Scottish singer Ian Hunter reveals David Bowie saved band Mott The Hoople from separation as they anxiously await return gig in Glasgow


It will be a moving homecoming when singer Ian Hunter takes the stage at Glasgow’s Barrowland with his band Mott The Hoople.

The Hamilton-born musician will present the show as part of a UK tour just weeks before his 80th birthday.

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Ian Hunter revealed how David Bowie saved Mott The Hoople from separationCredit: ROSS HALFINN

Yet 50 years ago the band almost shut him down one day – until David Bowie intervened.

Ian’s band members had decided to go their separate ways after failing to make a dent in the pop charts.

When Bowie – who was famous with the classic Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars album The Rise & Fall – heard the news, he offered to help them record several of his own songs, including the one that would become the biggest. success of Mott The Hoople. , All the young guys.

It marked a change of fortune for Ian, the son of a Glasgow policeman.

    Bowie - seen here playing Glasgow's SECC in 2003 - let Mott The Hoople have his song All The Young Dudes

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Bowie – seen here playing Glasgow’s SECC in 2003 – let Mott The Hoople have his song All The Young DudesCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd

The singer, who now lives in Connecticut, said, “We split up in Switzerland and one of the band members called David Bowie and asked him to do a gig with The Spiders.

“David was like, you can’t leave Mott. Then David gave us his songs and one of them was All The Young Dudes. The rest is history.

He adds: “David’s manager worked for a music publishing house. We went there and David was sitting on the floor and he was playing All The Young Dudes on the acoustic guitar. He was a huge fan.


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“He also gave us his song Suffragette City and quite a few other songs. Until then, it was not happening for us on the radio.

“We hadn’t gone through the pop market.”

Bowie, who died of liver cancer on January 10, 2016, also produced the band’s album All The Young Dudes in 1972. The sessions inspired Mott The Hoople to make headlines around the world.

Ian even helped Queen by allowing them to support her group on their dates in the United States.

A string of hits followed, including Roll Away The Stone, All The Way From Memphis, and The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Ian says, “Would we have already written a hit if David hadn’t come?” That’s a good question because we learned a lot in the studio when we were making the Dudes album. Maybe we would never have had success if David hadn’t produced this album.

Recalling Bowie’s help all those years ago, he continues, “David was a fan. The first time I met him he came to Guildford because we were playing at Town Hall. His first wife, Angie, told me it took him four hours to get ready.

“Every concert we went to had flowers in the dressing room and a note from David. He liked the group – I don’t know why.

Mott The Hoople will be performing at Barrowland on April 20 and Ian is looking forward to taking the stage there for the first time.

He says: “We played in a lot of places in Glasgow, but we never played at Barrowland. It was on my bucket list because I’ve heard all my life that this was a legendary gig.

And despite being 79 years old, Ian doesn’t think age is a barrier. He adds, “I’m older than everyone else, but if people show up I’ll keep playing and why not?

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