Ian Hunter - Live At Rockpalast Featuring Mick Ronson (1980)
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Recorded in 1980, here comes another entry in the Rockpalast Concert Series. This time around we have the Ian Hunter Band featuring Mick Ronson. This is a full-screen presentation with decent stereo sound. Once again, we have the song titles at the bottom of the screen for the beginning of each song, which is annoying the first couple times, but you get adjusted to it during the concerts running time. The only buyer beware is some video distortion throughout the entire show. This looks like color bands across the screen, and while at first quite annoying, you almost get used to it. I believe this comes from the original television broadcast, and I doubt any sort of remastering processes could fix it. The rarity of the concerts in the Rockpalast Series makes this a worthwhile disc to own though. Let's see the history of Ian Hunter up to the 1980 period of this show.
Ian Hunter Patterson (born 3 June 1939) is an English singer-songwriter. He was the lead singer of the English rock band Mott the Hoople from its inception in 1969 to its dissolution in 1974, and he again fronted them at the time of their 2009 reunion. Hunter was a musician and songwriter before Mott The Hoople, and he continued in this vein after he left the band. As the leading figure in Mott The Hoople, but facing ill health and disillusioned with commercial success, he embarked on a solo career, often in collaboration with Mott The Hoople's guitarist Mick Ronson, who was well known as David Bowie's sideman and arranger from the Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars period.
Mott The Hoople achieved a certain level of commercial success and attracted a small but devoted fan base. As a solo artist, Hunter at times made the charts with lesser-known but more wide-ranging works outside the rock mainstream. Among his best-known solo records are "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" (later covered by Great White) and "Cleveland Rocks," made famous from a cover version on the American TV series The Drew Carey Show.
In March 1975 Hunter joined forces with Mick Ronson; during his solo career, Hunter most frequently worked with Ronson until the latter's death in 1993. Hunter's first single from his eponymous solo album was the UK Top 40 hit "Once Bitten Twice Shy". Hunter and Ronson then parted professionally (reportedly due to Hunter's refusal to have to deal with Ronson's manager at the time, Tony DeFries). Hunter's second solo album, All American Alien Boy, was a more soul-infused work, featuring saxophonist David Sanborn, bassist Jaco Pastorius, and, on one track, Queen (one-time opening act for Mott the Hoople) on backing vocals. With his next album Overnight Angels (produced by Roy Thomas Baker and featuring former Bowie sideman Earl Slick on lead guitar), Hunter opted for a heavier guitar sound. Hunter's record label in America, Columbia Records, refused to release the album in the US. According to Ian Hunter, this was due not so much to dissatisfaction on Columbia's part towards the record, but to issues concerning Hunter's management at the time: "Overnight Angels was not released in the US because I fired my manager, Fred Heller, during the English promotional tour - just before it was to be released in America. Columbia said they didn't want to release it until I had new management and that dragged on until it became too late."
Mick Ronson returned as producer and guitarist on Hunter's 1979 album You're Never Alone with a Schizophrenic, which also featured several members from Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band as well as John Cale. Two songs from Schizophrenic became successes for other artists: in late 1979, "Ships" was covered by Barry Manilow and became a top ten US hit, and in 1997, "Cleveland Rocks" was covered by the Presidents of the United States of America (whose version was used as the theme song for The Drew Carey Show). "Cleveland Rocks" is arguably Hunter's most enduring solo song; it is seen as a de facto anthem in Cleveland, Ohio (sometimes used as a victory song for the city's sports teams) and Hunter was given the key to the city by Cleveland mayor Dennis Kucinich on 19 June 1979.
here is the tracklisting for this April 19-20 1980 show
2.Once Bitten, Twice Shy
4.Laugh At Me
6.I Wish I Was Your Mother
7.Just Another Night
8.We Gotta Get Out Of Here
10.All The Way From Memphis
12.All The Young Dudes
13.Slaughter On 10th Avenue
The only bonus feature on the DVD is a trailer for the Ian Hunter Concert. There is a nice eight-page booklet that comes with the package that has some nice photos and some good information in it. Grab this if you can find it, because I believe that these rare concerts are a treat for music lovers of all tastes.
- added 03/19/2012, 01:01 AM
There are four guitarists I put in a league of
their own that I love. Johnny Thunders/Jimmy
Page/Mick Jones (Clash) and Mick Ronson. Mick's
two solo albums are still in my top for greatest
albums ever. I bought a Black Les Paul and wanted
to have the paint removed from the top so I could
emulate his Gibson. But, every shop I brought it
to refused to defile the instrument.
Mick's never gotten the recognition he deserved.
Without his talent Ziggy Stardust would not have
been the success it was. Nothing Bowie did after
Mick left has the ravenous hooks that made
Bowie/Ronson collaborations so magnificent.
Mellencamp's Jack and Diane is Mick Ronson. Lou
Reed's string arrangements are Mick Ronson.
There's a ton of classic music that has Ronson's
fingerprints on it, yet no one knows his name.
I'd been going to concerts for a few
years, and this tour Hunter/Ronson played at
Hammerheads on Long Island. I was right up against
the stage just a foot or so of Mick. I couldn't
take my eyes off him. After the last encore he
dropped his pick. I fucking jumped onto that stage
and grabbed it. It's the first memento I ever got
from a concert and still one my favorites.
Johnny died in 1991. Mick passed 2 years
later, which was a total shock.
his legacy lives on. His daughter Lisa Ronson is
the lead vocalist in the band The Secret History,
right here out of NYC. The band's great and she
looks exactly like Mick. She's carrying on the
family tradition of musical excellence.
I went a
few years ago to see Ian Hunter play at The Stone
Pony in Asbury Park. I snuck in my video camera
and taped the show. Ian is a great performer with
magnificent material. If he ever passes your way,
definitely check him out.