My friends and I saw Mott the Hoople twice
at Winterland, SF. Once in 1973, and again in 1974. We met 
the band after one show and got their autographs. The feathers 
above Blue Weaver's autograph were scooped
off the stage by me. I think they were from
Overend Watts' costume. The band was very polite
and accessible. Ariel Bender asked the small crowd of 
fans if anyone had a fag! I think he meant a cigarette. 
Ian Hunter wore his shades even on the dark sidewalks 
of San Francisco late at night. I tried to look through them 
and see into his eyes, but only saw my own refelction. 
You can see our photos and read our 
memoirs of those concerts at - 

I grabbed Buffin's broken 
drum stick off the stage.
The book by 
Willard Manus that 
was the source for 
their name. It was
published in 1966.

Mott's first albums received
mixed reviews. Mostly unfavorable.
The albums did not
sell well, either. 

Mott shot to top of the charts
with the help of David Bowie.
The accounts of that event are
talked about in different interviews
and with different details. 

This article came out a month
before we saw them the first time 
and about the time Mick Ralphs
left the band.

This article from CIRCUS Magazine 
came out on 10/73, one month 
after we saw them. Mick Ralphs and Verden 
Allen had both left the band. 

This show was one day before 
we saw them at Winterland. 
Aerosmith played that show, too.

I wish I had seen this one!

Creative differences lead to
both Verden Allen and Mick Ralphs'
departure. Luther Grosvenor, (Ariel Bender),
replaced Ralphs. Blue Weaver from the
Strawbs and Amen Corner, replaced
Verden Allen. Ralphs had much success
with Bad Company. Allen's
career was not so successful.
Blue Weaver was soon replaced
by Morgan Fisher. The band
never achieved the same
level of success.
Like most things in life,
they reach a peak and decline. 
Sometimes slowly, other times rather 
fast. Mott's rise to the heights and descent
happened in 3 or 4 years. 
Their imprint has lasted decades. 

There were hopes of the band
reforming with new blood in the
form of Mick Ronson, ex Bowie
guitarist and Spider from Mars!
That did not happen and both
Hunter and Ronson pursued
solo careers.
Melody Maker 9/28/74
Mott's first album and inside cover art. 
M. C. Escher posters became 
popular with the baby boomer
generation in the 60s. 

Mott's Second album, "Mad Shadows"
Their third album, although good, 
had poor sales. Mick Ralphs wrote 
more songs on this than Ian Hunter. 
"Brain Capers" was recorded in only 
five days and the sound was "muddy"
according to Mick Ralphs. 
Still a good album. 
Mott's breakthrough album. Mick Ralphs
wrote "Ready for Love" for this. He took it
with him and recorded it with Bad Company, too. 
A great song. 
MOTT was a major success
for the band.

This is my copy of Bad Company's 
first single, which was a 
big hit for them.

Their first album without 
Mick Ralphs. Most of the songs
were by Ian Hunter. 

The live album back cover
shows the marionettes
that hung on stage. They referred to
a song by Ian Hunter where he
sings, "Marionette, I
ain't one yet!" Always
the independent.

Mott changed labels a few times.

Ariel Bender was really
Luther Grosvenor from Spooky Tooth
and Steeler's Wheel. That is him on 
the far right.

His first solo album.

After Mott, he formed a new
band, Widowmaker.

Blue Weaver had recently 
left the Strawbs. That group had 
become unraveled due to 
creative differences. 
He started out in a group
called Amen Corner.
That is him on the upper left. 

Mick Ronson decided not to 
join Mott and instead recorded
his first solo album. 
He died in 1993.

Mott the Hoople disbanded, but 
continued on with Buffin, Overend 
Watts and Morgan Fisher as 
British Lions. They recorded two albums. 

Ian Hunter's first solo album
was a beautiful package going
back to M.C. Escher-inspired graphics
for the cover. He finally gives
us a glimpse of his eyes.
All songs were written by Hunter, except
for one,"Boy", which was co-written
by Mick Ronson. Ronson played
on the album, too.

A man of music and words, Ian hunter
penned a book about his life on 
the road as a rock star. 
Hunter was always very outspoken 
and told it as he saw it. I am reminded
of the song sung by Bob Hope, "Thanks for the 
Memories"and the line, "You may have been
 a headache, but you never were a bore."


  1. Great post about a great band! Thanks!

  2. Mott got me through secondary school from 1970-1975. I loved them from that period and when i was old enough to start work in 75 bought all the back catalogue before the Dudes album. Loved Ian's book and albums and saw The British Lions at Lewisham Odeon in support of Status Quo. Still playing MTH even today. My all time favourite track is Marionette.