Classic Rock Review

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Diary Of A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star by Ian Hunter (1974)


Review “Diary” stands head-and-shoulders above every other rock music book for several reasons. It’s not ghost-written, and you can tell — the rhythms of speech will be familiar to fans of Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople.

It’s remarkably free of false glamour — it’s full of cancelled shows, travel hassles, hangovers, digestion problems — as well as the magic moments that make rock ‘n’ roll worthwhile. It also doesn’t seem to have been edited very much, which gives it a very loose, conversational feel — you’re sitting with Ian at the bar, both of you more than half drunk, and he’s just telling you about the tour, y’know? And advice to touring musicians that’s still good today in the bargain. There’s no ghost of political correctness informing the writing, though (the book was originally published in ’74) and while i thought it was a blast, i suppose some people might be offended.

Review When this Book was published in 1976 it was Titled: “Reflections of a Rock Star.” It cost a Whopping $3.99 and was printed by Flash Books. I was offered $120.00 for my copy by a Bookseller in San Francicso in 1998 and I promptly turned him down.

This 104 Page Book, documents Mott The Hoople’s, First Tour of America as Headliners. It begins in England, on Tuesday Nov 21 and runs through to Dec 24 on the Plane that returned the band back to the UK.

Out of Several hundred Books I have read on Rock N’ Roll, this would easily be in my Top-Ten of the Best Books on this Subject. Ian writes an honest account of the Tour, the Good as well as the Bad. A night in LA with Keith Moon & Frank Zappa. Hitting the pawn Shops for Guitars. Ian’s, famous attempt to see Elvis (by Sneaking past the gates, all the way to the back door) and being told that Elvis was too tired to entertain guests by his Maid.

The Gigs [Good & Bad) are discussed, as are Bad Hotels/Motels. Too many hours in Airports (Mick Ralphs, had a Horrible fear of Flying}. And rare insight on Mott and many other Bands of this: “The All The Young Dudes” Tour. This is a rare peek into Their World, from their point-of-View.

Lot’s of great photos are contained herein, and it’s a great read with fantastic visuals. If I had One Wish, it would be that this Book sould be longer, or the First of Many Volumes by Ian Hunter.

This is one of the finest Books on Rock ever. I have no plans to sell my Copy….five stars !!!

Review Ian Hunter proves himself to be one of the most articulate and intelligent personalities in rock in this diary of Mott’s late ’72 US tour in support of their All The Young Dudes album. It is a humble, egoless tale of the steps and stumbles of a band trying to break into the American market, lovingly and honestly told through the eyes of a young aspiring band leader.

Refreshingly free of the self-cogratulatory tone of most autobiographies and the slathering praise of too many band books by fan-…-journalists, this modest (read: short) work starts and ends with the reader inside the day-to-day workings of a mid-level journeyman band, warts and all. Best of all (or, worst of all, depending upon your point of view), this isn’t so much a book about Mott The Hoople and their music as it is a look at the human realities of what life on the road was like for the guys in the band, or most bands like them at that time.

It captures perfectly the tone of the time and the atmosphere prevailing in the early ’70’s. It strips away the facades and breathes life into the rigors, rewards and frustrations of chasing the musical Holy Grail. I first bought this book in London in 1975, and have read and re-read it more times than I can remember. Raw, spontaneous and unpretentious, it is funny, sad, touching and rewarding, especially with the hindsight of the band’s history immediately after the end of the book.

A must read for any music fan, and essential for any one who wishes to understand the period when the music became secondary to the business concerns. I love this book.

May 7, 2013 - Posted by | Book Diary Of A Rock 'n' Roll Star by Ian Hunter | ,

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