(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Mott the Hoople lead singer and songwriter Ian Hunter brings his current group, the Rant Band, to Club Helsinki Hudson on Friday, September 30, at 9pm. As leader of 1970s British rock legends Mott the Hoople and a hugely influential solo artist, Hunter is widely revered as one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most compelling and influential performers, as well as one of its most articulate songwriters.
Hunter penned such immortal rock anthems as “All The Way From Memphis,” “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” and “Cleveland Rocks,” and had a huge hit with the David Bowie-penned “All The Young Dudes” after turning down the first song Bowie offered, “Suffragette City.”
Ian Hunter was already a veteran of the London music scene by the time he joined Mott the Hoople in 1969. With Mott, he recorded four iconoclastic albums — “Mott The Hoople,” “Mad Shadows,” “Wildlife” and “Brain Capers” — by the time they hit international stardom with the glam-rock anthem for a generation, Bowie’s “All The Young Dudes.”
The band’s artistic and commercial success continued with “Mott” and “The Hoople,” between them containing the hits, “All The Way From Memphis,” “Honaloochie Boogie,” “Roll Away the Stone” and “The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. On Mott the Hoople’s final tour, they took out a then little-known band called Queen, who would have a hit single with a song about their experiences, “Now I’m Here.” It would be the only time Queen would open for anyone and the band members would stay long term friends with Hunter, contributing backing vocals to his “All American Alien Boy” album.
Mott the Hoople has also been credited by John Lydon (Sex Pistols) and Mick Jones (The Clash) as being one of the pioneers and inspirations behind the burgeoning punk / new wave movement. Later on, Hunter would go on to produce Generation X’s “Valley Of The Dolls” album and The Clash would play on Hunter’s “Short Back ‘n’ Sides” release. Not many, if any, other artists could claim to have influenced bands as diverse as Queen and the Sex Pistols.
Mott the Hoople disbanded in 1974 and Hunter moved to New York, segueing into a celebrated solo career and quickly building a formidable body of solo work. The albums, “Ian Hunter,” “All American Alien Boy,” “Overnight Angels,” “You’re Never Alone With A Schizophrenic,” “Short Back ‘n’ Sides” and “All Of The Good Ones Are Taken,” featuring such diverse talents as the aforementioned Queen and The Clash, Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson, the then-unknown jazz sensation Jaco Pastorious, and a New Jersey bar outfit called the E Street Band.
Even Barry Manilow took one of Hunter’s most personal songs, “Ships,” into the charts, and Great White had an international hit with their cover of “Once Bitten, Twice Shy.”
Since the early 1990s, Hunter has produced what many critics feel to be his best work to date. There are now a new generation of artists name-checking Hunter as an influence, including Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Bobby Gillespie (Primal Scream), and Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters).
Mott the Hoople has reunited twice and played two hugely successful tours. If anyone had any doubts as to the long lasting appeal and influence of Hunter’s music, you would only have needed to peek at the scenes in Mott the Hoople’s dressing room after their London show where they were joined by Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), Mick Jones (The Clash), Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) and John Squire (The Stone Roses), probably four of the most influential artists of all time.
But, as always, whilst proud of his past achievements, Hunter would prefer to focus on the future. “To me, music is holy” Hunter asserts, adding “For the first fifteen years of my life, I had no idea what I was here for. But then Elvis came out and it was, ‘Oh, that’s what I am here for.’ Rock ‘n’ roll got me out and gave me a great life and I don’t know what I would have done without it. It’s all I know and my identity is all tied up with it.”
These days, Hunter performs with his current outfit, the Rant Band, which backed him on his most recent album, “Fingers Crossed,” which contains “Dandy,” his tribute to his late friend and collaborator David Bowie.
For reservations in The Restaurant or in the club call 518.828.4800.