All the Way from Memphis
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|"All the Way from Memphis"|
|Single by Mott the Hoople|
|from the album Mott|
|B-side||"Ballad of Mott the Hoople (26th March 1972, Zürich)"|
|Producer(s)||Mott the Hoople|
|Mott the Hoople singles chronology|
"All the Way from Memphis" is a single released by Mott the Hoople. The song tells a story about a rock 'n' roller whose guitar is shipped to "Oriole" (Baltimore) instead of Memphis. The musician gets half-way there before he realizes his instrument is missing and takes a month to track it down. When he gets the guitar back, he is scolded by a stranger for being neglectful and self-centered. In the original version of the song, the stranger is referred to as a "spade", in later versions the word "dude" is substituted.
The song reflects a weariness with the rock and roll life-style, including the strain of constant touring and the low public opinion of rock 'n' roll singers. This theme appears in the chorus, which is repeated with minor variations: "you look like a star, but you're still on the dole," "you look like a star, but you're really out on parole."
It was covered by Brian May on his 1998 album Another World; Hunter guested on this cover. The event was one of the many times Queen have connected with Mott the Hoople. It was also covered by supergroup Contraband on their 1991 debut and last album. The British rock band Thunder also performed a live version appearing on multiple compilation albums. The British punk band Abdoujaparov cover the track on their 2002 album Air Odeon Disco Pub.
The song was probably based on an actual event involving guitarist Mick Ralphs. This loss of Mick's guitar is also mentioned on "The Ballad of Mott the Hoople".
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