Independent Music Press, ISBN 1-897783-09-4
For many years, the only book (apart from Willard Manus' novel which supplied the name) has been Ian Hunter's Diary of a Rock and Roll Star (published in the States under the title Reflections of a Rock and Roll Star), which was written during Mott's November/December 1972 tour of the USA.
It was written as it happened - on the plane, in hotel rooms, wherever. It chronicles the endless travelling, the hotels, sound-checks, performances... it strips away the glossy facade of the rock star the PR people would have us believe and lays bare what life is really like on the road.
Originally published in 1974, it was a best-seller for two years before the publishers discontinued it to concentrate on other titles. Thus, Diary gained cult status, becoming increasingly difficult to find, even in secondhand bookstores. But over the years, demand remained strong, until finally Ian's wife Trudi bought the rights to it (without telling Ian!).
Diary was re-published in 1996, this time by International Music Press. It had a new foreword by Andrew Collins (of Q magazine), and new notes on the back cover, but was otherwise identical to the original (as you would expect). Oh, and the price had gone up to GBP8.95 - my original 1974 copy cost 50p!
It is, sadly, out of print again. Ian says he is waiting for the right offer to come along - let's hope we don't have to wait too long.
The October 1996 issue of Q magazine has given it a good review, saying that it "may well be the best rock book ever". I have heard from several people that it is certainly the best-written rock book... indeed, in the mid-1990's Per Stam from Sweden presented a paper at a literature/culture studies conference comparing Diary with Umberto Eco's Travels in Hyperreality, where he gave Hunter's book some praise and Eco's some complaints.
Even if you are not a fan of Ian or Mott, this book is essential reading for any rock fan.