Ian Hunter has been perfectly happy with the solo career he launched in 1975, after leaving Mott the Hoople. But he’s received some interesting, if not particularly appealing, offers to join other bands this year.
One was to front the new Doors project, now known as Riders on the Storm, in place of the late Jim Morrison.
“I didn’t want to do it,” says Hunter, 68, a British native who now resides in Connecticut. “I just thought, ‘Well, you’re following him.’ He’s this gorgeous-looking bloke, and I’ve never really been much of an oil painting.”
Hunter also was offered a spot fronting Uriah Heep and singing songs made famous by its late frontman, David Byron. But, he notes, “they wanted to do (keyboardist) Ken Hensley’s music, which I wasn’t keen on. It wasn’t a bad reflection on the band; it’s just a different neck of the woods from what I do.”
So Hunter came up this year with “Shrunken Heads,” his first set of new material in six years. Co-produced by Andy York of John Mellencamp’s band and featuring Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy on three tracks, it’s the result of a prolific songwriting jag that Hunter says he can’t explain but is nevertheless happy to be experiencing.
“It’s usually pretty Spartan for me,” Hunter notes, “but it’s been great over the last 18 months or so. It must be in the wind or something. I’ve never had a run like this. It’s weird. I’m very thankful.
“I probably shouldn’t even talk about it. Usually when you do talk about it, it clams up again. But, yeah, it’s been great.”
Ian Hunter performs Friday (June 8th) at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $27. Call (248) 544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.
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