Horse’s Mouth (Issue #146, Sep 2013)

Macdonald: Re: ‘Morgan and Luther – who’s keeping them out?’ Your guess is as good as mine.

Larry Dykes: ‘Nashville – with or without MTH!’ We’ll try.

Barry: ‘MTH in the U.S.?’ Somebody would have to come up with dates and the finance. No one has.

Jeffrey: Best August I can remember; thought I was in Hawaii.

Shirl R. Pilote: Thank you for ‘President’ cd – it’s awesome. See you at the Winery in New York. Tickets for both shows.’ Goodho!

Steve Roberts: ‘Great at Leamington Spa – get another book out. See you in November.

John Caswell: ‘Play Boston again – play ‘Golden Age’ at the Winery.’

Gerry Campbell: ‘Would you vote for an independent Scotland or are we bound together even though we don’t agree on many things. What was your father’s point of view on independence? Do you feel Scottish yourself? See you in November.’ My Dad never wore trousers, socks or shoes until he was 7 years old – had to move away (like many before him) to make a living. I think the Scots are unique – they just about invented everything. My father could quote Burns and did on many an occasion. I lived in Hamilton from the age of 3 months until I was 6 with my Aunt Nettie and Uncle Willie who worked at Clyde Alloy in Motherwell. My Uncle Jack and his wife, Elsie lived next door. Jack was on the Chieften buses (Blue and Cream). I loved every minute of it. After the war it was back to England – and I missed it. I guess I do feel Scottish because the first five years in anybody’s life are pivotal. Plus, if your Dad’s Scottish – you are! I don’t think in these days of interdependent trade etc. independence would be a great idea. Better to keep it as it is – so we can moan forever!!

Wayne Koehler says ’79 gig at the Palladium in NYC was the best he ever saw in his life.

Christopher Clarke: ‘Do a Christmas album.’ See I’m not like that. I just get idea and when there’s enough of them we put them o a record.

Wayne/Vancouver: ‘Do you have footage of you on Letterman?’ Well there wasn’t much of it. I played with the band one time -that was it.

Scott: Re: the end of 23A – I can’t remember how the ‘Greig’ bit came about – certainly after the record came out. I agree – it is a great ending, but I can’t remember for the life of me who’s idea it was.

Richie Cornacchio: Yes, I did read the book on Cochise (thank you), and the sweetgrass is by the bed – thank you again!

Tom: Better still – somebody offered me not to!

Ian Drew: I’ve already printed this.

Steve and Judy – Back then we were not only trying to get a foot in the door, but we were also trying to make a living. These songs were written right in the middle of the storm. Now I’m on the outskirts, and life is so much more relaxed and easier. I prefer now, but it was great then!

Steve Andrews: Sorry, bit it’s all done and sorted, Steve. Best to the band.

Brent Coursey: Noted.

Jordan Freeman: Sorry, we don’t do that here.

Keith Nickless: ‘A lot of British musicians live in Connecticut; do you ever meet up with them or bump into them?’ I’m pretty much a stay at home type. So no, we haven’t met many ex pats.

Wolfgang Rink wants me to play Germany.

Dan McClure: Well, there is no autumn tour. I mean, we’re doing a few dates in September/October but then I ‘m on my way to England for the MTH thing. Michigan rocks – I’m a fan – we’ll be there eventually.

Tony Jay: No warm up MTH shows that I know of – and I think you can bet on it.

Ben Drnach: ‘Did you chat with Dylan a the Hoboken show?’ I was gone before he arrived.

Mark F: ‘Have you read ’38 Nooses’?’ No, buy I’m going to now.

Chris on shades adjustment. This can be a serious problem with glasses. You sweat and the shades go sliding down your nose and you’re constantly pushing them back up again. Solutions: 1) wear tight shades and have a tightener kit in your possession or 2) get elastic bands that attach to each side of the shades. It’s a bit of a mess with the hair so I prefer option 1.

Lou Boarman: It’s debatable. If we hadn’t had the Bowie single we might have been out of business before we even got to the MOTT and then THE HOOPLE albums. I think ‘Dudes’ was pivotal. ‘You said in the ‘Diary’ that the Stones were the greatest rock band ever. Do you still stand by that?’ Sure do – and I’ve seen them on off nights.

Fiona: ‘I love ‘President’, how come you’re saying no new tunes for MTH. Do you expect me to believe you have nothing new to say?’ I’ve got plenty to say; it’s where I say it.

John Pate: ‘Any idea what you’ll play at Kent, Ohio in October?’ Not as of yet.

Paul Rivers: ‘From reviews it sounds like your voice is standing up better than Dylan’s in live performances.’ Yeah, but he still has it all.

