Saturday, June 27, 2015

Joan Jett

In honour of her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last week, here is my 'Joan Jett' interview from her first solo tour. At least at the time anyway, her manager was handling all her interviews since he had been with her for pretty much the whole time since leaving The Runaways.

(via manager KEN LAGUNA)

KEN LAGUNA, JOAN JETT’S LONG-TIME MANAGER had once played with The Ohio Express as well as Tommy James & the Shondells. He’s pretty much managed Jett’s entire career. At the time of this interview he was handling all her press interviews since he knew as much about her as she did herself. So, here’s the article I wrote from my interview with Ken Laguna in February 1987.

‘We’ve been really lucky with Joan,’ he says. ‘She’s gone from nothing to being a top artist. In New York she came in at number two, right behind Styx, and at number 10 in Boston, with many top LPs. She’s been a top 10 seller on WEBN in Cincinnati, as well. In Northern California she does real well and has been number one in Albany, New York and on KNAC in long Beach California. The third record, originally an import only, became the ninth most rated record in America according to Record World during the Christmas 1982 season.
The Runaways had a couple of things going against them,’ he continued. ‘They were never taken as anything more than a novelty, in spite of the fact that the songs were brilliant. You’re Too Possessive, Cherry Bomb, [I Love] Playing With Fire. The press wanted to treat them as "jailbait rock.” It hurt the band’s morale and made them think they’d never be more than a novelty.’

The Runaways, the ‘all-girl band.’ A couple of members – Cherie Curry and Lita Ford – wanted to go metal. [Cleveland drummer Eric Singer originally played drums for Lita before moving on to Black Sabbath and then KISS.] both have since come out with solo albums, however, Lita has made more progress with her music than Cherie and has become fairly popular in her own right. Both have also had small movie roles. Joan wanted to continue on in the same trend that The Runaways had begun, with perhaps a bit more of a pop-flavoured overtone. She has succeeded far and beyond the other members of her previous band.
Joan is somewhat of a ‘legend’ in Los Angeles. The Germs wanted her to produce their first album, GI. The Germs idolised her. At the time, she needed the money and the activity, having been approached by The Germs shortly after The Runaways split up. It came as somewhat of a boost to her sagging ego.

She’s also worked with the Sex Pistols for awhile, recording a couple of songs with Steve Jones and Paul Cook. She has a bit of a sound reminiscent to T-Rex, circa 1973, yet she can also get into a sound like that of The Germs and the Pistols.

Jett, around [57], was born in Philadelphia but has also lived both in Erie and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in Maryland with Ken and his wife. During her high school years, she moved out to Los Angeles and, at some point, found herself at Rodney Bingenheimer’s club. in Los Angeles she was treated as a freak, being a girl who wanted to play guitar. It was, for the most part, an exclusively male club at the time. There weren’t very many women in rock music (Suzi Quatro, Linda Ronstadt and Heart were the exemplaries of the women playing rock music – and while Ronstadt had a backing band, Quatro and the Wilson sisters, Ann and Nancy, of Heart all played their own instruments) and it was looked on rather oddly.

Self-styled music guru Kim Fowley took Joan’s idea to form a band and helped to get it going. Sandy West, the drummer, had approached him with a similar idea and he helped her team up with Jett. He also helped with auditions, helped write songs, helped produce and, generally, got the band off the ground and helped them to stay motivated. He manipulated the press as well, making them think he was in total control of the band, which wasn’t true. Kim Fowley was basically the American equivalent of England’s Malcolm McLaren who assembled the Sex Pistols and pretty much did the same thing that Fowley would later do himself for The Runaways.

The image for the band – black leather and tight clothing – was created, partly due to the times (the infancy stages of punk rock) and partly due to a mistake in management. It all came back to the ‘jailbait’ aspect. All the members of the band had come from good families whose parents were able to understand that a girl could be in a rock band.

They were not ‘wayward’ kids, as their image was created to suggest, and they were definitely not runaways looking for a way to survive. Their parents were all involved in the decision to attempt to make rock and roll a part of their lives and their careers. Jett was an A-student in school and, though she left to pursue a music career, had no trouble in passing her GED courses to make up for the lack of a high school diploma.

Actually, her parents were a bit apprehensive at first, being concerned about their daughter running off to join (or form) a rock band, but they were behind her decision all the way. She decided that was what she wanted to do once she arrived in California and, coupled with having seen Suzi Quatro at the age of 13, Joan Jett knew that this was what she wanted to do with her life.

Kim Fowley and the band eventually had a falling out of management decisions, which left them in a bit of a turmoil. They weren’t prepared to handle things by themselves, but they resented the fact that their image was that of being a ‘figment of his whims,’ and they began to fall apart.

Shortly thereafter, the band members ended up going their own separate ways and, after the earlier-mentioned work with The Germs and the Pistols, Jett got the idea to get another band together to do things she felt they really ought to be.

She met Ken Laguna and changed her bandmates to males because she felt that, since she had already played with an all-female band, that was something special and would always remain so. Anything else she could have done from that point forward would, she felt, be just a mockery of all that had gone before.

Gary Ryan, the bass player, told me ‘She didn’t really WANT an all-male band. [It was just that] after auditions, this [the Blackhearts] was the best thing to come out. He had been playing with a popular group in Los Angeles called Rik L Rik. The late Darby Crash of The Germs called him one day and told him that Jett was looking for a bass player to form a new band. He suggested Gary check it out. Gary was dating Germs bassist Lorna Doom at the time.

He tried to connect with Joan for two days to discuss an audition, but he didn’t succeed on the first go. Then, one day, Blackhearts guitarist Eric Ambel called him up and told him about an advert in the paper that Jett was [officially] looking for a band. Gary called the number, went to the audition, and it was, ‘Hi, how’ve you been, haven’t seen you for six months. I got in the band like that,’ he concluded. Ambel, who had been friends with Ryan for awhile – as well as having played together in the Rik L Rik band, also auditioned and was accepted for the position of guitarist.

Gary Ryan originally started his career in music playing cello in the fifth grade, switching to stand up bass and finally to electric bass in a high school jazz ensemble. He started hanging out in Hollywood, originally to see bands like X, Black Randy, The Germs, The Weirdos and, of course, The Runaways. From that point on, he said he ‘slowly worked my way in’].
Although he plays the kind of music he does and had in the past – loud, fast punk and power pop bordering on punk – and, when going to concerts enjoys the same kind of music, he normally listens to older music. ‘The only new band I really like is Adam & the Ants. I really like The Doors,’ he confessed.

His parents didn’t like what he’s doing very much, at first, but then when ‘they realised  I was going to tour Holland and stuff, the kind of dug it,’ he told me. ‘They really like the [Jett] record too. It’s my mother’s favourite LP.’ He plans on sticking with the music business ‘for awhile.’ He said he’d only look about six months into the future and that’s about it.

