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Mott Moves For Ronson As New Hoople

December 1974
by Paul Smith-Park

Former Bowie-boosters Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson will be fronting Mott the Hoople together, now that Ariel Bender has departed to resume his solo career. Ronson, who since his own defection from the notorious Bowie Spiders has recorded two solo albums, will be joining Mott for their forthcoming studio album and will lend his guitar artistry to their elaborate cross-country tour this spring. A versatile talent, Ronson is much more, of course, than just another pretty face and ten fast fingers. He was always at the heart of Bowie's arrangements, charting strings and playing keyboards. In his last year with the dada doggy, Ronson took on an even greater share of the production and mixing responsibilities so that his work on Aladdin Sane shot some bite into Bowie's bark. It seems safe to assume that, although Ariel Bender was fast becoming a star among stars in Mott, the Hoople's music will be more expressive and harder hitting than ever.

One of Ronson's mentors, the elusive Jeff Beck, has been a bit more in the news lately than is his usual wont. His famed Motown sessions, during which Beck formed the friendship with Stevie Wonder that produced "Superstition," are on the verge of release. While the sessions were recorded in 1970, they should be of considerably more than mere historical interest, since Beck has long been known for his affection for the back music medium. Beck also made a rare television appearance here when e contributed to a workshop program, "Five Faces of the Guitar." The special featured Jeff, jazzman Barney Kessel, medievalist John Renbourn, Paco Pena, and Julian Bream, the classicist commonly considered to be among the two or three all-time greats. Unfortunately, tinkering with his many cars seems to occupy Jeff as much as music these days, and in the wake of Beck, Bogart, and Appice's split, his next musical offering is still up in the air.

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