Sunday, January 22, 2017

Overend Watts dead at 69

Peter "Overend" Watts
May 13, 1947 - January 22, 2017

Pete "Overend" Watts, bassist and co-founding member of glam rockers Mott the Hoople, died today. According to the Mott Road Crew Live Facebook page, Watts died in his sleep after a long battle with throat cancer. Watt was 69. 

Watts was attending Ross Grammar School when he started learning to play guitar. By 1965, he started playing bass and found himself in a band called the Buddies with guitarist Mick Ralphs. The band would go through several changes before finally becoming Mott the Hoople in 1969. The band's original line-up consisted of Watts, Ralphs, singer/songwriter Ian Hunter, drummer Dale "Buffin" Griffin and keyboardist Verden Allen. Mentored by Guy Stevens, Mott the Hoople struggled early in their career. While the band had its fan base, the band couldn't nab a hit single. The band considered calling it a day in 1972 until singer David Bowie came to the rescue. Bowie told the band not to break up, offering to produce their fifth album. That album, All The Young Dudes, saved the band's career thanks in part to the album's title track- which was written by Bowie. 

With their success, Mott the Hoople went on the achieve success with hit singles such as  "All the Way from Memphis," "Roll Away the Stone" and "The Golden Age of Rock N Roll." The band stopped using the Mott the Hoople name after Hunter left in 1974. The remaining members would continue on as Mott for two albums and then as British Lions before breaking up in 1980. Watts and Griffin were the only two members from the original line-up that stuck through the band's entire run from 1969 to 1980. After the band's split, Watts continued to work in music. During the 1980s, Watts would produce albums for bands such as Hanoi Rocks. Mott the Hoople would reunite in 2009 and 2013 for a short run of shows. Watts' death comes a year after the death of Dale Griffin, who died in January 2016 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. 

Ian Hunter posted on Facebook and social media- paying tribute to Watts, saying...

"Oh dear. My extremely eccentric, lovely mate- Peter Overend Watts- has left the building. Devastated."

RIP Overend.

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