Skip to content
Skip to main site content Ian Hunter Logo

Horse’s Mouth

March 12, 2024

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #252, February 2024)


Dear Mr Hunter

I hope all is well with you and yours

Just a big thank you for the years of fantastic music. I grew up south of Cleveland. We LOVED you as you well know. Your Rant Band tours showed just how great you are all these years later

Pleas please do a tour. Come to the Golden State Theater in Monterey CA. You’ll get Cleveland vibes. Y’all thought we were the coolest place in America cuz we adored Mott

With deep respect, Michelle

IH: Normal Service will be resumed – as soon as possible!



Ian Margan:

Hi Ian. I note the on track series is out soon, and can’t wait to read it.

Will it come out in kindle format eventually?

IH: I haven’t a clue what you are talking about!



Mark F:

What is the best time of year to visit Scotland & any must see or do while there?

Asking for a friend planning a trip.

IH: Hamilton is the turn off (left) this side of Glasgow. You go through Hamilton until you r each Peacock Cross. There is a restaurant called Peter Equees. I’ve been going there since I was 3. The food is special as is the ice cream. Oh, and Edinburgh is very pretty.  Spring or early fall.




Do you have any “unplugged” versions of your tunes recorded and, if so, would you ever release them? I love listening to the progression from “demo” to finished product!! Matthew Zuckerman

IH: The ‘Defiance’ tracks go from me and the piano – or me on guitar;  they may well surface sometime in the future.



Matthew Zuckerman:

Not a question but a link. This woman in Kenya listening to Bed of Roses — she doesn’t know anything about you or the Star Club, but in her comments she captures everything that the song is about. Credit to her and yo you!

IH: How lovely!! It’s nice to know that music gets around.



Rick Graves:

Hi Ian! I know you’re a big fan of Leon Russell. Are you aware you are quoted a couple of times in his biography, ” Leon Russell: The Master of Space and Time’s Journey Through Rock & Roll History”? One is regarding a song of his ironically titled, “Roll Away The Stone,” and how his intro is similar to the one in, “All The Way From Memphis,” and how you later used “Roll Away The Stone,” as the title for one of your songs. The other was how Leon didn’t like his voice and how he used other singers. You are talking about having a discussion with Steve Winwood and how Steve tried to get him to sing on his own.

IH: Yeah–and I can honestly say I had no idea he had a song called Roll Away the Stone at the time I wrote it. As I’ve said often before – it was ‘In the Ghetto’ off Bonnie & Delaney’s first record that got me – and ‘Watchin’ the River Flow’ finished me off!! Nobody played as good as that.



Joe D:

One of my Favorite songs of yours from my Favorite LP, is Wild East. I’ve never heard you do it live, and

for the life of me, What is the Song About!!

IH: New York City back when it WAS New York. Scared me stiff!!




Good afternoon Ian.

Here’s hoping that this note finds you feeling well and doing alright. I get the feeling that something’s not right. You will, if I am correct, let us know when you feel it is the correct to do so…

I finally gave a pass to a new MTH or Ian Hunter rerelease. The ATYD BOX SET, Nice as it is, has no new tunes that I didn’t have previously. So I passed. I would have dropped $300 if it would have had a blu-ray with an Atmos and a DTS master 5.1 in it but no, you still owe me a 5.1 of Defiance Pt 1. You said it was coming out in all formats.

Is there going to be anything coming in the collectors area with “Mott” or “The Hoople” or even the MTH Live releases? You’ve got the quad mixes of the live Album’s.

How are the Rant Fella’s doing?

Peace and love,


IH: I think they did a fabulous job with it – but that was then and this is now.  I haven’t got a clue about blue-ray, atmos etc – we’ll have to ask SUN Records.




Michael Picasso doesn’t play a ton on Hunky Dory but he sure makes it count when he does.

IH: You don’t have to play a ton – it’s what you play.



Alan in Portlandia:

The RMI piano you played in the Island Records day in the Albert Hall pictures looks like a worthy road warrior with the duct tape etc. RMI ran ads in the 70s saying that their pianos could take abuse and were sturdy and I’m wondering if they were referring to you. Looks like you must have rented for the US trips as they were much less beaten. How many pianos did you go through in the pre Columbia Records day or did you just get the one repaired

IH: A few. I actually messed my feet up. I used to upend them in moments of madness and they landed on my toes more than once. Daft, I know, but it seemed natural at the time.




