Sunday, December 26, 2010

All the Young Dudes, The Biography - Campbell Devine

Obviously, I have written about Mott the Hoople many times before and they have been a fave band of mine since discovering them when they hit big with Bowie's "All the Young Dudes". I went back and discovered their earlier works which are rawer and wilder, overall, and were the blueprint for the later British punk bands. Their 3 CD Anthology was a wonderful find for me and the live CDs of their early days are a continuing revelation.

This book recounts the guys' lives and careers, from their early days of rival bands playing through England and Germany to their days of stardom, headlining large halls. There are some terrific tales of recording sessions with Guy Stevens and tales of the road (though I think there could have been more lurid details that have been left out) told by each of the original band members. This is an authorized biography so each person had been interviewed and gives their points of view, though Overend Watts (his real - middle and last - name!) seems to speak more than most, other than Ian. Apparently Watts was a main instigator in their career, so this seems more than fitting.

Almost half of the book is about Ian Hunter's solo career which, while I admire his talent, was never that interesting to me. The rest of the guys in MTH went on to Bad Company (Mick Ralphs) and various spin-offs (Mott, the British Lions) before more-or-less retiring from music - or at least live bands.

Still, a fantastic tale of one of the best bands of the 70's. Get it!