The musician Keith Richards curiously called one of his favourite “bands”

Keith Richards has dedicated the majority of his life to The Rolling Stones, becoming an integral part of one of the most enduring rock ‘n’ roll bands in history since the tender age of 19. Unsurprisingly, Richards possesses a distinctive and unwavering worldview, a perspective that permeates even his unique musical tastes.

In Richards’ perspective, a rock ‘n’ roll band need not be a collective of members; an individual with sufficient talent and attitude can embody a band in their own right. When asked to endorse his favorite musical groups, Richards intriguingly singled out Steve Marriott. The Essex-born singer, songwriter, and guitarist, co-founder of Small Faces and Humble Pie, left an indelible mark on the rock ‘n’ roll landscape before his untimely death at 44 in 1991.

Richards, a man known for his candid opinions, lauded Marriott’s multifaceted contributions. Ozzy Osbourne even hailed Marriott as one of the top five greatest singers of all time, acknowledging not only his vocal prowess but also his formidable guitar skills. In Richards’ eyes, Marriott’s impact transcended the conventional band structure, going so far as to claim that Marriott alone embodied more of a band than iconic groups like Led Zeppelin.

Despite Marriott’s tragically short life, he reciprocated Richards’ admiration, acknowledging the support that Richards provided during challenging times. Richards played a pivotal role in guiding Marriott towards sobriety, allowing him to create additional albums before his demise in a house fire, a consequence of a fateful moment when he fell asleep after lighting a cigarette in bed while intoxicated and jet-lagged.

Interestingly, Marriott’s connection to The Rolling Stones goes beyond admiration. In 1974, he nearly became a member of the band, Richards’ initial choice before Ronnie Wood. However, Marriott’s audition took an unexpected turn when, as described by Pam Marriott in the biography “All Too Beautiful,” his inability to restrain himself from vocalizing during Richards’ guitar licks led to Mick Jagger’s reservations. Despite the missed opportunity, the mutual desire to collaborate between Keith Richards and Steve Marriott remains a tantalizing “what if” in the annals of rock ‘n’ roll history.

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