When you think of, or see the many lists on the internet, about the “best Les Paul players,” I am sure there are many prominent players that you think of or that you expect to hear in every conversation. Musicians like Jimmy Page, Slash, Joe Perry, Duane Allman, Joe Bonamassa, and of course, the founder Les Paul himself, all made various models of the famous guitar iconic in their own ways. But, one incredible blues-shredding guitarist whose main axe of choice was a Les Paul, is the criminally underrated, Steve Marriott.
Some of you avid rock and roll fans instantly recognize that name. For those of you with blank expressions on your faces, you are going to want to know about this lesser known blues badass. Marriott is best known for being a founding member of not just one but two prominent rock bands of the 60’s and 70’s. The first, Small Faces officially got their start in 1965 and was known in their hometown of London as “one of the most acclaimed and influential mod groups of the 60’s.” The “mod” description attached to the band was based from a London sub-culture movement characterized by people who listened to modern jazz or soul music, wore certain clothes like suits, and rode motorized scooters instead of cars.
Although the original lineup of the band only remained for four years, they were still able to produce four stellar albums in that timeframe, with two released after a brief reunion. The band was well respected and adored by both fans and critics and were “one of the biggest musical influences on the Britpop movements of the 60’s and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.” After Steve Marriott left the group in 1969, the remaining members hired Ron Wood on guitar and Rod Stewart as lead vocalist and morphed into the band Faces who also saw great commercial success.
This was not the end of Marriott’s career however; in 1969, he met up with another international rock star, Peter Frampton and the two started the band Humble Pie. This band was made up of such talented musicians that they were known as one of the first supergroups of the 1960’s.
In conclusion, Steve Marriott is a badass guitar player and even Joe Bonamassa considers him one of the “best ever.”