Mott The Hoople – All The Way From Memphis

This song was the first single off of the album Mott. The album peaked at #35 in Billboard album charts in 1973. The single did not chart in the US but did peak at #10 in the UK. The song was based on a real event about gear being lost during overseas tours. ‘All the Way From Memphis’ chronicles an incident in which Mick Ralphs’ guitar was shipped to a different state than the one in which the band was playing.

Martin Scorsese used this song as the opening song in “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.”

 

 

From Songfacts

The single “All The Way From Memphis” was released in September 1973, and like the B-side, “Ballad Of Mott,” (the extended version) appears on the Mott album. Considered one of Ian Hunter’s finest efforts, it was inspired by events leading up to the final date of their US tour, which is detailed in the band’s official biography by Campbell Devine. When they flew down to Memphis, Mick Ralphs decided to travel by road with Verden Allen. The other members of the band went by plane, but the airline lost Mick’s guitar. When they arrived, the road crew had disappeared with Ralphs and Allen, ticket sales were very grim, and Ralphs’ hotel room was robbed, but then they received a message to say that ticket sales were rising rapidly.

The concert, three days before Christmas at Ellis Auditorium, was “an incredible triumph wrenched from the jaws of disaster.” They were supported by Joe Walsh, who returned to jam with them. Hunter wrote the song on the day of the concert and dedicated it to two of their crew, Lee Childers and Tony Zanetta. And Memphis, Tennessee.

All The Way From Memphis

Forgot my six-string razor hit the sky
Half way to Memphis ‘fore I realized
Well I rang the information my axe was cold
They said she rides the train to oreoles

Now it’s a mighty long way down the dusty trail
And the sun burns hot on the cold steel rails
‘n I look like a bum ‘n I crawl like a snail
All the way from Memphis

Well I got to oreoles y’know it took a month
And there was my guitar, electric junk.
Some spade said rock ‘n’ rollers, you’re all the same.
Man that’s your instrument. I felt so ashamed.

Now it’s a mighty long way down rock ‘n’ roll
Through the Bradford cities and the oreoles
‘n you look like a star but you’re still on the dole
All the way from Memphis

Yeah it’s a mighty long way down rock ‘n’ roll
From the Liverpool docks to the Hollywood bowl
‘n you climb up the mountains ‘n you fall down the holes
All the way from Memphis

Yeah it’s a mighty long way down rock ‘n’ roll
As your name gets hot so your heart grows cold
‘n you gotta stay young man, you can never be old
All the way from Memphis

Yeah it’s a mighty long way down rock ‘n’ roll
Through the Bradford cities and the oreoles
‘n you look like a star but you’re really out on parole!
All the way from Memphis

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

11 thoughts on “Mott The Hoople – All The Way From Memphis”

    1. I heard that also. They were a fun group…with the people they worked with it should be interesting.

      He had a song in the 80s called “All The Good Ones Are Taken” that was really good…

      Like

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