Mott The Hoople bassist Pete Overend Watts has died aged 69


Mott the hoop Bassist and founding member Pete Overend Watts has passed away at the age of 69.

Watts, who has performed on songs like “Roll Away The Stone” and “All The Young Dudes” written and produced by David Bowie, died yesterday (January 22) of cancer.

His death comes almost exactly a year after drummer Dale Griffin.

Born in Yardley, Birmingham, Watts attended Ross Grammar School where he met Griffin. They have performed in local bands such as The Anchors, Wild Dogs Hellhounds and The Silence. The two friends went on to form The Doc Thomas Group with Mick Ralphs and Stan Tippins of The Buddies.

The line-up changed in 1968, when keyboardist Verden Allen joined them, and they changed their name to The Shakedown Sound.

In 1969 they moved to London and caught the attention of producer Guy Stevens who auditioned Ian Hunter and appointed him lead singer instead of Tippins, and Mott The Hoople was formed.

After the group broke up in 1974, Watts formed the Mott and British Lions groups.

Allen posted on Facebook that Watts was a “warm, funny, intelligent, talented and extremely charismatic person” who “always had an entertaining story to tell.”

He added: “There are no words to explain how much we will miss him, and by so many people to whom he has been an inspiration.”

Heartbroken at the news of our beloved Overend leaving us today. Pete was a warm, funny, intelligent, talented man …

Posted by Verden Allen – Soft Ground on Sunday January 22nd, 2017

Meanwhile, Hunter recently said the group previously refused to back David Bowie during his Ziggy Stardust era.

He added, “He wanted us to open for him. He asked Roxy Music to do it, but you didn’t. David is strict, 45% of the lights, 45% of the sound. You would pass as a slight irritation, so we wouldn’t. He was a mover. I thought the band was okay, but the visual was so strong. We had just come out of flower power and blues and it was a huge injection. While the rest of us all thought we were flash rockers, it was glam. Ronson looked spectacular, they looked amazing. It was truly an evening. He was just a normal guy [but] he got so big after a while that everyone thought he would become an alien!


Previous Passages: Pete Overend Watts from Mott the Hoople (1947)
Next Pete Overend Watts, bassist with Mott the Hoople - obituary