Ian Hunter, rock’s great underdog: ‘Bowie thought I was the head of a motorcycle gang’

His newly reissued memoir of life as a rock star is full of ennui, crap gigs and cat faeces – but at 79, the Mott the Hoople frontman is still going and ‘won’t stop unless I have to’

It’s November 1972, and Ian Hunter is preparing to leave his home in Wembley, London, to go on a US tour with Mott the Hoople. Mott had their first big hit – All the Young Dudes, written for them by David Bowie – earlier that year, but Hunter’s last-minute chores rather bely the title of the book in which he detailed them, Diary of a Rock’n’Roll Star.

“I cleaned the flat up a bit – mopped the cat shit up from the kitchen floor, had a bath and washed my hair,” he writes. “Pull the TV plug out, pull the fridge plug out; stereo, Revox, hairdryer all pulled out. Send the landlord the advanced rent and settle the red electricity bill before it’s cut off.” Still, while he’s away he’s going to get his car done up in rock’n’roll fashion – spray painted black and gold. Except the car in question is not a Cadillac or a Jag. It’s a Ford Anglia.

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