Mott the Hoople bassist Peter Overend Watts has died aged 69. He was suffering from throat cancer.
His bandmate Mott, Ian Hunter – the lead singer of the band – tweeted: âOh my God. My extremely eccentric and adorable companion – Peter Overend Watts – left the building. Devastated.
As a teenager, Watts was inspired by Hank Marvin’s guitar playing and started playing guitar at the age of 13. He switched to bass in 1965, playing in a series of bands that eventually merged with Mott the Hoople.
Watts ceased to be Peter and became Overend at the behest of Mott’s manager Guy Stevens, who felt Peter Watts was too trite a name, while his middle name had glamor and mystery.
Mott’s website blames Watts for the group’s striking image. âIt takes time to stand out in a band as visual as Mott the Hoople, but it would have been hard not to notice Overend Watts in his platform thigh-high boots, silver hair with a custom-made swallow-shaped bass guitar,â notes the site.
After the split from Mott the Hoople in 1974, Watts co-founded the successor group Mott, then joined the British Lions. In the early 1980s, he was working as a producer, making albums with Department S and Hanoi Rocks, before leaving the music industry to become an antique dealer and souvenir dealer.
He returned to bass in 2009, when Mott the Hoople came together for a series of highly successful reunion concerts. His bandmate Mott Dale “Buffin” Griffin passed away in January 2016, at the age of 67.