Subtitled ‘Hunter by Proxy’, this is the second and concluding part of this authorised biography by Mott/Hunter authority Campbell Devine. It picks up where events ended in the first book, with the break up of Mott the Hoople, and Hunter setting out on what was to become a lengthy and varied solo career, and runs right up to the present day. Along the way, it charts his working relationship and enduring friendship with Mick Ronson, who was to become a vital cog in the Hunter machine, a collaboration that would continue on and off until Ronson’s untimely passing in 1993. This is an impressively researched book with extensive quotes from Hunter himself plus numerous friends, band members and contemporaries, and covers in great depth, down to a song by song level, his many solo albums – indeed his was a solo career that went off with a bang then faded almost into obscurity before an Indian Summer type resurgence in more recent years. Indeed, his latest run of albums from the turn of the millennium onwards has undoubtedly seen his best work since his first solo record all those years ago. The two Mott reunions of the classic line up in 2009 and 2013 are covered rather more briefly than I had hoped, as are the shows with Ariel Bender and Morgan Fisher in 2018/19, with the emphasis of the book being very much on Hunter’s work as a solo artist. He has certainly done the hard yards on the live circuit over the years, and has complied an impressive array of recorded work along the way. This is a very worthy sequel to volume one, and one which fans will devour.
Length of Read:Long
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Fans of Mott and Hunter’s solo catalogue – I picked up a three cd set ‘Ian Hunter/Mott the Hoople Gold’ for only a fiver in the supermarket recently on the strength of reading this book, and it gives a very good selection of his work at a bargain price.
One thing you’ve learned
Hunter is eighty two years old in a few months time, so I wonder if the pandemic means we have seen and heard the last of him now, although the book does refer to a studio album being in the works.