Mott the Hoople

Mott the Hoople were an English hard-rock/pop band that released four albums on Island Records between 1969 and 1971, followed by three further albums and a live LP on CBS between 1972 and 1974.

Members: Ian Hunter (vocals, guitar, piano), Mick Ralphs (guitar, vocals, 1969-73), Verden Allen (organ, 1969-73), Overend Watts (bass, vocals), Dale Griffin (drums, vocals), Ariel Bender [aka Luther Grosvenor] (guitar, 1973-74), Morgan Fisher (keyboards, 1973-76), Mick Ronson (guitar, vocals, 1974-75)

Mott the Hoople stemmed from Hereford beatsters the Doc Thomas Group, which formed in 1966 through a merger of two earlier bands: The Buddies (with guitarist Mick Ralphs and singer Stan Tippins) and The Soulents (with bassist Pete Overend Watts and drummer Dale “Buffin” Griffin). Their singular album, Doc Thomas Group, appeared that year on Interrecord ‎in Italy, where they took up residency alongside conquering expats The Rokes and The Primitives.

Back in the UK, they gigged as The Shakedown Sound. As psychedelia loomed, they changed their name to Silence and shopped demos to several labels. Producer Guy Stevens took them under his wing and insisted they make two changes: a new name and a new singer. They renamed themselves Mott the Hoople after the circus freak show novel by Willard Manus. Tippins became their road manager and Ian Hunter Patterson (aka Ian Hunter) joined as their new singer and piano player.

Patterson (b. 1939) had played in the rock n’ roll bands The Apex Group (late ’50s) and Hurricane Henry and the Shriekers (early ’60s). In 1966, he formed The Scenery with Scottish guitarist Miller Anderson (Keef Hartley Band/Dog Soldier) and drummer Dave Dufort (Kevin Ayers). Their one single, “To Make a Man Cry,” (b/w “Thread of Time”) appeared on Impact in 1968. Just prior to joining Mott and dropping his surname, Patterson was hired by producer Mickie Most for a new band tentatively called The New Yardbirds, named after but unrelated to the latter-day Yardbirds configuration that morphed into Led Zeppelin.


  • Mott the Hoople (1969)
  • Mad Shadows (1970)
  • Wildlife (1971)
  • Brain Capers (1971)
  • All the Young Dudes (1972)
  • Mott (1973)
  • ‘The Hoople’ (1974)
  • Live (1974)


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