20/1/16 – Dale Griffin – AKA Buffin – 24th October 1948 – 17th January 2016 / Mott The Hoople – Saturday Gigs – 1974

Mott The Hoople Seventies Pic B:WAlthough another December/January Rock and Roll Death has us wondering when it’s going to stop, in Buffin’s case it wasn’t a surprise. Diagnosed with Alhzeimer’s in 2006 at the age of 58, it was never going to end well. At the Mott The Hoople reunion gigs in 2009 fellow Herefordshire drummer, Pretender, Martin Chambers stepped in to help, taking over completely for a reunion tour.

Buffin was a founding member of the band and played on all their hits throughout the seventies including Bowie’s All the Young Dudes, Roll Away The Stone, Honaloochie Boogie, All The Way From Memphis, The Golden Age Of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Foxy Foxy and Saturday Gigs. After Ian Hunter left, the band continued as Mott with Nigel Benjamin on lead vocals and Ray Major on guitar, releasing two albums, Drive On 1975 and Shouting And Pointing 1976. Later the core of the band formed British Lions releasing their debut in 1978 with Medicine Head vocalist John Fiddler.

After this Buffin got into producing sessions for John Peel and the BBC. He also had some success as a record producer for those of you that remember Is Vic There? Released in 1980 by Department S (I bought it). Co-produced with childhood friend and Mott The Hoople bassist Overend Watts, the song reached No.22 in the UK chart. The pair also produced Hanoi Rocks’ fourth album Back To Mystery City from 1983.

Although in the beginning it was producer Guy Stevens that guided Mott The Hoople as Bob Dylan singing in The Rolling Stones, success eluded them and it was Bowie that put them on the map gifting them an amazing and original song. I recently saw a clip where Buffin said that Mott The Hoople was the only band he ever wanted to play with. Sadly missed. RIP Buffin. Condolences to friends and family.