Rockpool Publishing

All-Time Gems: The Mott Tops

In the early ’80s Tony Moulds was a professional French chief, cooking in The Gazebo Hotel
kitchen in Sydney. Dubbed ‘Mott’ for his thrashing of UK rockers Mott the Hoople, he snapped The Divinyls’ Chrissy Amphlett at The Piccadilly Hotel in Kings Cross. Six months later, he sold a photo: he’s never looked back.
Tony Mott, Photographer
THEN “I was always playing music at work in the kitchen. Mott the Hoople, Sparks, Leo Sayer’s fi rst two albums I loved. For the fi rst 15 years of my career, I had a dark room. I spent a lot of time in there, usually in the middle of the night. It was a great place to listen to new music.”
All-Time Gems: The Mott Tops
The Rolling Stones
“I know I’m cheating a bit listing compilations, but I love Rolled Gold. It covers such a wide period of The Stones. You can’t help but be moved by Gimme Shelter, and I always sing along to the choir on You Can’t Always Get What You Want. I’ve been on the road with them three times, and they rehearse 60 songs for the tour, but only play 24 a night. That’s three concerts rehearsed: when you see The Stones live, it’s all classics!”
The Beatles
“I never saw The Beatles live, but I toured with Paul McCartney. To me, The Beatles are the greatest-ever pop band, and The Stones are the
greatest-ever rock band. You can never overestimate The Beatles. Obviously (producer) George Martin made a huge difference, but The Stones aren’t even in the same bracket. By the time The Beatles finished, The Stones were just fi nding their feet.”
Carole King
“The fi rst time I heard Carole King’s Tapestry I thought, ‘what a weird voice’. She’s not got the traditional voice. I feel in love with Tapestry over a
period of time.”
The Divinyls
“A total personal thing. My conundrum is there’s two Desperates – the Australian one and the American one. The American one is what I prefer: it combined Monkey Grip and the best tracks from Desperate, and Bob Clearmountain – the very hip American Bruce Springsteen producer – remixed it for the American market. How John O’Donnell and Toby Creswell left it out of their 100 Best Australian Albums book borders on criminal; it’s just outrageous.”
NOW Mott remains our top music photographer. He is currently shooting stills on director Stephen Elliott’s latest production A Few Best Men. Retrospective pictorial book Rock’n’Roll Is the New Trainspotting by Tony Mott is available now.

Music Australia Guide – 25 February, 2011