Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ian Hunter is God

From his 2012 album When I'm President, here's the great Ian Hunter and the title track.

I've been playing this one obsessively now for over a week. Apart from the fact that it's great on every level, I am beginning to think that he's singing even better now then he did back in the day.

Have I mentioned that Ian Hunter is God?


Brooklyn Girl in Queens said...

Great song, great show.

Mark said...

Oh yes he is.

God, that is. And WHEN I'M PRESIDENT is so good that I'm surprised that one of the current Republican presidential newbie dickweeds (like Walker, Trump, Jindal, et al., or even past ones like Santorum and can-Michele-Bachmann-be-far-behind?) hasn't mistakenly used this song as a campaign theme, and only afterwards discover that ... well ... you know.

The form of PRESIDENT is classic Top 40 pop-rock, from the opening guitar sound to the la-la-la choruses and beyond. Hunter's great at populist (and pop) anthems, and two of the more recent are HOW'S YOUR HOUSE (from 2007's SHRUNKEN HEADS, and about Hurricane Katrina -- see and TWISTED STEEL (which first appeared on Strings Attached in 2002, and can be seen live at, and is about NYC following September 11, 2001)

When Hunter started with Mott, the band had two distinct components. One was the then-contemporary over-the-top ROCK AND ROLL QUEEN-type hard rock, and the other was an equally over-the-top manic Little Richard-mania component. The fact that both elements were in the same place and performed by the same band was not lost on some of the band's and Hunter's fans. Sure, we had to live through ALL THE YOUNG DUDES, but I for one was so happy at the time that this great band was making money that I couldn't care less. And on the same album on which DUDES appeared, so did Mott’s version of SWEET JANE, what with Mick Ralph’s g-r-e-a-t guitar work.

About a month ago I went to see Ian and his Rant band at the Bell House in Brooklyn, not far from where I live, where he performed a few days after you, Steve, saw him in Manhattan. I took my mid-30s suhhh ... suhhhhhnnnnn ... suuhhhhnnnnnnn-innnn ... my daughter's husband with me. He recognized DUDES and nothing else, but he really liked the music. His take-away quote was "I've never seen as many old guys with pony-tails at a concert before." To which I added, "And some of their wives and girlfriends, and in some cases, both."

And none looked older than Ian Hunter Patterson, 76, but without a pony-tail. And the ol' boy truly enjoyed himself, and even acknowledged birthday greetings. And if I recall correctly, you saw Hunter ON his birthday, Steve.

steve simels said...

I'd forgotten that we saw him on his birthday.

BTW, the version of "Sweet Jane" Ian did at that show was astounding -- maybe the best version of it I've ever heard. Swear to God, it sounded like Jay and the Americans.

Brooklyn Girl in Queens said...

My personal fave was "I Wish I Was Your Mother"

Alzo said...

Hunter is fantastic, but he's not God. Aside from Joe Strummer kicking Mick Jones out of the Clash, the biggest blunder a band ever made was Hunter and Ronson ditching the rest of Mott the Hoople. What a group that could have been! Try to find the long cut of 'Women's Intuition' and 'Great Expectations.' Labelling him as a 'rocker' just doesn't say enough!

GLLinMO said...

Hhmmm. Might be the best new track I've heard to date this year. Looking back over the years, not sure there has been a more consistent pop-rocker around.

Got's to add - since it's been brought up..... The geriatric progressive collective seems to be the party of elderly folk that would gravitate to and old rocker. But I bet most of them haven't heard of Ian. But I taint disagreeing with Mark either.

Dave said...

This is a great song, and a great recording. Thanks for this!

Dave F

Anonymous said...

Yes he is.

And why he doesn't get mentioned among the great song-writers or the era is just a miss. He's what, 73 or something now and still putting out relevant and awesome material, touring and simply getting it done. Mr. Simels, I recall your review of Mott many years ago in the Stereo Review mag. A desert island disc for me featuring the best self referential song about a band ever (runner up is Longer than You've Alive by Old 97's).

Long live Ian Hunter!