Horse’s Mouth (Issue #144, July 2013)

Wanna be in a rock ‘n’ roll band? Well we got offered a festival in Norway and we took it as it was financially viable. Nice gig, but I don’t think B.A (Bloody Awful) understood the concept of connecting flights. We’re flying to Bergen via Heathrow. Heathrow has its own terminal so – should be no problem. The long/short of it was that the band played in the clothes they left JFK in on the Wednesday morning and used other people equipment to perform the gig on the Friday night. Cool London; corporate B.A. We finally collected the lost baggage and instruments on the Saturday night – just in time to pay the excess baggage on them for the trip back to the States the next morning. We get back to JFK and Mastro’s clothes and guitar and Trudi’s bag was MIA. Wonder if they will arrive before the Wilmington gig? Don’t fly B.A. – they think the world revolves around them; big mistake.

Jeffrey says it’s hot. He’s right.

Tom Semioli asks what do I mumble at the beginning of ‘Just Another Night’. Something fiendishly intelligent and suitably undecipherable.

Laura Rutkowski: Will be singing at Sellersville.

Seth Purvin loves Tracie’s new band – ‘production magical.’ Good ho. Seth has lost 22 lbs listening to ‘Shrunken Heads’. Shrunken Seth. Am I going to support NYC new football club? Dunno. I kinda like Thierry Henri and Tim Cahill (Red Bulls) at the moment.

Don White: Did we get paid for Hop Farm last year? Paid in full.

John Figg: According to Paul Loasby, who is managing the MTH shows, AEG offered the best deal. That’s how it is apparently.

Phil Huband: We thought the American over of the ‘Mott’ album was total crap (and I still do). The ‘Dudes’ cover was good. I forgot who did that. Manilow changed keys in ‘Ships’. That was his way of doing it. I found it interesting; didn’t bother me.

Liz Krinsky: Chicago in October (and Milwaukee). Animal monologue!

Dave Drew: Best of luck with the Drew Crew!

Michael Turner: ‘Mott never had great musical ability ala Zep or Yes, but they had incredible stage majesty – far greater than other bands. 100 to 1 outsider in the Grand National – always makes the best entertainment.’

Yucca Flats: ‘Boston this summer?’ Nah.

Whalespoon: Jeff Franklin offered me both gigs through is agency. Neither appealed for different reasons.

Tamara Guo: It is what it is for the moment. Probably change for the Winery in September.

Ian Mack: ‘Happy Birthday.’ Cheers

Bill C: ditto

John Caswell: ditto

Ooer Wullie (drinking 74 pints in my honor) How noble.

Chris Miller: ‘Any tips on growing old disgracefully?’ Don’t change a thing.

Jim McConnell: ‘Happy Birthday.’

Andrew/Catherine: ‘Happy Birthday.’

Francis : ‘HB. How does it feel to do the MTH reunion?’ Exciting!

Phyl Faulkner: Cheers!

Jason: Little Hunter’s got meningitis and I’m sure we all wish him the best. You get born then it’s one think after another. God bless.

John Frawley: H.B.
Steve Parsons ‘H.B. Do ‘Violence’ – reminds me of my Dad screaming to turn that bloody racket off. He liked music, but stopped at the ‘Mathew and Son’ bit.’ Sussed.

Fred Petterson and the Family: ‘Happy Birthday.’ How’s it going, Fred?

Lee Martin: ‘H.B. See you in Milwaukee.

Yucca Flats: H.B.

Tom Crolly: H.B.

Kellianne Flynn: H.B. (She got a hug at Maxwell’s!)

Rik Rolski: ‘H.B. Bring MTH to the States.’ A lot of people have been asking for this, but the expenses are overwhelming.

Constance Van Beak: ‘H.B. See you in the fall.’

Bill Steffen: ‘H.B.’

Irina: ‘H.B.’

Larry Woodside: H.B.

Bruce: ‘You and MR gave me the greatest advice ever – put down the guitar and be an engineer. 30 years later I still am. Thanks you for an unbelievable career! Only regret we never made a record together.’

Steve Baretta: ‘H.B Mr. President.’

Peter Squires: ‘H.B.’

J. Scott Strawn: Haven’t seen ‘The Wackness,’ but I’ve heard about it.

Lionel: H.B.

Jeffrey: H.B.

Nice Price: ’74 on the U.K. tour H.B. See you in Newcastle.

Pasquale Truglia: ‘Happy Birthday from Italy.’ Pasquale and Marisa.

Ian Mack: ‘Why did you adopt your middle name as your professional name?’ Sounded better.

Bertie McSpadden: ‘You’ve often described MTH as ‘innovative.’ I’m not disagreeing with you, but what was innovative?’ Lyrics.

