Posts Tagged ‘Ian Hunter’

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Mott The Hoople Gets The Word Out Pt. 1

February 10, 2013

A brief look at some of the print advertising used to promote various Mott The Hoople albums back in the 1970’s.

MTHad

Mott The Hoople - Insert Back (1)

mott-atlantic

Mottjapan

MTHcover

oaaa_mottthehoople2

 

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Getting Social: Rockers Hanging Out Pt.2

September 30, 2012

Here’s another selection of photos of various rock & roll stars hanging out
and partying with various friends of various bands from the 1960’s & 1970’s.
It’s like one big club!
CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE!

Janis Joplin & Grace Slick

Nico & Brian Jones

Gene Simmons & Brooke Shields

Steven Tyler & Rick Derringer

Diana Ross & Brian Jones

Gene Simmons & Bowser

Keith, Mick & Bob

Mick Ronson & Lou Reed

Keith Richards, James Brown, John Belushi

Todd Rundgren, Bebe Buell, Alice Cooper

David Bowie, Yoko, John Lennon

Neil Young & Patti Smith

Mick, John, Yoko

Freddy Mercury & Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter & Joe Elliott

Dolly Parton & Mick Jagger

Cher, Sonny, Bob Dylan

Chuck Berry & Mick Jagger

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When ‘King Biscuit’ Was King Of Sunday Nite

December 9, 2011

Back in the 1970’s during the throes of my rock ‘n roll obsession  it was rock ‘n roll 24/7/365. I can remember attending three concerts in a week on occasion. Got all the albums, 8-tracks, posters, concert tickets, wearing apparel, just like you did. For the most part myself and friends, we worshiped at 100.7 on the dial, WMMS in Cleveland. And for most if not all of the 70’s a weekly feature that we always tuned in to (unless we were at a concert) was the Sunday evening broadcast of the King Biscuit Flower Hour, a syndicated radio program that broadcast concerts with the biggest bands in the land.
 
Sometimes we’d record them, I knew someone who damn near had a full library of King Biscuit broadcasts during the 70’s. I can recall recording a few, depending who the band was that night and if I was near a home based stereo. An old pal, Dave Corbett, recorded an Aerosmith King Biscuit concert on 8-track (!) and gave it to me. I wore it out.


 I can remember many a Sunday evening out cruising back roads with a carload of friends getting our minds right and listening, at maximum volume of course, to whatever band(s) were on that particular week.
 
The King Biscuit Flower Hour debuted on February 18, 1973 with Blood, Sweat & Tears, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Bruce Springsteen. Bill Minkin served as the show’s host from the debut into the mid-1990s and he became a familiar voice to us rockers out there. The show eventually was carried over 300 plus radio stations across the country.


 I can remember attending a couple shows at the Cleveland Agora that were recorded for King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcasts (Ian Hunter/Mick Ronson & Rockpile in 1979, for one).
 
The King Biscuit producers would usually show up with a mobile recording truck, record the concert, mix and edit it and then radio stations who participated would receive reel-to-reel tapes of the shows. The producers didn’t switch over to CDs until 1987. New broadcasts lasted until 1993.


 I had no idea the show lasted as long as it did. I figure I probably heard my last King Biscuit broadcast on the radio circa 1980 or so, but it was a nice diversion on a Sunday night, it was also a chance to record some live gigs by favorite bands for the cost of a blank cassette (it had to have been a bootleggers money machine back in the 70’s). I also recall that King Biscuit producers would manufacture albums for radio stations to broadcast that were meant for radio stations only but I recall buying a couple of them at record shops back in the day.
 
In 2006, the King Biscuit tape archives were acquired by Wolfgang’s Vault that began streaming concerts online and has made some available for download.

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The Ballad of Mott The Hoople

October 21, 2011

 

Finally! Start Productions recently announced The Ballad of Mott The Hoople, the long awaited documentary on one of the 70’s more influential bands, was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on October 10 and will be available here in the States on November 14, 2011. Last week (October 11) the film was part of the New York Film Festival at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City.

Mott The Hoople Then

The DVD contains a 12-page booklet with sleeve notes by Morrissey and a limited edition 5-set of postcards. Also, a very limited set of cinema posters is available from Start Productions website. You can also order the DVD from them, too as well as from the usual sources like Amazon, etc…
 
Besides tracing the band’s career in comprehensive detail the DVD also has a full slate of extras:
 
The 2009 Hammersmith Reunion features unseen live footage from the triumphant 40th anniversary at Hammersmith Apollo in 2009: Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen, The Moon Upstairs and I Wish I was Your Mother.