The single, I Love Rock And Roll, was originally only released on an obscure Dutch label before eventually being released in the US. It was recorded with the Sex Pistols, Kenny Laguna produced it along with Rich Cordell, the producer on such smash hits as Tommy James & The Shondells’ Mony Mony, Gimme Gimme Good Lovin’ and I Think We’re Alone Now.

Twenty eight-year-old drummer Lee Crystal, and the other members of her band all knew her since before the Blackhearts were assembled. The rest of the band had resented the fact that journalists always went to beautiful Joan Jett for interviews to their exclusion but that feeling abated somewhat when they realised that the band is all one, not just Jett, or any other individual member. They like to think that they’re a complete band that she fronts, as opposed to it being ‘her’ band.

Jett actually recorded three songs with the Sex Pistols. I Love Rock And Roll was really originally an experiment on some radio stations and ‘the response was overwhelming.’ The other two songs they recorded were You Don’t Own Me and Don’t Abuse Me.

She was upset after the Runaways breakup because she really didn’t know what she was going to do next. The Dutch subsidiary of Phonogram Records wanted something else from her, but she didn’t know what she could do. she went to England. She had known the Pistols fom backstage appearances at a couple of Runaways shows. She thought that it would be great if they played and she produced, but she quickly changed her mind, thinking they should produce the record, and Steve Jones and Paul Cook did a brilliant job.

Rumour soon spread that Cook and Jones would join Jett’s band now the Sex Pistols were broken up. The European press picked up on the stories much more so than the American music press. Ken Laguna told me, ‘She expected lunacy in the studio, but they were very professional … unusually so. They took it seriously. It was around this time that they formed their own band, The Professionals and released a couple of singles and a pretty good album entitled I Didn’t See It Coming.’

Kenny had always told her not to talk to the press after she’d had a couple of drinks. Though she doesn’t really ‘drink’ per se, as he put it, ‘all people will have a couple of drinks at a party. A rock and roll star, or anyone in the public eye, has to be careful of the image they project. It’s like a guy might say, “I met Joan Jett and this is how she is.” She’d say “I don’t give a damn about my bad reputation”. She wrote the song Bad Reputation in the frame of mind that this is a new world and a girl can do what a guy can do. A person can do what they want and shouldn’t be condemned. The whole world is screwed up, and why should she have to be worried about the way she is? All she cares about is putting on a great show.’ Other than that, her main concern just may be that the Baltimore Orioles win.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Lydia Lunch pays tribute to Stiv Bator

video

John Waters pays tribute to Stiv Bator



video
On 29 June 1990 I put on a benefit to raise money for Stiv's parents (it was a very successful event) and I received many tributes from the friends and people that worked with him over the years. This is Take 1 of John Waters's video tribute which has previously been unreleased. I used Take 2 in my tribute show on VidMag-TV. Iggy Pop also sent a video tribute.  (You can watch the Stiv Memorial episode at www.youtube.com/vidmag)

Welcome to VidMag Media's Blog

Here you will find interviews we have done over the years in print form. Many of them aired on my television programme VidMag-TV from 1986 to 1993. I hope to add new ones as time goes on and to be able to add audio and video to the blog, as well as some downloads. I hope you enjoy what you see here. My labour of love is intended for all to see.

Ian Hunter / Mick Ronson


by Jeff Reding and Donna Shimko


Photo Credit: Steve Newton (www.earofnewt.com)


LONG AGO IN WHAT SEEMS A DIFFERENT AGE, Cleveland was a mecca for new talent to break out. Bands loved to play here because the fans were rabid and supportive of artists like David Bowie, Todd Rundgren, TheSensational Alex Harvey Band and BruceSpringsteen. Those days are long gone in this era of corporate rock and radio programming coming from a central source rather than the from the radio stations themselves. One of the bands that always enjoyed much success in Cleveland was Mottthe Hoople, featuring Ian Hunter.



Mick Ronson, one of the members of Bowie's Spiders from Mars band, and who was a brilliant and extraordinary guitarist, teamed up with Hunter, who had already had a handful of successful records like, ‘All American Alien Boy,’ ‘You're Never Alone With a Schizophrenic,’ and ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy.’ On one of his forays into Cleveland with Ronson, I had the honour and privilege of interviewing the two of them together the day after Thanksgiving in 1989.



Here, then, is that conversation:



WE’RE SITTING HERE WITH IAN HUNTER AND MICK RONSON [1946 – 1993] FROM THE HUNTER/RONSON BAND – OR RONSON/HUNTER BAND - WHICHEVER WAY YOU WANT TO LOOK AT IT. THEY ARE BOTH ELDER STATESMEN IN ROCK AND ROLL



IAN, HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN DOING THIS … STUFF … CALLED ROCK AND ROLL?



IAN:    Since about ’65.



’65 WAS WHEN YOU FIRST GOT STARTED?



IAN:    First time I ever worked pro was in the Star Club, Hamburg.



AS PART OF A REGULAR TOURING BAND OR A SESSION … SIDE MAN?



IAN:    Bass player. I was playing with this guy who was a piano player, like Jerry Lee Lewis. I played bass for him, you know.



OKAY. HOW DID THAT ALL COME ABOUT? HOW DID YOU HOOK UP AND GET INVOLVED?



IAN:    I was playing in semi-pro bands when I was growing up. You know, one guy came to town, and it was like he’d been with ScreamingLord Sutch and the Savages … been his piano player, and so he then formed a band in our town and I got the bass gig, you know. So, up until that time, I’d never entertained ever getting into it further than, like, the local, semi-pro.



SO WHAT BROUGHT ABOUT THE CHANGE TO GO PRO AND TO SWITCH OVER TO GUITAR, AS WELL?



IAN:    Well, this guy never liked the way I sounded. In fact, he wouldn’t even let me sing harmonies, but he … I started writing a couple songs and he said they were good, you know, so I thought, ‘Well, maybe there is a shot.’ But I definitely couldn’t have been a singer then. And then, a little bit later on, when people in England started listening to Dylan a lot, you know, then there became more room for people like me, you know, kind of more stylised vocals.



I NOTICED IN A LOT OF YOUR STUFF THERE SEEMS TO BE A LOT OF HEAVY [DYLANESQUE] INFLUENCES. THE FIRST COUPLE [MOTT THE HOOPLE] ALBUMS, FOR INSTANCE, HAVE A LOT OF REAL DYLANESQUE SORTS OF VOCAL …



IAN:    Yeah, it was the only way you could get around. That’s the only thing that people have to relate to you as, you know, so I sort of used it a bit.. I was well impressed by Bob Dylan as well.



