September 2023 Horse’s Mouth
So sorry to hear about Dave Rowe. Andy and I had a great time with him on our trio tour back aways. Brilliant bass player and lovely man. RIP
David C: Hi Ian. Early in 1979 this 15 year old schoolboy read in one of the UK music papers a review of YNAWAS which said something like “If you buy just one album this year, make it this one”. Based on that, I made the best investment I’ve ever made (£3 or £4 meant a lot to me back then) – it’s led to my lifelong love of all of your music, recorded and live . Thank you for all your work, which hopefully will continue for many years to come, and hopefully we’ll get to see you on stage again sometime soon.
The only other musician that comes close to matching your importance to my musical landscape is the now sadly departed Peter Green, but with a strong nod to the whole cast of FM , especially Lindsey Buckingham. Did you ever meet Peter G or any of the FM alumni, and did you ever see the first incarnation of Fleetwood Mac back in the late 60s and if so what did you think of them and their music?
Thanks Ian, and all the best to you and yours.
IH: I think we played at some English Locarno with them way back – after Peter Green. Kind of blurred, it was a long time ago.
Bill kershaw: Sorry to read about your tinnitus. I hope you’re doing well. Wish you Godspeed and if you ever going to work again, I would love to see you. And I saw you with my brother in England, Manchester and leaves or I should say Leeds Manchester, I saw you in Philadelphia. I saw you with the city winery in New York also and I saw you at Havana’s in new Hope just wish you best of luck and really enjoyed your music
IH: Cheers, Bill.
George Miller: Can we hope to see you Tour in 2024? Need to make plans because we live in Florida now (Tampa Bay/Clearwater) just a couple of months notice please.
IH: Honestly, I don’t know.
Tom Greff: Hi Ian.
No questions. I’m listening to Defiance Part 1 and enjoying it again. Looking forward to Defiance Part 2.All the best of health and happiness to Trudi and you and thanks for all the great music.
IH: Thanks, Tom.
Masanori Iwasaki: While I was looking at an Instagram account called “official_ian_hunter” I received a direct message from someone claiming to be Ian Hunter, and we have been communicating via email ever since. This person sent me a gift to my residence in Tokyo, but it is currently on hold at customs due to import taxes. I cannot confirm whether the Instagram account “official_ian_hunter” and the person claiming to be Ian Hunter are genuine, so I cannot pick up the package. Is there anyone by the name of Charlotte Logan, who claims to be a store manager, associated with this matter?
IH: You’re being spammed and scammed! It’s not me – or mine.
Pat Martin: Is Ian still touring and if he is are any dates available. Thanks
IH: Nothing at the moment.
Hi Ian. You were only 6 years old when it ended but do you remember any of wartime Britain? Air raids? Rationing? Yank G.I.s running around? Relations going off to war?
IH: My Dad was a noncommissioned officer who wound up as a captain. I remember planes going over; I remember the air raid shelter (dingy and wet). Rationing didn’t stop till years later – no sweets!! No cigarettes!! (Except black market crap.) I was sent to Scotland as the Germans were aiming for London, so my childhood was pretty much normal. I lived with an aunt and uncle and my mum worked at boots in Glasgow. Mines on the beaches, phony aircraft hangers and the list goes on.
Mark F: Hey Ian, do you still live in Ct.? I was in Mystic at the end of July for an International Seaglass Festival, with a side trip for several days to Newport, R.I. Yes, we ate Mystic Pizza (here in Milwaukee we have “Ian’s Pizza”). Have you ever been to Mystic or Newport with any tales to tell?
IH: Yeah I’ve been to Mystic a few times. We once took a friend of mine who wanted a harpoon to take back to England!
Lilah: Howdy: I got here from my fav guitarist Mike Campbell. Unlike other guitarists on Defiance Part 1 like Slash and Jeff Beck, Mike isn’t that well-known. He mentioned that you hadn’t met before so I’d like to know what made you want to work with him!
Guess I’ll have a lot questions after listening to more songs. It ain’t easy to find musicians who seem kinda weird (like me)… and now I just want to thank you for I Wish I Was Your Mother. It’s one of the most special songs I’ve ever heard – the only one that could calm me down after nightmares.
I can’t help asking this – has anyone told you that your old hairstyle made your head look like a lovely golden dandelion clock?? As a plant lover I’m sensitive to these things! Your hair now is cute as well. Those short curls are like petals of some kind of chrysanthemum 😛
IH: Mike doesn’t remember, but we met at the Village Studios in LA years ago. At that time he said if there was anything – he’d be glad to help. I don’t forget offers like that!! Brilliant guitar player and artist. The hair is still curly – just about.