Mott The Hoople Now

All the way to Memphis/The Legendary Graceland visit. Leee Black Childers talks about the epic journey to get the band to Memphis for the gig at the Ellis Auditorium three days before Christmas. Ian Hunter talks about the time he and Verden made an impromptu visit to Elvis’s home, Gracelands.

Seadivers (the Mott The Hoople Fan Club) Chairman, Kris Needs talks about his early years watching Mott The Hoople & David Bowie playing his hometown of Aylesbury.

Mott The Hoople Then

The Clash’s guitarist Mick Jones talks about his experiences working with Guy Stevens.

Mott organist Verden Allen takes us around the bands old London haunts.
 
Ariel Bender, Morgan Fisher & Buffin talk about the bands opening night on Broadway and their run in with Led Zeppelin.
 
A look through their Mott The Hoople photo album as Mott Roadies Phil John & Richie Anderson narrate through Phil’s old Mott photo album.

Mott The Hoople Now

As you most likely recall in October 2009 the five original members of Mott The Hoople reunited for the first time since their breakup for five shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo Theatre.   After tickets for the two original dates sold out, and a third date at the same venue was added for 3 October 2009. After that one sold out as well another two dates were added on 5 and 6 October. The special limited 3 CD-set recorded during the first show at Hammersmith Apollo was sold directly after those concerts.

Mott The Hoople also held a warmup gig prior to their five-night stand at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo in October. The show was held at the Blake Theatre in Monmouth, Wales on 26 September 2009.
 
The reunion made headlines all across the United Kingdom and was an unqualified success. Will there be another reunion set of gigs? Maybe in the USA? Not likely according to Ian Hunter on his website’s Horse’s Mouth column.
 
Tons of Mott The Hoople media coverage and videos out there on the internet. Hit up your favorite search engine and enjoy!
 

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Mick Ronson Remembered

October 20, 2008
Mick Ronson - One of the greats!

Mick Ronson – One of the greats!

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!

 

Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson - They had some great shows.

Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson – They had some great shows.

 

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Favorite Books Of My Youth Pt. 5

October 13, 2008

When word came out that this book, Ian Hunter’s Diary Of A Rock And Roll Star (titled Reflections Of A Rock And Roll Star here in the States), would be published in 1974 I literally haunted books stores, record stores and head shops for several months until I finally came across a copy either at (faulty memory here) Camelot Music in Akron or Arsenic & Old Lace in Akron. I read it several times over the ensuing months and next several years and it took a proud slot in my library at the time.

The book was originally published in 1974 and Ian Hunter chronicles Mott The Hoople’s November-December 1972 tour of the United States right after All The Young Dudes LP was released. It’s an inside look at touring and the rock ‘n roll lifestyle in 1972 and Hunter…ahem…rolls away the stone and leaves everything exposed that entails life on the rock ‘n roll road. It was critically acclaimed.

Unfortunately by the end of the decade it was gone, loaned to an acquaintance to never be seen again despite having loaned it to over a dozen people in the preceding years (Mott The Hoople were big time in Orrville, OH back then, especially from 1972-1975).

But one day in the winter of 1996 the wife and I stopped in Canton, OH at the Quonset Hut store and as I’m walking down an isle of CD’s there in a big display is a reissue (import) of Diary Of A Rock And Roll Star! I had no idea they reissued it but I immediately purchased it! Even today, it is among my other books and is still shrink wrapped! I haven’t even opened it in 12 years!

That is going to change in the next week or so, as soon as I find a spare evening I’m going to open it up and read it once again, for the first time in nearly 30 years. I think I was afraid to peel open the shrink-wrap and read it for fear it would be lost again. But I’m willing to chance it….!
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Albums My Mom Bought For Me

October 7, 2008

In less than 10 days it will be one year ago that I lost my Mom, so naturally she’s been on my mind a lot here lately. One memory that came back recently was when, after I became a teenager and she saw my growing record collection (and my sister’s and my brother’s), she would ask each Christmas for a list of three or four album titles, in case they were sold out of one or two selections. She would always make it a point to tell me to only expect o-n-e album, if any at all, yet invariably each year there would be two or three albums under the tree (it was that or another bottle of Hai Karate cologne!). Shown here is just a small random sampling of some of the albums my Mom bought me over the years.  Looking back she was younger than I am now when she bought these for me (she was in her early 40’s). God bless you Mom. You were always hip!

