John Ike Walton
The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators (1966, International Artists)
Easter Everywhere (1967, International Artists)
Live (1968, International Artists)
Bull of the Woods (1969, International Artists)
Sign of the Three Eyed Men (10 x CD, Charly/International Artists, 2009)
July 28, 1972 – Mott The Hoople: “All The Young Dudes” b/w “One Of The Boys” (CBS S 8271) 45 single is released in the UK.
“All the Young Dudes” is a song written by David Bowie, originally recorded and released as a single by Mott the Hoople in 1972. In 2004, Rolling Stone rated “All the Young Dudes” No. 253 in its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and on its 2010 update was ranked at number 256. It is also one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. Mott the Hoople’s single was released in July 1972 and made No. 3 in the UK charts, No. 37 in the US (in November) and No. 31 in Canada, and appeared on their album of the same name in September of that year.
NME editors Roy Carr and Charles Shaar Murray have described the track as “one of that rare breed: rock songs which hymn the solidarity of the disaffected without distress or sentimentality”.
Regarded as one of glam rock’s anthems, the song originated after Bowie came into contact with Mott the Hoople’s bassist Peter Watts and learned that the band was ready to split due to continued lack of commercial success. When Mott rejected his first offer of a composition, “Suffragette City” (from The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars), Bowie wrote “All the Young Dudes” in short order specially for them, allegedly sitting cross-legged on the floor of a room in Regent Street, London, in front of the band’s lead singer, Ian Hunter.
With its dirge-like music, youth suicide references and calls to an imaginary audience, the song bore similarities to Bowie’s own “Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide”, the final track from Ziggy Stardust. Described as being to glam rock what “All You Need Is Love” was to the hippie era, the lyrics name-checked contemporary star T.Rex and contained references to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (“My brother’s back at home with his Beatles and his Stones/We never got it off on that revolution stuff”) in a “wearied swipe at the previous generation”.
Bowie himself once claimed that the song was not intended to be an anthem for glam, that it actually carried a darker message of apocalypse. According to an interview Bowie gave to Rolling Stone magazine in 1973, the boys are carrying the same news that the newscaster was carrying in the song “Five Years” from Ziggy Stardust; the news being the fact that the Earth had only five years left to live. Bowie explains: “All the Young Dudes’ is a song about this news. It’s no hymn to the youth, as people thought. It is completely the opposite.”
In November 1972, Bowie introduced the band on stage at the Tower near Philadelphia and performed the song with Hunter (released on All the Way from Stockholm to Philadelphia in 1998 and the expanded version of All The Young Dudes in 2006).
The original Mott the Hoople release had to be changed lyrically in order that it might be played on UK radio and TV. The line in the second verse: “Wendy’s stealing clothes from Marks and Sparks” was a reference to UK retailer Marks & Spencer, also known by the affectionate colloquialism “Marks and Sparks”. As such, air play of the song in its original form would have breached broadcasting regulations relating to advertising in force at the time. The line was replaced with: “Wendy’s stealing clothes from unlocked cars”.