Mott the Hoople Cancels Fall U.S. Tour Due to Ian Hunter’s Tinnitus

Of the sudden onset of severe tinnitus, Hunter wrote, "Maybe it will sod off at some point — I just don’t know."

Mott the Hoople Cancels Fall U.S. Tour
Tia Haygood/Ross Halfin/Trudi Knight

Mott the Hoople, the venerated 1970s band that had recently begun touring America again after a lull of 45 years, has canceled its fall tour in the U.S.

Singer-songwriter Ian Hunter, 80, was said in a statement to have “recently developed a severe case of tinnitus and has been advised by his doctors to discontinue performing until this condition subsides.”

Wrote Hunter in a message to fans: “Hey Kids, I’m afraid I’m not very well.It happened out of the blue three weeks ago; I got hit heavily by tinnitus. It’s unrelenting and on doctor’s orders, I’ve had to cancel everything for the time being. I’ve had it on and off for years, but it’s always slid away. This time it’s stayed — it knocks the stuffing and the confidence out of you. You lot know I love to tour — been doing it for 50 years. I hate to let everybody down, but I’m stuck and I can’t even go to the post box at the moment never mind a tour. Unhappy is not the word for it. I’ve had tests — no tumors, but it’s loud and incessant and frankly scary.

“I know this puts people out — believe me, I know,” he continued. “I just hope you’ll understand. You’re great fans and I’ll always appreciate you following me — I’m not everybody’s cup of tea!! Obviously the Ranters are bummed out as is Morgan ’n’ the Great Ariel Bender, to say nothing of the crew and business people involved. Thank you, Mike and Frank for your understanding. Where do we go from here — I’ve no idea kids. I’m just hoping it gets fed up with me eventually!! Don’t feel sorry for me — it’s been a great run if, indeed, it stays with me, and I have to stop now. Maybe it will sod off at some point — I just don’t know. I’ll keep you updated via my website. Once again, sorry to you all. Love ’n’ kisses, IH.”

The group had done a handful of dates in the U.S. in the spring, mostly in the Northeast. Based on the positive reaction and fan demand from other parts of the country, Mott had announced an 11-city followup that would have taken them to the west coast and the South, as well. The fall tour was to have started Oct. 11 at New York’s Capitol Theatre and gone on to include their first dates in cities like Los Angeles, Nashville, Dallas and Seattle since their mid-’70s breakup.

Writing about the group’s northeast dates in the spring, Variety called the tour “2019’s great rock resurrection” and said, “If you saw Mott’s brief, recently wrapped reunion tour of the Northeast — their first American tour since splitting up in 1975 — you came away believing in rock ‘n’ roll regeneration and resurrection, against all bell-tolling and stone-rolling odds.”

That tour found many fans from other parts of the country flying in for the handful of gigs. After that initial Mott the Hoople swing through the U.S. wrapped up, Hunter resumed his scheduled solo tour dates with his longstanding backing group, the Rant Band, which lasted into early June.

Refunds for the October and November dates can be had at the point of purchase.