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Mott The Hoople…..Reunited In ’09?

September 25, 2008

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!

 

Allen’s interview on the Rock The Mike show on BCB Radio, hosted by Mike Mitchell, revealed that tentatively the original five have agreed to reunite in ’09 with a couple appearances already scheduled for the London Hammersmith with additional venues to follow. Rumors persist of a possible album as well, a subject Allen teased. Some former members are also apparently rehearsing.

 

 

You can listen to the interview at: ROCK THE MIKE SHOW

 

For latest developments I suggest staying current with Ian Hunter’s message board. If they only do British gigs hopefully for us in the USA who can’t make it over we’ll have a new album as well as an eventual live album and a DVD would be nice.

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It’s All In The Name Pt. II

August 29, 2008
The Bandit from the '77 film. I named my second grandson after this character. It fits!

The Bandit from the 1977 film. I named my second grandson after the character in this movie. It turned out to be appropriate!

 A week or two ago we informed you how my wife and I were given the honor of naming our two oldest grandsons born to our daughter and son-in-law (we have a total of four grandsons and another grandbaby due February ’09. The last three belong to our oldest son and daughter-in-law). Our oldest grandson, Hunter, was named after rock ‘n roll great Ian Hunter. With our second grandson the name fell upon me after M-O-N-T-H-S of arguing, negotiating and bargaining about names between my wife and daughter. Fed up, they bestowed the honor on me to make the selection.
 
One Friday night, almost five years ago, my wife and daughter were still arguing over the name when Hunter and I jumped on the couch to watch a movie. I wanted him to see one of my favorite movies from the 70’s, Smokey & The Bandit (c’mon, Gleason is a genius!). As we were watching the movie they came to the part where the Bandit (Burt Reynolds) had just gotten Frog (Sally Field) in the car and as he was relating his life story she asked him about the name Bandit, It was then that the Bandit said, ‘My name is Beau Darville’ and it hit me! Beau!
 
A cool name (in my opinion), a masculine name and hell, the Bandit, in the first movie, was a pretty cool dude with some attitude that is not unlike some members of my family (the first time I saw Smokey & The Bandit back in 1977 I swore it was a loose adaptation of my older brother Don’s life!). So Beau it was!
 
And yes, as it turns out, my grandson Beau does have some of the Bandit’s attitude!
 
He will be five years old next April so look out school!

 

 

My second grandson, Beau 'The Bandit'. Photo taken a little over three years ago. He is definitely has some 'Bandit' attitude and it's all good!

My second grandson, Beau. This pic was taken a little over 3 years ago. He definitely has some ‘Bandit’ attitude so the name is very much appropriate!

 

 

 

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(Richfield) Coliseum Rock(ed)!

August 17, 2008
The Richfield Coliseum 1974 - 1994 20 years of the greatest rock 'n roll.

The Richfield Coliseum 1974 – 1994 20 years of the greatest rock ‘n roll!

 Back in the early 70’s for the most part all of us concert-goers went to see the big name acts at relatively smaller venues, like the Akron Civic Theatre, Cleveland Public Hall, Music Hall, Canton Civic Center and others. With the advent of arena rock concerts nationwide northeast Ohio got their own when in 1974 the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, OH, halfway between Akron & Cleveland and the brainchild of businessman and NBA franchise owner Nick Mileti, opened for business and served as home for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, WHA’s Cleveland Crusaders, NHL’s Cleveland Barons, MISL’s Cleveland Force, MISL & NPSL’s Cleveland Crunch, the IHL’s Cleveland Lumberjacks, and the AFL’s Cleveland Thunderbolts.
 
Music, particularly rock ‘n roll, figured prominently into the mix thanks to an arrangement with Ohio super-promoters Belkin Productions. The first musical performance to open the Richfield Coliseum was Frank Sinatra. The first rock concert was held soon after with Elton John headlining on November 4, 1974. From there on out during the next two decades it was a non-stop carousel of nearly ever and any band that had a tour bus coming to play the ‘big house’ (seating 22,000).
 
It was a big, big place but, and others may disagree, for the most part the acoustics weren’t that bad (except anytime Aerosmith played). And me and my pals, and dates, and whoever else, were there for the best bands. For instance: KISS, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, The Who, J. Geils Band, Queen, Alice Cooper, Bob Seger, Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson, Rod Stewart, Thin Lizzy, Tubes, Van Halen, Black Sabbath, Foghat, Starz, Sammy Hagar, Boston, Ted Nugent, Babys, Rick Derringer, Angel, Peter Frampton, Black Oak Arkansas, Journey, Michael Stanley Band, Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac, Mother’s Finest, Heart, REO Speedwagon, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, and the list goes on and on.
 
