Mott The Hoople drummer Dale Griffin dies at 67 of Alzheimer’s disease


Mott The Hoople’s Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin at Island Records Basing Street Studios on August 10, 1971 (Photo Brian Cooke / Redferns)

Dale Griffin, drummer for legendary rock band Mott The Hoople, has passed away.

The group was famous for their tracks Roll Away The Stone and All The Young Dudes, the latter being produced by David Bowie who also provided the backing vocals.

Mott The Hoople reformed in 2009 for their 40th birthday, but Griffin, who developed Alzheimer’s disease just before the reunion, was too ill to participate and only joined the group for a few callbacks.

LONDON, UK - OCTOBER 06: Mott The Hoople's Dale 'Buffin' Griffin performs live at Hammersmith Apollo on October 6, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Gus Stewart / Redferns)

Griffin joined the group for callbacks at some 2009 concerts (Photo: Gus Stewart / Redferns)

Griffin, born in Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday night after a career as a drummer which began when he formed the band Silence in the late 1960s.

They were renamed Mott The Hoople, based on a 1967 Willard Manus novel, when they landed their first recording contract in 1969.

In the years that followed, they built up a huge fan base, and a noisy concert at the Royal Albert Hall led the venue to ban rock concerts for good.

However, by 1972 the group was on the verge of breaking up – before David Bowie stepped in, gave them new direction and persuaded them to stay together.

MORE: Brit Awards Tribute to David Bowie “Likely Not to Include Young Artists”

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Peter Sanders / REX / Shutterstock (175031d) .. Mott the Hoople - Dale 'Buffin' Griffin, Ian Hunter, Mick Ralphs, Verden Allen and Pete 'Overend' Watts .. Miscellaneous .. ..

Band members Dale Griffin, Ian Hunter, Mick Ralphs, Verden Allen and Pete ‘Overend’ Watts (Photo: Peter Sanders / REX / Shutterstock)

He also gifted them his track Suffragette City, but they wanted his other track Drive-In Saturday, which Bowie wouldn’t part with.

As a compromise, Bowie wrote All The Young Dudes – which breathed new life into The Hoople. They then released a total of eight albums.

Griffin, nicknamed Buffin in the early ’60s, has been described as “one of the nicest, friendliest, and talented men I have ever known” by Peter Purnell of Angel Air Records.

Drummer Dale 'Buffin' Griffin of British rock group Mott The Hoople, London, September 7, 1973 (Photo by Michael Putland / Getty Images)

Dale Griffin in 1973 (Photo: Michael Putland / Getty Images)

Purnell added: “All he ever wanted was for his beloved Mott The Hoople to reform and it was his determination that achieved this feat in 2009, but unfortunately at that time, he was too ill to perform on all five sold-out dates – although he did join the group for the recalls. ‘

Dale is survived by his longtime partner, Jean Smith.


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