Posts Tagged ‘Ariel Bender’

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The Ballad of Mott The Hoople

October 21, 2011

 

Finally! Start Productions recently announced The Ballad of Mott The Hoople, the long awaited documentary on one of the 70’s more influential bands, was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on October 10 and will be available here in the States on November 14, 2011. Last week (October 11) the film was part of the New York Film Festival at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City.

Mott The Hoople Then

The DVD contains a 12-page booklet with sleeve notes by Morrissey and a limited edition 5-set of postcards. Also, a very limited set of cinema posters is available from Start Productions website. You can also order the DVD from them, too as well as from the usual sources like Amazon, etc…
 
Besides tracing the band’s career in comprehensive detail the DVD also has a full slate of extras:
 
The 2009 Hammersmith Reunion features unseen live footage from the triumphant 40th anniversary at Hammersmith Apollo in 2009: Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen, The Moon Upstairs and I Wish I was Your Mother.

Mott The Hoople Now

All the way to Memphis/The Legendary Graceland visit. Leee Black Childers talks about the epic journey to get the band to Memphis for the gig at the Ellis Auditorium three days before Christmas. Ian Hunter talks about the time he and Verden made an impromptu visit to Elvis’s home, Gracelands.

Seadivers (the Mott The Hoople Fan Club) Chairman, Kris Needs talks about his early years watching Mott The Hoople & David Bowie playing his hometown of Aylesbury.

Mott The Hoople Then

The Clash’s guitarist Mick Jones talks about his experiences working with Guy Stevens.

Mott organist Verden Allen takes us around the bands old London haunts.
 
Ariel Bender, Morgan Fisher & Buffin talk about the bands opening night on Broadway and their run in with Led Zeppelin.
 
A look through their Mott The Hoople photo album as Mott Roadies Phil John & Richie Anderson narrate through Phil’s old Mott photo album.

Mott The Hoople Now

As you most likely recall in October 2009 the five original members of Mott The Hoople reunited for the first time since their breakup for five shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo Theatre.   After tickets for the two original dates sold out, and a third date at the same venue was added for 3 October 2009. After that one sold out as well another two dates were added on 5 and 6 October. The special limited 3 CD-set recorded during the first show at Hammersmith Apollo was sold directly after those concerts.

Mott The Hoople also held a warmup gig prior to their five-night stand at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo in October. The show was held at the Blake Theatre in Monmouth, Wales on 26 September 2009.
 
The reunion made headlines all across the United Kingdom and was an unqualified success. Will there be another reunion set of gigs? Maybe in the USA? Not likely according to Ian Hunter on his website’s Horse’s Mouth column.
 
Tons of Mott The Hoople media coverage and videos out there on the internet. Hit up your favorite search engine and enjoy!
 

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Mick Ronson Remembered

October 20, 2008
Mick Ronson - One of the greats!

Mick Ronson – One of the greats!

A recent conversation with a friend about Mick Ronson brought to my pal the startling realization that Mick Ronson has been gone for 15 years now which is hard to believe. Ronson was a gifted guitarist, arranger, songwriter and producer who made his mark in rock ‘n roll and to this day has a strong following. Ronson lost his battle with liver cancer on April 30, 1993 at age 47 but his accomplishments won’t soon be forgotten.

I first became aware of Ronson during his stint with David Bowie in the early 70’s as Ronson led the Spiders From Mars and helped Bowie construct more than a handful of now classic songs and albums, particularly The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars. The first time I saw Ronson perform live was with Bowie and the Spiders on September 22, 1972 at the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH.

After Ariel Bender had left Mott The Hoople in 1974 Ronson joined the band in September of that year. I was ecstatic! One of my favorite guitar players was joining one of my all time favorite bands. I couldn’t wait for Mott The Hoople to tour the USA so I could catch Ronson with the band but alas, they never made a USA tour as Ian Hunter fell ill and soon after left the band with Ronson in tow.

When Ian Hunter started his solo career Ronson was on board and eventually the Hunter-Ronson Band started gigging throughout the USA and I was fortunate to catch several of their shows, the first on April 26, 1975 at the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH with the band Bonaroo as support.

A really cool gig I was fortunate to see up close was on June 18, 1979 at the Cleveland Agora with the Iron City Houserockers opening. Another reason I remember this gig is two days later my daughter was born two months early (and she spent consider time in an incubator at Akron Children’s Hospital)! Hunter and Ronson and company were just totally on fire that night and an appearance with the band by Ellen Foley capped a great night.

The Hunter-Ronson Band came back to the Cleveland area three months later headlining the Richfield Coliseum with the David Johansen Group. Hunter’s You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic was red hot in northeast Ohio and the band, once again, was on fire. Great show.

The last time I saw the Hunter-Ronson Band in its original incarnation was the following year when they returned to the Richfield Coliseum on June 7, 1980. The show was advertised with Hunter-Ronson headlining but when we showed up for the concert the promoters put Heart as the headliner. Mistake. While Heart did a great job, it was a bit of a let down and anti-climatic after Hunter-Ronson and associates had the huge crowd rocking the rafters. Intense performance by the band and Heart had to be dismayed following Hunter-Ronson that night.

I bought everything on vinyl that featured Ronson back in the day, including his solo LPs Slaughter On 10th Avenue and Play Don’t Worry. He continued working with a number of bands and performers but to me, his best collaborations were with Ian Hunter on his studio LPs and his, to me, classic live LP, Welcome To The Club.

For those unfamiliar with Ronson spend some time on the Mick Ronson website and find out how much of an impact he had on rock ‘n roll. His resume is one of the most varied and impressive of any rock ‘n roll guitarist. And be sure and check out Ronson’s daughter Lisa’ s band, The Secret Society (Lisa Likes Rock ‘N Roll, ya know!).

Yes, he was THAT good!

 

Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson - They had some great shows.

Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson – They had some great shows.

 

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