Skip to content
Skip to main site content Ian Hunter Logo

Horse’s Mouth

November 3, 2023

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #250, October 2023)


Moray Hillary: Hi Ian, I don’t to know where I should start..I’ve just come back from NYC exhibiting here until December. I followed you since I was around 12. You made an indelible effect on me, that perseveres. It is about describing a life’s journey, with poetry and skill

You taught me that. I saw you with Ronson, at the Hammersmith, i skipped school in was one of my life’s loviest memories, of people taking care of a wee boy from Scotland. Precious memory. But the very important message is , Ian… made me a creative person. I recognised you, your vision, hurt….life. I pack it into my work. Thanks

My brother and you , continually followed you, through Falkirk, etc. You touched me, and I touched others. You have one great album left in you in this lifetime. Make it a gift for your friends, make it even better than American Alien Boy. To me, that was excellent, but you….Ian…can actually do even better, because you have all of history. I, hope like all magnificent writers, that you have one great and magnificent novel left in you. MAKE IT COUNT.,


IH: I shall endeavor!


Matt Nojonen: Dear Mr. Hunter, Iggy Pop called a couple of bands “thugs with guitars.” Any thoughts on that? I find it ironic coming from a guy who scared the living daylights out of the straights when he was a kid. You have told some stories about some pretty rowdy audiences in the UK. Do you see any similarities with those crowds and moshers?

IH: We’ve always had a great following. I’ve always been a fan of Mott the Hoople fans and my fans. Sounds corny, but it’s true.


Sal: Hi Ian. Any chance of seeing those Rant Band records issued on vinyl? “Rant,” “Shrunken Heads” and “Man Overboard” all need to be out there again. Thanks! Love you.

IH: These albums are all reverting, so you never know.


Karsten Biering: Hi Ian. Thanks for all the great music.

I was aware of you from the 80’s, as I have 3 older sisters. But the first time i really noticed your music was the time i saw you performing “My revolution” from Dirty Laundry on a norwegian tv show in the 90’s. I loved it. Been a fan ever since

What do you feel about that record?

Btw, How was your relationship with Bowie, and how was his relationship with Mick (when Mick was ill)

IH: That record was originally going to be a set of Mexican folk songs! Somehow that idea got lost and it turned into ‘Dirty Laundry’. A lot of fun with a lot of interesting people – did it at Abbey Road. My relationship with Bowie was fine. He helped us out – showed us how to work the studio and generally got us known to the public. He and Trudi used to compare make up! A lot of people say the production on the ‘Dudes’ album is thin, but you have to remember, albums were mixed primarily for radio back then. ‘Thin‘was good over radios.


John Zimmerman: You mentioned how lyrics can come to you maybe similarly to how a comedian come up with material. So I wonder, what comedians do you rate highly?

IH: Bill Burr, Rik Mayall, Aide Edmondson, Lynne Koplitz, and Christopher Walken.


Ian Losz: Firstly, I want to thank you for keeping Rock and Roll going through the decades.

I’ve enjoyed your live concerts, especially your collaboration with Mick Ronson.

My question for you is: If you were asked to pick the moment you felt like you finally achieved success in being a Rock star, when did that happen? And what were the circumstances ? (A certain concert ? A certain album chart ? Signing a certain record contract ?

Playing on the same stage / bill with other legends ?)


IH: No specific point – just wanted to make a living at doing what I like.


Kasey Conner: There is so much of your influence intertwined in music today- very much so with what I listen to- does this impact how you write today and what you hear when you listen to your previously recorded music?

IH: I don’t listen much (well, that’s a lie – I’ve just heard the Stones new record). But in general – I write -I don’t listen. On the odd occasion I’ve heard an older song the only thing that surprises me is the energy level.


Mark Payne: Hi Ian

This is a link to a painting I did of you and Ralphers onstage at the Roadrunner in Northampton. Think it was about 2005. It’s a Facebook link to my art page but I also posted it on Mick’s Blues Band page. Love your work hence the adulation in the comment with the painting.

Keep going fella ❤️🎸😎

IH: Well thank you Mark – I’ll have a look.


Al Johnson: Hi Ian, I recently saw a YouTube clip of Freddie Fingers Lee in the 70’s where he smashed up the piano with an axe at the end of a gig. Did he ever do anything like this when you were playing bass with him?

IH: Fred always carried a bag of broken piano keys in a bag. I remember doing ‘mafia’ pubs in south London. In the afternoon it was ‘Get your gear up and ‘eff off’.” We’d play the gig and Fred would have these broken keys put inside one of the old sit up and beg pianos the pubs provided. Towards the end of the show – he’d open the piano lid and take a handful of the broken keys and throw them into the audience. The audience loved it – the bouncers didn’t. They thought Fred was actually wrecking their piano. At the point of ‘doing him’ – they’d find out what really went on and Fred would be a hero in the bar for the rest of the night. Fred had worked with Sutch and he had all kinds of tricks up his sleeve. Great player, singer – trouble was he was Jerry Lee’s double.


