Join ex-roadies Phil John and Crystal Taylor along with special guest Mick Bolton (ex-keyboard player with Mott the Hoople and Dexy’s Midnight Runners) for an evening of tall tales and amusing anecdotes taken from their twenty or more years on the road in the 70s & 80s with numerous different bands including Mott the Hoople, Queen and David Bowie. Using period film clips and photographs they allow you an insiders view of what it was like to be front stage, back stage and behind the wheel at a time that many people consider to be ‘The Golden Age of Rock ’n’ Roll’. Hosted by Andy Gunton.
photo: Roy Cano
Mick Bolton… I’ve just started a new website. It’s crammed full of stuff about gigs I’ve done and bands I’ve played with in the last 50 years – and about what I’m up to now. Wait a minute – did I just say 50 years? How did that happen? Anyway, I hope you’ll enjoy it. Let me know what you think.
Alan Esdaile… Looks good Mick. Some great photos.
Pete Fisher… Fantastic website Mick. Fascinating read, and some great photos! Particularly enjoyed the anecdotes – the backstage pass episode rang a bell with me, as when I was on tour playing guitar for a well-known German reggae artist, he left his pass in the tour bus, and security wouldn’t let him into the hall. I grabbed the star of the show and made him stand next to the poster on the wall outside, so the security guy could spot the similarity, and then he reluctantly let him in! The stories about Pete Overend Watts’ boots, him having to be being pushed up onto the stage, and also being freed from his tangled boot zips on stage are worthy of a Spinal Tap scene! The “Hello Columbo!” scene is a classic, of course also reminiscent of the Tap’s “hello Cleveland!”!!! I’ll be back for another browse, and checking out some of the albums you played on which slipped under my radar…keep rockin’!
Finnish vocalist and saxophonist Michael Monroe performing at the 2011 Ilosaarirock festival in Joensuu, Finland. Source: Tuomas Vitikainen
Thanks to Philip John for finding this.
Photos and Press Release from Angel Air Records…
DALE GRIFFIN aka BUFFIN
24th October 1948-17th January 2016
Terence Dale Griffin was an English drummer, record producer and founder member of Mott The Hoople
Born in Ross-on Wye, Herefordshire ,Griffin attended Ross Grammar school and played in a number of local bands with his lifelong friend Overend Watts and it was during this time he gained the nickname “Buffin”. Amongst Dales bands were The Silence, Charles Kingsley Creation and with Watts and Mick Ralphs in The Doc Thomas Group. Changes to that line-up occurred in 1968 and keyboard player Verden Allen joined the band and changed its name to The Shakedown Sound. In 1969 they moved to London and came to the attention of record producer Guy Stevens and Ian Hunter was chosen as their lead singer and Mott The Hoople were formed.
Following the departure of Ian Hunter in 1974, Griffin along with Watts and Morgan Fisher formed MOTT with Ray Majors and Nigel Benjamin. In 1976 following the departure of Benjamin the remaining members regrouped as British Lions with former Medicine Head singer songwriter John Fiddler until their demise in the late 70’s when punk hit with a vengeance.
During the 80’s Griffin and Watts formed a Production Company and produced albums for Hanoi Rocks and The Cult as well as hit singles such as Department S “Is Vic There”. Dale then joined the BBC as a producer and produced numerous BBC Radio 1 John Peel sessions from 1981 to 1994 including Pulp, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. In the early 21st century Dale oversaw the re-release of Mott The Hoople’s entire back catalogue from both Island and CBS period producing remastered versions and excellent informative sleeve notes.
Aged 58 Dale was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease just as he had worked tirelessly over the years to bring about the reformation of his beloved Mott The Hoople and in 2009 the band reformed for a five night sell out Hammersmith Apollo 40th anniversary concerts of the original five founder members. Having been just diagnosed Dale only performed during the band encores with The Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, also from Herefordshire and a friend playing the set and also covering for Dale on the 2013 Mott The Hoople tour.
Dale is survived by his long term partner Jean Smith
Karen Sweatman Was Blackman… Another one …
Alan Mitchell… It certainly seems to be a very sad time.
Chris Giles… Gosh another one
Jim Breeds… Another formerly Young Dude goes.
Clifford Rose… It’s certainly not the golden age of rock’n’roll.
Alan Esdaile… Sad times R.I.P. Dale Griffin.
Robert Searle… RIP Dale another musician
Nicola Dobson… RIP..too many going too young!
supplied by Philip John
Philip John… Competition time ! Okay, Mott was the only band Queen ever played support to so we have a connection. Got this live Aid pic from Crystal the guy who replaced me as Rogers roadie all those years ago.
