Vocalists and guitarists

You often seem to get the vocalist and lead guitarist teaming up in a band to give a sort of two-pronged attack.

There’s Mick and Keef of the Stones…pretty archetypal and great in their day…

Stephen Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith…now a little past it perhaps…

Axl Rose and Slash from Guns ‘n’ Roses…a good team, although Slash never struck me as much of a player…

My all-time favourite pairing, however, has to be Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson – may Ronno rest in peace.

I loved Mott the Hoople, ‘Unter on his own, Ronno with Bowie and solo, but together in Mott, Hunter Ronson or one of the many bands that Ian put together the pair just ignited.

Mick was a great player with a beautiful tone and every note sounded crafted to perfection. Classic Les Paul/Marshall combination and a totally unique tone that I’ve tried to copy but haven’t succeeded in doing so yet.

Here’s a great YouTube video of Ian’s first solo hit ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ with Ian playing Mick’s stripped back to the wood Les Paul Custom for some reason whilst Mick plays a sunburst Les Paul Standard.

And could anyone else capture that Stonesy shuffing strut quite as well as Ian ‘Unter?

Incidentally, Ian’s ‘Diary of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’ is possibly the best rock autobiography ever written. It’s a warts’n’ all account of Mott’s first US tour after ‘Dudes’ became a hit. It’s touching, funny and insightful and is highly recommended.


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