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Horse’s Mouth

April 9, 2024

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #253, March 2024)




Always bugs me when I see “lists” of the best rock guitarists and never see Mick’s name. Just sayin’!

IH: Well, we’re all stuck here with ‘opinions’ – part of life.


Johnny Tuinals:

I was talking to my friend there other night and we have seen you at the Felt Forum with Mott and also Solo at the Felt Forum with Mick Ronson.

We both agree with all the Crappy bands being let into the R&R hall of fame, we both cannot believe you are not in there as of yet.

Are they looking for you to die before letting you in?Makes nooo sense at all

IH: How nice of you! 


Ralph Cohen:

I was round at Mr Aspinall’s for a catch up on Sunday and before the pointy undesirable one reared her head we were listening to Rant.Mr Aspinall said that Soap’n’water is about Buffin slagging you off.Is that true?The shrew chirped up when we set off for the boozer that it was about time soap’n’water visited his ears.

IH: No comment; Buff was a gentleman.


Rick Graves:

Hi Ian!

A former student of mine runs a website called Conscious Effort Creative. It’s a website promoting local music and a studio he and some others own. Tyler asked me if I’d like to contribute an article to the website. I wrote about how the Mott album has had such a profound influence on my life. Not just the music but also how that album has led to me traveling near and far to shows and all the people I have met along the way. I’m including the link, I’d love for you to read it! Also, if you go to this page you’ll find a very clever graphic influenced by the cover of “Diary of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star,” showing all the cities I’ve been to to see your shows.

Take care, Rick

IH: A supreme traveler – you are valued!!!


Ooour Wullie:

Can’t wait for April to hear the rest of defiance part 2. The single is awesome.

I so hope you will be able to play it live

If that’s happens don’t care which continent..I’ll be there

Aurabest to all at Hunter Towers, motters, ranters and family

IH:  ‘” R’ ye gongin doon the filums the nicht?”  (childhood memory)


Paul Brolan:

Hi Ian, “England Rocks” should be this year’s “Nessun Dorma” for Euro 2024. Hope you’ve been approached for it’s use!

Looking forward to another great album from you (and the supporting cast). Good health and happiness to you and yours.

IH: What a lovely idea!  Cheers!


Robert Fryer:

Having kept track of your musical output and ‘ Horse’s Mouth’ as long as I can remember… Correct me if I am wrong but there doesn’t seem to be many references to any injuries that may have happened !?! Broken bones from amps, finger injuries through constant guitar/keyboard play? Everyone has a tale to tell, surely you have a few??!!

Keep rockin’


IH: Not really. I used to tip an RMI over in the early days – messes with the toes a bit. I remember staggering through airports – none of them stopped to help me!!


Michael Wolf:

Hi Ian! Another great song, and patiently waiting for the release. So when a project like this gets mixed and put in the can, do you breathe a sigh of relief, take off a day, and head into the next project? Do you ever get away and not think about what you’re doing next, a vacation I guess? Have you talked to Ralpher lately, is he doing well? I have heard lots of artists are touring this year, hope you are able to at some point. Hoping this ear issue works out for you in the very near future. Take care man. Cheers!

IH: It’s been a little weird lately with one thing or another – but I shall endeavor (as they say).


Mick McKenzie:

Loving James Mastro’s new album. Superb.If anyone out there has any doubts sbout buying it, they shouldn’t. Tell ’em to go out and get it, they won’t be sorry. ll the best tto you and yours, Mick

IH: He’s a clever, clever chap and I’m so happy for him. Working his ass off at the moment. James loves to be busy.


Terry Carter:

Hello Ian: No questions this time, just a big thanks for all the ones you’ve answered over the years and for your insight into the goings on of the Rock N Roll Circus. And of course for all the great tunes, please keep ’em coming.

All the best,


IH: Cheers, Terry.


Mike Costanzo:

Love “Defiance”, particularly Guernica. Home studio’s have become more accessible as technology have improved . Concerning your basement studio, is it a high-tech affair ( with baffles and acoustic ceilings) or a more low-brow DIY set up (meaning there’s probably a hot water heater sitting nearby) ? Whatever it is, the sound is great.

IH: My basement’s great and it’s another one of those flukes. It’s what made me want to live here. Andy York loves it. No hi-tech stuff – just gear. Hi-tech puts me off writing.