Stonefly: Greetings Ian, I’ve been reading along with the Horse’s Mouth over the last few months. Sounds like fans are enjoying your new efforts and I continually come across references and cross-references about you, Mr. Ronson, and Mott: All good and positive, I must say. Thanks for the shout out regarding the Leon Russell bio! I didn’t really know anything about it. As we have discussed- such a major life force and musician. I find myself laughing whenever I come across a photo of him as part of the Wrecking Crew- an amazing crew- but, I am sooo glad that Leon took another direction. Leon had that square 50’s look, much like Willie Nelson and George Carlin until they reached enlightenment. However, Leon’s music would have always been significant, regardless the look. You’ve mentioned that you hob-nob with the Great Dennis Dunaway. I was day dreaming the other day and started thinking that there must have been some crazy stories of band tours and that boa constrictor that Alice would tote around. I started wondering , Did Mott have any eccentricities that were a must for touring, some honorary beer stein, a pair of Dorthy Gale ( Wizard of Oz) pumps that were stashed in the glove box of the bus, etc.?

Take Care,

As always- Stonefly

IH: Yeah – we had Pete Watts!!


Steven Blessing:

In the September Horses Mouth Marty G asked if you knew of any live recordings of MTH with Mick Ronson. It’s on YouTube – search for Mott The Hoople European Ending. It’s an audience recording so the sound isn’t great but damn…what could’ve been.

IH: I was all for it, but it wasn’t meant to be.


Kevin: I was wondering if you ever saw Bob Dylan perform in his early years?

IH: Not his very early years. Ronno, Susie and me were sitting in an empty Other End one night when in walked Dylan with Bobby Neuwirth. He took out a guitar from its case and proceeded to play the whole of ‘Desire’ for his mate – over exaggerating in places and they’d both laugh. That was the very beginning of the Rolling Thunder Revue. That was some night. Mick said, “a lot of C,F ‘n’ G!!”


Mark F: How did the Mott Class of 74 gigs come about, were you approached by promoters or was it your idea?

IH: No – we’d done the original band a couple of times and Luther and Morgan hadn’t been involved. I felt they were owed, so we set it up. Promoters were great – we could have done quite a few more, but then covid and tinnitus hit. Shame really – it was great fun.


Steven Blessing: Sorry! I hadn’t listened to that for a while. Obviously, Benders playing on some of em.

Thanks 🙏

IH: Cheers, Steve


Nick Namaqui:

Could you please congratulate your sometime band mate, Luther Grosvenor, on his really rather excellent new album, ‘If you dare’?

I would do it directly if he would allow comments on his YouTube uploads, but he doesn’t.

Really, a very, very nice album. Just off to buy it if Amazon will be so kind.

IH: Congrats, Luther!!! He can write beautiful stuff when he wants to.


Dave Hines: Ian how is Defiance Part 2 coming along ?

Can’t wait to hear it. Part 1 is absolutely brilliant!!

IH: It’s coming along very nicely – thanks.


Lee Ann: I saw a letter you wrote to Dale that was up for auction recently.

You have the nicest handwriting.

IH: I heard something about Buff’s things were up for auction in Stroud.


Erich Greiner: Hi Ian,

Thanks for all the great music! I had the privelege of seeing you in 1981 at Pier 81 in NYC (Welcome to the Club Tour, I think). My question: is there anyone still around today that you would like to collaborate with on a song or an album?


IH: Well, there’s always Bob – but that ain’t gonna happen!!


Hondo: Ian, thought you were brilliant on Mike Campbell’s “Dirty Job”, that was so cool of you to do! Like Mike, I’ve been a big fan of yours (with or without the hoople) for years. Just curious is Mike as nice in person as he seems to be from a distance? What a great guitar player he is—so underrated if you ask me. Hope to see you again sometime soon in NYC or surrounding area! Peace & Love, Hondo

IH: Like I’ve said before, I met Mike and Benmont many years ago in LA at the Village Recorder. They said then – if there was anything they could do – and I’ve always remembered that. I hope I complemented him – half as good as he complemented me!!


Oour Wullie: Hi Ian, Trudi, family, ranters and motters

Hope all is well. Any news or updates on gigs or defiance 2 yet. I’m like a coiled spring here raring to go.

IH: Keep coiling!


Bob Vondruska: Hi Ian,

Just wanted to tell you how much Anna and I enjoy listening to Defiance Part 1. It’s an incredible piece of musical genius! So sad that we lost a couple of truly great musicians who performed on the album but it just shows the level of respect and admiration they and all the others (still with us) have for you.