HOW ABOUT YOU MICK? HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH IT AND EVENTUALLY LEADING UP TO THE SPIDERS [FROM MARS]?



MICK:  I was playing classical music when I was a kid. I always played classical piano and violin and recorder, and I didn’t want to be a violin player, I wanted to be a classical cello player.



PROFESSIONALLY?



MICK:  Oh yeah. So, the teaching system, as it was when I was taking band … I was not allowed to play the cello unless I played the … unless I went through a whole course of violin and then viola and then graduate to cello, you see. In that period of time when I was playing the violin … which I really didn’t want to play the thing anyway … then I started doing, you know, Duane Eddy and then TheRolling Stones came out and The Beatles and The Shadows and everything, so I decided I wanted to be in a rock and roll band, ‘cause I kept seeing all these people on the television … and I wanted to be in something that was more modern or something, you know. So then I wanted to be a drummer, I didn’t want to be a guitar player, I wanted to play drums. But buying a kit of drums was much more expensive than buying a guitar, so I bought a guitar. And that’s when that started, and then I got to jam with a couple of friends, you know. We used to play along with Everly Brothers songs and rolling stones songs, played like Duane Eddy … and then, eventually I, you know, I went kind of from group to group, you know … through about four or five years or something. And so I met David[Bowie] … I joined up with David.



HOW DID THAT ALL COME ABOUT? THE … I GUESS YOU COULD SAY THE ‘BIG TRIO’ AT THE TIME WAS DAVID BOWIE, MOTT THE HOOPLE AND MARC BOLAN WITH T. REX … WERE THE THREE BIGGEST OF THAT SORT OF THING. HOW DID YOU HOOK UP WITH THAT, AND HOW DID YOU TWO HOOK UP AND HOW DID EVERYTHING SORT OF INTERPLAY?



MICK:  WELL, YOU KNOW, I MET David … I was just at his house one day and he asked me to play with him, you know … we just started playing together and it developed from there.  And Ian … I met Ian when David was working the ‘All the Young Dudes album.  And I’d seen him before  at a couple of years, when David went down to do some gigs … it was the first time I met him, but to just sit around and chat some and stuff, you know, I met him when they were doing the album.



HOW ABOUT THE INTERPLAY BETWEEN THE BANDS? WAS THERE A LOT OF THAT KIND OF THING … LIKE THE SPIDERS AND MOTT?



IAN:    I really liked Mick a lot, ‘cause he was kind of like us … he was like, working class, you know? And David was a bit, kind of, arty on a day-to-day basis, but we all liked Mick. That was about it, really. It just seemed that he was a creative, good guitar player, you know, and I really wanted him in our band after David did his little retirement bit. We were running around pretty hard and, what with one thing and another, it was about … I forget when it was … a long while later by the time I managed to get to a point where we could get him in, you know.



THAT WAS RIGHT AFTER … PRETTY MUCH THE LAST …



IAN:    Well, Mick Rock and this girl Anya, that was a publicist, said to me, ‘You should ring up Mick. Mick’s doing nothing.’ And, like, a lot of bands would’ve probably wanted him in their band but, like, nobody knew where he was and nobody knew what he was doing and all that … in fact he was doing absolutely nothing. Just sitting there doing nothing. So I took the bull by the horns one night and went down there, you know. About five the following morning, that was it.



AND THAT RESULTED IN THE ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY SINGLE, EVENTUALLY.



IAN:  Yeah, I wrote that in his house a couple of days later.



A COUPLE OF DAYS LATER?



IAN:    Yeah, there was a little drum machine there. It was very inspirational around that time. It was also very frightening.



IN WHAT WAY?



IAN:    Being sued. That’s why we came over here. We both came over here.



DO YOU WANT TO EXPOUND ON THAT AT ALL?



IAN:    It was just that there were tours to do that we weren’t going to do, that were sold out, and people wanted their money back. I lived in hospital for a few days, so I was a little bit tense, a little bit nervous, and the doctor said, ‘All right, we’ll give you all these bits of paper so you’ll be alright. You won’t get sued then. Do you actually want to go and do this?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t wanna do it, you know.’ So they gave me this bit of paper saying, you know, I would flake out if I did it.



TOO ILL TO TOUR?



IAN:    Yeah, so … Well, I would have been. I mean I really didn’t want to do it. It’s easy looking at it out of an office or something, but when you’re there with it, day after day, and what’s going down you’re not liking at all, you know, it’s awful.



ROAD PRESSURES AND THINGS LIKE THAT.



IAN:    Yeah, and it was, I don’t know, we got ourselves tired. I mean, we were all nervous.



WHAT ABOUT … HOW DID THE WHOLE GLITTER THING, KIND OF, LIKE, EVOLVE? I WANT TO TRY AND CONNECT IN A WAY HOW THE GLITTER THING FROM THEY ‘HEYDAY’ OF ROCK AND ROLL OF THE EARLY SEVENTIES … HOW IT EVOLVED INTO THE MUSIC OF TODAY AND HOW THJAT CORRELATES WITH WHAT YOU’RE DOING TODAY. THAT;S THE ANGLE I WANT TO APPROACH.



MICK:  I think the dressing up and the make-up and all that was always around, you know. I mean, people used to dress up … like Screaming Lord Sutch and Alice Cooper would come out and do his thing, like, get his head chopped off in a guillotine and, you know, there was a guy that used to get out of a coffin …



IAN:    Jay Hawkins. Screaming Jay Hawkins [a native Clevelander].



MICK:  So there was always an element of that anyway, so when the glitter thing started up, it was really kind of the same thing, except it was done with a bit more glitter on it. Basically, it was a similar sort of thing, you know. It was just a dressing up, you know, which a lot of bands had always done. People have been doing that for years, you know.



IAN:    There were a couple of other reasons for it too. I mean, there were a lot of bands in England … a lot of people could play and you’d find that you would get out there quite a bit in order to get noticed, you know. It’s just sort of a known fact of life in England … in those days, anyway. To get noticed you have to be a little more flash, perhaps.



MICK:  Yeah, Jimi Hendrix came out and he was flashy too, wasn’t he?



IAN:    Oh yeah. I saw him on the television once and that was it, you know. But then, another reason was, it had been ‘Flower Power,’ it’d been blues guys looking down at their dicks, you know? It’d been terribly boring in the late 60s. it was a direct … I mean, we really wanted to walk right through it, be as flash as we could. I mean … like we said, the Stones were doing it already, you know. We never considered ourselves ‘glitter.’ We considered ourselves … we liked the Stones. We were trying to dress up, yeah, but we were using, like, stuff that the skaters used. We weren’t using, like, silk and satin and all that kind of stuff. We weren’t … I mean, that was Slade’s turf and Bolan’s turf.



