Steve Holley on meeting Ian Hunter

Steve Holley says:

Q: I had no idea that you have been with Ian Hunter for twenty-five years…

SH: Twenty-eight actually but there was a break for three years when I toured with Joe Cocker. Oddly enough, a friend of mine just sent me a photograph of me meeting Ian in 1978 which is a surprise to me because I didn’t remember which is odd. It’s a fantastic animated picture of the two of us and we are in a heated discussion about something and obviously having a very good time. I could tell by the clothes I was wearing that it wasn’t an ‘80’s picture and actually, it would have been 1979 when I was doing promotion for Back To The Egg in New York in a friend’s club. Prior to this picture which I first saw at the beginning of this year, I was under the assumption that we first met in 1987 so you can see how off that is. What actually happened in 1987 was that there was a concert for charity which I’m fond of, it was a program that sponsors musicians who typically have problems with drugs or alcohol or whatever and we were doing a fundraiser show and the guy from the Musician’s Union had invited all kinds of people to perform and they had all said ‘Yes’ and he had absolutely no idea how to put it together. He called the musical director Paul Shaffer first but he was unavailable so they called me and I said I’d give it a shot. I put the core band together and then we had a look at the list all the numerous guest artists including Phoebe Snow and Michael Bolton and there all of a sudden I saw Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson and thought ‘Oh my…this will be fun!’ so I contacted them and asked them what they wanted to do. I had a beautiful band with G.E. Smith and Jimmy Vivino who have gone onto to become very well seasoned players and we did a great show which was a big success. Ian and Mick and I got to talking afterwards and they said ‘What are you doing?’ I told them I was living in New York and very enthusiastically I joined them and within a few weeks were on tour in Europe.

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