Mott The Hoople and Ian Hunter


Published by McNidder & Grace; ISBN 978-0857162267

Turn And Face The Strange

Mick Ronson's legacy continues to grow years after his too-soon passing at the age of 46 in 1993. There's been the excellent biography by Weird & Gilly (The Spider With The Platinum Hair) and then in 2020 the 4-CD box set (The Complete Mainman Recordings). Now we have a second biography, and what a joy it is.

This work concentrates on Mick's upbringing in Hull, his work with various local bands and a late-60's (unsuccessful) attempt to make it in London as a professional musician. It was only later that he was persuaded to give it another go (with David Bowie) - and we learn only because (a) he'd be on the radio and (b) on a record you could buy in the shops!

The authors seem to have tracked down everybody in Hull who so much as said "hello" to him. Everyone says what a decent bloke Mick was and how he was always willing to help people. At a time when young men were expected to work in the factory or on the docks, he was the local lad who done good, making it in the music industry to become a major-league rock star.

The Ziggy Stardust era is covered in depth as is his early solo career. If I have a criticism, the book is light on detail of Mick's career after he (and Suzi) left the UK for the USA (for that, you'll still need Weird & Gilly's book) but this is still an excellent read, complementing the earlier work rather than replacing it.

Essential reading.