BOWIE AND MOTT WERE MORE ALONG THE LINES …



IAN:    Well, Bowie had … I think was much more classy than glitter. I thought that about Roxy [Music] and I though that about Mott too.  I didn’t really class us with Bolan. Bolan was, like, kind of a pop star, right. I liked him more later on. he never sold albums that much, apart from a couple [‘Electric Warrior’ and ‘The Slider’]. This was in England at that time. We always considered him a little bit of a lightweight, you know. But later on I realised just how in the groove that guy was.



WHAT WAS YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH BOLAN?



IAN:    Virtually nil. I knew the guy. I knew Gloria [Jones]. I sort of … I couldn’t believe how he could get fat so quick. See him one day, you know, he’d been like this little skinny bloke and the next day he’s big. I’ll tell you a story though. Guy Stevens, the guy that put Mott together, sat down to speak … me and Guy and Marc Bolan … and, when he was in Tyrannosaurus Rex [in the early days of his career] and … Tyrannosaurus rex was a con. I mean, it functioned in, kind of, college lecture rooms, you know, where people would walk in and say, ‘I kike these.’ They weren’t really ‘legit’ and it was really messing his head up and he didn’t know what to do, ‘cause he was making money but he didn’t know what to do, right. And Guy sat with him for a couple of hours that night going, ‘Go back to your roots. Go back to what … You’re a rocker. You’re not like all this arty-farty-John-Peel-living-up-trees bullshit. Go back and do it.’ And he did. I never saw Guy get any credit for that over the following years, you know. Maybe he should have.



THAT’S INTERESTING. I ALWAYS HEARD A STORY THAT ONE OF THE THINGS THAT GOT BOLAN BACK INTO GOING ELECTRIC WAS WHEN HE HAD SEEN HENDRIX ON [THE BBCs] ‘READY, STEADY, GO!’, SOMETHING LIKE THAT, AND THEY APPEARED TOGETHER, OR SOMETHING, AND IT WAS, LIKE THE ONE TIME THAT HE …



IAN:    He blew us all away. When that guy came over, it was like …



WOULD YOU CONSIDER HIM AS BEING PART OF AN INFLUENCE AT ALL TO YOUR OWN …



IAN:    In a way, in a way, yeah. I think he was a big influence on the whole of England, you know. Yeah, I mean, he was like … he must have been a big influence on an awful lot of people. I mean, he was a great lyricist, great writer, great guitar player, you know.



WHAT WAS IT LIKE MUSICALLY BACK THEN? WERE THERE A LOT OF BANDS … LIKE TODAY, FOR INSTANCE, WITH THE PUNK THING GOING ON AND EVERYTHING, THERE’S A LOT OF BANDS WHO ARE DOING WHATEVER THEY CAN TO BE MORE OUTRAGEOUS THAN THE OTHER, AND STUFF LIKE THAT. I KNOW YOU MENTIONED THAT BEING MORE FLASH AND EVERYTHING, BUT WAS THERE A LOT OF, LIKE, YOU COULD ALMOST CALL IT BACKBITING BETWEEN BANDS IN THE EARLY 70S?



IAN:    Well, there always have been with English bands. English bands are notorious for that, you know, that’s why nobody speaks to anybody. It’s like, ‘We’re better than you and fuck you,’ you know. It’s simple as that.  And if you are better than us, you ain’t coming on the same bill with us … unless you’re opening at 40 percent lights and sound, you know. I mean, that’s the English … that’s survival. When I came to America I couldn’t believe the camaraderie … you can go and play with this person, go and play with that person. We’ve played with some amazing people over our respective careers. We would have never done that had we stuck in England.



SPEAKING OF PLAYING GUITARS, YOU MENTIONED [IN YOUR BOOK, 1974’s ‘DIARY OF A ROCK N' ROLL STAR’] ABOUT GOING TO PAWN SHOPS AND HUNTING OUT INTERESTING OLD GUITARS AND THAT. LIKE, YOU … THE MALTESE CROSS THAT YOU HAVE … THAT YOU FOUND IN A PAWN SHOP FOR $75. I WAS WONDERING IF YOU STILL HAVE THAT ONE AND IF YOU’RE STILL COLLECTING …



IAN:    No, I don’t. the only flash one I;’ve got is … Torquay built me one and it’s in Dallas. It’s going up to Boston for the Hard rock [CafĂ©]. It’s going to be in the Hard rock in Boston. It’s an interesting-looking thing, you know, but they’re all terrible guitars …



JUST MORE OR LESS FOR APPEARANCE AS OPPOSED TO …



IAN:    For encores, yeah. First encore, you know, keep the volume low and let everybody else do the playing and look good, you know.



WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE GUITAR?



IAN:    it would be … ’69 rosewood Strat.



MICK?



MICK:  I don’t know, really.



WITH A BLUESY KIND OF SOUND LIKE YOU’VE GOT, I CAN IMAGINE THAT …



MICK:  I like Telecasters. Just a real simple guitar, you know. But I’ve got a … I mean, I’ve kind of got to get into guitars a bit more, you know. I used to have … I never did have a lot of guitars. I played the … I mean, the [Gibson] Les Paul was … I played that for a long time, you know. That’s still good for me. That’s a good guitar. Pretty heavy, though. And the Telecaster’s good, but I kind of want to get one or two other guitars.



DIFFERENT TYPES?



MICK:  Yeah. You know, a guitar’s a guitar, you know.



DO YOU USE IT A LOT IN WRITING? LIKE, WHEN YOU WRITE, DO YOU WRITE THE LYRICS FIRST AND THEN THE MUSIC BEHIND IT, OR VICE VERSA, OR KIND OF A COMBINATION OF THE TWO? YOU’RE BOTH WRITING IN THE BAND, RIGHT?



IAN:    Yeah. It just comes out. One came in today. It just comes anyhow, anywhere, on whatever … you can be playing something you’ve never played before in your life. In fact, that will inspire you … the noise of it will make you write something appertaining to that. But I don’t know … I don’t think anybody can put their finger on it … I mean … some people are more prolific than others. I wish I was, but I’m not. So, it’s got to do with … some people nick [a British term for ‘take’], some people don’t, you know. You can’t really talk about writing … it’s really hard to explain ‘cause it don’t make any sense. If it did, I mean, it would be locked up long ago, right? Everybody would have had a handle on it and that would have been it. But to me, I mean, that’s the most amazing thing about it. It’s never-ending. You can’t, sort of, pass an exam and you’re there. It’s a thing that’s, like, having kids all the time, or something. You know, it never ceases to be an amazing sort of enjoyment. The birth of a song for me is the most exciting thing that can happen in my life.



YOU’VE CERTAINLY HAD ENOUGH OF THEM.



IAN:    Especially these days. I mean, it gets harder as you get older because you’ve written about a lot of experiences and, once you’ve absorbed a subject, it’s real hard to look at it from a different angle … looking for lyrical ideas.