Hi Ian. I remember you saying “Arthur” is a favorite movie of yours. ( totaly agree ) did you need to get any kind of permission for the all of the good ones are taken video?

IH: No – that was a pretty painless experience. 



Craig Nevitt:

“Re runs of the Mauhammad Ali , Marlene Dietrich fight “ , some match up that one Ian , worthy of re runs !!!

Where did that fabulous lyric stem from please Ian ?

We Gotta Get Out Of Here , wonderful track .

Do you have a favourite Mick Ronson solo contained in your work ?

IH: I loved everything Mick played on – it didn’t have to be mine. He just had that premiership quality.



Robin Coles:

I have noticed that the Fingers Crossed album is no longer available on Spotify, at least in the UK. Any reason fir this?

IH: Haven’t a clue.



Mike Pecucci:

Hiya Ian, As you’ve written songs with a “theatrical” feel (Marionette,etc) and have done A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, curious if you’re a fan of musicals? I would think the quality craft of Rodgers/Hart,the Gershwins, Sondheim, etc would move you?

IH: Nott such a big fan of musicals – just like the odd song that happens to come out of them.



Jonathan Pearlman:

You are my hero! I’ve been your fan since the beginning. So happy to see you’re still out there doing it. You are truly an inspiration!

The Mott years were a great beginning, but it was your first solo album that still slays me every time! The songs, the production quality, the collaboration with Mick. This is truly one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums of all time! How did they make it sound so good?

Schizophrenic was a revelation. “The Outsider” a true rock anthem stands out. Mick’s solo kills! “When the World Was Round” is close to my heart. “The Loner”. I could not identify more! “Irene Wilde” the live version. I love YUI Orta! As a lifelong guitarist and rabid Ronson fan, “Sweet Dreamer” has to be his finest hour.

Another personal favorite from that album is “Following in your Footsteps”. Others include “American Spy” great rocker! “Death of a nation”. Could this be any more appropriate today?

“Arms and Legs” right up there with “Every Step of the Way”. In a world of fleeting relationships, you and Trudi are surely a guiding light. Do touring plans include a stop anywhere near Asheville, North Carolina?

IH: Not touring at the moment, but happy to hear you like all the right stuff!!




Two comments/ questions this month…..personally I think anyone that thinks Bowie’s career would have taken off without Mick is wrong. Not saying that he wouldn’t have made it big, but Ziggy is his best work and Mick has tons to do with that with little credit until lately. Thoughts?

IH: It’s just one of those freak things that happens; Keef met Mick; Freddie met Roger; Lennon met McCartney etc. The only difference being all those other guys got paid. Mick wasn’t that great a songwriter (where the money was) but he was great as a guitarist and arranger (plus suggestions that were pivotal at that time for a producer). David supplied the song and Mick took it from there. Mick was under a Mainman contract; he was on so much a week. Was it fair? NO!! – but he went for it. It’s a difficult one/ That’s why it still gets talked about today. I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if he co-wrote anything, but I don’t think he did. Would David have made it without him? Again – who knows?




Are you one for laying on a sunbed on a beach just to relax for a few hours?

Have you ever gone to a hotel and watched the evenings entertainment and actually stepped up and joined in?

…..and it’s just occurred the above could form part of a lyric. The closest I’ll get to writing a song (laughs)

Love your music big guy, the best.TY.

IH:1) NO.    2) Saw Ike and Tina Turner at the Waldof in NYC. THE BEST!!!



John Bone:

If – god forbid – your house was on fire, which three items would you definitely leave behind to burn, or even surreptitiously throw into the flames when no one was looking?

IH: If your house is on fire – YOU GET OUT ‘ You don’t think – you just get out. I’ve been in one – you get out!!!



Graham from Toronto:

Listening to Mott on spotify and realized that Rock and Roll Queen is not available for streaming: all the tracks are greyed out even on the compilation albums.

But everything else IS available on spotify. So what makes Rock and Roll queen different from all the other albums?

