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Ian Hunter: not-so-young dude

The former Mott man on still rocking at 77, memories of Bowie and Buffin, and keeping his Fingers Crossed

No one could have sold All The Young Dudes quite as effectively as Ian Hunter. Even David Bowie recognised that his lad’s-rock anthem needed an infusion of strutting, pugnacious, football terrace braggadocio way beyond Ziggy’s grasp. The former Mott The Hoople frontman retains the enviable everyman appeal that made him the only credible contender to carry the news back in ’72. He still writes songs that cause grown men to discover something unexpected in their eye, and he performs them with an emotional grit that guarantees him continuing artistic relevance, even as a not-so-young dude of 77.

At home in Connecticut, preparing to tour his latest Fingers Crossed album fronting the Rant Band, Hunter ponders his illustrious past and a songwriting gift that keeps on giving – whether he likes it or not.

In 2014 you jammed at Sun Studios in Memphis. Did it remind you of why you fell in love with rock’n’roll in the first place?

The lyric of_Ghosts_ [from Fingers Crossed] really says it. That room is so live. The weird thing was, there were guitars all over the walls, a little kit, a double bass on a stand, and the band just started playing. It sounded great. Jerry Lee Lewis’s piano was there, with the cigarette burn where they told him to stop smoking and he put it out on the piano. Three stars on the floor for Bill Black, Elvis and Scotty Moore.

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