Wes Beckner:

Ian – it’s amazing that you’re still putting out great rock and roll into your mid-eighties. You have to be the most underrated artist of all time. I have all MTH and Ian albums on vinyl and CD, but now listen mostly on Spotify. I love the Hunter Ronson Band album YUI Orta, but can’t find it on Spotify. Any reason it’s not there? Thanks for 55 years of great music.

IH: I don’t know who to blame for that!


Nick Namaqui:

I know that you don’t like being asked questions about what happened in 1922, still … I read, back in the 70s (NME, Melody Maker or Sounds), that ‘Wild Life’ was intended to be a live album, but that fans invaded the stage while it was being recorded and only the final medley was salvageable. I have more recently heard the opposite – that it came out much as intended, Heaven spare us. Although, apart from the closing medley, it does have two great recordings in ‘Original Mixed-Up Kid’ and ‘Waterlow.’

Which story is true?

And you have seen me through several romantic heart breaks, mostly thanks to ‘Irene Wilde’ (that girl gets around). For my wife, you have done the opposite – her ex used to play ‘Bastard’ full-blast at her when she annoyed him. There again, whenever he annoyed her, she used to hit him across the knee caps with a tire iron. (Isn’t it meant to be the other way around?) No such wars nowadays – I listen to Ian Hunter on headphones.

IH: The gig was going to be recorded live (Fairfield Hall, Croydon). It did go bat shit crazy – and the only thing that was salvageable was ‘Keep a Knockin’.


Richard Mills, Rotherfield:

Lester Bangs once observed waspishly that Steve Harley not only sounded “near identical to David Bowie”, but “vacationed on Sparks and came home to Ian Hunter”.

Steve passed away last weekend aged 73 from a virulent cancer. I loved both Mott and Cockney Rebel, but I don’t see any similarity. Did your paths ever cross? Could you appraise his career?

IH: Never met Steve. Condolences to his family. I know he loved Ronno – so he’s OK with me!  Lester Bangs can talk!! Great as he was as a critic, he actually formed a band – and it was not great!



Mr. Hunter, sir

Saturday Gigs ends with you singing goodbye — was that an intentional nod to the end of the group?

And the first solo album, starts with “Hallo”. Was that intended as an answer to the goodbye at the end of gigs.

Thank you, Sir.

IH: The ‘Allo’ was intentional; the ‘goodbye’ was kind of both.


Mick McKenzie:

Gutted to read about Steve Harley, who I saw over 50 times (second only to your good self on my gigs list). I know quite a few of the dudes also loved Steve, and you were both Dylan fans.

How did you get on with him? Any stories you can share?

Roll on Defiance part two.

IH: Like I said, Mick – I’d never met him. He rang me once about co-writing a song together, but it never came off because he was over there and I was over here.



Hi there Ian, I watched your interview pertaining to the new album. To give an answer to the question you posed about people wanting to see someone your age jumping around a stage, the answer is yes! A thousand times – YES! Though, I’ve heard you’re unwilling to play a Rant Band gig due to acoustic drums and stage volume. I understand that. I also worry about my hearing. Though, Roger Daltrey of the Who just turned 80 and has a summer tour in the works. It’s no secret that he’s quite deaf. He’s talked about using electric drums to keep stage volume down. I’m sure you’ve considered it. I know you are maybe considering acoustic gigs but these new albums deserved to be played with a full band. The Rant Band! And I don’t know if you’ve heard of hybrid drum kits but they may be worth looking into if you don’t care for the sound of the electric drums. You maybe an old school rocker but, you are definitely not one to linger in the past. I hope you’ll use new technology to return to the stage. I had a ticket to see Mott ‘74 in Atlanta. It was a bit heart-breaking to see that it just wasn’t meant to be. Your presence is sorely missed. Though, I understand if your decision is to retire from the road. Thanks.

IH: I can only say that I’m stuck at the moment – but I actually ‘dream’ gigs on a regular basis. So, I guess it’s still there. Don’t give up on me yet!!


Chris Miller:


I’ve just picked up a copy of Nightout by Ellen Foley,an album you and Mick were heavily involved in,Any memories of this and how it came about.

It’s a great album.

Oh yeah and thanks for so many great nights over the years,particularly early gigs with Mott at Aylesbury Friars Club,

The Best Of Times,

Thanks so much


IH: Steve Popovich and Sam Lederman managed me during ‘Schizophrenic’ (that’s why it saw the light of day) and they managed Ellen as well. They wanted me to produce and I said I’d do it if Ronno could do it with me (he was skint as usual). Ellen had a huge voice – we just had to point her in the right direction. Great girl. The album was pretty big in Europe.