Digging the new (est) album – see if you can swing back over to Toronto at some point – we’ll see you there!

IH:No idea – business!!



Hal Freiman:

Hi Ian, Couple of quick questions here.

Is there a release date for Defiance Part 2 yet? Looking forward to this!

Also, do you nave any possible plans to visit Boston CW for James Mastro show in April? I’m gonna make the trip. Should be a great show.



IH: I’m landlocked at the moment. I think Part II is out April 19th.




Do you think no Ronno no Bowie

I have the big T I take Lemon Bioflavonoids Complex 1400 mg it tamps things down quite a bit

IH: I’ve circled this – cheers.



Keith Hollinshed:

Mr H. Very much looking forward to Defiance pt 2 (& pt3) but will the three “bonus tracks” eventually appear on CD and/or download?

IH: Because of people’s ‘attention span’ (which is apparently a couple of seconds these days), they like to ‘spread things out’ to keep the album around as long as possible.  All 13 tracks will be out there eventually in one form or another. God knows how many records come out every day – so labels are having to adapt.



James Rawnsley:

Ian, wow!

Precious is brilliant! I’ve ordered the red vinyl and can’t wait for the rest of the album.

Love to you all


IH:The whole record is pretty strong.



Ooour Wullie:

Precious……fandabbydozzy !!!!!

IH: I hear you were meeting Denns DiBrizzi in Glasgow!!



David Fisher:

Would a tour of Australia be on the cards ? Also have you considered a duet album…. Kind regards David

IH: Nope and nope.




Ian, in February horse’s mouth you were mentioning cover songs. Have you heard Sound of Silence, covered by Disturbed? Absolutely the best cover ever, even beating Walk On By which The Stranglers covered.

IH: I’ll have to have a listen.



Francis L:

Sir Ian, Certainly happy with your music as of late!

Ringo mentioned you in Creem . We loved reading that Detroit magazine. What a time for rock.

What a collection of inspiration and now even more with Defiance pt. 2, ( Fiction ). It’s like a rock’n’roll trip from 20th century through to now. I learned you think WTTC is one of the best live albums of all time . Agreed. Awesome to meet you in Chicago and to talk to you about AAB and Indian Chiefs. ” When I’m President” at the Winery. Sometimes I think you have a finger on the pulse …read alot ?

Got any science fiction?


Francis L

PS Sorry to learn Ronson was underpaid. A full-on guitar hero.

IH: Used to read a lot – now it’s just the general lunacy. Not keen on science fiction.



Tom McGarry:

Absolutely love “Precious” and can’t wait for the album release. Great ending to the song and again no fade out on it. Brilliant.

IH: It’s funny you should mention fade outs – they never bothered me, but Andy York hates them!!



Robert Ryan:

Dear Ian, Your music has made my life better. A fan since the 70’s. I saw you at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, Ca. in the 80’s and 90’s and you were so gracious to autograph my CD. My question is how do you feel about playing a venue that seats 500?

IH: I feel great playing that



Tony Day:

Dear Ian, why oh why is there 3 extra tracks on your new up and coming album if you but thre LP? Yet only 10 tracks on the CD. Might I suggest a bonus CD with the extra tracks as you did with shrunken heads? I do find it frustrating when artist/labels do this to fans. I have still never heard the so-called 2 bonus songs that where given to Japan for your fingers crossed album. Another thing how can it be 100 bucks for a new T shirt from sun records (40 for shirt &57 p&p to uk) Please have a word . Sounds like I’m moaning & I suppose I am but still love your music & of course I’ll buy the new CD . The first song from it sounds great . All the best to the family .

IH: Apparently, it’s the new way!!! They’ll all be out there eventually. Times have changed; labels have to act accordingly. There’s an absurd amount of material coming out daily. I just write them! I let management and the record company get it out there.



Ed ONeill:

Hello Ian, I’ve been a fan of yours since the 70’s. Precious my new favorite song! Love the cover art work by Johnny Depp. Also, I just recently discovered the Pogues after the death of Shane MacGowen. Wondering if you ever crossed paths and if you are a fan? Ed

IH: Not that I wasn’t a Pogues fan – I was not familiar with his stuff. Johnny Depp was a huge fan of Shane McGowen and the Pogues.



