All the way from Memphis… to London…
By Fred Mills
So, American BLURT readers – what are YOU doing in October?
How’s that bank account looking? (Will there be anything in it by next fall for
that matter?) Saving up to attend CMJ in New
York? We say feh to that!
Smart money’s on booking a flight to London on Oct. 2 and 3. That’s when the late,
great, Ian Hunter-fronted Mott the Hoople will be doing a pair of 40th anniversary concerts at the Hammersmith Apollo. Tickets go on sale Jan. 22, so
better snap ‘em up fast. The thing’s bound to be a swift sellout – although let
us not forget that similarly noteworthy events, such as the Pretty Things’ S.F. Sorrow tour originally slated to
take place at the end of this month, have been cancelled in the recent past due
to poor ticket sales, so ya never
Plus, Mott/Hunter fan site Hunter-Mott.com is cautioning
that the gigs are not 100% confirmed yet, so keep checking in with them. Apparently
back in September keyboardist Verden Allen disclosed in a readio interview that
all five members had been in talks about getting back together again; bassist
Overend Watts had been a longtime holdout, while neither he nor drummer Dale
Griffin had even performed live for years; but both Hunter and guitarist Mick
Ralphs had indicated in the past that they’d be open to the notion.
And British promoter Rob Hallet
recently told BBC news, in the wake of all the Led Zep reunion rumors, that
there was another one hailing from the same era that was currently on the
table. “If you were a teenage boy in the pre-punk 70’s,” said Hallet, “you’re
going to be very excited. Outside of Led Zeppelin, this is probably the biggest
reformation that you could hope for.”
Mott the Hoople started life in 1966 as the Doc Thomas group, eventually
hooking up with legendary producer Guy Stevens (who suggested the name change)
and issued a string of classic albums for Island and Columbia before calling it
a day in 1974, at which point Hunter went solo and the other members soldiered
on as simply “Mott” for a pair of somewhat uninspired albums. Since then,
reunions have been rumored but nothing
has ever materialized, although tons of reissues and archival releases have
continued to fuel the Mott fan fire – including for yours truly, who plans to drag
his stack heels and glitter makeup out of mothballs for the reunion shows.
Meanwhile, Hunter-Mott.com indicates that an authorized DVD documentary on
Mott will be released to commemorate the 40th anniversary. It’s
being done by Start Productions, the same people who did last year’s moderately
received doc on Love titled Love Story.
Start’s website is, ominously, not working at the moment, but you can get
details about the Love film at www.myspace.com/lovestorydocumentary.