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Mott The Hoople ’74 at the Fox Theater, Oakland

  • Fox Theater Oakland 1807 Telegraph Avenue Oakland, CA, 94612 United States (map)

Mott The Hoople ’74:

“Mott the Who?” … “What the Hoople?” … “Mouser Hoop…” … ah, Mott the Hoople … a band that would sculpt a history as sensational as its moniker. Oozing style, attitude and wild unpredictability, they believed they could … they almost didn’t … but they did!

In the Seventies, there were rock ‘n’ roll bands and there was Mott the Hoople. Adored by a cult following, Mott was different as their focal point, Ian Hunter, oozed image and was a creative force. Hunter combined homage, honesty and killer hooks in many incredible songs, was one of the most inventive and incendiary writers of the Seventies and captured the attention of countless bands and singers.

‘If it hadn’t been for Mott, there would be no us’ … Mick Jones, The Clash

Mott the Hoople recorded four albums at Island Records – Mott the Hoople, Mad Shadows, Wildlife and Brain Capers … the latter a record that would give credence to the “Godfather of Punk” and “Precursors-of-punk” claims subsequently levelled at Ian and the band.

David Bowie, was a secret fan of Mott and an admirer of Hunter’s commanding on-stage persona, and he offered them a classic song … ‘All the Young Dudes’ … which swaggered to No.3 in the UK singles chart and propelled the band towards a mainstream audience. Mott the Hoople was re-born and Hunter felt rejuvenated, writing most of the songs for Mott which is still regarded as a classic album of the Seventies chronicling the trials, tribulations, inspirations and desperation of rock and roll. Sell-out Mott tours were punctuated by a string of successful singles penned by Ian … ‘Honaloochie Boogie’ (No.12), ‘All the Way from Memphis’ (No.10), ‘Roll Away the Stone’ (No.8) and ‘The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ (No.16) … while Hunter blazed across the front pages of the world’s music press.

The band’s popularity was soaring but Verden Allen and Mick Ralphs left for pastures new and were replaced by Morgan Fisher and Luther Grosvenor, who adopted the name Ariel Bender … rock’s greatest alter-ego. Ian composed some fearsome and observant classics for their final studio album, The Hoople, which included the highly-charged ‘Crash Street Kidds’ and the dramatic ‘Marionette’ … Hunter’s “five-minute opera”, described as a nervous breakdown on record, and an influence on Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and the David Essex movie Stardust.

In the spring of 1974 Mott the Hoople became the first rock band to sell out a week of Broadway concerts in New York and ‘Led Zep’ attended Mott’s opening night. Luther Grosvenor was wonderfully philosophical reflecting that, “Led Zeppelin had simply come to Broadway to see THE greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in the world at that time – MOTT THE HOOPLE!”

About this venue:

Built in 1928, the Fox Theater is an architectural masterpiece and former movie house that underwent a $75 million renovation to reopen its doors in February of 2009 under the direction of Another Planet Entertainment. Featuring jaw-dropping original details, state-of-the-art Meyer sound system and a capacity of up to 2,800, the Fox is continuously recognized as a favorite among touring artists.