Hunter: I don’t get why people are still so passionate about Mott
For five nights in October 2009, Mott The Hoople played a series of 40th anniversary reunion gigs at London’s Hammersmith Apollo.
Since splitting some 35 years earlier the band – vocalist Ian Hunter, guitarist Mick Ralphs, bassist Pete Overend Watts and drummer Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin (who played a bit part during the comeback shows, replaced elsewhere by Martin Chambers of the Pretenders) – had been hailed as heroes to a diverse following of musicians that range from Def Leppard, Kiss and Queen to Blur, REM and Oasis. Could they match the hype?
Incredibly, they pulled it off. And now, in a move that’s perhaps even more unlikely still, they’re about to try doing it all over again. Ian Hunter explains why, and expressed hope that it doesn’t turn out “anticlimactic”.
Interview: DAVE LING
Can you describe your emotions as you headed stageward on the first of those five nights?
I felt great. On that first night we weren’t so good; we got better as the gigs progressed. But the actual walking out onstage was an amazing feeling, quite tear-provoking.
As recently as last autumn, you told Classic Rock that you “doubted very much” there would be any further Mott activity – “it’s too much trouble”, you explained. Yourself and Mick Ralphs “understand the business” but the others didn’t, and all you derived from the experience “was being pissed off”, and you suspected that the same was true of the others?
Yeah. That’s true.
So what changed to bring Mott back again?
Well, we’ve got a couple of managers working [on our behalf]. One of them gives in and suddenly you’re off again [laughs].