Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, September 22, 2013

When I'm President

We take a break from the political and education rants for the following music post:

My wife took me to see Ian Hunter and the Rant Band at City Winery last night for my birthday - fifth time we've seen Ian together.

If you're unfamiliar with Hunter, he was the lead singer of the very influential Mott the Hoople in the 70's, a band that managed to influence both punker rockers like The Clash and New Wave Of British Heavy Metal artists like Def Leppard.

Fans were literally part of the band - people who couldn't afford to come in through the front door, the band used to let in the back door for the shows. People would join the band onstage and sing along (or just break stuff), a phenomenon best captured by Mott's "Saturday Gig."

If there was a historical time period I could go back to and be a part of that I wasn't around for originally, it would have been the Saturday gigs/Mott era.

In any case, Hunter called it quits with Mott in 1975 and recorded his first solo album with Mick Ronson, Bowie's Ziggy-era guitarist, a partnership that lasted, off and on, for the rest of Ronson's life.

Hunter's recorded with all kinds of artists since, from Mick Jones of The Clash to a string orchestra from Norway, but since 2001 has been playing with a band he dubbed "Rant."

Every few years Ian Hunter and the Rant Band put out a new album, the most recent being 2012's When I'm President.

If you haven't heard the cd, I highly recommend it - especially the title track and "Ta Shunka Witco" a song about Crazy Horse.

"When I'm President" has been particularly sticking with me these days, especially with all this economic news about the working and middle classes getting squeezed out:


When I'm President Lyrics Well mother, I'm a stranger in a strange land
Feel like an alien
It's like I'm on the outside looking in
I don't seem to fit in

Maybe I'm Aladdin with a rusty lamp
A genie never stood a chance
To make all our wishes come true
Well, here's what I want to do

I'm going to lean on the one percent
When I'm president
I want a twenty-eighth amendment
When I'm president

Like thieves on the holy road
Digging up the mother lode
Like pirates on the open sea
Like highway robbery

Still whining about your horse
Man up you're ridiculous
You know you can't take it with you
So, give a little extra

I'm going to lean on the one percent
When I'm president
No more bargains in the basement
When I'm president

Washington, Jefferson
Watch out baby because here I come
Abraham, Theodore
You're going to see my ugly mug on Mount Rushmore, yeah

You go in with the right intent
When you become president
You hold those truths to be self-evident
When you become president

But something happens to you up on the Hill
There's business as usual
How do you want to buck the system
Welcome to the pit and the pendulum

I'm going to lean on the one percent
When I'm president
No more twenty-eighth amendment
When I'm president

No more bargains in the basement
When I'm president
Everything's going to be different
When I'm president

Be all this
Be all that
When I'm president
I'll stick it to the fat cats

Cross my heart
Hope to die
When I'm president
Pigs are going to fly

Look at ‘em

Buy the album - it's worth it.

And check out one of his shows the next time he comes around - I guarantee you'll remember it.


  1. Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks, Cleveland Rocks Cleveland Rocks. I got some records from World War II. I play'em just like me grand dad do. He was a rocker and I am too.

    Just some random Ian Hunter thoughts of my own.