Howdy Ian, Hope the summer treated you well..As a Broadway fan,I’m going to be in NYC and may be seeing Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre, which was named the Uris Theatre,scene of MTH Broadway blitz!
Twofold question…have you ever gone back to the Uris/Gershwin? And what do you think of Steven Sondheim?
IH: Howdy Mike, never been back to the Uris, although we lived in New York City for quite a few years.
wayne mitchell: Are you still driving your Mini? What make and year and color? I’m on my second Clubman, currently a 12 year old beater. I was born the same day they were introduced in 59! Would like to say I continue with my next car, but it’s getting harder to get in and out of those things
IH: I still drive a Mini, but not the one I used to have (Naked I) My youngest son, Jess, has that now (2008 and going strong)! I got a newer one, an automatic (Naked II) – well, Trudi did. Love them; so easy! Last time my eldest son, Steve, was over he was so impressed he’s now ordered one. I’ve never been a car man – I liked them better in the 50’s and 60’s. They all look the same now. Progress.
Pasquale: 11 years ago, the best day in the Life of a fan. My all time fave rockstar coming in my hometown in southern Italy for the first european date of the tour. Still remember Trudi coming out from the car saying “This gig Is for you!!”. The soundcheck on the front row and then the show started with “All the way from Memphis”, the first song I Heard from Mott the Hoople back in 1979… Any memory from that show? Did you ever start any other gig with Memphis? Can’t wait for Defiance #2. Can’t wait for the tour…
IH: No, I don’t think we did. ‘Memphis’ is usually down the back end. I remember the show – but didn’t like the place we were staying – but the gig worked out well.
Maire: Ever had any ” famous people ” stay at your house over the last few years while you were recording or just hanging out? Do you cuss a lot?
IH: For me to know and you to guess.
Mary Murray: You mentioned having a rough time getting things written, so you may start with a perspective point , then expound, or, do you have a finished product in mind, then polish it? Am I asking if you have a formula?-“sometimes when I’ve written a song, it’s alright.” -one can but dream..with much admiration, Mary Margaret
I tend toward prose, makes me wordy, like a dime novel. I’m wondering ,do lyrics simmer and later, you’ll give them a melody, do you start with a full concept and work on putting it in order? I guess I’m wondering how to be most productive. Pay no attention to the previous question!- with much admiration, Mary M. Murray
IH: it’s usually just something odd that comes into your head. It’s kinda like comedians – they pick up on things the rest of us don’t. I guess my brain is a little bent that way.
Chris Vargo: Hi Ian, huge respect for your work, mate. “Defiance” rocks — a modern Concert For George! My old man is as faithful of a fan as you can imagine, has seen you at least a dozen times and has nothing much to his name other than some Beatles, Mott and Hunter vinyls. I am a tenured prof at Colorado Boulder thanks to dad’s hard work as a factory worker and now that he’s getting older I’m trying to show him how much I appreciate him. He has asked me for a vinyl of “When I’m President” and I have looked for months and contacted the issuer but I can’t find a copy. It’d make my old man, Freddie, absolutely thrilled if we can buy one. Alternatively let me pay for your time for a shout out, it would make his entire life. I am truly grateful for you and your music.
IH: Hey Fred – get a CD player! I don’t think there’s a vinyl of ‘President’. Best to you and Chris.
lan in Portlandia:
Ian when you record now of days do you record a regular amp, a modeling amp, or DI into something like Ampfarm?
IH: Didn’t use an amp on either ‘Defiance’ albums. Andy York comes round and attempts to modernize me.
Peter Jordan: Does everybody need an Irene Wilde?
IH: Apparently the Struts think so…..
Jeff C.: Was the relationship with Queen something the producers / promotors wanted or was it driven more by the bands themselves?
Signed loyal loving fan!
IH: It was business at first, but they turned out to be not only a great band but great people.
Bob Knight: Hi Ian, not messaged for ages, hope all is well? Just been watching Nirvana on Classic Albums on Sky Arts. Great show, the one with Transformer with Mick was superb, sure you’ve seen it. Anyway, they were showing the Nirvana band destroying guitars on a whim, took me back to you, Mick and Overend doing the pawn shop thing in “Diary” looking for that special bargain. Did rockers destroying guitars upset you, or just put it down to the rock n roll thing? I know Townsend did it years ago, but must be
IH: A few got smacked on our stages too, usually in the early days when the sound could be frustrating. Stuff would fly – I always slung my guitars to Richie when done with them – he caught most of them. I think The Who were the worst at that, but look at Jimi Hendrix!
