Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter On Refusing To Become David Bowie’s ‘Servant’

Mott The Hoople‘s Ian Hunter was recently interviewed by Louder Sound to talk about his career, Jeff Beck, Taylor Hawkins, punk rock, Alex Harvey, David Bowie and more.

One of the questions he was asked included what changed after writing many classic songs such as ‘All The Way From Memphis’. Mentioning David Bowie, on a bad note, he answered:

It’s the press, isn’t it? It always comes down to the press. ‘You’re living on David Bowie,’ y’know – ‘You can’t do anything yourselves’. David wanted to do another one but it was like, ‘No way: because then we just become servants to you.’”

Hunter explains what kind of songs he wrote with Mick Ralphs, the guitarist, and Paul Rodgers, the guitarist of the band Bad Company, and why they ‘had’ to do so:

“So then of course me and Mick [Ralphs] were panic-stricken, trying to write a hit for about nine months. And it was difficult because I’m limited as a singer. Mick would write these more soulful, blues kind of things, y’know, which Paul Rodgers eventually sang. He was the right kind of guy to sing Mick’s songs. I couldn’t do them. That’s the beginning of the end right there. My songs started coming through. We had to do that to get away from the David tag.”

Ian Hunter gained success when David Bowie gave Hunter his own song ‘All The Young Dudes’ since he had heard the band was thinking of breaking up due to lack of success. Although the two worked together many times, Hunter claims that he and Bowie were never friends. He explained:

“I just wanted to play rock ’n’ roll because it excited me. But David saw a whole lot more and was going for it, 24 hours a day. He just wasn’t the type I would hang out with. But generous to a tee, lovely with the band. I mean, he gave us ‘Dudes.’ I’ve got nothing but praise for David.”

Hunter has recently released the first part of his latest album, ‘Defiance’. You can listen to the album here.