It’s Mick Ralphs’ birthday today, inspirational yet largely under-rated guitarist with Mott the Hoople and Bad Company, as well as good friend of David’s. Some of you will indeed know him best as the second guitarist on David’s first solo tour, ably taking About Face on the road throughout 1984. However you know him, do share with us your stand-out tracks and happiest moments from an exciting career.
Everyone knows the David Bowie-penned hit, ‘All the Young Dudes’, originally recorded and released as a single in 1972, but this is from the band’s pre-Glam days. If you can’t guess the title, should you be able to miss it, it’s ‘Walking With a Mountain’ – from the Mad Shadows album.
It’s surely a crime against music that Mott the Hoople aren’t better known and weren’t more warmly received outside the UK, where they had a cult following, because they were a terrific band with some terrific songs.
All good things must eventually come to an end, though, and Mott the Hoople’s end drew nearer when Mick Ralphs left in 1973 to form Bad Company, with singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke of Free, plus the late Boz Burrell of King Crimson, with whom he enjoyed by far his greatest commercial success thanks in no small part to a decade’s extensive touring.
He also released a solo album in 1985, entitled Take This, which showcased his many talents; completely self-composed bar a solitary track (an obligatory cover of Bruce Channel’s classic, ‘Hey! Baby’), with only Simon Kirke on drums and Mickey Feat on bass for support, he produced and arranged the whole thing and even provided the artwork. As with so many solo albums by members of successful rock groups, however, it failed to make an impact, but is certainly worth a listen.
Interestingly, both Mott the Hoople and Bad Company have reunited in recent years.
As it’s been on my mind lately and the coincidence seems too amusing to let pass, do also throw in some bands with intriguing, funny, clever or downright silly names, if you please, because Mott the Hoople is such a great name, isn’t it? (It comes from the 1966 Willard Manus novel of the same name, about a chancer named Norman Mott who joins a circus, in part to avoid being drafted to Vietnam, as you would.)
The chatroom will be open tomorrow – that’s Friday and the first day of April, unbelievably – from 2pm (UK). Please be advised that April Fool’s wind-ups are strictly not allowed in the chatroom because some of us are especially gullible on a Friday and will believe almost anything if it means getting to the weekend sooner.