Pete “Overend” Watts, bassist for Mott The Hoople, has died at 69 of throat cancer. There are several important Motts still left (I’ve heard Ian Hunter’s latest is really good and I plan to get it), but this makes two down as drummer Buffin died a year or two ago.
I didn’t see Mott The Hoople, just Mott a little later, but Overend was certainly the rock ‘n’ roll shit, strutting around with his seven-inch heel boots and hairstyle you’d probably know better as Johnny Ramone’s.
MTH meant and still means a lot to me. My first taste came from an 8-track of The Hoople that I bought off a kid I worked with at Dorney Park in the summer of 1976 for a couple bucks. It’s one of my all-time faves, making both my top 50 when we did those lists a couple years ago and my Teen list last week. In usual backwards style, I first got into the last-gasp Hoople, with Ariel Bender on guitar, then “progressed” to Mott (probably because they existed) and then went back years later to catch up on the also-excellent earlier Mick Ralphs stuff. Maybe it’s due to the order I learned it, and surely it’s Dave Marsh heresy, but I always preferred Bender’s more over the top guitar style to Ralphs’ subtlety. It’s all good.
Before someone posts one of the obligatories, I’ll give you Pearl ‘N’ Roy, from The Hoople, maybe my favorite track on one of my favorite albums, arguably my favorite Mott song of all. Particularly love the sad, wailing guitar solo as the song fades.