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Mott The Hoople - Mott the Hoople
(Part I of 2)

Review: 101
Date: 11 Nov 02


Rating: 5 Stars

Ian Hunter – piano, lead vocals
Mick Ralphs – lead guitar, vocals
Verden Allen – organ
Overend Watts – bass guitar
Buffin - drums


Under the guiding eye of late sixties pop guru Guy Stevens a band called “The Silence” hailing from that Rock ‘n’ Roll back water Hereford were signed to the newly formed Island records in Britain. After a few days rehearsal, Guy decided that original lead singer and hardman Stan Tippins was not the man for the job. He was removed and installed as road manager/roadie/blinder to be replaced through a Melody Maker small ad by a certain Mr. Ian Patterson on the basis of a half hour audition, where Ian spluttered his way through a version of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” and Sonny Bono’s “Laugh at Me”. The band themselves were not impressed, but Guy Stevens thought he could see something, and probably recognized a kindred spirit, subsequently enrolled the young man in the band.

The band, without playing a single gig, were then put into Morgan Recording Studios in Willesden High Road North London and were given a complete makeover.

They were re-named “Mott the Hoople”, after the Willard Manus novel. Only lead guitarist Mick Ralphs was allowed to keep his own name, Ian Patterson was told to stop straightening his naturally curly red hair, let it grow long, lose 2 stones in weight (he was way too pot bellied to be a pop star), to wear sunglasses permanently (to supposedly give him that bit of Rony Orbison mystic, but must of left him feeling a bit of a gherkin in the pub at night), and renamed Ian Hunter. Peter O. Watts was told to drop Peter and stick with his middle name therefore becoming Overend Watts. Terry Allen, too, was told to drop his first name and adopt his mother’s maiden name becoming Verden Allen. Unluckiest of all, of course, was the drummer (if there is going to be somebody to draw the short straw it’s always going to be the man with the sticks). Mr. Dale Griffin esq. became quite simply “Buffin”, now a well respected music producer. 35 years later he still gets called Buffin and hates it.

After eleven days of rehearsal and getting to know each other, Guy took them to a recording studio and gave them 7 days to record their debut album – and this in the days when bands took up to six months to record an album. This sounded absurd, but you have to add to this that the rest of the band had only just met their new front man and weren’t even sure if they liked him. Guy Stevens, their new mentor, was dragging them in a new direction, a direction they knew was innovative, but had no idea where it was going. They had never been in a proper recording studio before and had only got two songs written, which Stevens wouldn’t let them put on the album anyway.

Confused yet? Imagine how these five young lads felt, who had just become a rock band called Mott the Hoople. But enthusiasm they had by the bucket load, and record they did. In seven days the new album was down on tape.


Pawed by Mott The Dog
Remastered by Ella Crew


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