Barry Sokolowski: Hello Ian, thought you might like this video. Mick doing Slaughter at the Rainbow Room in 1974. Very odd jazzy break in the middle of the song. Not sure how things stay hidden for 50 years then pop up on YouTube. Anyway here is the link. Enjoy it or not. https://youtu.be/7jA5jxNOymc?si=0VqHxeJgWz7S7jU2
IH: Mick messed with different interpretations over the years to keep himself interested. Thanks.
Tom Caulfield: Hi Ian,
By the time you see this I’m sure you will be aware of the sad death of the great USA bass player Dave Roe on September 16th 🙁 Unfortunately I didn’t see your 2013 UK acoustic tour featuring yourself and Andy York on guitars and Dave Roe on bass. My thoughts are with Dave’s family and friends, and you and Andy at this sad time. Lots of love, Tom.
IH: How’s it going, Tom. Yeah, Dave was great. I remember being stuck on ice on the way to a Brighton gig for 6 hours. I was worried ‘cos Dave was a man of the south, but nothing phased him.
john conquer: Hi Ian, I saw Mott at Glasgow Apollo when Queen was the support band, I think i was 16 ,I have listened to your music on and off all my life I am now 65 , I have always noticed a resemblance of some of your songs and lyrics to Steve Harley ,has anyone ever mentioned that to you before?
Paul Stepto: Hi, Ian,
Ade Edmondson was this week’s guest on Desert Island Discs. One of his choices was Saturday Gigs, which he said was his and Rik Mayall’s favourite song as they felt it mirrored the ups and downs of their own career.
IH: Yea – I heard about that. Ade was great and Rik – really – was there anybody better? I met Ade on a TV show – lovely chap. – professorial! This makes me feel good!
Lewis Patterson: Ian, 1000 mea-culpas and apologies. I sent you a message using the wrong forum. Please forgive me. On top of that it was redundant as i found what i was looking for. And sadly, and possibly most egregious, I put the cart in front of the horse, so to speak, as it seems the government misplaced a few boxes of my writings during my last move from Aberdeen Maryland to retirement. What I had hoped to have you critique is now out there in the wind somewhere. Hope somebody finds it and enjoys it but it’s probably just in a landfill. Again please accept my apology and excuse my intrusion.
IH: No problem. Time to enjoy! (Apparently)
Richard Mills: Ian, Terribly sorry but just heard that Frederick of Fred and Bitten in Gothenburg has passed away. I’m aware that you were friends and I’m sorry for your loss.
Best wishes, Richard
IH: Yeah, we all loved Fred, Bitten and the whole family. Mind you, I think Fred forced them into it – they had no choice in the matter!
Stephen Kettell: Hi Ian – Ade Edmondson (Young Ones and many other shows) was the guest on Desert Island Discs (17th Sept) one of the picks was Saturday Gigs – good explanation to why also (won’t spoil it for you)- it’s available on iplayer for 20 days. SteveK.
John O’Rourke: Hello Ian:
Eagerly looking forward to Defiance Part II.
I was excited to learn you’ve recorded a song for the Jesse Malin project. May I ask what song it was? I first saw Jesse supporting you in London in 2007 and have been a fan since.
IH: I won’t tell you which song, but Jesse’s heard it and likes the version.
Ooour Wullie: I’m sure I’m not alone in passing on condolences to the lovely family of Fred Pettersson. Yet another taken way too soon, so sad.
IH: And we still are….
Scott: I read that Earl Slick told Bowie that if he wanted Mick Ronson’s sound, he wasn’t his man. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that he did come as close to sounding like Mick as is possible. Thoughts?
IH: They play differently. There’s a lot of great musicians, but you don’t get to back Lennon and Bowie unless you’re pretty special.
David: Hi Ian. I think China is a fantastic song. Any reason why Mick took lead vocal and is there a version anywhere with you taking lead vocal .
IH: Mick Jones said it reminded him of a sea shanty and Mick was from Hull, so Mick sang it. I think it’s lovely.
Marty G.: Ian- I hope all is well with you and yours. Defiance is tremendous, and I am looking forward to part 2.
Two questions I would like to ask this month:
- Are you aware of any existing live recordings featuring Mick Ronson during his short time in Mott The Hoople?
