Mott the Hoople Drummer Dale Griffin Dies at 67

BY Gregory AdamsPublished Nov 17, 2016

Dale Griffin, drummer and co-founder of English glam group Mott the Hoople, died yesterday (January 17) following a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, the band's record label has confirmed. He was 67 years old.

The news of Griffin's passing arrived through the Facebook page of Angel Air Records, with the imprint's Peter Purnell noting that the drummer "died peacefully in his sleep."

"One of the nicest, friendly and talented men I have ever known," Purnell wrote, adding, "All he ever wanted was for his beloved Mott the Hoople to reform and it was his detirmination [sic] that achieved that very feat in 2009 but sadly by then he was too ill to perform at the five sold out dates though he did join the band for encores."

Griffin helped found Mott the Hoople in 1969, who issued their self-titled debut that same year. An early proponent of the UK glam scene, the band would go on to record their iconic "All the Young Dudes" in 1972, with the help of David Bowie.

The band had initially turned Bowie down when he offered them "Suffragette City," which led the songwriter to craft "All the Young Dudes" for the group instead. The single, on which Bowie also sang backup vocals, hit No. 3 on the UK charts, making it Mott the Hoople's biggest hit.

While Mott the Hoople imploded in 1974, following the departure of vocalist Ian Hunter and guitarist Mick Ronson, Griffin would continue to record and tour with most of the lineup as Mott.

Griffin would also go on to work behind the mixing board, producing albums for the Cult, Hanoi Rocks and more. Griffin would also record BBC sessions for the likes of Pulp, Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, New Model Army and Carcass.

The drummer had been battling Alzheimer's since the age of 58. His illness prevented him from fully undertaking a series of Mott the Hoople reunion shows in 2009. Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers filled in for the gigs, though Griffin played during the encores of a five-night stint at London's Hammersmith Apollo.

Griffin is survived by his partner, Jean Smith.

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