Is there a plan for a Defiance Part 2 (and possibly beyond)?

So looking forward to seeing you and the Rant boys again when you swing through our area next. God bless you Ian, be safe and make sure there “Ain’t no laces on those shoes”.

Love you Ian,

-Bob Vondruska

IH: Cheers, Bob


les gustafson: I think I remember you saying that ‘a nightingale sang in Berkeley Square ‘ was your mother’s favourite song ? You might (or might not) be interested that it was written by a man called Eric Maschwitz, who was a musical collaborator with my wife’s great-uncle in revues and songs, and inbetween that and editing the Radio Times, was a spymaster during WWII.

IH: Wow!  All that and he could still write a song as good as ‘Berkeley Square’. It a gorgeous song – I had to go to Berkeley Square to check it out. It was just as I imagined (brass plaques all over the place). I did a version of this with a great young orchestra from Trondheim, Andy York and Bjorn Nessjo. Check it out. Congrats on your lineage!



IH: Cheers, Randy


Dru: Defiance has flaws but songwriting ain’t one of them

IH: Opinions – opinions- we’ve all got them. Political, musical – whatever – opinions.


Simon Henshall: Have you ever considered reworking songs so as to give them a different slant. I realise you did No Strings which I love but would you go down the Roger Waters DSOTM route. Perhaps I should add that its not a great effort but you would not take his approach. I listened to Mott the Hoople then Defiance. Only a 50 year gap .

IH: My only interest is the new stuff.


Steven Carpenter:

Any tour on the horizon?

IH: Working on it.


John: Grandson got me a “Struts” t-shirt for my birthday this summer. I’d never heard of them. OK but nothing special.

Horses Mouth last month (Oct.}–

Question: {Peter} Does everybody need an Irene Wilde?

Answer: {IH} Apparently the Struts think so….

I cannot figure out what your answer meant. And I would really like to know because it is bothering the hell out of me and my know-it-all grandson.

IH: Wait and see.


Ladema: Love your work with Mott and your solo career. We know the books are Micks’ career but would like to know the inside of Mick. ( I’ve had the fantasy crush on his career). What was he like behind the scenes. Faves he had like foods, songs, etc… I love your & his funny bit on camping then opening a bag and comments on each item.

IH: I could write a book on Mick! Whenever I get asked this question (and it’s usually from the fairer sex) it kinda stunts me. We hung out on and off for nearly twenty years and I loved him as a brother. He was first and foremost an arranger and musician who didn’t do what he was supposed to do – then just when he was breaking big again – he got ill and that was it. Oh, yes, one joke a year – usually pretty bad, but he told it so well and then killed himself laughing afterwards. You had to laugh at him laughing!!!


Matt Parish: Just a heads up!

Mott The Hoople

All The Young Dudes 50th Anniversary Deluxe (Boxset / Vinyl pre-order)

Mott The Hoople’s David Bowie produced gem from 1972 given a remastered 50th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set treatment (with bonus tracks).

A limited edition, the box includes 2 LPs in gatefold covers, 2 CDs, a 12” vinyl single, a 72-Page Hardback Book, 3 Art Prints, 2 Posters, a ‘Sea Divers’ membership card, and an individually numbered certificate.

All the Young Dudes, Mott’s 5th studio album, remains a special and vital record. The title track (penned by Bowie) became the band’s highest-charting hit single, with the album being referred to as, “The ultimate document of an era.”

A limited orange double vinyl edition (with a disc of rarities) is also available.

Pre-order for December 8 release.

IH: Waiting for a copy! There are some excellent people involved in this – mates of mine.


Lou P: Hey Ian, I’m 65 years old and sometimes after gigs feel like I’m 80…other than your hearing how you feeling these days? Lou P

IH:Thanks for asking – apart from this infernal ear thing I’m pretty fit. It’s very frustrating.


Royboy: wouldn’t it be great if we ran out of hate?????

IH: Wouldn’t it be great if it caught on?


Keith Hollinshed: Hello Mr H, hope all is well with you health wise. I’ve just finished Glen Matlock’s excellent autobiography. You and Ronno get a few warm mentions. He also mentions the early schizophrenic sessions before the e streeters were brought in. Any recollections of those sessions?

IH: I didn’t know Glen had one out – I’ll have a look. I don’t remember much really. I think we made a bit of a start, but it wasn’t working out for some reasons (Glen wasn’t one of them). Then Steve Popovich rang me up and said some of the E-Street Band were up for it. So, we went back to NYC, Bob Clearmountain and the Power Station. Had some great help on that one.


That’s about it for now.

 Happy Thanksgiving.



The Horse’s Mouth xxx