SPEAKING OF WRITING, I WAS WONDERING IF YOU WERE DOING ANY LITERARY … MAKING ANY LITERARY EFFORTS.



IAN:    No, I mean, the only reason I did ‘Diary of a Rock N' Roll Star was because I really wanted to, and I just figure I’ll really want to again, and when I do really want to again, I’ll do it again, you know, but there’s not much money to be made out of writing books.



THAT’S TRUE. ROYALTIES AREN’T VERY HIGH.



IAN:    No, the royalties don’t mean … that was a best-seller for two years and I didn’t make nothing out of it, compared to what I make if I write a song. I just think … I’ve always thought … when I get older, it would be a great thing to do, you know, to get into then, you know, a bit more, sort of … not wanting to jump around so much, you know what I mean? I wouldn’t mind doing it.



FROM THE TONE OF THE BOOK, YOU SEEM LIKE YOU REALLY ENJOYED WRITING IT … KEEPING A DIARY.



IAN:    Yeah. Well, I’d just got married at that time, so I wasn’t running around or anything. It leaves a lot of gaps in a daily kind of touring … you know, touring’s boring. The gigs ain’t, but the rest of it is. It was good, ‘cause you got to do something all the time, rather than standing there waiting for the plane, waiting for nthe bus, waiting … ‘cause all you do is wait, you know. The whole day is, like, waiting for the gig, and after that you’re waiting to go somewhere else, right, so it filled up all the gaps.



I UNDERSTAND TRUDY’S [HUNTER’S LONG-TIME WIFE] WIH YOU, AND YOUR SON.



IAN:    Yeah, she came down last night. She’ll be here [at the show] tonight.



SPEAKING OF TRAVELING AND WAITING AND THINGS LIKE THAT, I UNDERSTAND THAT YOU HAD AN INTERESTING THANKSGIVING YESTERDAY.



IAN:    He did.



MICK: Yeah, it was great. It was, like, tons and tons of food. I didn’t think I would manage to put … I don’t know, I mean, it didn’t seem like we’d made a dent in any of it. And there was another whole turkey there, and we were all going like [pretends he’s become quite fat and bloated), ‘Oh, I couldn’t eat another thing.’



IAN:    [Road crewman] Sparky’s actually physically grown overnight.



MICK:  It was good, though. A lot of food there that was left over from, like … the band was leaving … there was tons of it.



IAN:    I couldn’t go ‘cause his son had chicken pox and my son was coming in, and when my son comes in he says, ‘I want to go.’ I says, ‘You can’t go. The one kid’s got chicken pox.,’ and my kid says, ‘Well, I’ve had chicken pox.’ I’m, like, we’re all sitting there like …



MICK:  It wasn’t contagious anyway … it was in the stage when it’s not contagious.



IAN:    So I then rang, right, but it was the club number, so …



YOU GOT AN ANSWERING MACHINE.



IAN:    We just sat and had it on our own in the hotel, which was alright I suppose.



MICK:  We stuffed ourselves and got thoroughly pissed [British for drunk]. I mean, I had a couple of glasses of wine, but I was that tired, and after a couple of glasses of wine I was like … I felt great … it was all the food … really good food … it was great.



IAN:    We’ve done about 55 gigs at the moment, and if you … when you get off the road … anybody’ll tell you this, you know … when your adrenaline is keeping you going, when you have a day off, all this stuff pounds and rams you right into the ground, and it doesn’t bother you when you’re working all the time. … just when you have a day off.



WHEN YOU STOP, WHEN YOU SLOW DOWN, THAT’S WHEN YOU START FEELING IT.



IAN:    Yeah.



WHAT’S IT LIKE GETTING INTO SITUATIONS WHERE YOU END UP BEING AWAY FROM YOUR FAMILY ON IMPORTANT HOLIDAYS AND THINGS LIKE THAT. DO YOU TRY TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH THEM A LOT?



IAN:    My old lady takes care of it. She’s there, you know. I’ve never really had the experience of her not being there so I don’t know, I mean, having her along all year, it’s a bit of a pain, but touring is like a bubble. You get into this bubble with a bunch of guys and you really don’t want to be outside that bubble until you’ve done it, and touring to me is like being Ian Hunter instead of Ian Patterson [his full name is Ian Hunter Patterson], so that’s another thing … and, like, somehow, washing up and cleaning the kid’s dribbling mouth and having an argument about , like, washing up … it don’t suit the road thing at all, you know. If she comes she’ll have her own room next to me. I can’t handle both. It doesn’t feel right.



YEAH, WELL, THEY’RE BOTH OBVIOUSLY THINGS THAT YOU HAVE TO DEVOTE 100 PERCENT ATTENTION TO.



IAN:    Yeah, and rock and roll, by the very nature of it, … I mean, to be truthful, to it, is a nomadic existence, you know.



MICK:  I’m used to it.



IAN:    Family life is difficult.



MICK:  I’ve never really had a family life as such, you know.



YOU’VE BEEN DOING THIS THING FOR … WELL, YOU SAID SINCE ’65 … THAT’S MORE THAN 20 YEARS. WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO STILL ‘BE THERE?’ IS IT THE SAME AS IT WAS? IS IT … HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THAT?



IAN:    I don’t really know, because, I mean, I did take an enormous amount of interest in it, like, as a fan, and of course I don’t do that now, I’ve been doing it so long. I mean, I’m more concerned with what I do and what Mick does, that’s all that concerns me. I don’t really, sort of, watch MTV or listen to the radio all night. So I’m kind of apart from it, from what I do within it. And right now, I mean, I’m well happy because this band’s great. Audiences don’t change … concerts anywhere you go have always been the same. I don’t really notice much difference. I mean, if you’ve got eight records you’re in a 20,000 seater, you know, if you ain’t you’re in a club. it’s all about the same as it always was.



YOU DON’T THINK THE AUDIENCES HAVE CHANGED MUCH SINCE YOU STARTED? I MEAN, THEY SEEM TO BE FAIRLY APATHETIC …



MICK:  Yeah, well, only because they’ve seen so much.



IAN:    I don’t find them apathetic at all.



MICK:  They all love us the places we’ve played. Hell, they’ve been great audiences.



IAN:    Just as they’ve always been.



MICK:  They must be bad for a new group.



THAT’S MORE WHAT I’M THINKING OF. I MEAN, YOU GUYS ARE WELL-ESTABLISHED IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS AND EVERYBODY KNOWS …


IAN:    No, I mean, a lot of these new bands, they don’t … they don’t really make an effort … on a visual level. I mean, they do it on MTV for three minutes but they don’t do it for 45 or an hour and a quarter on stage. People get bored. There’s a lot of Yuppies around. It’s pretty right [wing] these days … you know, it’s very … you know, follows politics, or politics follows music, whichever one is which, I can’t remember. But they do follow, and right now you’re gonna see somebody in a 20,000 seater and they all have clean shirts on and they sit around and they all clap and then they all get up and go home, you know. Have their beer. And that’s it. Kind of WASPy or something. You know, it’ll all swing to the left in a couple of years.



