Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople was recently interviewed by Louder Sound on his career, Jeff Beck, Taylor Hawkins, punk rock, Alex Harvey, David Bowie, and other topics. One of the things he was asked was about what changed after composing several iconic songs like “All The Way From Memphis.” On a negative note, he mentioned David Bowie and responded: “Isn’t it the press?” It’s always down to the press. ‘You’re living on David Bowie,’ you know – ‘you can’t do anything yourself’. “David wanted to do another one, but it was like, ‘No way: because then we’d just become servants to you.'”
Hunter discusses what kind of songs he wrote with Mick Ralphs, the band’s guitarist, and Paul Rodgers, the band’s guitarist, and why they ‘had’ to do so: “Of course, me and Mick [Ralphs] were panicked for about nine months, trying to write a hit.” And it was challenging because my abilities as a singer are limited. Mick would write these more soulful, bluesy songs, which Paul Rodgers would eventually sing. He was the ideal person to perform Mick’s tunes. They were impossible for me to complete.
That’s the start of the end right there. My songs began to come through. We had to do it to avoid the David label.” Ian Hunter rose to prominence after David Bowie offered him his own song, ‘All The Young Dudes,’ after hearing that the band was considering disbanding due to lack of success. Despite the fact that the two collaborated frequently, Hunter believes that he and Bowie were never friends. He elaborated: “I just wanted to play rock ‘n’ roll because it made me happy.” But David saw a lot more and was all in, 24 hours a day. He was just not the type of person I would hang out with. But generous to a fault, and great with the band. He did, after all, give us ‘Dudes.’ “I have nothing but praise for David.” Hunter has released ‘Defiance,’ the first installment of his latest album. You can hear the album here.