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Gotta Hear This, #7

  • Stuart Bailie
  • 3 Apr 08, 09:21 PM

Stuart Bailie.jpgIt is 1973 and I’m getting too old for Slade and T. Rex. Hey, I’m nearly a teenager, and I need something a bit more substantial. I’m dabbling in Bowie and flirting with The Faces, but ultimately it’s Mott The Hoople that does it for me. They aren’t too well known, which pleases the latent musical snob in me. But they still have enough of the glam value and the unfeasibly tall shoes. And that singer fella with the bug-eyed glasses and the wayward hair, he’s something, alright.

mott2.jpgOnly the year before, their faltering career had been saved by a David Bowie song, ‘All The Young Dudes’. Now they are in their brief pop phase, with the roaring guitars, the sax solos and Ian Hunter’s shameless Dylanisms. There are several contenders for the best Mott single, but I’m still sentimentally attached to ‘Roll Away The Stone’ because it was the first one I bought.

I’ve just watched a Top Of The Pops recording here, and it’s stands up pretty well. I think the backing singers were called Thunderthighs and I recall being fascinated by the mention of a “rockabilly party” in the lyric. What manner of lurid promise was this?

mott4.jpgA little later, I read Ian Hunter’s ‘Diary Of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ and loved it. He had a Ford Anglia, sprayed gold, because he was that kind of a guy. And he spent his American tour hanging with Bowie, Keith Moon, Frank Zappa and Roxy Music.

Mott expired soon after, but influenced The Clash, Oasis and many other posing loons. They recently turned up on the Juno soundtrack, so hopefully that will infect another generation with their flawless belief in the rock and roll fable.


Stu Bailie presents The Late show on Radio Ulster, every Friday from 10pm until midnight. See his playlist here.

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