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Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter on David Bowie: “He wasn’t a guy I would have hung out with”

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Mott the Hoople and David Bowie are forever linked thanks to the 1972 classic “All The Young Dudes,” which Bowie wrote for the band. But it turns out the relationship between the artists didn’t last beyond the collaboration. 

“David was a different kettle of fish,” Mott the Hoople’s Ian Hunter tells Classic Rock magazine. “David was great all the time I knew him, but he wasn’t a guy I would have hung out with.” 

Hunter says it was “nothing personal,” and they “got on fine in the studio” and even hung out a few times. “But I don’t make mates easy. I never did,” he says. “And when I do make a mate, it’s for life. He was a friend like lots of people you meet along the way.” 

Bowie, who was a fan of the band, reportedly offered them a song after hearing they considered breaking up after their 1971 album Brain Capers didn’t perform well. Hunter is still a little surprised by the tune they got.

“It’s a great song,” he says. “God knows why he gave it to us. I’ve said that many times, but really, if I’d’ve had that song I wouldn’t have given it to anybody.”

Hunter describes Bowie as determined and ambitious, which he wasn’t, noting, “I just wanted to play rock ’n’ roll because it excited me.”

“But generous to a tee, lovely with the band,” he says of Bowie. “I mean, he gave us ‘Dudes.’ I’ve got nothing but praise for David.”

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