Guitarist Steve "The Deacon" Hunter
Photo: Mark Latham

Two of my very favorite people that I have had the pleasure to know as Retrokimmer...are karen Ann and Steve Hunter. I met them due to Facebook. Karen and I met as I was her blogging tutor...We had such a great time working together and became pals...

We were chatting on the telly last night and Karen mentioned a bit of this story to me... I begged her to email me the piece so I could share it with all of my readers...

I admire the Hunters' honesty so much and now I think it is great that at this time the fans will learn more about Steve, Karen and their history...xRK


‘Nylon Cafe’ is a very special piece of music not only in its beauty but also in its significance with how my life changed so radically in 2004.

In the year 2000 Steve Hunter was a man facing some daunting challenges, having had a successful albeit patchy career as a session and touring guitarist he found himself with one ‘half decent’ functioning right eye as his left eye already had so much optic nerve damage that it was and remains all but useless.

Steve was not born this blind, he had always had poor eyesight but sometime in the 90’s after attempting to get an early form of Lasik it was discovered that he had Pigmentary Glaucoma and already had pretty severe and irreversible damage in both eyes.

This situation was about to take another turn for the worse when he got a torn detached retina in his ‘good’ eye. Luckily he was able to get the repair surgery done despite having no income at the time, due to the fact that he was a veteran. The surgery was unsuccessful and just two weeks later it had to be done again!

During this time Steve was completely helpless, needing to have a patch over the repaired ‘good’ eye as it healed, he was left with no sight to complete day to day tasks. His good friend Richard knew Steve lived alone and he sent one of his staff across a couple of States to look after Steve for the duration of the recovery.

Such misfortune tends to focus one’s mind and Steve found himself pondering about his future, he could not drive any more, had been alone with no girlfriend for 10 years and now this.

He was used to being alone but as he sat and contemplated his life he made a prayer to God. He said he understood that he may remain a bachelor for the rest of his life and that was fine he could accept that, but if that were not the case then could he be shown a sign.

Fast forward to a songwriting session in his Hollywood apt, Steve came up with a chord progression of layered guitars that he really liked. He sent the initial ruff to his friend Bob Ezrin. Bob liked the track but felt there needed to be a more defined melody. That night Steve composed the melody on ‘Nylon Cafe’.

Moving on to the year 2004, I was living in a sleepy village in rural southern England. I had had two failed marriages, gained two gorgeous children from the first marriage and was a single mother. Despite struggling to make ends meet I had been lucky enough to be able to finally record an album of my own songs with the help of a good friend.

The Hunters with Alice Cooper, Wendell and Robin...

This friend had a close connection to guitarist Pete Haycock of Climax Blues Band who lived in Frankfurt Germany. Pete was such a cool guy and played a couple of awesome solos on my album.

He liked my lyrics and asked me to write lyrics and melody on an instrumental of his own which I willingly did.

The Deacon with Alice

At exactly the same time that he did these solos for me he was contacted by his old friend in Hollywood Steve Hunter. They had worked together on the Guitar Speak tour back in the 80’s but had lost contact.

He and Steve emailed back and forth a few times and in one email Steve sent Pete ‘Nylon Café’ to hear. Pete loved it and wondered what it might be like with lyrics and a vocal, thinking of me. He asked Steve if it was ok to send me the track, explaining his idea about lyrics.

So, Pete Haycock sent me ‘Nylon Café’ on an MP3. I got it one morning as I sleepily checked my email. The kids were still in bed so I put headphones on and my head was filled with the most glorious piece of music I had ever heard. I cried when I first heard ‘Nylon Café’ that morning.

I wrote back to Pete, “who is that!” I said, “It made me go all peculiar!” Pete explained that Steve was an old mate in Hollywood USA.

Meanwhile Steve had done a bit of his own research online and had found my website. He wrote to Pete saying he had checked me out “She’s not a bad looking woman” he had written! He went on to say “I like some of what I heard but not all of it” Ha! Steve being honest, as he always is!

Pete Haycock forwarded my email to Steve and Steve’s email to me but it was some months later before I plucked up the courage to contact Steve myself about the song lyric.

Our love story blissfully unraveled after that but that is for another day.

The fact remains that across two continents and three countries Steve’s prayer had been answered, he had been shown the way with ‘Nylon Café’.

What a beautiful story and thank you both for sharing this time with us.... xxooK
Karen and Steve's Tribute to Les Paul and Mary Ford... Love this so much...

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