Peter Jordan:

I was listening to the great escape on the 2010 live CD.

I looked up the ‘Black Lion’ and sadly it’s been closed but I think some restoration work is underway.

It got me wondering about poetic/ musical side of your personality and whether you suppressed it when around some of the wilder guys you mixed with or on the factory floor?

Was the being on the fringes of things a survival mechanism to rub along or did you have the confidence to be different?

Or, did that aspect of your personality emerge more with success?

Think I’ve covered all the possibilities here but doubtless you’ll surprise me!

IH: Well, as I wasn’t that handy with my fists (yeah – it was just fists back in the good old days!) my contribution was playing music in the local pubs. We shared a certain wildness and appreciation for Jerry Lee, Little Richard, Gene Vincent etc. and most naughty chaps loved Rock ‘n’ Roll  ….so I got on much better with these guys than I did with regular people (whose musical tastes left something to be desired).  So sad about the Black Lion. Had some great night there back in the day. Tony Marriott (great drummer) lived in a shed in the back yard for a while before he passed. He had a good soul, but he loved a drink.



Terry Carter:

As somebody who’s spent time on major record labels and independents, I’m wondering if you have any particular memories (fond or otherwise) on your dealings with them and what do you feel are the pros and cons of dealing with both.

Best regards,


IH: Well, I’m here – they’re over there – and management’s in between – so there’s virtually no direct contact. I’ve met Dominic a couple of times, and I was impressed. One of my favourite record men would be Dick Asher who ran CBS, then Columbia and then PolyGram. Dick was legit. Clive Davis signed Mott the Hoople and Steve Popovich was another great. I met John Hammond Sr. – that was a thrill.



James Rawnsley:

Hi Ian, I’ve recently been watching some of the music reaction channels on YouTube. Rob Squad Reactions is the main one I watch. I love seeing a couple brought up listening to rap and modern R&B having their musical tastes changed by viewer suggestions. It’s opened up lots of music to me that I’d either forgotten about or hadn’t heard before. I recently got them (USA based) listening and loving Status Quo. I’m still trying to get them to listen to you, MTH and solo Brian May & Roger Taylor.


Do you ever watch that sort of thing? What one of your songs would you say to be first? I was Thinking “All American Alien Boy” or “Words (Big Mouth)”

IH: Yeah, I’ve seen a few of those. It’s kind of weird, but some really get it. It’s almost like they wish they were as old as me to have witnessed all the crazy stuff!! It was a bit more free and easy back then.



George Ross:

Hi Ian…this will only take a minute…love your new song, Precious. Wink. There is a definitely a skip in your walk.

IH: Appreciated!




Some of your favorite rock journalists?

IH: Lester Bangs tops the cake.




Hello. I guess we will find out when we find out, but just wondering, will the lyrics be included with the liner notes for Fiction?

IH: Andy’s anti-lyrics on albums. I’m easy, so I go with Andy; there’s points for and against. I’m sure they’ll be out there one way or another!



Barry S.:

Hey Ian, Congrats on the new album. I was watching the The Rolling Thunder Movie on Netflix last week. Still strikes me odd to see Mick playing guitar backing Dylan. He does a great job. I assume you have seen it. What do you think of the movie? Is it true he went on the tour without ever listening to Dylan’s albums. I think it made his playing even more amazing than if he just tried to play along to the originals. Good luck with Defiance Pt. 2. The 1st song released sounds great.

IH: I saw that gig in Hartford. Wasn’t keen on the first half, but the second half was great. Mick called me during rehearsals, “it’s all C,F & G”. Isn’t that the art? He wasn’t a Bob fan – I know because I was – but he was a Bob fan after the tour.




Hey Ian, you must get tired of all the Ronson questions. But I have one. Did you ever get to see Bowie and The Spiders back in the day? I was born about 8 years to early. First time I saw you and Mick was 1980. Then many more times seeing you with and without Mick. You don’t owe anyone anymore concerts at this point. Be well. I developed Tinittis about a year ago. Maddening!

IH: Saw them at the Rainbow  – Elton walked out. Mick opened on Piano (Lady Stardust), scaffolding as a backdrop. Very early days – people just starting to pick up on it.




