Mott The Hoople

What do the lyrics to “All The Young Dudes” mean? Can anyone give me a line -by- line breakdown of this song?

Well, a line-by-line analysis would probably be flaunting the “don’t post entire lyrics to songs” rule, so I will offer a summary:

The song, writtin by David Bowie, is an ode to the young generation and how they’re so hip. “All the Young Dudes, carry the news…”. The rest is a bit of trippy storytelling ala “Take a Walk on the Wild Side”.

This wasn’t a question about the species of Mott, the blue-skinned barber on the Enterprise in ST:TNG? Pity.

As conceived and performed by David Bowie in 1972, “Dudes” can be construed as gay anthem. As performed by the unflinchingly heterosexual Mott the Hoople, the song can also be construed as a tribute to your drinking buddies, until the end when Ian Hunter begins his fade out (“Hey, you there with the glasses. I want you,” etc.) The fact you’re confused shows just how good Bowie’s realization of Mott’s version was. (Bowie produced the Mott the Hoople version) It’s supposed to be confusing! You’ll find some more discussion here and here.

I knew of the gay angle (Band Name!), but I thought it was a bit hyped-up, since while at least one of the characters certainly seems gay, not all of them are (or not referred to in such a way), and the song doesn’t really revolve around things “gay”, IMO.

Years ago, Ian Hunter wrote a book called “Diary of a Rock Star.”
(Circa 1976?) I believe you can find the answer there. My copy is long gone, but I remember that it was a great read.