Paul G.:

Hanging with my much younger neighbor the other day and he asked if aliens landed and I had to pick one band that exemplified the spirit of rock and roll, who would it be? Of course I thought of Elvis, Jerry Lee, Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, Springsteen, etc. and realized that each, as great as they are, were all lacking some characteristic that I felt was required for rock music. So I said, “Ian Hunter.” He, being in his forties, responded, “Who?” Anyway, he’s been streaming IH and MTH music since. I saw him the other day and he said, “I get it.” Thanks for being you.

PS: Still wish I had that rare MTH shirt someone stole from me back in 76.

IH: Word of mouth – word of mouth – can’t beat it!



Kerry Gibbs:

Hi Ian

Long time fan. Remember seeing MTH headlining Massey Hall in Toronto back in 1973. First concert ever and one of the best.

Are you doing promotion for Defiance Part 2?

Would love to see you on Material Issues YouTube channel. Mark Hershberger and David Bash are older fans and have interviewed a great variety of artists with humour and respect. Please consider it.

IH: I’ll pass this onto Fran and the office.




Hello Ian. Great new song. How’s your health?

Any chance you will play live to support the new material? New your misses you.

IH: As above – we’ll see.



Don Pollack:

No question. Just wanted to say Irene Wilde is one of my favorite ballads. Being a HUGE Ronno fan, I must say Michael Picasso is a beautiful tribute. I’ve got Mott’s All the Young Dudes autographed by you on my wall. Sea Diver is killer. Love your talent!


Tom McGarry:

What can I say? Absolutely brilliant second song to be released from Pt2. Combination of you and Cheap Trick sounds brilliant. These guys really rock it and the sentiment of the lyrics hit right home.

IH: Yeah, always loved Cheap Trick. Most fans do!!


Luke Dempsey:

Eric Parker says that he played drums on two Nightout songs that didn’t make it onto Ellen’s album – Hush and East of Eden.

Did you write ether of those songs? Can you remember why they were left off?

IH: No recollection – it’s a blur. Eric’s another great drummer I’ve had the pleasure of playing with.


Craig Nevitt:

Doubtless there will be much here regarding the very sad loss of Steve Harley. He and your good self have been with me for 75% of my life. Did your paths cross much Ian ? Steve seemed like a real thinking man, much like yourself.

IH: Like I said…..



Great hearing the possibility of an acoustic/Horse’s Mouth tour if all goes well. Maybe you can guest at the Bowery with James and Alejandro to test the waters? Logistics are keeping me from that gig but I will catch their closer in Dallas. Was glad to stumble onto AE after hearing him cover Irene Wilde and your comaderie through the years has been great to witness.

D2 is shaping up to be a killer. Looking forward to hearing all of it upon release. Is anything in the pipeline for pre-release autographed items and an interview like you did prior to the D1 release?

Thank you so much for what you do for this lot!

IH:  I was going to for 5 minutes, but something else came up. Sorry about this. As far as promo for the new album, I’m doing interviews – check U-tube.  PR is so different now – labels are readjusting the way they promote stuff. Apparently, ‘attention spans’ aren’t what they used to be and there’s vast input daily because anybody can do it now. It’s crazy!


Thomas Eriksson:

Boy, watching strings attached again. You looked better than ever. Anyway, 30 years ago you forced me to to convert from vinyl to cd by adding 3 bonus tracks on YUI Orta. 30 years later you do it again. Back to vinyl. 3 bonus tracks on vinyl! Well done. Cheers, hope for one more show in swe before we close.

IH: Yah – back to vinyl. I just do what I do.



Good morning – or whatever time of day it is when you read this.

I love People – especially the opening verses. Great stuff. I have a question/comment re: the exchange where the marketing folks say “we know what people want” and the people respond “no you don’t”. I would contend that the marketers (and wily politicians) know exactly what we want and they use this knowledge to manipulate us to buy what they’re peddling – to get our money, vote, etc. I think they know that hate, fear, divisiveness, greed, etc. sells. I think they are appealing to our base emotions and this implicitly reflects what we want (not what we need).

What do you think?

IH: I think that might be what I wrote.



