Friday, August 30, 2013

Ian Hunter (w/ The Rant Band) "Michael Picasso" (Bonus Video Friday)

Where else but "Michael Picasso" would we end the August series of Ian Hunter videos?  This is Hunter's farewell elegy to Mick Ronson - former Spider From Mars with David Bowie and future Dylan sideman - who was Ian's longest-standing creative collaborator, lead guitarist, and his brother in the rock & roll.  Ronson was the last lead guitarist of Mott The Hoople, following Mick Ralphs and Ariel Bender.  And, by all accounts, if Mott's rhythm section, Overend Watts and Dale Griffin could have put aside their petty differences with Ronson that band might have gone on to the rock & roll fame & glory it so richly deserved.  Who knows, they might even have gotten into The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

Hunter and Ronson's finest musical moments together came in the 1970's - with Ian Hunter's self-titled 1975 solo debut album, 1979's You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic, and the blazing double-record live document of their 1979 tour, Welcome To The Club.  And if you think that last-mentioned disc isn't one of the five greatest live albums of all time, you'd better think again, my little rock children.

Ronson died of liver cancer April 29th, 1993, at the age of 46, with Hunter - among other close friends & family- at his bedside.  A story told by Hunter in the February 2013 issue of Uncut magazine: "Maggi, his sister, was a nurse, so he wasn't in any pain.  He was still joking.  At one point Suzi (the former Suzi Fussey, Bowie's hairdresser when Ronson was in the Spiders From Mars and Ronson's wife of many years) said, 'Come talk to him.'  I sat down and said, 'Are you there?  Are you listening to me?'  He looks at me, nods his head and says, 'No.'  Ha!  And then that little soul flew out the window and that was it.'"

I wouldn't mind going out that way.  And I certainly wouldn't mind someone writing a song like this for me afterward.  Ian Hunter, thank you.  Mick Ronson, rest in peace.

inspirational verse; "Once upon a time, not so long ago / The people used to stand and stare /
At the Spider with the platinum hair / They thought you were immortal" - Ian Hunter, 1997

© 2013 Ricki C.

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