A brief look at some of the print advertising used to promote various Mott The Hoople albums back in the 1970’s.
As leader of ’70s British rock legends Mott the Hoople and as a hugely
influential solo artist, Ian Hunter is widely revered as one of
rock’n’roll’s most compelling performers and one of its most articulate
On September 4, 2012, Hunter will release When I’m President, his 20th album of original songs, and the latest highlight in a storied career that’s
produced immortal anthems like ‘All The Young Dudes,’ ‘All the Way From
Memphis,’ ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’ and ‘Cleveland Rocks.’
The new album’s 11 Hunter originals include such infectious, personally
charged numbers as the wry, socially conscious title track, the gently
introspective ‘Fatally Flawed’ the bittersweet ballad ‘Black Tears,‘ the
chugging rocker ‘Wild Bunch,‘ the swaggering ‘I Don’t Know What You Want’
(which features a guest vocal by Hunter’s son Jesse) and the vivid, haunting
‘Ta Shunka Witco (Crazy Horse)’-all of which showcase the jagged immediacy
of Hunter’s one-of-a-kind voice and the punchy authority of his longstanding
all-star backup combo the Rant Band.
‘The songs seem to be more upbeat this time round,’ Hunter notes. ‘The last
two albums were pretty political, just because I thought the Bush years were
horrible, and thankfully that’s passed. But I don’t go looking for songs; I
have to wait for them to come to me. I had a spurt there in the summer of
2011, and that grew into this album. I’d get up every day with something
ringing in my head, so I’d try to catch it and get it down. Songwriting’s
always been a mystery to me in that way. Now and again you’re nearer the
sun, and you have to be ready to capture it.’
The qualities of musical depth and emotional honesty that distinguish When
I’m President have been constants in Ian Hunter’s expansive body of work.
Hunter was already a young veteran of London’s burgeoning rock scene when he joined Mott the Hoople in 1969, and recorded four iconoclastic albums with the quintet by the time it rode the glam-rock wave to international
superstardom with the David Bowie-produced 1972 album All the Young Dudes and its Bowie-penned title hit. The band’s artistic and commercial success continued with 1973’s Mott and 1974’s The Hoople and Mott the Hoople Live, helping to set the stage for the rise of British punk and new wave before the group disbanded in 1974.
Following 1983’s well-received All of the Good Ones Are Taken, Hunter took
an extended hiatus that kept him out of the spotlight for much the next
decade, until the 1993 death of his longtime friend and collaborator,
guitarist Mick Ronson, jolted him back into musical action.
Like such acclaimed recent Hunter releases as Rant (2001), Shrunken Heads
(2007) and Man Overboard (2009), When I’m President – his first new
recording since Mott the Hoople’s historic 2009 reunion shows at London’s
Hammersmith Odeon-ranks with Hunter’s most impassioned and insightful work.
Hunter’s creative rebirth has produced some of the best music of his lengthy
career, and When I’m President continues the remarkable resurgence of this
true believer in rock ‘n’ roll’s transformative power.
Hunter will kick of a tour of the United States and Europe on September 1.
More details will be announced shortly.
USA, European and Scandanavian Tour
01 Jul 2012 Paddock Wood, Kent England – Hop Farm Festival
01 Sep 2012 Portland OR – Aladdin Theater
02 Sep 2012 Seattle WA – Bumbershoot Festival
07 Sep 2012 Catanzaro, Italy – Settembre Al Parco Festival
13 Sep 2012 Philadelphia PA – World Cafe Live
14 Sep 2012 New York NY – Highline Ballroom
15 Sep 2012 Washington DC – The Howard Theatre
27 Sep 2012 Cleveland OH – Beachland Ballroom
28 Sep 2012 Chicago IL – City Winery
29 Sep 2012 Chicago IL – City Winery
05 Oct 2012 Stockholm, Sweden – Nalen
06 Oct 2012 Falkenberg, Sweden – Falkenhallen
07 Oct 2012 Oslo, Norway – John Dee
08 Oct 2012 Malmo, Sweden – Kulturbolaget
12 Oct 2012 Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England – Tyne Journal Theatre
13 Oct 2012 Glasgow, Scotland – 02 ABC
14 Oct 2012 Holmfirth, England – Picturedrome
16 Oct 2012 Leicester, England – Y Theatre
18 Oct 2012 Manchester, England – HMV Ritz
19 Oct 2012 London, England 02 – Shepherds Bush Empire
20 Oct 2012 Birmingham, England – Town Hall
23 Oct 2012 Bath, England – Komedia
25 Oct 2012 Harrogate, England – Royal Hall
26 Oct 2012 Brighton, England – Concorde 2
27 Oct 2012 Northampton, England – The Roadmender
A recent conversation with a friend about Mick Ronson brought to my pal the startling realization that Mick Ronson has been gone for 15 years now which is hard to believe. Ronson was a gifted guitarist, arranger, songwriter and producer who made his mark in rock ‘n roll and to this day has a strong following. Ronson lost his battle with liver cancer on April 30, 1993 at age 47 but his accomplishments won’t soon be forgotten.
I first became aware of Ronson during his stint with David Bowie in the early 70’s as Ronson led the Spiders From Mars and helped Bowie construct more than a handful of now classic songs and albums, particularly The Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust & The Spiders From Mars. The first time I saw Ronson perform live was with Bowie and the Spiders on September 22, 1972 at the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH.