WHAT SORT OF AUDIENCES DO YOU FIND COMING OUT TO YOUR SHOWS? I MEAN … A LOT OF NEW YOUNGER KIDS?



IAN:    Seventeen to 50. ‘Cause they bring their kids, they bring their … I mean, we’re getting older and older, you know. Where people have brought their kids and their kids have brought their kids over the last 20 years. Just on this tour there was a woman nearly died … they brought her. She didn’t look too good, she didn’t look too healthy, you know. But she had her kids and her grandkids, and their grandkids were in their teens, and they all clapped.



THAT’S GOTTA MAKE YOU FEEL REALLY GOOD WHEN YOU HAVE SOMEBODY COMING OUT THERE THAT …



IAN:    You know, part of the reason she got through was because she was playing the shit out of the old music, you know. And that’s happened a few times. And then you get babies as well. Babies … they name their babies after you.



YEAH, BILLY MOTT …



IAN:    Frank Hoople. But that happened. It was kind of nice. I mean I was cynical all about it, but it was kind of nice.



WHAT ABOUT ANYTHING AS FAR AS OTHER-THAN-MUSIC PROJECTS? HAVE YOU DONE ANY OF THAT …FILM-TYPE, ANY SORT OF THING?



IAN:    Well, he’s been doing nothing but producing.



MICK:  Yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of producing.



YEAH, I NOTICED IN YOUR BIO YOU’VE BEEN DOING PRODUCTION WITH A LOT OF DIFFERENT GROUPS. YOU HELPED PRODUCE THE GENERATION X ALBUM, THAT WAS ONE OF THE THINGS I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT WAS HOW YOU GOT INVOLVED WITH SOME OF THE NEWER GROUPS OR WHAT KIND OF INVOLVEMENT YOU’VE GOT.



IAN: You don’t really get involved with them – they get involved with you. They ring you up, you know. The case of Gen X, it took ‘em six months to find where I was because I wasn’t bothering at the time and dispensed with everyone around me and I was sitting in the middle of the country. I just got a phone call one day from Chrysalis [Records] in England.



MICK:  For me, I kind of went and looked, wandered around, you know. I left the country for a while.



WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT AND WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION OF THE ORIGINAL PUNK OUTBREAK? IN THE, I GUESS YOU COULD SAY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LATTER PERIOD OF THE MOTT DAYS, THE BOWIE ‘GLITTER DAYS,’ NEW YORK DOLLS STARTED BREAKING ON THE SCENE AND GROUPS OF THAT NATURE, STARTING TO GET MORE OUTRAGEOUS VOCALLY. HOW DID THAT, SORT OF, STRIKE YOU ON A PERSONAL L;EVEL, AS FAR AS YOUR MUSIC WAS CONCERNED, WHEN THOSE THINGS STARTED HAPPENING?



IAN:    Personally, I thought it was amazing, but I didn’t like the … you know they managed to coin the term ‘Old Wave,’ which was real neat. I mean it was straight up Yuppie road, you know. I mean, here was some real clever PR guy who neatly cast a pall over the whole of the older musicians, you know. I mean, I guess if we could have thought of it, we would have thought of it too, but we didn’t you know. The fact that we destroyed a lot of careers, you know what I mean? Somebody around that time came up with that, you know. That was the only thing I didn’t like about it, because I think it a form of racism, ‘ageism.’ Anybody who practices it is just as ignorant as any racist. It’s very hard to defend having red hair or being the age you are or … you can’t defend yourself. It’s an unfair attack. But as far as The Damned were concerned, or the [Sex] Pistols … Pistols were great. Still are to this day, those albums are great.



I’VE ALWAYS FELT THAT THEY’VE DONE MORE FOR THE FACE OF MUSIC THAN ANYBODY SINCE THE BEATLES, JUST ABOUT. I MEAN, THEY INSPIRED A WHOLE NEW FUSION OF BLOOD AND JUST A WHOLE NEW ATTITUDE OF MUSIC, IT SEEMS. AND OBVIOUSLY THEY WEREN’T EVEN THE FIRST …



IAN:    They just get back to the basics. There’s a whole lot of truth involved and honesty in there, too, you know. [Johnny Rotten] really was a product of his time, you know. [It so happened that Steve Jones, former member of the Sex Pistols opened for Hunter/Ronson the night of this interview.]



AND THE PRODUCT OF ONE PERSON’S BRAIN, TOO [Malcolm McLaren]. Here’s a question for you Ian. Cleveland International Records, when that popped up … Steve Popovich [1942 - 2011] … how did that all … how did you get involved with the whole thing and then, subsequently, ‘Cleveland Rocks?’



IAN:    I’d just done … I don’t know. Me and Mick did Foley, Ellen Foley [best known for her vocal work on Meatloaf’s Bat Out of Hell’ album], and I’d done a deal with Chrysalis. I’d left Columbia and I hadn’t had a label for two or three years I did Gen X, that was how I got to Chrysalis, and then I met Popovich … he said … ‘I’ll manage you if you want,’ you know, so I said fine … I needed a manager, you know.



NOW HOW DID ‘CLEVELAND ROCKS’ COME ABOUT? WHY CLEVELAND SPECIFICALLY?



IAN:    Well, because I’ve always worked Cleveland from the early Mott days. It’s become a bit of an albatross. I mean, frankly, most people in Cleveland are bored shitless with the song, and so am I. they really rammwd the hell out of it for years, which kind of did it more harm than good. I wrote it as ‘ClevelandRocks’ ‘cause when we first came over here, I mean Cleveland, audiences are very open to young bands. You get a lot of applause where, in the next town, you won’t get any ‘cause you’re opening. Here they positively love opening acts ‘cause they might be the first one to discover ‘em and shit. I don’t know if it’s still like that [it’s not], but it was like that then. Bowie and us were much, much bigger in places like Cleveland than on the coast or anywhere else … at first. You know, everybody else caught up with it a little bit later. And Philly too. So, I mean, I wrote the song genuinely, and I Was sitting in England for about nine months and it was just before then … I was still with Columbia … and they’d said, ‘Do you want to put a single out while you’re here?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, I don’t have ‘Cleveland Rocks,’ I’ve changed it to ‘England Rocks.’ So it was out in England and I came back. I got the rights off Columbia and put it on the Chrysalis album as ‘Cleveland Rocks,’ which is how I wrote it. But ever since then, it’s been like , every time I come to Cleveland, ‘Is ‘England Rocks’ first? And it wasn’t. I think I wouldn’t waste my fucking time lying about it, you know, I mean, it’s gone.