The living legend is pictured just behind Mr David Bowie (Official) in the sunglasses. Now if any one’s interested enough I’d like them to post a caption to this picture. We need to know what Roger’s saying to David. The writer of the best caption judged by me,Rich, Crystal & Andy will receive a signed copy of my diary ‘You Rocked,We Rolled’ the final Mott tour written way back in ’74.
Alan Esdaile… It could be … Keep smiling David, as they will be talking about this photo in 30 years time. or Looks like Bob’s about to bite a chunk out of Prince Charles’s shoulder.
Pete Fairless… Nah, he’s saying; “…ALMOST makes up for never having played Hastings Pier, doesn’t it, David?”
Colin Bell… Is Roger saying I think Di has spotted Camilla on backing vocals………….!
Pete Fairless… She thought it was Camilla but, actually, it was Keef!
Eric Cawthraw… Here’s a couple for the caption comp: Roger to David: I know the band is loud – and no names, but I think a certain lady has farted! Or: Roger: Hey David, Bob is asking His RH if he wants to join our new band, we’re changing our name from Queen to Prince. David: Nice one Rog, but I think someone else goes under that name! Or: Roger: I think Di said to Charles that she doesn’t like Camellias parked in bowls. I have a filthy one, but not appropriate for the web-site, you’d need Private Eye’s lawyers! You could always ask John Storer for representation!
Philip John… Whoa ! over 2000 hits already + the Mott sites.. Reckon we’ll call it a day this Friday the 23rd. With so many captions to choose from and such high quality humour we thought we’d add 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes so keep the captions coming in . Should have the results on Monday.
supplied by Philip John
Matt Thomas… I think she’s wearing Harmony Hairspray – Roger to David .
Philip John… Okay, results for the captions competition.First place went to Brian Holquin whose caption truly captures the easily ruffled egos of our more sensitive stars. ( David to Roger : The one truly indispensable global icon,he said. Basically there could be no show without me.Roger: Bastard! Geldof told US the same thing.
2nd place went to Harry Moriarty, definitely got to be the basis for a tall tale there.
Roger: Don’t worry the Ziggy Stardust pants that you left in Mountain Studios are in an old Tesco bag behind the drum kit. You can pick them up later after you do your set.
And in 3rd place for a very polite English put down Christopher Turnbow.
Roger : David, would you mind bringing us some beverages ?
To Claim your prizes, either a copy of my diary ‘You Rocked We Rolled’ or a Mott Road Crew shirt as displayed here by the lovely Tessa , either send me your mailing address in a Message or e-mail it to < email@example.com
I’d like to thank everyone who had a go at the caption and the four thousand + who stopped to check the photo out.
supplied by Philip John
Philip John… London Gardens,home of The London Knights Ice Hockey Team !
First time we’ve played in an ice rink. The line up for this show had been changed due to Queen having to drop out. The Strawbs were topping the bill as they were in the charts with ‘Part of the union’ followed by us then Blue Oyster Cult were opening. The Cult weren’t too happy about this as they’d just brought out their new album ‘Secret Treaties’ and the top track ‘Career of evil’ written by Patti Smith who was also the lead singers girlfriend at that time was getting a lot of radio play.
Anyway before we started the load in the staff covered the ice rink in straw mats. This stopped it being slippery but didn’t do much for the chill factor.Still everything went off OK and once the show started I headed off to check out BOC. Got to say they were a great heavy rock band with biker overtones. Eric the singer came on in full leathers cracking a 10 ft bull whip and they really got the crowd going. Mind you I couldn’t help but notice that once the hall filled up the place began to fill up with clouds of vapour and I wondered if the Cult had a dry ice machine back stage. On further investigation it turned out to be the ice floor warming up .
Mott went on next and went down a storm even though they were partly obscured by the clouds of moisture rising from the floor. I began to think we were rather lucky not to have been topping the bill that night. Blue Weaver who was currently sharing keyboard duties went back stage to catch up with the guys from the Strawbs, seemed he’d spent a few years on the road with them before he’d joined Mott. They were also getting a bit worried about the steaming ice but thought they’d go ahead and play anyway.
Well by halfway through their set they were almost totally invisible . Great clouds of vapour had enveloped the audience and the stage. Occasionally a spare hand or guitar neck would become visible soon to vanish leaving us with with this strange disembodied music floating through the mists.
