Gus Stewart/RedfernsMott the Hoople drummer Dale "Buffin" Griffin died Sunday at the age of 67. BBC News reports that, according to Angel Air Records founder Pete Purnell, Griffin passed away peacefully in his sleep after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
Dale co-founded Mott the Hoople during the late 1960s and played on all of the group's recordings, including its biggest hit, the 1972 David Bowie-penned "All the Young Dudes," which reached #3 on the U.K. singles chart and made the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Bowie wrote the song specifically for the band after they turned down another tune he offered them: "Suffragette City."
Mott the Hoople broke up in 1974 when frontman Ian Hunter decided to focus on a solo career. Griffin, along with Mott the Hoople bassist Pete Overend Watts and keyboardist Morgan Fisher, continued under the name Mott, releasing two albums before splitting up in 1976.
In the 1980s, Griffin and Watts co-founded a production company responsible for albums by Hanoi Rocks and The Cult. In addition, throughout the '80s and into the '90s, Griffin worked for BBC Radio, producing some of legendary deejay John Peel's Radio 1 sessions.
In the early 2000s, Griffin oversaw the reissue of Mott the Hoople's catalog. Purcell tells the BBC that the drummer was instrumental in getting the band to reunite for a series of 40th anniversary concerts in 2009. Unfortunately, he was too ill to play drums for those entire shows, although Purcell notes that "he did join the band for encores."
Purcell called Griffin "one of the nicest, friendly and talented men I have ever known." He is survived by his longtime partner Jean Smith.
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