- I have heard Mott The Hoople’s Broadway shows were filmed. Is this true, and if so, what ever became of the tapes?
I remember the Broadway shows well- I saw four of them.
However, the greatest Mott The Hoople shows I ever saw were at the Rockpile on Long Island-the place where Mick’s guitar was stolen.
It was at that venue that a devoted 18 year old fan, got to actually meet his rock and roll idols. I will always remember how kind the band was to me, and how respected I felt as a fan. I was totally star struck and equally amazed at what nice guys the five of you truly were. (and Stan too!!)
I’m almost 71 years old now, and Mott The Hoople remain my favorite band. I never missed one of your live shows in the NY metropolitan area, and miss them a great deal.
Thank you for a lifetime of wonderful music and songs!!
IH: Hi Marty – 1) I’m not aware of any. 2) Unfortunately, Columbia and management blew it, and the only thing that was filmed was by network news shows who were at the sound check and then aired clips – the first band to play Broadway. 3) I remember that gig – everything was new. Ralpher was driving us around on the wrong side of the road! Still talk to Stan.
Bill Milks: The new album is beyond fantastic. Every time I
listen to it I have a new favourite song. However, I’m going back to “The Truth”. Did Mick
nail that on the first take because every time I
listen to that tune, which, is frequently, I marvel
at his guitar work. Thanks for again for all of the intelligent lyrics♥️
IH: I wrote it for him. Mick loved slow or slower – gave him time to think.
Gareth Toms: Ian,
You’ve made to BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Disc’s again!
Ade Edmondson chose ‘Saturday Gigs’ as on of his records,
in memory of his longtime partner in comedy – the late Rik Mayall:
“Rik didn’t really like much music. He only liked Dr Feelgood, Mott The Hoople, and Little Richard…”
It appears 50 minutes into the show. Ade gets very emotional when describing why the song was important to them.
I remember in an interview (years ago) you mentioned that you and Tony Visconti collected comedy videos,
and Rik & Ade’s show, ‘Bottom’ was mentioned.
Have you ever considered Tony Visconti as a producer during your (very impressive) solo career?
the kettle is calling,
Stay sane during the approaching spendy season,
IH: Oh yeah – I am a huge fan of Ade and Rik. ‘The Young Ones’, ‘Bottom’ and Rik was amazing in ‘Black Adder’ as Capt. Flashheart’. Off the wall – blew Belushi out of the building – no limits!!
I don’t know if we ever considered Tony Visconti – he might have been ‘expensive’. But we had Bill Price and then Bob Clearmountain, – Ronno, – Andy York. Who needs a producer? They’ll only boss me around.
By the way, I LOVED the new Leon Russell book. Great writer (Bill Janovitz) on a tremendous artist.
Richard Mills: At school, we were asked to select and prepare a poem to read out in class. I was lazy and brought the MTH album Mott into every class, set to read (badly) A Sane Revolution by DH Lawrence off the cover. Eventually, I was chosen to do so and I did.
When I finished, the teacher asked me to continue. I mumbled, “Well, that’s it”. I’d done no research and hadn’t realised these were just the verses excised by whoever chose them. It didn’t go down well; glory was not mine.
IH: Serves you right. Know the feeling.
Richard Mohican: Was the David Bowie AND Ian Hunter version of All The Young Dudes an actual *thing* or was it created specifically as something to nestle among the other bonus tracks on the reissue?
IH: Dunno – not up on re-issues.
Rick Graves: Hi Ian, I was listening to the song, “When I’m President,” the other day. I’ve long thought this was one of your best songs – the lyrics are fantastic and the vocals and music are so well crafted. I was wondering how much input the Rant Band had in creating this song or did you have most everything worked out before they got to the studio? Take care, Rick
IH: We’d rehearse at my house and have it pretty much down by the time we recorded. Never took too long – a couple of takes and that would be it. I’d play them the song – they would build it to everyone’s satisfaction. Andy might touch somethings up a bit – that was it. Good engineers too – we’ve been blessed in that.
David morgan: Did you buy anything from Overends auction ? The upcoming auction of Buffins artifacts looks less interesting apart from the gold disc. How many gold discs do you have?
IH: Nah – clutter!
James Rawnsley: Hi Ian
I can’t find any reference online but I might have missed it.
On the track, Traitor is Freddie doing the backing vocals. It sounds a lot like him and has a vibe similar to what was happening on the Hot Space album by Queen a few years later.
IH: Don’t think so.
From a rainy day in Connecticut.
The Horse’s Mouth (and team)