10/08/2006

Ian Hunter live

My introduction to Ian Hunter, if I remember correctly, came one night in the late 1970s, while watching either The Midnight Special, or Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. I saw the video for "We Gotta Get Out of Here," which is basically a song about the how fake the whole disco culture was ("It's all so sad, what a waste of a night / 'Cause nothing's wrong, but nothing's right"). At the very end of the vido, Ian is leading his girlfriend down an empty street and asks her why she goes to places like that. She responds, "It's all I know." YouTube has a live performance, but, sadly, I couldn't find the original video.


Fast forward 25 years. I'm living in Miami now, where shallow rules, and the lyrics have more meaning than ever ("It's such a small time rodeo / Such famous people here, with nowhere to go").

I was a little punker when I first heard the song. I hated disco music and proudly wore my "disco sucks" t-shirt everywhere. Even at that tender age, Ian Hunter's skewering of a shallow culture reinforced the ideas I already had. The next day I ran down to the Vinyl Disk, looking for the album with that song. I found "Ian Hunter Live," which included "We Gotta Get Out of Here" as one of four studio tracks on the disk. Despite an end-of-song exchange between Hunter and Ellen Foley, those two lines were not, to my dismay, part of the song.

But I now owned an Ian Hunter album, and came to love the older Mott the Hoople stuff, as well as Hunter's newer songs. And, thanks to Ian Hunter, everytime I find myself at some club where the music sucks, the drinks are over-priced, and the people are more interested in style than substance, Hunter's lyrics inevitably come to mind: "Hey rock and roll, fill the holes in my brain / I promise you I'll never come here again ... We gotta get out of here."


As best as I can tell, the album I bought, "Ian Hunter Live," was re-released, with four additional tracks, as "Welcome to the Club." How or why, I don't know. The album was recorded, I think in San Francisco, during the 1979 tour for "Schizophrenic." However that all worked out, I couldn't find any reference anywhere to this album I have. Regardless, here's some live Ian Hunter -featuring Mick Ronson on guitar- and, of course, my favorite Ian Hunter song of all time.

Irene Wilde.mp3
All the Young Dudes.mp3
All the Way From Memphis.mp3
Cleveland Rocks.mp3
We Gotta Get Out of Here.mp3
Slaughter on Tenth Avenue.mp3
Just Another Night.mp3

As always, for more information:
Ian Hunter's site is here.
There's an unofficial site for Ian Hunter and Mott the Hoople here.
And an unofficial Mott the Hoople page is here.

1 Comments:

At 3:28 AM , Blogger Mysticusque said...

What a master. Ian Hunter was one of my mainstays when I was a preteen, unable even to afford to buy albums. I remember hearing those songs when they came out, and was right with you on the "Disco Sucks" thing. I had loved funk like the Isleys and Earth, Wind and Fire (and still do); and the Sex Pistols (but not the Clash), but only because Pete Townshend recommended them on the radio; but never this Sister Sledge stuff.

Several years ago, I managed to find a copy of the original single, "England Rocks" (almost IMPOSSIBLE to find). I had begun to wonder if I'd dreamed there was such a version. I hadn't heard it in almost 30 years. It was funny to hear the difference in production (Cleveland Rocks is much shinier).

Great post! And great rock and roll songwriter.

 

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