Half Moon Bay

homepagealbumssinglespoeplebookslinksstuffabout uscontact us

People Banner

Mott the Hoople 1 June 1969 to January 1973

line-up 01 (Island Records)

Overend Watts bass/vocals
Mick Ralphs guitar/vocals
Verden Allen organ/piano/vocals
Ian Hunter piano/guitar/vocals
Buffin drums/vocals

Ian Hunter and Pete Frame discuss the origins of Mott the Hoople, Buffin recounts the early days as well… and where did the name come from?

The first and quintessential Mott the Hoople line-up built themselves a tremendous live reputation after a slow start, but the records just didn't sell in serious enough quantities. Some of the bands best (well, most spontaneous and raw!) work occurs during this period and the first four albums produced are well worth checking out; there is such an apparent freedom and madness going on that they knock the Who, for example, for six.

Although loved and admired by many of their contemporaries, the lack of sales and success took its toll and they decided to call it a day, bowing out in March 1972. One of their admirers turned out to be big star-in-the-making David Bowie and he persuaded them to come back from the brink and record a song he had written just for them...

Mott the Hoople 2 February 1973 to July 1973

line-up 01 (CBS)

Mick Ralphs guitar/vocals
Overend Watts bass/vocals
Ian Hunter piano/guitar/vocals
Buffin drums/vocals

Morgan Fisher and Blue Weaver hired for piano and organ duties, respectively, for the bands live work.

Although it didn't appear that they missed Phally Allen, Ralphs wasn't seeing eye-to-eye or enjoying their new found success. He gave the band a few months notice, just when it seemed they had it made and had made it, with chart success for the first time with self-produced album 'Mott' and a brace of Hunter penned hit singles.

Mott the Hoople 3 August 1973 to August 1974

Mott the Hoople 3 (Sunshine/G. Hanekroot/Retna)

Morgan Fisher keyboards/synthesizers
Ian Hunter vocals/rhythm guitar
Ariel Bender lead guitar/vocals
Dale Griffin drums
Overend Watts bass/vocals

On tour, to accommodate Hunters move away from the keyboards, the band were augmented by organists Mick Bolton on the UK leg and Blue Weaver in the US.

Commercially this was the peak for Mott the Hoople. The studio album 'The Hoople' was their biggest seller and they even sold out a whole week on Broadway. Morgan Fisher was now on board permanently and Bender drafted-in to replace Ralphs (too quickly really, despite Micks period of notice), but the best was behind them. The chemistry wasn't right anymore and the hits even started to dry up.

However, the final album 'Live', featuring material recorded during their week-long stint on Broadway and at the Hammersmith Odeon, has improved over the years and provides a fine document and reminder of their live prowess.

Mott the Hoople 4 September 1974 to December 1974

Mott the Hoople 4 (sounds)

Overend Watts bass/vocals
Mick Ronson guitar/vocals
Ian Hunter vocals/rhythm guitar
Morgan Fisher keyboards/synthesizers
Dale Griffin drums/vocals

See where Bender went and where Ronno came from…

This is how news of the demise of the band was reported...…

Well, to the outside world it appeared that Ronson was the calvary coming in to save Mott the Hoople. Further reading reveals that the band was never meant to live past 'Saturday Gigs' (and they only recorded that thanks to Buffins promptings) and that Ronno had come along to lay down the guitar part and help them out on a final farewell tour. Scandinavian and European dates were completed and left us all eagerly awaiting the winter '74 UK tour…

Homepage | Albums | Singles | People | Links | Books | Stuff | About Us | Contact Us

Last update January 2008 ©2008 Half Moon Bay