I WAS IN SAN FRANCISCO NEW YEAR’S EVE BETWEEN 1979 AND 1980 AND I HEARD A BROADCAST OF CONCERT THERE, AND YOU WERE PLAYING LIVE AND OIT WAS A REMOTE OR SOMETHING, AND SOMEBODY TURNED ON THE RADIO AND HERE’S ‘CLEVELAND ROCKS’ 3000 MILES AWAY FROM HOME.



IAN:    Well, you change it from town to town, you have a bit of fun, you usually sing, like, in Detroit the other night. You hold ‘em off, you sing ‘Cleveland, Cleveland, Cleveland’ until it gets ‘em real angry and it comes down to the last minute. It’s a bit of fum, you know?



SO YOU ARE STILL DOING IT AS A STEADY.



IAN:    Oh yeah. It’s a rocker, you know, and I don’t write that many rockers. You have to put ’em in when you get ‘em, you know. But we’ve got six new songs in our set tonight.



THAT’S ANOTHER THIING I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT. LAURIE [WOOLSENCROFT, IAN’S PRESS AGENT] WAS TELLING ME THAT YOU ARE CURRENTLY NEGOTIATING FOR A RECORD CONTRACT, AND YET YOU’VE GOT ALMOST A FULL ALBUM’S WORTH OF MATERIAL RECORDED.



IAN:    Not recorded, no. well, we’ve been working on it …



WHAT KIND FOF APPROACH? IS IT GOING TO BE … HOW WOULD YOU COMPARE IT TO THE STUFF THAT YOU’VE ALREADY DONE THAT EVERYBODY KNOWS?



IAN:    Well, makes sense, it’s like, the same.



THE SAME AS WHAT … PARTICULARLY … WHAT PERIOD? NONE OF YOUR STUFF REALLY SOUNDS THE SAME…



MICK:  Yeah, but I mean, you know, if you’ve got a style, you’ve got a style. And the style is not like … you know, punk might … the style, the approach is still the same. You have a way of doing things. So that’s what’s the same about it. It doesn’t really sound that different from the older material. It’s just that they’re different songs. Which I think sound that way today. Not the ‘new and improved’ … you know what I mean?



IAN:    It’s just Ian Hunter, whatever he’s writing. He’s writing a bunch of crap or he’s writing decent. At the moment I’m writing decent.. but a lot of it’s co-written, so we were planning on doing, like, quite a bit more of that, you know. I mean, like, I think that’s one avenue we have never really explored that freely. I mean, we now have the same manager, you know, we‘ll be on the same label, it’s gonna be a lot easier. Before it was different managers.



SO ‘HUNTER/RONSON’ HAS NEVER ACTUALLY BEEN ‘OFFICIALLY’ A SOLID UNIT … YOU JUST WORKD TOGETHER ALL THE TIME, BUT YOU WEREN’T …



IAN:    It was never a partnership. I employed Mick. But it’s different now.



SO THIS IS THE FIRST TIME AFTER ALL THESE YEARS.



IAN:    Yeah. I mean, we were ready before … we could’ve. I mean, the first time I ever heard … so many people were whispering in our ears, it was like, impossible. I thought it was possible but it was impossible.



THIS IS KIND OF MAYBE SEEN MORE OR LESS LIKE IT WAS BEING FORCED, AS OPPOSED TO A NATURAL PROGRESSION KIND OF THING?



IAN:    No, I think me and him were quite natural about it, but by the end, it was like, they were just trying to finish us off for some strange reason … I mean, they put us together and then they tried to finish us off.  It’s totally beyond me … I mean, that one’s always been beyond me, but it happened and that’s then and this is now.



MICK, HOW ABOUT THE SLAUGHTER ON 10th AVENUE ALBUM [RELEASED IN 1974, A YEAR AFTER LEAVING DAVID BOWIE’S BAND]? IT’S PROBABLY YOUR BEST-KNOWN PIECE OF MATERIAL.



MICK:  There wasn’t a lot of publicity.



WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT ALBUM AND HAVING … I MEAN, IT’S GOT SORT OF ‘CLASSIC’ STATUS. IT’S ONE OF THE ‘CLASSIC’ ALBUMS OF ALL TIME.



MICK:  It was alright. It was kind of like something to do at the time, you know. Well, I got talked into it, you know, like, you know, typical thing … it’d be like the ‘new David Cassidy’ kind of figure, you know. I mean, I’m just sitting there, you know, I’m kind of listening, you know. When we weren’t playing on the road, you know, we ended up recording this album, you know. Just kind of like an experiment, almost, you know, something to do … record an album, getting together, record …



HOW COME YOU DIDN’T DO ANY MORE? THERE WAS ONE OTHER SOLO ALBUM [HEAVEN AND HULL WAS RELEASED POSTUMOUSLY IN 1994]. HOW COME YOU STOPPED?



MICK:  I went out on the road and I only played, like, one or two gigs and the band was … I would have felt uncomfortable singing all these songs off from the stage and I felt really uncomfortable singing about things that didn’t mean anything … it was like garbage, stuff coming out of my mouth … for what reason, I don’t know, like, I’m more of a musician than a singer. And so then I decided to pack in.



WELL, AT LEAST IT’S OUT THERE FOR COLLECTOR’S VALUE. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO KNOW THAT EACH OF YOU INDIVIDUALLY, COLLECTIVELY, OR WHATEVER, HAVE BEEN FAIRLY HEAVILY INSPIRATIONAL TOWARD PEOPLE? THAT PEOPLE LOOK UP TO YOU AS A ROLE MODEL OR SOMETHING?



IAN:    it’s real flattery. It’s really nice that people think like that, you know. But, like, i don’t know. I feel pretty good about it.



A LOT OF PEOPLE KIND OF LIKE TO TRY TO PLAY DOWN THAT SORT OF THING OR TRY TO RUN AWAY FROM IT OR SOME PEOPLE EXPLOIT IT, YOU KNOW.



MICK:  Maybe in my case … I think maybe because it was simple enough and melodic enough that people could like it. When you first start playing guitar you could be able to pick up, like, a couple of the lines … like little things I play and like how a couple songs that George Harrison sings, and also, like … the Same kind of … the fact that they’re easy … it’s like when Deep Purple came out with [does the notes from the opening chords of the iconic guitar song ‘Smoke On The Water’] … a lot of people started playing because of that riff because they could play it. They could learn to play it without much difficulty, you know what I mean? And so they would learn to play the next one and then the next step, and so that’s actually … that riff heavily inspired a lot of people to start playing guitar.



AND IAN?



