20/8/14 – Small Faces – Itchycoo Park – Beat Club German TV Mime – 1967

small faces 67In 1967 when I was 9 years old I heard this incredible song with the funny title and the strange drums on the radio. Ever since that day I have loved the Small Faces (bought the single, still have it in the archive), been a big fan of anything Ronnie Lane and looked on as Steve Marriott lost musical direction. Marriott’s voice was so distinctive and powerful and he and Ronnie Lane were one of the great songwriting partnerships of the sixties.

Somehow it all fell apart, Marriott left and Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined, the band became The Faces and they made their own history. Marriott teamed up with Peter Frampton from another sixties band The Herd and formed Humble Pie achieving notable popularity in the US. After the Faces, Ronnie Lane’s Slim Chance became his next project but he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and struggled with the disease until he died in 1997 at the age of 51 leaving behind some great music of his own including Rough Mix in 1977, an album with Pete Townshend. Marriott’s haphazard career after Humble Pie left him penniless and emotionally unstable with huge drug problems. It all ended in tragedy with Marriott dying in a fire at his house in 1991 at the age of  44. Keyboardist Ian McLagan went on to play with the Stones as a sideman and has been involved in many other projects, drummer Kenney Jones joined The Who.

This fantastic band left behind some of the greatest singles of the sixties and four albums that every collection must have – two different albums called Small Faces 1966/1967 on different labels (Decca and Immediate) Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake 1968 and The Autumn Stone 1969. The retrospective Decca Release From The Beginning 1967 is also essential including singles and other tracks that weren’t on the first album.

Here they are Miming on German TV’s Beat Club in 1967, looking fantastic, I love Marriott’s moves and look at the size of the guitars! When Marriott lifts the guitar up and sings listen to the guitar part he’s playing, a wonderful intricate arpeggio.