DALE GRIFFIN, MOTT THE HOOPLE 1948-2016

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DALE GRIFFIN aka BUFFIN 24th October 1948 – 17th January 2016

Terence Dale Griffin was an English drummer, record producer and founder member of Mott The Hoople.

Born in Ross-on Wye, Herefordshire ,Griffin attended Ross Grammar school and played in a number of local bands with his lifelong friend Overend Watts and it was during this time he gained the nickname “Buffin”. Amongst Dales bands were The Silence, Charles Kingsley Creation and with Watts and Mick Ralphs in The Doc Thomas Group. Changes to that line-up occurred in 1968 and keyboard player Verden Allen joined the band and changed its name to The Shakedown Sound. In 1969 they moved to London and came to the attention of record producer Guy Stevens and Ian Hunter was chosen as their lead singer and Mott The Hoople were formed.

Following the departure of Ian Hunter in 1974, Griffin along with Watts and Morgan Fisher formed MOTT with Ray Majors and Nigel Benjamin. In 1976 following the departure of Benjamin the remaining members regrouped as British Lions with former Medicine Head singer songwriter John Fiddler until their demise in the late 70’s when punk hit with a vengeance.

During the 80’s Griffin and Watts formed a Production Company and produced albums for Hanoi Rocks and The Cult as well as hit singles such as Department S “Is Vic There”. Dale then joined the BBC as a producer and produced numerous BBC Radio 1 John Peel sessions from 1981 to 1994 including Pulp, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana and Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark. In the early 21st century Dale oversaw the re-release of Mott The Hoople’s entire back catalogue from both Island and CBS period producing remastered versions and excellent informative sleeve notes.

Aged 58 Dale was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease just as he had worked tirelessly over the years to bring about the reformation of his beloved Mott The Hoople and in 2009 the band reformed for a five night sell out Hammersmith Apollo 40th anniversary concerts of the original five founder members. Having been just diagnosed Dale only performed during the band encores with The Pretenders drummer Martin Chambers, also from Herefordshire and a friend playing the set and also covering for Dale on the 2013 Mott The Hoople tour.

Dale is survived by his long term partner Jean Smith.

 

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