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Ian Hunter

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Ian Hunter (born Ian Hunter Patterson on June 3, 1939 in Oswestry, Shropshire, England) was the lead singer of the band Mott the Hoople from 1969 until the band broke up in 1974. He has since worked as a solo artist.

Hunter began his musical career on the bass guitar. An early foray into music was as an entrant in a talent competition at one of Butlin’s holiday camps, performing “Blue Moon” as part of a skiffle group with Colen York and Colin Broome.

Hunter memorialized how he left his family in a later song, “23a Swan Hill,” the address of his teenage home in Shrewsbury above a police station where his father was the Station Sergeant. He notes in concert that “my Dad was real mean” and did not approve of his son’s artistic direction, in contrast to his “grand dad”, referenced in “Cleveland Rocks”, as “he was a rocker and I am, too”.

So Hunter took off for Butlin’s and “never looked back”. Bandmates York and Broome came from Northampton, and were in a band called The Apex, which Hunter soon joined to play rhythm guitar. In 1963, while living in Northampton, he formed his own band, Hurricane Henry and the Shriekers. With Tony Marriott and guitarist Julian Coulter, the Shriekers worked steadily in Northampton, and by 1965 had picked up Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee as a pianist and frontman. In a 2004 DVD interview Hunter volunteers Lee and their gigs in Hamburg as a major turning point, when he first began to “actually think maybe I could do this instead of working in factories”.

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