When David Bowie Offered ‘All the Young Dudes’ to Mott the Hoople

by Jeremy Spirogis
When David Bowie Offered ‘All the Young Dudes’ to Mott the Hoople

If Mott the Hoople had cut up up as deliberate in 1972, the group would nonetheless have had a small following with fond recollections of the band. Mick Jones, who went on to turn out to be a founding member of The Clash, recalled being a part of a bunch of loyal followers referred to as “The Mott Lot” when he was an adolescent.

But Mott the Hoople had an much more well-known fan in David Bowie, who at that time within the ’70s was engaged on his landmark Ziggy Stardust report. While auditioning bass gamers in ’72, Bowie encountered Mott the Hoople’s personal Pete Watts in his midst.

Watts informed Bowie that Mott was certainly breaking apart, and Bowie discovered the information upsetting. So he helped Mott in the way in which solely an excellent songwriter may: He gave them successful. But Bowie didn’t cease at passing “All the Young Dudes” their manner.

David Bowie 1st supplied Mott the Hoople ‘Suffragette City’

Mott the Hoople in 1973 – Mick Ralphs, Ian Hunter, Dale Griffin and Pete “Overend” Watts | Chris Walter/WireImage

In a 2016 Uncut article on the making of “All the Young Dudes,” the primary gamers discussed how the observe got here collectively, beginning with Watts’ audition for Bowie. At the time, Mott frontman Ian Hunter mentioned he was conscious of Bowie however “didn’t like what he was doing.”

However, Hunter knew Bowie had the magic. There was a telltale signal: “The women lined up after [Bowie’s] show, it was obvious the guy had something,” Hunter informed Uncut. But when Mott met with Bowie, Hunter didn’t suppose the primary observe he supplied can be a superb match.

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That observe, “Suffragette City,” turned a traditional Bowie music however might need slipped via the cracks with a lesser-known band like Mott. When Bowie performed “All the Young Dudes,” Hunter and Mott knew they may sink their enamel into it.

And that’s precisely what they did. With Hunter’s prolonged ad-lib within the final minute of “All the Young Dudes,” the music turned Mott the Hoople’s first music to succeed in the UK and the US Billboard charts. Today, it stands as one of many nice glam-rock anthems — and stays the group’s largest hit.

Ian Hunter puzzled why Bowie gave Mott ‘All the Young Dudes’

British singer-songwriters Ian Hunter and David Bowie carry out ‘All the Young Dudes’ at Wembley, London, UK, 20 April 1992. | Michael Putland/Getty Images

Looking again on the times when Mott the Hoople took off, Hunter informed Uncut he was curious why Bowie was handing them a observe as nice as “All the Young Dudes.” Longtime Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson informed him Bowie didn’t just like the model he’d recorded (with none spoken “rap” half like Hunter added on the finish).

“At the time, [Bowie] told us that he’d written it specially for us, but that turned out not to be the case,” Hunter recalled. For Bowie, the reply was easy: He needed Mott to remain collectively as a result of he thought they have been nice.

“When I first saw them, I couldn’t believe that a band so full of integrity and a really naive exuberance could command such enormous following and not be talked about,” Bowie informed NME in 1972. “They broke up [briefly] and I caught them just in time and put them together again.”

Bowie didn’t simply give Mott the music that turned the band’s profession round; he produced the All the Young Dudes album as properly. Decades later, Hunter marveled at Bowie’s generosity. “Who else at that stage in his career would start giving away time and songs to other people?” he requested The Guardian in 2018. No marvel Bowie was so liked — and stays so missed.

Also see: David Bowie Recalled Smoking Pot for the first Time With the Pre-Zeppelin John Paul Jones

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