After Ariel Bender had left Mott The Hoople in 1974 Ronson joined the band in September of that year. I was ecstatic! One of my favorite guitar players was joining one of my all time favorite bands. I couldn’t wait for Mott The Hoople to tour the USA so I could catch Ronson with the band but alas, they never made a USA tour as Ian Hunter fell ill and soon after left the band with Ronson in tow.
When Ian Hunter started his solo career Ronson was on board and eventually the Hunter-Ronson Band started gigging throughout the USA and I was fortunate to catch several of their shows, the first on April 26, 1975 at the Music Hall in Cleveland, OH with the band Bonaroo as support.
A really cool gig I was fortunate to see up close was on June 18, 1979 at the Cleveland Agora with the Iron City Houserockers opening. Another reason I remember this gig is two days later my daughter was born two months early (and she spent consider time in an incubator at Akron Children’s Hospital)! Hunter and Ronson and company were just totally on fire that night and an appearance with the band by Ellen Foley capped a great night.
The Hunter-Ronson Band came back to the Cleveland area three months later headlining the Richfield Coliseum with the David Johansen Group. Hunter’s You’re Never Alone with a Schizophrenic was red hot in northeast Ohio and the band, once again, was on fire. Great show.
The last time I saw the Hunter-Ronson Band in its original incarnation was the following year when they returned to the Richfield Coliseum on June 7, 1980. The show was advertised with Hunter-Ronson headlining but when we showed up for the concert the promoters put Heart as the headliner. Mistake. While Heart did a great job, it was a bit of a let down and anti-climatic after Hunter-Ronson and associates had the huge crowd rocking the rafters. Intense performance by the band and Heart had to be dismayed following Hunter-Ronson that night.
I bought everything on vinyl that featured Ronson back in the day, including his solo LPs Slaughter On 10th Avenue and Play Don’t Worry. He continued working with a number of bands and performers but to me, his best collaborations were with Ian Hunter on his studio LPs and his, to me, classic live LP, Welcome To The Club.
For those unfamiliar with Ronson spend some time on the Mick Ronson website and find out how much of an impact he had on rock ‘n roll. His resume is one of the most varied and impressive of any rock ‘n roll guitarist. And be sure and check out Ronson’s daughter Lisa’ s band, The Secret Society (Lisa Likes Rock ‘N Roll, ya know!).
Yes, he was THAT good!
Never in all my wildest dreams would I have ever thought it possible: A Mott The Hoople reunion? It just may happen.
Recently original member Verden Allen slipped the word during a radio interview that Mott The Hoople will reunite in 2009 for at least a couple of British gigs (possibly some USA appearances???) to celebrate the band’s 40th anniversary. 2009 will also mark Ian Hunter’s 70th (!) birthday.
As an a-v-i-d Mott The Hoople fan since 1971 I always figured they would never reunite, even temporarily, after years of reading interviews with Ian Hunter, Dale ‘Buffin’ Griffin and others, all stating that ‘le Hoople would never reform, regroup or reunite. Pete ‘Overend’ Watts’ adamant refusal to even discuss the possibility for the past several decades has almost become legendary.
One other clue: Ian Hunter, for years, has dismissed a Mott The Hoople reunion. But in a recent Horse’s Mouth entry on his website (where Hunter addresses and answers his fans), this occurred in the August 15 edition: “Willie Fae, Glasgow: ‘Rumours at fever pitch about a Mott the Hoople Reunion.’ (Hunter’s response:) ‘You never know, William. You never know….’” That’s as close to an admission as you’ll get!
You can listen to the interview at: ROCK THE MIKE SHOW
The previous post with Ian Hunter commenting on Marc Bolan reminded me of the time I emailed Ian Hunter’s The Horse’s Mouth to let him know the first of my four grandsons was named Hunter in his honor, something that I am sure has happened a bazillion times over the years. (Our daughter and son-in-law gave my wife and I the duties of selecting their two sons’ first names.) Ian Hunter’s reply was funny and reminds us of how time flies:
“Bloody hell – it used to be babies – now its grand babies! Congrats!” – Ian Hunter
The photo of ‘my’ Hunter (below) was taken when he was two years old. He is now seven and enters the first grade next week. I used an older photo because it’s colorful (like his namesake), he is standing in front of his cousin’s race car, and I just like the pic.
Grandkid #5 due February-March 2009!
“My” Hunter (Grandson #1 of 4), named after the great rocker. And yes, he has a guitar!
Ian Hunter without a doubt is one of my long time rock ‘n roll favorites, right up there with Lennon & Bolan. He has a kick ass website and one of the best features on it is a section called The Horse’s Mouth where folks like you and I can email Ian Hunter and read his responses. Pretty cool stuff and quite insightful for fans of Hunter, Mott The Hoople and Mick Ronson.
Back in 2003 just prior to the 26th anniversary of Bolan’s untimely demise I emailed The Horse’s Mouth to inquire if Ian Hunter had met and/or had any special memories of Marc Bolan. Ian Hunter replied thusly in the September 19, 2003 installment:
“He came into Air II once around the time of my first solo album. Never short of regal confidence he asked to be played something. We played him something and he turned to me quite somberly and said, ‘I must admit something Ian – I’ve always underestimated you.’ The song was ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’. That’s the only time we ever spoke.”
Check out: http://www.ianhunter.com