Dave Pickard:

Hi Ian, 21st March 1974, was the first time I saw you play, Mott, at St Georges Hall Bradford,50 years ago. For the anniversary i read both of the books again. Absolutely fantastic reads. I listened to all the albums, whilst I was reading, and think ‘President’ is my fave album, but maybe the new one will be. Anyway question, Hymn for the dudes is one of my favourite songs (by anyone), ‘Rock ‘n’ Rolls a losers game’, did you mean it, or was it just a brilliant line? Keep on rockin, Ian. i can’t wait for the new record.

IH: Well, I guess what I meant was it’s up and down. You have to take the ‘wins’ and the ‘losses’. My career’s been up and down. Took a few years off here and there. Songs tend to come when they want to – not when you want them to come. Larger labels don’t get this concept at all. I’m just not machine enough.


Kenny Mac:

Ian this is more of an apology than a question but I’ve been to every gig in Glasgow that you have done (my home town) and one that really stood out was a gig you did in the cathouse.

At this gig Darrell Bath came on with the band and did a song that was very stones sounding and loud as hell.

On the last note ringing out you came running in from the side and I thought wow what an entrance.

Hairs on my neck stood up.

Darrell was brilliant and set the stage up for you.

It made an impact.

I’ve always loved a great build up,you used to do it with mott the hoople.

So with this idea in mind and because I’m a songwriter myself I decided to wright a song in a similar vein and offer it up to you as a recorded intro and dropped it off at the venue.

Think it was the garage.

It was called ” give in” and the subject matter if you listened to the song was about a love affair that was on its last legs

I just thought it was a powerful song for an intro and added an intro into it from Joe elliot introducing you from a previous recording as the song was reaching the end but in hindsight I should have cut the vocal at that point and just kept the music ,for as although it was aimed at the other person in the relationship in the song, the vocals at that went as follows……Give in ,why don’t you give it up….etc

Now I think ,what an arse I made of it as although I knew what the song was about and it was inspired by Darrell it could have been portrayed as derogatory by yourself and this was 100percent not the case.

It was the opposite, a life long fan trying to help out.

I didn’t even consider the lyrical content being looked at any other way.

My apologies if this was perceived as this.

My hope is it never even got near your ears

and the guys at the garage tossed it in the bin lol.

Hope you are all well,and if you tour,I’ll be there as always.

By the way two places you should look at for Gigs are

Oran mor and the ferry


Kenny mac

IH: No knowledge of this. Darryl was an A1 character – a walking lyric. Had a lot of fun with Darryl and co.


Donald Mease:

Dear Mr. Hunter, After several weeks of sobriety, my alter ego chanced upon your reply to his video missive.

I believe his exact words were, “Uh-oh ….”

I tried to explain that surely you understood the proposed fist to the chops to be of theatrical nature, staged with camera angles and cut ways, (as they do), but he’s been hiding under the bed, since, and the cat doesn’t like it one bit.

Regardless, we’ve pre-ordered the new record and wonder if there’s enough archive footage of MTH live from the day to make a decent concert dvd, (as they do.)?

Best Regards,

Gunner Eugene Halstadt,

Fiction Writer

IH: Nah.


Chris Hetherington:

Hi ‘IH’–long time no write. Sounds like all is well and I am writing to say I LOVE Precious & look forward to the full release on 4-19. Just watched The Devil Is A Sissy on Turner Classic Movies ( I have time now as I got ‘retired’–funny how firms do that as you near 65) Anyway, it starred Jackie Cooper, Mickey Rooney, Freddy Bartholomew & IAN HUNTER. I’ve seen his name and likeness many times googling your name and website but never saw him act. Entertaining movie about 1930s era juvenile delinquents, not far off from my cronies in the 70s. My retirement plans for the near future are to see as many Stones shows as possible this spring–heading to Houston for Opening Night, then the New Orleans Jazz Fest-third times the charm, two shows here in NJ, then Atlanta and Cleveland. May try for Philly and up by Boston–yet to be seen. Four of the six I’m going to I have Lucky Dips–you buy two tickets for about $50 a piece and you sit where you are assigned day of show. I have been in the front pit in Nashville, Lucca Italy, and Oronte di Oro outside Toronto and really never received a bad ‘draw.’ Looking forward to all this and no concerns about what’s going on at work. Finally, I have yet to go to the new NYC City Winery as I await your triumphant return home there. Here’s the question–is that in the cards?

IH: The cards are stacked against it (at the moment!).


