Why Ralphs lost interest in glam-era Mott
Mott The Hoople guitarist Mick Ralphs admits he lost interest in the band when they embraced the glam era as David Bowie-penned track All The Young Dudes cemented their fame.
He believes the over-the-top costumes they wore for TV appearances led to the general public misunderstanding their music – and that’s what led him to join Bad Company in 1973.
Ralphs – who took part in Mott’s latest reunion tour late last year – tells MusicRadar: “We got caught up in all that glam rock with the Bowie connection. When we had the hit and went on Top Of The Pops we were sort of expected to wear something silly: stacked boots, girls’ blouses, that sort of thing.
“But that didn’t sit easily with me. We were quite outrageous on the Mott days but it was more like a punk band than a glam rock band. It was full-tilt rock – I remember people like Mick Jones of the Clash used to come and watch us play.
“So Mott was a very exciting live band, but then we went on to become a glam-pop band, I suppose. That’s when I lost interest. You’ve got success; but it was compromised.”
Ralphs moved on to Bad Company with former Free members Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke plus bassist Boz Burrell.
“I wanted to get back to something more basic and bluesy,” says the guitarist. “I’d got all these songs like Can’t Get Enough, Movin’ On, Ready For Love. I’d sung Ready For Love in Mott already because Ian Hunter, bless him, said: ‘I love those songs but they don’t suit my voice,’ which I completely understand.
“Paul latched onto them and it suddenly made a lot of sense to me. It was like back to the blues roots: simplicity, lots of feel. It was a refreshing change to go back to that.”
Ralphs isn’t sure whether either Classic Rock Award winners Mott or Bad Company will return in 2014, but reflects: “I’m sure my blues band will still be filling the gaps.”