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Guitarist Mick Ralphs Recalls Exit From Mott The Hoople, Birth Of Bad Company

Gareth Cattermole, Getty Images

As the swashbuckling British guitar player for glam pioneers Mott The Hoople and later, rock and roll fantasy weavers Bad Company, Mick Ralphs has played a significant part in creating a number of A-side singles with both bands that have become airplay classics.

In the absence of current activity with either project, Ralphs is presently fronting a blues cover project revisiting the early tracks that influenced him heavily as a player. He also spent some time recalling the demise of his relationship with Mott The Hoople and the subsequent birth of Bad Company.

Ralphs tells Classic Rock that Mott “had broken into the mainstream thanks to David Bowie. They changed from being an underground band with a cult following into a pop group. It was “great for them” but Ralphs grew “disenchanted” with it. “It wasn’t my cup of tea” and he says that Ian Hunter understood his exit.

It was Ralphs’ blues influences that brought him together with Free vocalist Paul Rodgers.

“I always liked him in the Free days. He supported Mott years ago with his band Peace and we got [to] talking and initially, we were just going to work together on songs before we put Bad Company together.”

Ralphs and Rodgers shared lots of favorite artists in common, artists like Muddy Waters, Otis Span and Freddie King – to the point that when Bad Company first began, “it was essentially a blues band.”

Mick had hoped to reunite with either Bad Company or Mott last year for some reunion dates, but in the end, Paul went out on a solo tour and the Mott reunion plans dissolved, “plagued with politics.”

His current blues project feels very natural. “I think that as you get older, you mellow out a lot more. Having been through the ups and downs in life, I feel more qualified to play the blues.”

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