Jay Tashjian: Doing a HiWatt thing – they were OK.

Sam Baird loves ‘Sea Diver’. It was in the set actually, until recently. Saw Joe Elliott in Norway – says he’s doing it on the second ‘Down ‘n’ Outz’ album.

Jeffrey: Isle of Wight was great. We went on early, which was a drag, but it built up beautifully. Mr. G loved it.

Ian Mack says I don’t list any lady artists (apart from Tracie) as people I admire, appreciate, associate with. I LOVE Mavis Stapes – she is a grand Lady and lovely to listen and talk to. Chrissie Hynde’s a great. So is Bonnie Raitt. I go back to the Ronnettes – what a great trio. Still see Ronnie now and again. My all time favourite single is Lorraine Ellison’s ‘Stay With Me Baby’. There’s hundreds of great girl singers out there – we’re all in this together.

Tall Paul: I’m a Steve Van Zant fan. We get on – who knows.

Charile: Do ‘Now is the Time’ with the Rant Band – we do.

Edward Shirley: Every time we go to Jersey (which is often) we have to turn the Sat Nav off. It persits in making us go via the George Washington Bridge – even when we’ve already gone over the Tappan Zee! They’re good for some things, but I find myself cursing the lady on the sat nav in Trudi’s car. A useless exercise!!

Dave Reitman: ‘Is MTH doing the East Coast?’ MTH will never tour the U.S. (I said that about the UK, twice)

Vinny C: ‘H.B. – 7 months later, and WIP still blows me away every time I listen to it.’ I was talking to Stan Tippins the other day. Stan loves WIP (which means a lot to me).

Seamus Kennedy: ‘Dublin?’ Ain’t had a financially viable offer.

Jerry Murphy: H.B.

Rob Mend: H.B.

Lenny Scolletta: ‘How’s Buff doing?’ As well as can be expected.

Clyde Hartman wishes to add to his pic collection in Delaware. Interesting. Thank you for that. Sorry about your brother.

K. Lucas: H.B.

Lee Ann mentioned the MTH reunion to a co-worker and she said, ‘I. H. – he’s a poet.’ You have more fans in Colorado than you know.’ Well, that’s two.

Steve K: ‘Holmfirth – what a pleasure. Took my neighbor and his wife – they wanted to see what all the fuss was about. When I dropped him off he was all for going to Leominster and he’s booked for MTH.’ Still converting the buggers!

Bill Brealey: ‘Awesome at the Picturedrome. Saw the acoustic set in Sheffield, but this was seriously special.’

Derek Sargeant: ‘Holmfirth – I liked it. Very good gig. Hope you do it again soon. 45 minutes from Buxton. Saw people I knew from Sheffield. Good acoustics.’

Tom McGarry: Managers are a different breed. They’re made differently. They make you do stuff you don’t want to do. It’s all very disconcerting. I get it but I don’t necessarily go along with it. And so it goes.

Mitch: ‘My father just passed and going through his belongings I found around 30 Father’s Day cards with the lyrics of ‘Ships’ on each one of them. Now I’m tering up.

Perry Ganter: ‘Do ‘Girl from the Office’ in Milwaukee. You never know.

Jay Tashjian: I broke more toes with that RMI. Up in the air it would fly and I’d forget to take my feet away. I remember limping through airports miles behind the others. That’s how we got signed to Island Records. Blackwell came to see us at some college in London and a flying RMI missed him by inches. He said, ‘If they care that much I’m going to sign them up.’ And he did. Hope you’re getting better!

Keith Nickless: HB

John Dalton: ‘Recently I read an article involving Rob Zombie. During the interview Mr. Zombie shared that he is a hung fan of your recent solo work and always enjoyed MTH. Proof positive your music appeals to a wide spectrum. Have you ever met him? I’ve never met him, but I’m told he lives near me so perhaps we’ll bump into each other one of these days.

Mark F: I enjoyed working with Jeff Tweedy. I’d love to do something with Leon Russell and, of course, Bob – the king!! There’s tons of people I’d enjoy doubling up wit, but strange as it may seem, I’m rather shy.

Greg Hunter: ‘How were the dynamics with Bowie and you on ‘All the Young Dudes’ the album?’ It was great. We did the single and then he came down to a rehearsal to see if we needed any more material for the album. He heard what we had and thought we had enough material of our own to make it work. The ‘Dudes’ album was done at Trident in London. Angie was bringing in clothes for David to try on daily. David and Trudi would compare make up; it was strewn all over the floor. It was very much a gang affair – totally positive – no egos. I really enjoyed it. Plus, we were hot and Dave was meteoric at the time so the confidence was pretty high. Pete and Mick could probably tell you more – they have better memories than I do, but the whole thing was positive excepting the final mixes, which Buff in particular, thought were a little light. We have since wanted to remix ‘Dudes’ but the tapes have magically disappeared.

