12 December 2016
Mott the Hoople
Mott the Hoople were an English rock band with strong R&B roots, popular in the glam rock era of the early to mid-1970s. They are best known for the song "All the Young Dudes", written for them by David Bowie.
Gut Stevens of Island Records decided to sign the band, Silence, an early incarnation of Mott (minus lead singer Ian Hunter). While in prison on a drug offence, Stevens had read the novel Mott the Hoople about an eccentric who works in a circus freak show, and decided to use it as a band name. Silence reluctantly agreed to the odd name change following their early 1969 audition for Stevens.
Mott the Hoople is a 1966 novel by Willard Manus. According to Wikipedia, the plot involves Norman Mott a misfit, lazy rebel without a cause who dislikes work. Mott believes life is a "bad comic opera." In order to avoid real work, he engages in various scams and gambles.
According to a review of the novel, "Hooples, to clear this up right at the beginning, 'make the whole game possible, Christmas Clubs especially, politics, advertising agencies, pay toilets, even popes and mystery novels.' Obviously they're squares and Mott, Norman Mott, is certainly not..."
On the Ian Hunter/ Mott website, the book is "very much a book of the 60's, and so in some regards has dated somewhat. In the context of this website it is an interesting read, since it was this book that inspired the name to Guy Stevens. In a wider context I'm not so sure, and if I hadn't been a fan of the band I probably wouldn't have bothered. But if you grew up in 60's America it might be enough to bring back a few memories..."