I've almost got no words about the Mott show…but I'm sure I'll find some. It's been kind of a crazy week here so I wasn't even really focused on the show ahead of time. Tuesday was busy…trying to get started on insurance, etc. from the car accident. Our poor car is in limbo, still at the tow truck driver's because, since the other drivers went to the hospital, we couldn't get insurance info and the police report wasn't ready. So we managed to get a rental and tried to get ourselves recombobulated (why have I never used this word before?), and that was about it. We took off midday on Wednesday and had a painless, sunny drive up to Chicago. We checked into our hotel, which was relatively cheap, with a tiny room, but had a splendid view of one of my favorite buildings, the Carbon and Carbide building. We headed over to take some pictures of the marquee and immediately ran into fellow Ianites Rick and Betsy Graves. It seemed a good sign! We walked around taking pictures, guessing who else was there for the show. Ernie looked at one guy walking towards us, a bit older, shaggy hair, and said to him, "Mott?" They both laughed and high fived or fist bumped or something like that. We were not the only ones giddy with excitement. We chatted for a bit with Connie Van Beek and all I could think of was how glad I am that we splurged and did this, and how very, very good it felt to be with our tribe.
We headed across the street to take a shot from there, and a woman came up and said, "Give me your phone, I'll take a picture," and kind of pushed us into position. I remember thinking that perhaps it was stupid to hand someone my phone and walk away, but it was all good. We saw Debbie Stewart and Jeff Evans under the marquee and waved and made our way over. As we stood laughing and taking pictures who practically walked into us but the inimitable Brad Elvis and Chloe Orwell. It all seemed meant to be. We had dinner with Jeff and Debbie and Steve Lindstrom and it was gloriously fun. It felt so right, so good to be with people that you can almost speak to in shorthand because there are so many shared memories and influences. Again, it was our tribe. Our people.
The show was, well, I gotta go with the word glorious again. It was perfect. Perfectly imperfectly perfect…joyous and raucous and loud and strong and electric. I was struck by how DIFFERENT it was from all the Ian shows I have seen. I've seen Ian about a million times. Well, ok, not a million, but a fair number, starting from when I somewhat listlessly accompanied a friend to see Heart at the International Amphitheatre when I was 17 and found myself blown away by the opening act of Hunter/Ronson Band, I see him every time I can manage. And, throughout those shows, I've heard a good number of these songs done by him and the amazing Rant band. However, this felt completely different….looser, more rambling, more organic, more alive. Damn it, none of that is exactly it, but it was definitely Mott the Hoople, not Ian Hunter. Ian was fucking incredible, and as much as I watched Ariel Bender and Morgan Fisher, and the always amazing James Mastro, Mark Bosch, Paul Page, Steve Holley and Dennis DeBrizzi, it was Ian I couldn't take my eyes off of. And folks…he's 79 and 5/6; he's not 80 YET! His voice was incredibly strong and he seemed to be having fun…he seemed lighthearted and joyful. And at the very end of Dudes, when he said, "Hey you there. You with the glasses. I want you. Meet me after the show. I can still do it," and laughed, pointing to himself, nobody standing in the audience had one fucking doubt.
He can still do it.
Ian Hunter forever.
Thanks to Brad Elvis for the picture!!
And on another note—-my photos will be up tonight at 25 O'Clock as part of the Boneyard Arts Festival! Hope to see some of you there. They'll be up at least through Sunday.