The Ballad of Mott the Hoople

January 01, 1970

(Start Productions, UK)



The early-’70s
would have been impossible without the blistering sound of Mott The Hoople to
numb the pain of the mass exodus of the Beatles, Doors and Jefferson Airplane.
This near-perfect 101-minute documentary leaves no stone unturned in the tale
of the band that heavily influenced the Sex Pistols yet-to-come.


Interviews with
Mott’s mythical frontman Ian Hunter, guitarist Mick Ralphs and drummer Dale
“Buffin” Griffin
offer “horse’s mouth” testimony without over-using talking-head rock
critics. “When I first heard Jerry Lee Lewis, I felt like I was reborn.
Then I heard Little Richard and, whoa!” says Hunter. Ralphs admits he
didn’t like pop music until he discovered the raw, bluesy sound of “Green
Onions” by Booker T. & the MG’s. “Both my parents liked rock ‘n’
roll, so I learned it from the womb,” Griffin recalls.


Even with all
that raw talent, Mott wouldn’t have happened without the crazed energy of their
producer Guy Stevens who began looking for a band to call Mott The Hoople (from
a book he’d read) after his release from Wormwood Scrubs prison. When he saw a
long-haired band successfully lug a Hammond B3 up two flights of stairs, he
knew he’d found his boys.





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