Mott Can’t Have Drummer Dale On Stage
Mott The Hoople keyboardist Verden Allen says the band aim to take drummer Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin out for a pint because they can’t have him on stage when they tour the UK in November.
It will be the first-ever shows performed by Mott without Griffin, whose Alzheimer’s disease was already a problem when he appeared for part of the set during their 2009 reunion shows.
And Allen admits it was a shock seeing his old bandmate for the first time in 39 years.
He tells Wales Online: “I remember him not really recognising me at first, and thinking to myself, ‘Has time really been that harsh? Have I really changed that much?’”
Griffin was able to perform the band’s songs “flawlessly” – but Allen says: “He’d go from laying down these note-perfect renditions to not knowing where he was. Then I noticed he was struggling to assemble his drumkit each time, as though he was seeing it for the first time in his life.
“When I asked him about the first time he noticed something was wrong, he told me he didn’t really know – just that people were getting annoyed at him for doing odd things and he had no idea why.”
Griffin will be replaced by Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, who took over in 2011 after the original musician had performed part of the set each night.
Allen reports: “We’ll dedicate a song or two to him. I’m even hoping we can pop into his care home before the tour starts and take him for a stroll down the pub. He’s still allowed the odd pint, and it would be lovely to see him.”
Mott The Hoople UK tour
Nov 11: Birmingham Symphony Hall
Nov 13: Glasgow Clyde Auditorium
Nov 16: Newcastle City Hall
Nov 17: Manchester O2 Apollo
Nov 18: London The O2 (with Thunder and Fish)