Stephen John Hunter, stage name Steve "The Deacon" Hunter, born June 14, 1948, in Decatur, Illinois, is an American guitarist best known for his collaborations with Lou Reed and Alice Cooper. He first played with Mitch Ryder's Detroit, beginning a long association with record producer Bob Ezrin. Hunter suffers from pigmentary glaucoma, which has rendered him legally blind.
In the 1970s, he appeared on five Alice Cooper albums, four of which were produced by Ezrin. In 1973, he was on the final two albums recorded by the Alice Cooper group, Billion Dollar Babies and Muscle of Love. When Alice Cooper became a solo artist, Hunter followed and appeared on the 1975 groundbreaking album and live show Welcome to My Nightmare alongside guitarist Dick Wagner, with whom Hunter had already formed a formidable guitar team, as can be heard on the Lou Reed live album Rock 'n' Roll Animal and further demonstrated on the film Welcome To My Nightmare, released on home video in 1976 featuring the celebrated guitar battle between Hunter and Wagner that formed part of the Alice Cooper 1975 live show. He and Wagner also played on Peter Gabriel's self-titled first solo album, which was likewise produced by Ezrin, in 1977. His first solo album, 1977's critically acclaimed Swept Away, was also produced by Ezrin.
His first collaboration with Lou Reed was for the Berlin album. He also played in the band captured on Reed's live albums, the aforementioned Rock 'n' Roll Animal and Lou Reed Live. In 2006, Reed and Hunter presented a new live version of Berlin, released in 2008 as Berlin: Live at St. Ann's Warehouse.
Shortly after his work with the band on the live Reed albums, Hunter played guitar on former Cream bassist Jack Bruce's solo album Out of the Storm in 1974. Other artists Hunter has worked with include David Lee Roth (in the mid-1990s) and Tracy Chapman. He also contributed music to and is featured on the soundtrack of the film The Rose, starring Bette Midler. Additionally, he appears in the film Blame it on the Night, a movie co-written by Mick Jagger, featured as one of the guitarists in the band. A film about the guitar partnership of Hunter and Wagner entitled Rock 'n' Roll Animals is currently in production.
Hunter toured with Alice Cooper throughout 2011, but opted to leave Cooper's touring band in 2012 to concentrate on solo projects.
- 1977 - Swept Away (Atco)
- 1989 - The Deacon (IRS)
- 2008 - Hymns for Guitar (Deacon Records)
- 2008 - Short Stories