When the show finished the management opened all the exits and the vapour clouds slowly dispersed. Fortunatly every one saw the funny side of this and as we all got paid there was no problems.
I believe The Stones also played this gig, can’t imagine they were as easy going as our lo
photo supplied by carol ann bolton
Carol Ann Bolton…. hat’s how I remember Queen when I first met them in 1973 supporting Mott the Hoople on their U.K., tour. Being honest, there was little sign of what was to come, apart from Brian’s remarkable guitar playing. Mick and I used to sit and chat to Brian quite a lot in greasy spoon cafés and the hotels, but Mr Mercury was not as communicative and would flounce off in his distinctive fur coat to play the stage piano between gigs. Thinking back, he was playing grandeous, classical sounding stuff which became the sound of Queen later.
Chris Meachen… Pretty much how I remember Brian & Roger when I encountered them in the Speakeasy one night when Stallion played there. Had no real idea who they were at the time.. Members of Mott the Hoople were also in attendance….
Alan Esdaile… Remember the gig at The Speakeasy , Chris. I think a couple of Mott’s were in the audience, I know Morgan Fisher was there. Bizarre things I remember, back stage they had a massive ice making machine.
Thursday 18th December @ The Carlisle Mott Road Crew Live with even Taller tales featuring Queen / David Bowie (Official) and Mott The Hoople + The Ballad of Mott The Hoople one of the best Rock Documentaries of the last few years.With special guest Mick Bolton who will be playing live and contributing some of his own tall stories from his time as keyboard player with Mott and Dexy’s. AdvanceTicket details to follow shortly.
Phil John… The Carlisle Rock Pub is probably the leading Rock venue in Hastings which is why Mott Road Crew Live have chosen it for their next Hastings gig on the 18th December . As well as a full on discussion program about life on the road with members of Mott The Hoople and Queens road crew hosted by Andy Gunton from Pierless Music there will also be a screening of The Ballad of Mott The Hoople, one of the best rock documentaries of the last few years. The Crew will also be joined by local musician and ex Mott The Hoople keyboard player Mick Bolton who will contributing to the discussion and also playing a live music set. If you came to their last show at The Electric Cinema in the Old Town you’ll already know some of the tall tales and spinal tap moments that make up the show but don’t worry this is a whole new show with more emphasis on Queen and some interesting stories concerning Mr. Bowie and ‘ Ziggy Stardust’ plus a power point production full of photos taken whilst on tour. Three hours of vintage rock music history for £6.00, that’s the price of a pack of ciggies or two pints of beer . details of how to buy advance tickets will be on the Mott Road Crew Live Facebook page from the weekend onwards.
Chris Sambrook… You Rocked,We Rolled is an interesting read, an insight of a band on the road in the 70′s. 2 other books from the early to mid 70′s, worth a read are Diary of a Rock n Roll Star, Ian Hunter and a fictional book of a band called the Tale of Willy’s Rats by Mick Farren. Both books i have lost over the years. If anyone has a copy of both books, can i borrow them please.
supplied by Carol Ann Bolton
supplied by Philip John
Philip John…..Back in the day we experienced great problems zipping Pete into his boots. They were an extremely tight fit and he had to lay on his back whilst we pulled the zips up over his jeans. This was made even more difficult because the small tags on the zips were really difficult to grip. Finally i came up with the brilliant idea to fit split rings to the tags,much easier to pull on. This worked well for the first few gigs then one night i was in my usual position behind the drums when i spotted Pete gesticulating furiously to me and pointing to his crotch area then I noticed he was moving round the stage with tiny steps like some kind of bizarre geisha girl. Oh shit I thought his boots were stuck together with the split rings. I dashed over to him ,dropped to my knees and with a small torch clamped in my teeth began to wrestle with the rings as he wriggled furiously to get his legs apart. Well you can imagine what this looked like from the audience’s point of view. Finally I tore the rings apart and staggered to my feet torch still firmly gripped between my teeth then to a huge round of applause I returned to my position behind the drum riser.
supplied by Philip John
Philip John…..This is Big Red, Mott’s first van with me on the bonnet. Photo taken outside my Mum’s house in Cheshunt late ’69 early 70’s.
Second photo…Philip & Rich with the US lighting crew in L.A. ’72.
Pete Prescott…..Im reading his book.I love it.everything you would have wanted to do.travel with a great band.there is a poster of a venue in Zuric I played at a few times.if you have a chance read it !
Carol Ann Bolton…..That chap looks familiar. Wonder whatever happened to him? 🙂