Griff Hodge:

In 1980 my mom’s best friend Mary called me to say her son Richard couldn’t use his tickets to see Ian Hunter at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco because he had a high school band concert, and would I like his tickets. Just Another Night and Cleveland Rocks were KSAN radio songs that I loved at the time and I loved them, so I said yes, even though I had just turned 16 and had only started to drive. I took Richard’s brother Frank to the show, and two life long friendships were born: mine and Frank’s, and mine and rock and roll. It was my rock and roll awakening. Thank you. You are still my favorite. I’ve seen you five times since. Not enough. Good health and happiness to you, and thank you.


IH: Glad to have been of service!


Paul from Kettering, UK:

Hello, Ian. Really looking forward to Defiance Pt2 but I wanted to ask about one of your perhaps overlooked songs which I think is one of the best of your career, certainly in my personal Hunter top 5, namely Following In Your Footsteps, which I had the pleasure of hearing you sing at The Stables in Milton Keynes back in 2008. I recall on the BBC in concert recording of Hunter and Ronson you said it was about the “inevitability of the genes, the father son syndrome”. To me the lyric rings very true. Can you say a bit more about what was in your mind when you wrote that track?

IH: Well, 2 World Wars and a Depression in between – that was my Dad’s life. We think it’s bad now!  I remember playing a Kettering working man’s club back in the Northampton days. Pete Phillips (our drummer) wasn’t feeling too well and threw up whilst playing drums (into a strategically placed bucket) during the set. We played there again 3 months later – and the unemptied bucket was still at the side of the stage!  Saw Little Richard and Sam Cooke at Kettering Granada – that made up for it!!


John Able:

Hello Ian. It’s been a rough few months with the passing of Tony Clarkin from Magnum, Karl Wallinger ( World Party ) and Steve Harley. Alongside the last three, my favourite bands throughout my 56 years have been Queen, ELO, Barclay James Harvest, Supertramp, Alan Parsons Project., Moody Blues, Asia and Mott The Hoople/yourself.

I feel privileged that of the list above, you are now the sole survivor flying the flag for the music of my life.

My wife and I run a gardening business in Kent, England and there isn’t a day goes by that your voice isn’t coming through my headphones or portable speaker amongst the orchards and gardens in the beautiful countryside where we are lucky enough to ply our trade.

I just want to to say thanks so much for being true to yourself all these years and seeing me through nearly six decades.

IH: Boy – I wish I was there with my voice!!  Sounds lovely!!



I had a dream last night that we were hanging out in an Asbury Park Tudor bar, silly and loose, sort of like Mick and Keith in the Waiting on a Friend video. It’s so good to hear your voice here. Would you like to share some of your favorite things to do, as a preteen person? Happy Easter to you and family.

IH: As a preteen person? Nothing special – ration books – footfall, Radio – the usual.



How long have you lived in the US?

When/if you go out for for dinner do people recognize you?

Are you a stay at home guy or maybe go down to the local bar occasionally for a beer or two with the locals?

IH: We moved here in 1975. Sometimes, but it’s ok. We like our home (Trudi can cook!!), but we do go out – we were at Andy and Liz York’s last Sunday and out to Frankie’s pub last night with Rick and Steff!


Keith Hollinshed:

The union chapel gig in 2010 was filmed and never came out. Nyquest ltd have got about an hour of it on YT. I remember the sound being a bit iffy but the vids sound good. Any reason why it never came out on DVD?

Looking forward to the new album. All the best

IH: What I remember was receiving a very dodgy film. They didn’t bother to mixing the sound properly and it was a mess. Although it had potential – it needed to be presented completed. At the time you tend to be hypercritical – I wouldn’t mind having another look.


Gareth Toms:

Hello Ian, If that old Tin Pan Alley adage about the postman (which I am) whistling the tune of a song after one listen is true, then

‘Precious’ is a hit. Adrain Edmondson mentioned you on Desert Island Discs, he also mentioned you in autobiography, Beserker!, published last year: “I read it (Melody Maker) from cover to cover every week. Ian Hunter, the lead singer of Mott The Hoople, who always seems to be having ‘a right lark’, becomes a beacon of insouciance – he’s the flame to my moth. I want to be him. But at this point I haven’t even got the right trousers.” (Adrian Edmondson, Berserker!, 2023.)



IH: You never know (‘Precious’).

As far as Adrian Edmondson goes – the feeling is mutual!!! I met him once on a UK TV show – lovely man. Professorial!


And that Ladies and Gents,

Is it!


Till next time,


The Horse’s Mouth