Most of my experiences were all positive. The police and security were pretty cool as long as you weren’t obvious or just a dumbass. There were plenty of restrooms with the mandatory pools of piss-on-the-floor of course and lots of eye candy and easy access to seats.
 
And you also had the opportunity over the years to see certain favorite bands multiple times.
 
Some of my memories of the Richfield Coliseum:
 
A big brouhaha immediately after the 1974 Elton John concert erupted when Richfield Zoning Commissioner Richard Crofoot went ballistic after seeing someone light up a joint during Sir Elton’s performance. He attempted to pass legislation to ban rock concerts at the Coliseum. He failed. It made all the local newspapers and regional and national rock publications.

My cousin Sue had two extra tickets to the Eagles in 1975 so I snatched them up for myself and a date. We ended up sitting next to my cousin and her date, a young fellow who eventually became a Mayor, State Representative and State Senator here in Ohio. (Dan Fogelberg, who recently passed, was opening act).


KISS mania had taken hold at high schools all across Ohio and everyone had KISS Alive and Destroyer. We hardcore KISS fans had everything they had done of course. For the March 9, 1976 KISS/Artful Dodger appearance at the Richfield Coliseum Flash and I went to the Ticketmaster location at the Belden Village Mall and bought three complete rows of seats. One row was around six rows below the other two rows. So we went to Orrville and sold most of them (at cost) to our pals (so we could control who we sat with). I had people in school (my senior year) who never spoke to me coming up asking if I had any tickets left and pleading for one. The power! A few tickets we gave away to some very charming young ladies and we kept two each. (I’d tell you the ‘details’ of that night but I have five grandchildren who may read this someday.)

Led Zeppelin on January 24, 1975 that saw a mini-riot erupt and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of broken window glass by a group outside who were unable to get tickets. That made the papers.

The Who on December 9, 1975. Nuff’ said.

I think I saw Aerosmith there at least four times at the Coliseum and only once was the sound working right and you could actually hear the band. Guess they were just jinxed there.
 
After a Ted Nugent/J.Geils Band show Bug, Mott & myself shaking hands with Peter Wolfe. As we came out of the Coliseum we walked by a couple limos and in the back of the first one with the window down was Peter Wolfe sitting between two lovely ladies with a drink in hand. We stopped, told him, “You guys kicked ass!” His response? “I know!” He slapped us each a high five and off we went.

I remember the Foghat/Starz show on February 20, 1978 because my pal Rog caught a flying drumstick from Foghat drummer Roger Earl. The two bands always kicked ass live.
 
I remember not expecting much out of Rod Stewart on November 4, 1977 because he didn’t have Faces with him (they were killer in ’75 at the Stadium). Wrong. Stewart kicked ass that night, had everyone out of their seats and had the audience n the palm of his hand.

Led Zeppelin on April 27 and April 28, 1977. Tickets were available via mail order only with a minimum number of tickets per order. So Flash and I got our money orders prepared and each ordered the maximum number allowed for both nights. We went to the Richfield Post Office and at midnight of the date orders could be postmarked we dropped our order in the mail (along with probably 100 others lined up). We got lucky and each got four tickets for both nights. First night was with dates, second night with buddies. The April 27 performance is a huge bootleg bestseller on the black market. Full details on this night can be found here: https://doclehman.wordpress.com/2008/03/09/

New Year’s Eve 1977 was celebrated at the Richfield Coliseum seeing Todd Rundgren’s Utopia and Derringer. A friendly law enforcement officer stopped us on the way home and inquired about our health and sent us on our way after promises of getting to Orrville ASAP and staying there. Derringer owned the night.
 
I remember taking three or four people for their first Angel concert on March 8, 1978 and them being blown away by Angel’s stage show.

I remember the January 8, 1978 KISS concert at the Richfield Coliseum because it took 20-25 minutes to get there and after the show we went to the car to be greeted by a mountain of snow. We had two blizzards that year (the second one, even bigger, in March) and the night of KISS was the first one. It took nearly three hours to get home, dodging sliding cars going backwards down Route 21 past us as I kept the hammer down on the Cutlass trying to get up those big hills with what seemed like five feet of snow and more coming down. We made it back to Orrville and were snowed in for three days.

