Luther Grosvenor

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Luther James Grosvenor
Also known asAriel Bender
Born (1946-12-23) 23 December 1946 (age 72)
Evesham, Worcestershire, England
Associated actsSpooky Tooth, Stealers Wheel, Mott the Hoople, Widowmaker

Luther James Grosvenor (born 23 December 1946 in Evesham, Worcestershire) is an English rock musician, who played guitar in Spooky Tooth,[1] briefly in Stealers Wheel and, under the pseudonym Ariel Bender, in Mott the Hoople and Widowmaker.

Grosvenor first began playing in local bands in his hometown of Evesham. He met Jim Capaldi, who later played with Traffic, with whom he formed a group called Deep Feelin.

Later he joined a group called The V.I.P.'s, in which Keith Emerson played for some time. The V.I.P.'s were renamed Art and later became Spooky Tooth. After leaving Spooky Tooth, he released a solo album, Under Open Skies (Island Records, 1971).

For contractual reasons, he changed his name to Ariel Bender at the suggestion of singer-songwriter Lynsey de Paul for his stint with the Mott the Hoople.[2] According to Mott's lead singer Ian Hunter, interviewed in the documentary The Ballad of Mott the Hoople, the band were in Germany with Lynsey de Paul for the TV show, Hits-a-Go-Go in Germany on 24 June 1973[3] when lead guitarist Mick Ralphs walked down a street bending a succession of car aerials in frustration. De Paul came out with the phrase "aerial bender" which Hunter later suggested to Grosvenor as a stage name.[4] Grosvenor joined the band in 1973, replacing Ralphs. Grosvenor toured with Mott in 1973 and 1974 and performed on the band's seventh album, The Hoople (1974).

The years with Spooky Tooth (1967 to 1970), Stealers Wheel (1973) and Mott the Hoople (1973 to 1974) were the most successful years in Grosvenor's musical career. After leaving Mott in 1974 - he was replaced by Mick Ronson - Grosvenor published a few solo albums, and formed Widowmaker, releasing Widowmaker in 1976 and Too Late to Cry in 1977.

In 1995 Luther recorded two tracks for Viceroy Music's tribute to Peter Green along w/former Spooky Tooth drummer Mike Kellie. These songs led to Luther signing a deal w/ NYC based Brilliant Recording Company & produced the "Floodgates" album. It was released on August 15th 1996. The album again featured Mike Kellie on drums & featured Jess Roden singing vocals on two tracks, Luther did the vocals on the rest of the album. The album was produced by Luther & Mick Dolan who produced albums for Steve Winwood.

In 1999 Grosvenor returned in a Spooky Tooth reunion (sans Gary Wright), "Cross Purpose" again for the Brilliant Recording Company.In actuality it was more of a VIP's release other than Spooky Tooth. In 2005, he revived his pseudonym, forming the Ariel Bender Band. In 2007 and 2008 he performed under the name Ariel Bender's Mott The Hoople performing both Spooky Tooth and Mott The Hoople songs, as well as cover songs.

In 2009, he worked with London act, The Winter Olympics, recording guitar parts for their song, "The Great Outdoors",[5] which was released in August 2010.

In June 2018, performing as Ariel Bender, Grosvenor played three Mott The Hoople reunion shows with Hunter and 1974 Mott pianist Morgan Fisher, backed by Hunter's Rant Band. The shows were at festivals in Spain and the United Kingdom and a concert in Norway.

Media depictions[edit]

Grosvenor is featured along with Spooky Tooth in the 1970 documentary Groupies.


  1. ^ Thompson, Dave. "Biography: Luther Grosvenor". Allmusic. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  2. ^ Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 282. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
  3. ^ "Episode dated 24 June 1973". Retrieved 20 May 2019.
  4. ^ Ballad of Mott the Hoople documentary, c. 39:30
  5. ^ "The Winter Olympics • Thank You Friends". 2 August 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2013.