Ian Hunter biography
Ian Hunter Patterson, (born 3 June 1939), is an English singer-songwriter who is best known as the lead singer of the English rock band Mott the Hoople from its inception in 1969 to its dissolution in 1974, and at the time of its 2009 reunion. Hunter was a musician and songwriter before joining Mott The Hoople, and continued in this vein after he left the band. He embarked on a solo career despite ill health and disillusionment with commercial success, and often worked in collaboration with Mick Ronson, 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 charted with lesser-known but more wide-ranging works outside of the rock mainstream. His best-known solo records are "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", later covered by Great White, and "Cleveland Rocks," a cover version of which became the theme song for the American TV series The Drew Carey Show.
Hunter's entry into the music business came after a chance encounter with Colin York and Colin Broom at a Butlin's Holiday Camp, where the trio won a talent competition performing "Blue Moon" on acoustic guitars. York and Broom were members of a Northampton-based band called The Apex Group, fronted by bass player and band leader Frank Short. Ian soon left his home in Shrewsbury, transferred his apprenticeship from Sentinel/Rolls Royce to British Timken in Northampton, and joined The Apex Group on rhythm guitar. Ian recalls jumping around like a lunatic on stage: "Music affected me so much. The rest of them just stood there. It was funny, I had kids who came just to watch me do this, and I can't imagine what it looked like."
Hunter left The Apex Group in 1958, just before they recorded their first single "Yorkshire Relish, Caravan" for John Lever Records. Ian played in a few local groups, but eventually his financial situation forced a change. "I wasn't making my hire-purchase payments, and 'little jobs' were getting done and people were getting smacked. I was never in the middle of it, but I was always somewhere in the area." He returned to Shrewsbury, ostensibly to become more responsible in his personal life, and settled down enough to have a steady girlfriend in Diane Coles. Outside of his day job, he and Tony Wardle formed a harmonica duo inspired by Morton Fraser's Harmonica Gang, a local variety act.
Once out of debt and seemingly settled, Ian returned to Northampton and The Apex Group. Diane followed and the two married and settled in St James End. Their first child, Stephen, was born there in 1962. Tensions were in the air though, both musically and in his personal life. While his wife attended to home life, Hunter resumed his wild ways with his Northampton mates.
The Apex Group had steady regional work at clubs and military bases, but Hunter bristled at the formality of the band, who wore matching stage jackets and were moving increasingly toward an R&B-like stage revue. In 1963, while still a group member, Ian formed a band in direct competition to them: Hurricane Henry and the Shriekers, with Tony Marriott on drums and Julian Coulter on guitar. They worked steadily in Northampton, and attracted the attention of pianist Freddie 'Fingers' Lee. Lee took over as frontman in March 1964, and Ian moved to bass. Frank Short eventually learned of Hunter's duplicity, and Hunter was kicked out of The Apex Group.
Biography from , the free encyclopedia.
It may not have been reviewed by a professional editor, and recent changes may not show up straight away. See the latest version of this article. Used under licence. Subject to disclaimers.