McClenagha: How did Thunderthighs wind up on ‘Roll Away the Stone’? We had used them on the ‘Mott’ album on ‘Hymn for the Dudes’. I think they had done the BV’s for Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ and were connected to Lynsey de Paul who also did the spoken bridge on ‘Roll Away the Stone’. They were totally into it.

Barry Cobb was at Birmingham Town Hall in ’71 (Peace opening). Hope Rogers doesn’t nick Mick again.

Dennis Ballard: Noted

Malcolm Lay: I remember the Hammersmith gig when Queen opened and they tried to pull the curtain down on us. Jagger and Bowie were there – it was mayhem. It’s funny, how you never remember a ‘good’ gig. You only remember the ones where something crazy or stupid happened. That’s rock ‘n’ roll! I remember they actually brought out police dogs in Newcastle. NUTS.

George Saadi: Thanks.

Frank: ‘DVD of November?’ No idea – up to Mr. Loasby.

Scott W: ‘Re Toronto – Lee’s Palace – hot, sweaty and rocking – what more could a fan ask for?’ That gig nearly killed me. I literally had no air left at the end of it. Nice people, but God it was hot.

Seth Purvin: Jess does his thing – I do mine. But I love his stuff and I think he likes mine.

Rob: What would happen if you and Ray Davis collaborated? Who knows – least of all Ray and me.

Steven Baker: ‘Saw you in Leamington. I do believe you are one of the tightest bands I’ve ever seen live. I’m interested to know how much time you spend rehearsing together to be as tight as you are?’ Before a major tour – two or three days; a short tour – one day. It’s all about homework. This band is great at doing its homework. Rehearsals are just for tidying up – maybe sequencing – the less rehearsal the better. You want it as fresh as possible when you go out. People rehearse themselves into the ground. Plus, we’ve been playing quite a lot over the last few months.

Andrew and Catherine: No label has come in with an offer.

Julie Beasley: Oh dear. Sorry for your loss, Julie. Hope you enjoy September. I’m a bit wrinklier, but still worth the price of admission!

Richie Cornacchio: I have no interest in producing. Ears ain’t what they used to be!

Brit Fan: When Graham Mabe had to leave he recommended Paul and Steve said ‘Paul’s my favourite bass player of ’em all.’ So that was it. Plus, Paul said he waited 17 years to get the gig, so that always helps! He’s great on stage – got his character thing going – and a total upper off it. The backing vocals on ‘I Can Feel’ were Sue and Sunny – and probably Mick and Buff – both of whom had high voices at the time.

Kirk: Re: Holmfirth – pork pies – the best ones are Bothams of Whitby. God knows how many I ate. Campbell Devine was buying them by the bucket load. The whole band love them – with Colman’s extra hot. Clears the sinuses.

Paul Bitner: Haven’t even thought bout it yet. There’s a ways to go.

Mouth: ‘Writing any new stuff?’ Haven’t had much of a chance really. Been in and out with WIP – but I’ve jotted down a few ideas. It’ll be a while.

Alan from Kent: ‘Have an acoustic Maltese Cross made? ‘ Nah.

Shon Adkins: ‘Took a day off work to wait in line for Milwaukee show – even though I was first when sales started – no premium seats were left. I asked how this could be and the lady said they were reserved for high rollers. Since this is how casinos do business it is with great regret I cannot do business with this establishment. Please come back to a different gig in this area next time. LOVE the new record.’ All casinos do this, but I thought it was only in the arenas. We’ve done this gig before – the crew were great – the room was great and it was sold out – that’s why I wanted to go back. I’m really sorry about the day off work. We’ll look elsewhere next time around. Glad you like the record.

Ian McC: ‘Do you have any unfulfilled professional ambition or goal?’ Nah – but I do like surprises.

Paul Rivers: ‘Really excellent at Leamington Spa last night (but drop the Goodnight Irene bit – no one gets it).’ Well it’s Hank Williams – so they should!!
‘The band is so tight and happy and the song selection has a balance. How the hell did you get to the festival for a 1 pm start the next day?’ We got into a splitter van and went to Portsmouth – got up at 8 for the ferry – and did the gig. Glamorous, isn’t it?

Ed the Shrew: The only thoughts I have on writing a biography is that it might keep me occupied when I eventually take to my bed (as they say).

Edward Shirley: Yup. I remember that bridge.

Mike Z: Noted – thanks.

