The drummer of one of my favorite bands from the 70s has passed away.
Mott the Hoople founding member Dale “Buffin” Griffin passed away peacefully in his sleep last night. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009.
Griffin has performed on all Mott the Hoople albums, including the 1972 Breakthrough All the young guys (which included the hit title song written for the group by David Bowie), 1973 Mott (which praised the single “All the Way from Memphis”), and the years 1974 hoop (the last studio album of the group).
After his stint with Mott the Hoople, Griffin continued to perform in the spin-off group Mott, as well as the British Lions. He has also produced Hanoi Rocks and the Cult albums.
While frontman Ian Hunter wrote the lion’s share of Mott the Hoople‘s songs, Griffin – with bassist Pete “Overend” Watts, organist Verden Allen, and guitarist Mick Ralphs – got co-author credit on the Mott title “Ballad of Mott the Hoople (March 26, 1972, ZÃ¼rich)”, a plaintive number which looks back on the career of the group.
“Buffin ‘lost his childhood dreams,” sings Hunter, “and Mick lost his guitar / And Verden grew up a line or two, and Overend is just a rock n’ roll star.”
Griffin is survived by his longtime partner, Jean Smith.