Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Star

Foreword written by Johnny Depp

Diary of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – Ian Hunter
Rock and Roll Gypsy. Rock and Roll Nomad. Rock and Roll innovator and Sui Generis. Rock and Roll Bard, Bastard and Balladeer. Reluctant Rock and Roll Legend. From his early work with the nigh-mythical Mott the Hoople, with hits like ‘All The Way From Memphis’ and the David Bowie penned ‘All The Young Dudes’, to Ian’s inexhaustible and shockingly prolific solo work, which gave birth to such classic brilliance as ‘Cleveland Rocks’, ‘Once Bitten, Twice Shy’, the sublime ‘Irene Wilde’ and the epic genius of ‘Boy’ —a lyrical masterpiece and one of many masterfully crafted expressions of profound honesty, experience, wisdom and purity. Whether they were conceived from some deep memory, or a moment’s irreverence, one thing is clear, there is no mistaking that what you are experiencing is Ian Hunter. There are so very few souls that are capable of creating a sound that possesses the rare capacity to reach inside one’s own cranial cavity, only to plant the subtext of one’s honest pain and hardship, hence slicing the listener’s heart to shreds before they are even aware of it. No one can pen a Rock and Roll tune like Ian. And, as far as ballads go, well, they live at the summit of some secret place where they share residence with the best of them… Dylan, Lennon, McCartney, Jagger, Richards, Kris Kristofferson, Serge Gainsbourg, Patti Smith, David Bowie, Tom Waits, Gram Parsons, Jacques Dutronc, Jacques Lanzmann, Iggy Pop, Shane MacGowan and onwards…

As for my opinion, Ian’s gift also runs into the arena of literature. When his lyrics are given the opportunity to set root within the deepest core of our being, it will sear your brain with a most staggering residue and may even have a profound effect on your life. Shades of Dickens break through… James Joyce, Dylan Thomas, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burgess, Burroughs, Baldwin, Woolf, Plath, Rimbaud and Baudelaire. Furthermore, I am obscenely fortunate enough to have had the great pleasure and honor of whiling away a number of evenings with this great man and his extraordinary and brilliant wife, Trudi, not to mention the few times I’ve spent on stage with Ian as well. It is more joy, more abstract and unbelievable than I could have ever imagined. There is a curious feeling of levitation, or whatever might be dose to that. I could keep on going and going, gushing and gushing, injecting more of the finer creations that have reduced me to a puddle of tears on far more than one, or two occasions. So, fuck it, I shall continue! Why? Because I can and it would be unforgivably irresponsible of me to neglect my justifiable right to steal this once in a lifetime opportunity to bash on regardless and inject some of his lesser known tracks out of pure opportunistic selfishness, since these are some of the most amazingly written, most touching, most honest songs ever gifted to us, by anyone. Here we go: `3,000 Miles Away From Here’ — a lonely memory of a loss of what seems was never there.

The heart-breaking and simply astonishing tribute written for his dear friend and long-time collaborator, the majestically peerless Mick Ronson, `Michael Picasso’. Then there is ‘Rest In Peace’, which contains one of my favorite lyrics of all time: ‘Oh it’s been good, though it’s been strange’ (and which, for the moment, is the epitaph of my choosing — the other belonging to that hilarious British comedian, Spike Milligan, whose final resting place merely states: ‘I told you I was sick’). Win It All’ is a thoroughly gorgeous and cinematic piece of work, while ‘Man Overboard’ is simply a composition of undeniable perfection. Truth at its most exquisite. For Ian Hunter is of the same heart, mind and gifted talent as all of those great names listed above. He is a maestro. He is of the same ilk as these masters of their worlds, their words, their works, their art, their true loves. . . Although, in this case, I’m going to bet that Ian’s beloved wife, Truth, holds that title. In summary, it is a fact that Ian is one of the most influential artists of our time, who pushed the boundaries in his own inimitable way, which opened many, many doors for other artists and songwriters coming up in the ranks. Ian Hunter has always been Ian Hunter, plain and simple. There is only one and that is all there will ever be.

Johnny Depp

L.A., January 2018