was suitably impressed by the young guitarist, and pondered bringing him into the Small Faces.
"I thought it was a good idea to get Peter Frampton in and have another guitarist, get a fresh start," Marriott said. Lane and keyboardist Ian McLagan disagreed with the idea, but they nevertheless attempted to make it work alongside producer Glyn Johns.
"I got together with the Small Faces and Peter Frampton and we did these sessions in Paris, and something happened," Johns said in the book The Young Mod's Forgotten Story. "I don't know what the argument was about. ... The shit hit the fan. We went home and the next thing I knew, there were two bands."
Unfortunately, the Small Faces were still booked to do a show on New Years Eve at the Alexandra Palace in Paris. Marriott called the gig "horrendously bad." Drummer Kenney Jones recalled, "Halfway through the set, [Marriott] just threw his guitar down and walked off, leaving us like three lemons."
That was not their last stand. The Small Faces were also contracted to do a quick run of January 1969 shows in Germany, which they accomplished without incident – but the writing was already on the wall. "The group is definitely breaking up," Marriott told the media in February, and an official announcement arrived the following month.
Then a pair of great things happened: Marriott and Frampton formed Humble Pie, while Lane, McLagan and Jones started the Faces with Rod Stewart.
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