I reread Diary of a Rock n Roll Star in January 2019.
Here's my review...
I read Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Star by Ian Hunter back in the 1970s however all I could remember was that I'd enjoyed it. In the intervening years its reputation has grown. Q Magazine reckon it "may well be the best rock book ever" and whilst I think that might be overstating it a bit, it's certainly a brilliant read.
This new edition has a short introduction by Johnny Depp which is just a gushing fan letter. Quite endearing really. There's another introduction by Ian's official biographer Campbell Devine. This edition also includes another Ian Hunter diary, this one from his short Japanese tour in 2015 (and which was also published in Mojo magazine), and a short epilogue written by Ian in March 2018.
The diary itself, first published in 1974, is a fascinating day by day account of Mott the Hoople's 1972 US tour. The newly married Ian Hunter just writes what he sees and peppers these observations with very forthright and somewhat jaundiced opinions. Ian Hunter has no pretensions or desire to appear cool and so tells it exactly like it is. The life he describes is hard work and, ultimately, not very glamorous. He's also doing his best to give fans a real insight into the music industry and what it's like to get on a plane to visit America (something few British people had done at the time or could conceive of ever doing). Aside from travelling and sound checking, the band spend most of their town time buying guitars from pawn shops.
This is also the period when Mott The Hoople were managed by Tony Defries and working with David Bowie, both of whom make an appearance, as do Frank Zappa and Keith Moon.
Ultimately though Ian Hunter is an everyman figure, who has little interest in the trappings of celebrity, and just wants to do his best to put on a show and enjoy his moment in the sun. That he's still touring and recording 47 years later must be a source of some amazement. I've seen him live a few times over the last 20 years and he's still wonderful.
In short Diary of a Rock 'n' Roll Star is a brilliant period piece and well worth reading if you like Ian Hunter, Mott The Hoople or well written music books.