Pete Overend Watts, founding member of Mott the Hoople, has died aged 69


The Ross-based musician is said to be the main driver behind Mott the Hoople’s distinctive glam-rock image.

Bassist Overend died on Sunday at the age of 69. He was suffering from throat cancer.

Mott the Hoople was best known for the hits Roll Away The Stone and All The Young Dudes, written and produced by David Bowie.

Peter Purnell of Angel Air Records paid tribute to Overend and said: “He was a very intelligent and witty man who throughout his adult life was both an extremely sympathetic character and a riddle.”

Overend attended Ross Grammar School where he met Dale Griffin. Together they have performed in local bands The Anchors, Wild Dogs Hellhounds and The Silence. before forming 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, moving to London, the musicians caught the eye of record producer Guy Stevens who recruited Ian Hunter as the group’s lead singer and this is how Mott the Hoople was formed.

After the group enjoyed many successes, the group broke up in 1974 and Overend formed the groups Mott and British Lions.

And in the mid-1980s, he was working as a producer, making albums with Department S and Hanoi Rocks.

He then left the music industry to become an antiques and souvenir dealer in Hereford.

Overend, who was famous for not giving interviews, also wrote a book, The Man Who Hated To Walk, which was published in 2013 – the same year the review caught up with him.

He revealed he was looking forward to the next Mott the Hoople reunion tour and said, “It’s really exciting because the last reunion we had to celebrate the band’s 40th birthday was just amazing.

“And I’m looking for some (glam rock) clothes that I can wear on stage.”

When asked if the band would play all the old hits, he replied, “Let’s face it, these songs have been steadfastly supporting us for 45 years, so yes they will all be played.

“The shows are so exciting, for the fans and for us. I made the mistake of walking into the bar at one of our concerts on the last tour, and they almost ripped my clothes off. It was absolutely wild.

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