Rob Rawlinson

 Whenever I mention Overnight Angels (1977) to Ian Hunter, he cringes. In the London 02 Arena VIP room immediately following the final Hoople gig, I congratulated Def Leppard singer Joe Elliott on his magnificent tribute to Ian’s Angels by way of his Mott / British Lions / Hunter repertory ensemble Down ‘n’ Outz. Though it was an album out-of-time, out-of-touch, and almost out-of-tune thanks to iconic producer Roy Thomas Baker’s misdirection, the songs and bass playing on that platter are astonishing. Rob Rawlinson’s nimble fingered fretwork, which was given to thrilling rapid fire grace notes and glissandos – was obviously inspired by Jaco Pastorius – who forged electric bass history on Ian’s previous album All American Alien Boy. Ironically,  Rob once replaced Jaco on a session helmed by Baker. Rawlinson didn’t ape Jaco’s tonal character – which was custom in that era among many players. Instead, Rob rounded out Hunter’s ensemble, which also included Earl Slick, with a traditional Precision bass resonance that was decidedly in-the-pocket.  Rawlinson, who went on to found Atomic Studios in London, also distinguished himself as a bassist on sessions and gigs with Freddie Mercury, the Climax Blues Band, Rick Astly, and Alison Moyet, among others. Nowadays Ian will occasionally render a song from Overnight Angels with his Rant Band. As such, I dare not utter the aforementioned flawed work of genius in the presence of Mr. Hunter.