I remember seeing Alice Cooper again later that year in ’78 because that was the first concert my older sister Cheryl had ever been to (we broke her in with that one!). That was May 5 and Jay Ferguson opened. A good time was had by all, as is the case anytime you see Alice Cooper.

Boston and Sammy Hagar on my birthday in 1978. Boston was good but Sammy laid the smackdown.

In 1978 went to see Black Sabbath and Van Halen. Had heard maybe one or two Van Halen songs on the radio at that point and none of us that went gave them much thought. We were there for Sabbath. Result: Van Halen whipped Black Sabbath performance-wise and musically like a bastard redheaded stepchild.

New Year’s Eve 1978 at the Richfield Coliseum: Bruce Springsteen. Nuff’ said.
 
Ian Hunter & Mick Ronson on September 22, 1979. One of my favorite concerts at the Coliseum. Too many reasons to list. But what a night!

Ian Hunter & the late, great Mick Ronson

Ian Hunter & the late, great Mick Ronson

There’s more, lots more (Tubes, Babys), but you get the idea. I’d like to hear from others about their experiences at the Richfield Coliseum.


 I know I saw well over 100 bands there during the 70’s and very early 80’s. A couple performances I missed that I always regretted were not seeing George Harrison (’74) and Paul McCartney (’76) on their respective tours because tickets were mail order and my orders didn’t get picked. I also went as far as making plans to buy tickets to see Elvis in 1977. One of my cousins saw him at the Coliseum in ’75 and convinced me I had to see him at least once. But right before the Cleveland tickets went on sale he died.
 
Lots of good memories there and lots of good bands came through many times. I think I saw KISS there four or five times, Aerosmith the same, Alice Cooper four times, Fleetwood Mac four times, the list goes on….
 
With the opening of Gund Arena in Cleveland the Richfield Coliseum was doomed. It shut down in 1994 and in 1999 was demolished and the property returned to woodland and under stewardship of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  You can find more info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richfield_Coliseum  


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C’Mon! It’s Time!

August 16, 2008

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It’s All In The Name

August 15, 2008
Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter

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, named after the great rocker. And yes, he has a guitar!

“My” Hunter (Grandson #1 of 4), named after the great rocker. And yes, he has a guitar!

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Ian Hunter Remembers Marc Bolan

August 14, 2008

Ian Hunter

Ian Hunter Remembers Marc Bolan

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

 

 

T.Rex's Marc Bolan.

T.Rex

 

 

 

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MOTT THE HOOPLE: BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE

August 13, 2008
Mott The Hoople ruled in north central Ohio in 1973.

Mott The Hoople ruled in north central Ohio in 1973.

BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE

 

One stadium venue that I, and many others, initially thought would make a great place for concerts was Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, OH. Spacious and, even better, close to home (somewhere around 15 miles east of Orrville.) We finally got our wish in 1973 when the Edgar Winter Group, James Gang and Frampton’s Camel all appeared at the historic stadium named for football’s greatest coach and home for an Ohio powerhouse team (Massillon Tigers).

 

It took promoters some time and effort to stage the concert as many politicians, and the police, were against rock concerts. Eventually the politicians relented and then Mayor Mark Ross signed a permit giving the green light. Over 12,000 people were in attendance for that inaugural concert on July 21, including Rick, Roy and myself. It went off without a hitch and we thought we would have another concert venue close to home for big name acts.

 

A week later, July 28, a second concert was scheduled, one I HAD to see! Mott The Hoople, one of my favorite bands of the 70’s (and still today) was coming to headline along with the New York Dolls and Dr. Hook. I think half of my hometown of Orrville, OH turned out for that one. Even Cid-Mor and Gail, two female rockers, hitchhiked from Orrville to Massillon to see Mott The Hoople. Everything seemed to go along just fine, the music was great, the Dolls were insane and Mott The Hoople just, plainly speaking, kick-ass. What a show!

Later we found out that there were an abundance of calls to the police for a variety of complaints and reasons (to wit; drug overdoses, 5 men injured, 1 car theft, 1 grand larceny, 1 attempted grand larceny, 28 calls for trouble and a fire!). The city fathers, and especially the police department, were not happy.

 

 

An infuriated Fraternal Order of Police organization went to the mat with the city council and got concerts banned from the facility.

