Mott the Hoople bassist Pete Overend Watts, known for his silver hair and thigh-high platform boots during the band’s heyday, died of throat cancer on Sunday. He was 69.
The band’s former frontman Ian Hunter tweeted, “Oh dear. My extremely eccentric, lovely mate…has left the building. Devastated.”
Watts used his unusual middle name rather than his first name in the band. Beginning in the mid-’60s, he played in various groups with guitarist Mick Ralphs before singer Ian Hunter joined their band Silence in 1969 and they became Mott the Hoople. He stayed with them through its later incarnations as Mott and finally British Lions, retiring from the stage when they broke up in 1979. He later did some record production, including an album for Finnish glam rockers Hanoi Rocks with Mott the Hoople’s drummer Dale Griffin. He also wrote a book, The Man Who Hated Walking, about his experiences backpacking across England.
Watts came out of retirement to take part in five British Mott the Hoople reunion shows in 2009 and one in 2013.