Circus - August 1975

(August 1975)

Originally Published: August 1975

Cooper Backup to Go It Alone?

Now that his 'Welcome to My Nightmare' Tour is over, guitarist Steve Hunter wants the band to strike out on their own.

"We've been kicking around the idea of maybe this band recording on its own" says guitarist Steve Hunter. He's talking about the group that has supported Lou Reed in concert and most recently backed Alice Cooper on his 'Welcome To My Nightmare' tour. "It's coming down to feeling. If we all feel comfortable about doing a record together, that's what we'll do. We're trying to do it so that whatever we do comes out the best we can do.

"We may be doing some of Dick's material," says Hunter of his fellow guitarist Dick Wagner. "He's got tons of material. He's a good writer and a good singer."

The supersessionmen-turned-stage-showoffs, besides axeists Hunter and Wagner, including drummer Whitey Glen, bassist Prakash John, and keyboardist Joey Chirowsky. The band was assembled about two years ago by Bob Ezrin, who, after producing Lou Reed's 'Berlin' album, gathered some studio musicians to back the New York neurotic on his European and American tours. Hunter, Wagner, and Glen were original choices, while bassist John replaced Pete Walsh between Reed's Continental and United States jaunts. Chirowsky, the newest member, assumed Ray Colcord's position on the keyboards just before Alice's 'Nightmare' recording sessions.

Besides considering a group record, Steve Hunter is busy writing songs for a proposed solo album, his first. "I'm thinking of doing an instrumental record," the slick-fingered guitarist explains, "but I'd like to do one that's distinctly different. What I'm doing is trying to avoid listening to anybody else so that when I'm ready to do my own album, it'll be as much me as I can make it."

Hunter, who's paid dues with Mitch Ryder's Detroit and the Chambers Brothers, has become one of the most coveted guitarists for hire in rock 'n' roll. His exceptional axeing on Lou Reed's 'Berlin' LP, on which ex-Cream bassist Jack Bruce also played, led to Hunter's guesting on the Scottish superstar's last solo effort, 'Out Of The Storm.'

"When Jack finished his part of the session," recalls Hunter, "he approached me and said 'Would you be interested in doing an album with me later on?', and I said 'Of course!' So he said, 'Okay, I'll be in touch.' It was several months from that point that I heard from him again."

Bruce, who allowed Hunter to arrange all the guitar parts on the album, was so impressed with Hunter's ability that he asked the guitarist to join a group he was organizing for a tour. Hunter was thrilled by the proposal but told the bassist to give him a few months' notice before rehearsals because he was going to line up some more session work. Unfortunately, Bruce phoned Hunter while he was involved in Alice's 'Nightmare' album, and by then the guitarist was committed to the Cooper tour. Bruce then recruited Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor. - P.C.