 

One reason was an attempt by non-ticket holders who tried to force their way in. Apparently the fence that was blanketed with some kind of material to obstruct the vision of those on the outside was set on fire. It wasn’t until the middle of the night we discovered the arson was set by some pissed off Orrville rockers who couldn’t get into the sold out event to see Mott The Hoople.

 

Thanks mainly to WMMS radio in Cleveland, the Orrville, OH rocker population, and most rockers throughout Wayne County, had Mott The Hoople fever. We had all the albums, bought the 8-Track tapes, played their songs on the jukebox at Gene & Kate’s Pool Hall in Orrville, you’re damn right we’re going to see them.

 

Despite their best efforts, and a bit of arson, the friendly police persuaded (by their oncoming presence) Slick, Bug and the others to hightail it the hell out of there.

 

Paul Brown Tiger Stadium was constructed in 1949 through the Works Progress Administration program. It is primarily used for football and is the home field of the Massillon Washington High School. The stadium holds 16,600 and is named after former Tiger and famous football head coach, Paul Brown.

 

 

Paul Brown Tiger Stadium - Mott The Hoople ruled here for a day, a day the music ended at this venue.

Paul Brown Tiger Stadium – Mott The Hoople ruled here for a day, a day the music ended at this venue.

 

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Biology & Rock ‘N Roll ‘Literature’

February 14, 2008

Way, way, way back in the early 1970’s when I attended Orrville High School I had a pretty good time (more on ‘good times’ another time soon) and for the most part the academic end of the high school experience came somewhat easy for me considering I never took a book home after my freshman year. I got decent grades, in some classes damn good grades, but there were two subjects that I just couldn’t get into no matter how hard I tried.

 

 

 

One was math, and the other biology. During my sophomore year biology was a required course and the lecture part of the class was taught by John Wiant who was a brilliant and extremely intelligent teacher but I just could not get into it.

 

 

 

After the first couple weeks it became obvious that I’d rather read my rock n roll magazines during class than listen to Mr. Wiant and take notes. A buddy of mine, who sat to the left of me, was Bug Jones and he shared my apathy for the subject.

 

 

 

To the right of me was a girl named Brenda S., a very pretty cheerleader who was pretty hip, too. She got Bug and myself through that course.

 

 

You see, why we laid back and read the newest issues of Circus, Creem, Rolling Stone, Rock Scene, Scene and the rest she was busy taking notes and when quiz time came around would pass her paper over to us to copy. Of course, we’d always miss a couple to get that ‘C’ grade as Brenda always got ‘A’s’.

 

 

 

The lecture class was held in the school auditorium and we sat back far enough that Mr. Wiant never realized, or let on, that while the majority of the class was doing the right thing (once we set a chair on fire, nevermind…..), Bug and I were reading about the latest exploits of Led Zep, Mott The Hoople, T.Rex, Rolling Stones, Montrose, David Bowie and the Spiders, Alice Cooper, Slade and all the rest.

 

 

 

We made it through the whole year reading rock n’ roll magazines and I passed with a ‘C’ on the year….thanks to Brenda S.!

 

 

 

 

I recall a lot of people used to borrow my rock magazines especially in study hall (hello Beth C.!). I tried to use study halls to do whatever homework was required for the following day because when that final bell rang for the day school never entered my mind until the next morning.

 

 

 

 

Throughout the 1970’s, until the end of the decade, I had complete 1970 runs of Circus, Creem and Rolling Stone with stacks and stacks of Hit Parader, Rock Scene, Crawdaddy and any others that came along that featured hard rock. Including stacks from the mid-to-late 1960’s.

 

 

 

 

I also purchased, when I was able and could find them, music newspapers/magazines from England like Melody Maker and New Musical Express, among others. Those two were, and probably still are, the top music rags in Britain and the newsstand store at Rolling Acres Mall in Akron back in the 70’s carried imported magazines including NME and MM, among the occasional other rock publication from the UK which I dutifully would buy.

 

 

 

 

I devoured all of those magazines from both sides of the pond and I think it was a huge influence after high school when I published Bangagong Magazine.

 

 

 

There were places around Orrville to buy the magazines, like Buehler’s grocery store, Bigler’s, and Dick Zarle’s drug store uptown (good ‘ol Dick once told me, I swear to God (!), “Hey, kid, this ain’t no library!”) and it seemed like the magazine rack at the Three Sisters Restaurant always had a good selection and often got them sooner than the other places in town, plus they were always open for breakfast as I headed for school (and sometimes stopped for breakfast, too).

 

 

Wish I still had all of them!

 

And rest in peace Lester Bangs!

 

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