IAN:    I was just think of David Johansen. I went down to [the] Fillmore East and saw the old band, you know, and I just thought, ‘If you can do it, anybody can.’ [Everyone in the room laughs]’’



MICK:  Is that what you said?



IAN:    Yeah. [More laughing]



DO YOU EVER SEE ANYBODY FROM THE OLD MOTT DAYS? PETE ‘OVEREND’ WATTS



IAN:    Yeah, I talk to Pete. Pete’s a fisherman. I talk to him, you know. Somebody rang me up representing him and the drummer, you know, said they wanted to start the band again, you know, this summer. But I didn’t thing that would be a real clever idea. But I still do talk to Pete.



ARE YOU STILL FRIENDS WITH MOST OF THEM?



IAN:    Not really. we never were particularly friendly to each other when we were in the band, you know.



IT WAS A WORKING RELATIONSHIP AND YOU GOT UP AND YOU DID YOUR THING AND …



IAN:    Yeah. I mean …



ISN’T THAT KIND OF DIFFICULT THOUGH, TO REALLY CLICK TOGETHER AS A TOTAL COHESIVE UNIT IF YOU’RE …



IAN:    No, not at all. This band … I man, there’s been a couple of other occasions where … people working to survive, but … you could never tell in the band. Things click in … people come to the party more and more and … I forgot what the question was. It got me thinking about something else.



WELL, GO AHEAD. FINISH YOUR THOUGHT..



IAN:    maybe it was friends when it played, you know. I think it was friends when it played. It wasn’t really friends like people. And that’s fine. You don’t have to be bosom pals with somebody for it to work, you know. And, you know, now, not so much then, I mean I never knew one drum from another, but now, I mean a guy’s gotta be able to play good. I mean, I don’t care if the guy don’t like me/ if he’s great I’ll work with him, you know? That’s what it’s about. It’s about music. I think it’s a bit different for me and Mick because, you know, I think … bands should have two brains. Like most bands do, you know …



LENNON/McCARTNEY. LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH IS STIVBATOR AND BRIAN JAMES OF THE DAMNED.



IAN:    Whatever. You’ll always find a couple guys, usually one, kind of, motivator and the other one musical … Mick’s really useful.



HOW DID YOU HOOK UP WITH [THE CLASH’S] MICK JONES AND TOPPER HEADON FOR THE ‘SHORT BACK AND SIDES’ ALBUM? IT SEEMS LIKE KIND OF AN ODD ADMIXTURE THERE.



IAN:    Well, he was a big fan and all that and we were in New York and he came down and we heard his song ‘Theatre of the Absurd’, you know, which had a kind of a reggae feel to it. I said, ‘Why don’t you come down and show us what you can do?’ so he did, you know, and then he played it. Couldn’t get rid of him, you know. He did the whole album. And we were in that kind of feeling of …



THIS WAS MICK, RIGHT? JONES.



IAN: Yeah, me and him were both, kind of like, semi on the outs and we weren’t particularly … and so he just … and he did real good. It’s an interesting album. [Jones both produced and played on it]



DID THAT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH … DID YOU KIND OF HOOK UP WITH HIM WITH THE ELLEN FOLEY CONNECTION, BECAUSE HIM AND ELLEN FOLEY HAD BEEN GOING OUT.



IAN:    No, he was a major talent. Well, the first time I ever met him, [The Clash] asked me to go to one of their sessions in CBS. So I go in, right, and they play this track and they all stare at me and then, like, they said ‘What do you think?’ I didn’t know who they were and the track … a lot of things go through your head when you walk in a studio. You can’t just relax and get into a track. I said, ‘Yeah, that’s good,’ you know, ‘It’s alright.’ And Mick Jones says, ‘That’s the blessing.’ So, like, there I was , God. I mean, you can’t live up to that, you know what I mean? I mean, me and him fell out. I mean, it’s because I wasn’t what he thought I was. I’m just a normal bloke. I mean, he couldn’t handle that at all. I was supposed to be like …



LIKE A GOD, YEAH.



IAN:    I don’t know what I was supposed to be like. But that put me off for a long time talking to people who’d gone at me for what I do. but just lately I met Joe Elliott [Def Leppard], who’s another one who’s into what I do and Joe’s totally the other side of the coin. I mean, Joe’s a normal, great guy. I get along fine with him.



I DID AN INTERVIEW WITH PETER MURPHY OF BAUHAUS AND WE TALKED ABOUT THIS BECAUSE THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE … LIKE A LOT OF THE YOUNGER KIDS … THAT LOOK TO HIM, SORT OF, IN THAT SORT OF LIGHT AND EVERYTHING, AND BAUHAUS, AND HE WAS TELLING ME THAT IT WAS A REAL SHAME BECAUSE THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE OUR THERE THAT WILL JUST TAKE THIS THING AND JUST LET THEIR HEADS GO AND EVERYTHING, AND THEY’LL REALLY TURN SHITTY ABOUT IT TOWARD PEOPLE AND EVERYTHING, RATHER THAN KEEP BOTH FEET ON THE GROUND AND SAY, ‘WELL, THANKS BUT I DON’T REALLY DESERVE THAT.’



IAN:    It doesn’t really mean anything. I mean, it doesn’t earn you any money. I’m real ambivalent about it, to be honest with you. I always … when I hear the question, and it comes up a lot, you know, I never know what the fuck to say. It is nice … it is kind of nice, but …



JUST A COUPLE MORE QUESTIONS BECAUSE EVERYBODY’S TRYING TO EAT AND ALL THAT. ONE THING THAT I WANTED TO TALK ABOUT, WITH THE BOOK AND SWING OF MUSIC BACK AND FORTH AND EVERYTHING, THE 70s … THE EARLY 70S, YOU KNOW WE HAD THE MOTT THE HOOPLE-TYPE OF STUFF, YOU KNOW, THAT KIND OF BLUESY ROCK AND EVERYTHING, AND THEN IT CHANGED AND WENT TO DISCO, THEN PUNK CAME OUT AND NOW THINGS SEEM TO BE SORT OF FLOATING BACK A LITTLE BIT TOWARD THAT EARLY KIND OF A SOUND, THAT MORE HARD-EDGED ROCK AND ROLL TYPE OF SOUND.



IAN:    That’s just a reaction to people like Journey or someone, like, straight from Vegas.



HAVE YOU SEEN THIS HAPPENING SORT OF WIDE-SPREAD?



IAN:    It’s fucking awful. The whole of the 80s, apart from Prince, you know … I’m not talking about people who … regional area people … I’m talking about people who sell millions of records, you know. It’s too glossy, it’s too WASPy. There’s no danger in it.



MICK:  People have no guts in there.



IT’S GOOD TO KNOW YOU FEEL THAT WAY ABOUT IT. I’M GLAD ANYWAY. THANKS A LOT.