“They said I looked like a card carrier in drag!”
Renowned for his outrageous platforms, silver tinged locks, flashy haberdashery, and mighty Gibson Thunderbird which he painted a lustrous shade of white, Peter Overend Watts joyfully embodied the raucous, extravagant character of the unforgettable Mott the Hoople.
Akin to his sartorial splendor, Watts exuded a canny instinct for embellishing the Mott canon with sparkling bass melodies as found in the Hoople’s rendition of Lou’s “Sweet Jane,” and such Ian Hunter – Mick Ralphs gems as “Drivin’ Sister,” “I’m a Cadillac,” “Whiskey Woman,” “Alice,” and “Sucker.” Watts was most creative in-the-pocket as evidenced in “Ballad of Mott the Hoople,” “I Wish I Was Your Mother,” and “Angel of Eighth Avenue.”
The Birmingham born bassist composed one of the Mott’s finest tracks “Born Late ’58,” and penned enjoyable rockers aplenty for the truncated Mott ensemble, most notably “By Tonight,” “Shouting and Pointing, and “Stiff Upper Lip.” Watts officially left the music business in 1980 following the British Lions endeavor with Mott Messrs. Buffin and Morgan Fisher.
And despite his not playing professionally for over thirty years – Pete’s skills were impressive on Mott’s reunion shows in 2009 and 2013.
(Photograph of Pete Watts from the Mott the Hoople 2009 Reunion Tour by Pete Stavrakoglou)