Dear Mr. Hoople

I was planning to head into town at about 11 today to meet with friends for lunch for mid-day, but saw on the local news that due to roadworks near the A40 and temporary lights at the Polish War Memorial I was advised to add at least another half an hour to my journey.

I am also halfway through ‘’Breaking Bad’’ and am enjoying it immensely. I cannot wait to see if Walter White dies before he is supposed to, from being killed.

In summary, as much as I admire the ''glam boogie merchants'', I must take issue with your statement. Were I to have listened to ''Ride a white swan'' or ''Jeepsta'', I am sure that I would have been very late at Nandos and now not be up to date with the errant chemist’s exploits.

I would therefore be grateful if you could clarify how, oh, man, you may question the need for TV when you got T-Rex.

If, on the other hand, you need TV at the same time as listening to T-Rex, and assuming that both your telly and your hi-fi are simultaneously switched on with the volume turned up, one is equally confused. The dilemma here would be that surely the sound of one on top of the other would create such a cacophony that one would not truly get the benefit of either, to say nothing of the waste of electricity in running the two appliances side by side for the duration of the album that you are listening to.

On an unrelated note, my son, who lives halfway between Avebury and Stonehenge, has requested that I inform you that he has complied with your request but has thusfar been unable to roll away the stone, and indeed now has a bad back.

Assuming that you are not sending a reply all the way from Memphis, we look forward to hearing from you in the near future







Hello Derek,

I can understand why you think that it is Marc Bolan's T- Rex mentioned in our song (All The Young Dudes) but let me explain the true meaning of that line. 'Tube- Regulator ex'' valves were used in the early versions of the Marshall 100 watt amp heads which then drove two 4 x12 speaker cabs mounted piggyback style for maximum volume spread.

The problem arose when the T-Rex type valve was discontinued and had to be replaced by ECC83 valves in 1966, and were hard to come by. Fortunately for us Musos who were lucky enough to own one of these great old Marshall amps, the valves 'T-Rex' type were still to be found in some makes of television sets which were soon snaffled up by our roadies for spares, but because of the man hours that the boys had to put in due to the enormous amount of gigs that we were playing at that point of time, they did not have enough time to remove the T-Rex valves from the TV sets prior to going to the Gigs, so they had to take the sets with them intact, and they were heavy. Believe me or not. Anyway, you can now see why and what the line in the song means, (man we need TV when we got T-Rex ); we needed a TV in order to get the T-Rex type valve.

Now about the stone. Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear about your son's back injury brought on by trying a bout of stone carrying, but I'm afraid that he got the wrong idea. The term ( Roll Away The Stone ) is actually related to the trouble that we (Mott The Hoople) used to have with the old van we used for gigging in during the 1970 period. You see, the hand brake on the van was not sufficient because of the amount of gear that we carted around in it, so when it was parked up, we would put a large round stone under one of the road wheels in order to stop it (the van that is) from running away from us. Anyway, when we were leaving the driver would shout out to a helper, 'Roll Away The Stone' and off we would go. Well that gave us the idea for the song didn't it, and that is the truth; the idea actually came to mind on the way back from Memphis, during the flight. You see, the group had to go to Memphis so that we could write (All The Way From Memphis) and that happened when we were back in England.

Well I do hope that this letter will help to clear up some of the confusion Derek,

All for now,





Verden Allen.






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