Thanks for Defiance pt. 1, and a magnificent new single. I’m very much looking forward to part 2, and an acoustic tour., please come to Norway! Also very happy for the news about a third installment. Don’t know how many more you have in you, but want to remind you that you once stated that you saved Salvation for the last song on your last record. It’s too bad to keep one of your best songs hidden away on the boxed set. BTW: Why not ask Jimmy Page and Mick Jones to join forces for pt. 3?

IH: You can never tell with songwriting; it comes and goes. It’s dead at the moment, but I’ve got three more that I like. Andy heard one and liked it a lot.



Mark Wheatley:

Hi ian its mark wheatley who promoted many shows for you,

Do ypu intend to bring the accoustic show your thinkingbof doing to the uk

Last album was awesome cant wait for the new one

Take care govnor

IH: Hey Mark – the flyer kind of promoter! You did get the word out!

It all depends on a lot of stuff. It is in the works, but stuff keeps getting in the way!!



Simon Henshall:

Ian, I’ve looked at the Brit awards for 2024. Still no mention. Next year perhaps ! Loving the latest offerings whilst still listening to Brain Capers et al.

IH: Cheers, Simon.




Hello. I’m asking again about the creative process – this time about guitar solos. The way you write songs seems to naturally lead to bridges and guitar solos. Part 1 was a great example of that – lots of songs that provided natural opportunities for guitar solos. I thought Precious was sort of like that. There were a couple of places where I thought the song was building up to a guitar solo, but there really wasn’t one. Was that a “decision” you made – ie. you didn’t feel a solo would fit anywhere, or was this more Brian’s call – ie. he didn’t think the song naturally led to a solo?


IH: I know what you mean – but when I wrote those songs I had no one in mind. Had I known Brian was going to do this one, I’d probably have made space accordingly. “The Third Rail’ – the one Jeff Back plays on –  doesn’t have a solo either. Had I known;…It’s just what we had to work with at the time.



Dan Hartmann:

Hi Ian, I wanted to share my three aha moments in music. The first was when I heard John Entwistle’s bass on “The Real Me.” I couldn’t believe what he was doing, and music became more important to me. The second is when I first discovered you — saw the “Gotta Get Outta Here” video and was looking for Welcome to the Club, but every record store in the area was sold out. So, I bought the album Columbia put out after your success with Schizophrenic — Ballad of IH and MTH. My aha moment took place with Side 2. Loved “Marionette” and all the MTH B sides plus Saturday Gigs. Your writing set you apart from the others. My third aha moment took place in college when I attended a Stravinsky concert in my music appreciation class. I thought classical music was supposed to be happy, and I was not enjoying myself. At intermission, I sat on a bench and probably looked bored. An old woman, close to 100, slowly approached me with her walker. In a thick German accent, she talked about Stravinsky and how to listen to music. I learned a lot and actually enjoyed the second half of the concert. The next year, I took history of rock and roll, and her son turned out to be the professor. He discussed your music in the class, and the answer to his trick question was “England Rocks.”

Love the new song “Precious”. Also, what is your favorite part in the “Pavlov’s Dog” video? Mine is when the dog is driving the cart. I thought I was seeing things the first time I watched it. Funny bit to include.

IH: I like that the old lady turned you on to Stravinsky – that’s got to be great.

Yeah, he did a nice job on ‘Pavlov’ – cute – tongue in cheek.



Connor Peters:

Hi, Ian- perhaps a strange question, but have you ever got your heart broken, and if so, how did you get past it? Did music play a role?

IH: Music saved my ass on one occasion. You have to get busy.



James Fowers:

In the mid seventies when I was in high school I would listen to your music while I did my homework. Seemed to make it more interesting and helped me stay engaged. Today finds me retired and I have decided to give back by tutoring high school kids in my community. To really help and be effective I decided to take high school Math, Chemistry and Physics by correspondence and brush up. So here I am almost 50 years latter, the course work has changed somewhat but the music is STILL GREAT. Better get back to my homework, I think I will put on some old MTH to help me stay focused. Thanks Ian ;0)

IH: You’re welcome!!!


And that – is it (for now).

Love ‘n’ kisses


The Horse’s Mouth