K. Lucas wants ‘Wish I Was Your Mother’ in Chicago – loves the mandolin.

John Dalton: ‘Over the years, Native Americans have been grossly misrepresented in American movies, literature and music. In contrast, songs like ‘River of Tears’ and ‘Ta Shunka Witco (Crazy Horse)’ humanizes Native Americans and draws attention to their history and ongoing plight. Thank you for keeping things real. Given the subject matter, were these songs difficult to compose in terms of the lyrics? I almost felt like I was channeling when I wrote ‘Crazy Horse’ – the history of his life affected me so much. There was this horrifying inevitability – he was a young man when he died – and he knew what was coming.

Michael says lots of lovely things but then asks me if I’m happy!! Well, let’s face it, there’s lots of stuff to bitch about and there’s more than a little Lewis Black in me – which brings us back to British Airways! Put it like this – I’m less angry than I use to be and I’m glad of that.

John Channing lists all the songs I’ve written about the American West – and there’s a lot!! Never realized – thank you, John.

Liam Bailey wants ‘Wild East’ or ‘Central Park’ in Chicago – if I remember!

Billy: Mott gigs – Mott songs – that’s the rule!!

Jeffrey: Congrats!

Franz: ‘Germany, Switzerland?’ They say we have fans in Germany, but I don’t see any offers coming in. We can’t just pop by; we have to be asked!

Gary: Nope.

John Clark: Sheila E was Prince’s drummer back in the day and as you know – Prince is no slouch. I think Sheila’s amazing. She told me Michael Jackson stories and also told me off when I got bored. She’s an incredible drummer – full stop. ‘By the way – a big thank you to Steve Holley who spent a half hour talking to my son and giving him advice.’

Chris Brown: Paul Loasby is the man you want to talk to – his management company is One Fifteen in London.

Paul D says he could handle a couple of new Mott songs, but he knows writing them is another matter. Absolutely correct -if something occurs – we’ll be on it. However, usually nothing happens when you try to force things. ‘How about ‘Henry and the H. Bomb’?’ That reminds me, I’ve got to get the lyrics off Jeff Tweedy. You never know.

Tony: Nothing like a good education.

Pat Beirne: ‘Favourite gig as a fan?’ Ike and Tina Turner in full bloom – incredible. ‘Are you aware your career practically straddles the history of rock?’ Less of the practicality.

Chris: ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother’ was truthful. Mick Ralphs came up with the mandolin part.

Tim Kearns: Pete Watts bought a house in Acton back in the day. That’s probably what she’s talking about. Pete had a shop in Acton.

Tamara (again!) We’ll see, we’ll see. Bribery – you naughty girl!

Jan O Kolbjornsen: ‘Hope you liked Skanevik – I did. Nice set list. Always hope for ‘Wings’ but rarely performed.’ I only ever like doing ‘Wings’ with Robbie Altar. He was the only one who really nailed it on guitar. I remember him working it out in our apartment in New York.

Jim K: ‘Ever met Dylan?’ Yes, a couple of times.

John Boy: ‘T.S. Eliot, Picasso – good artists borrow – great artists steal – great artists acknowledge that even their greatest works were not completely original. What do you say about your work?’ I don’t listen to radio at all. I very rarely go to other peoples gigs and I only listen to cd’s if they’re sent to me. I’m useless on a computer – all I have is me – and the Rant Band and Andy York!! I’ve been influenced by people – especially early on – and who’s to say what rolls around in your subconscious, but I can honestly say that to me – creating something out of thin air – even though it kind of just comes to some people and not others – is the biggest buzz of all. What’s the point in cheating – it ruins the whole thing. You ain’t getting sloppy seconds from me kids!

Tamara: ‘Thanks for Maxwells – Everyone on fire; crowd love it!!

Kellianne Flynn: Wow. Kellianne and her husband had a great night out. Glad to be of service!

Seth Purvin: ‘ ‘Now Is The Time’ in Hoboken – what a nugget. I’d given you up for dead when I found ‘Dirty Laundry’ in the import bin at Virgin Mega Store on Long Island in ’95. The rekindling of a beautiful relationship.’

Jack Salamander: ‘Any chance of ‘God’ at the City Winery?’ I’ll be there (it’s a joke.)

Tom Semioli: Actually, somebody sent me a live version of the Pointers doing ‘Who Do You Love’. They are great singers, but it just ain’t rock ‘n’ roll.

Paul says some lovely things and that’s a nice way to end this lot.

Sorry if I missed you and I do realize we aren’t doing H.M. strictly on time, but we are here, there and everywhere at the moment. Hey, it’s free! Tough noogies!!!

IH

The Horse’s Mouth


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