Gerry Fae Glesga: Prefers us to Celtic and the Stones. ‘They’ve gone corporate.’ Everything’s going that way – self destruction. Touring is soooooo expensive it makes it very difficult. Regards to FOPP records!

Bob Gatewood: Nice one Bob!

Ron Scarlett: Can’t remember – maybe Genya Raven.

Tom McGarry: ‘Beach Boys ‘touched up’ by auto tune – your thoughts?’ There’s a difference between ‘a slight touch up’ and an engineer tarting up some good looking boy/girl who cannot sing in any way at all. Some engineers can’t help themselves – their ears are so fine tuned they’ll wait until you look the other way and then fiddle. I guess the proof is in the live performance. If it isn’t ‘live’ you know what’s going on. I think it’s pretty stupid – but I’m not 18 and ambitious.

Bill Milks: ‘In November the crowd would go nuts if at some point you announce ‘this is get yer ass up time’. Well 0 no ones sitting down in the first place so that’s a bit redundant. Anyway, I was doing that in ’71. Maybe it’s ‘Get yer ass down time!!

Amanda Jones: ‘In the song ‘Comfortable’ you say, ‘I bet these twins ain’t identical’ – did you win the wager? If you did – let’s see the proof!’ Can’t a chap have a little fun with a lyric once in a while?

John K: ‘I think music is a lonely profession – it consumes you. Do you agree?’ Yes. ‘Any children to carry on your legacy?’ Three. ‘Your words are stuck in my head forever!!’

Liz K: Another epic!! For me the Montessori idea is a good principle. But you have to make your own mind up – and it sounds like you have.

Ronnie: ‘I didn’t know Defries had the rights to release ‘Philadelphia Live’ it’s easy to be taken down.’ Noted with thanks.

Ian Mack: ‘After over a decade of the Horse’s Mouth, what one question are you surprised hasn’t been asked yet that you would answer?’ ‘When are you gonna start charging?’

Nick Fathers continues to enjoy Otis Gibbs!

Kevin Keiler: ‘High on my bucket list – a photo of me and you – going to Kent – what’s my best chance? Just before the show.

John Gallacher: ‘Do you still trawl pawn shops?’ Nah – everything’s a racket these days.

Whalespoon: ‘I’ve read you’re not keen on ‘Short Back ‘n’ Sides’ nor ‘All of the Good Ones are Taken’ – is this true?’ These records were done back in the days when you had to do a record at a specific point in time – whether you had the songs or not. Neither Mick nor I had our heads on straight when we did SB’n’S. Mick Jones’ enthusiasm saved the day. I don’t dislike SB’n’S but I wouldn’t listen to it again all the way through and I’ve never listened to ‘AOTGOAT’ except to get the lyrics for the title track. I much prefer the version of ‘All of the Good Ones’ that we did in Oslo with the orchestra. Never got the right groove on the album. I remember Mick played his ass off on ‘Death ‘n’ Glory Boys’ but that’s about it. Took forever.

Jerry Ross: I’m told Milwaukee is 95% sold. I can only go on how it was last time; Great room, great crew, we were treated well and got a great reaction. I actually remember Charlie Fayne booking Mott into a 10,000 seater in Milwaukee all those years ago.

Fred Pettersson: Well done, Fred!! Glad you’re up and about again. See you in November.

Frank Kovacic: Cleveland International had signed me up management wise and one of their recording artists was Ellen Foley who was then with another of their artists, Meatloaf. They asked me to produce Ellen. Ronno was skint (as usual) so I said I’d produce Ellen if Mick could be co-producer. They said fine. Ellen thought Mick was great and she sold 600,000 records!! From there Mick and I moved into the Power Station and did ‘Schizophrenic’ with the E-Streeters and Bob Clearmountain. One of those records where everything fell into place. Good time for Mick and me.

John Dalton: Nothing appeals to me about the music industry. I just do what I do an something usually works out. Stuff changes so fast these days – I just care about the quality of the material.

Erich Conrad: Yes, I do still have that award.! It’s a bit chipped (my youngest liked to play with the glass bit for some reason), but it’s hanging in. (Musical Syndrome Award from Ohio State University).

Duarte: Thanks.

Corinne Scott: (1) ‘Do you enjoy working with Joe Elliott and interacting with him since he’s a huge fan? Would you work with him in the future?’ Joe’s a lovely man; I’m extremely fond of Joe and his wife, Kristine. He does this thing and I do mine and if we ever unite it’s always a lot of fun. He’s a human dynamo – makes me tired just watching him. And he LOVES music – he’s extremely knowledgeable about almost all music. Sit back and let him DJ – he’s the best. (2) ‘Do you find it more enjoyable to work with Mott as a whole rather than doing your solo work or vise versa?’ Loaded question. Listen, when I get back with the Motts it’s great fun – hilarious in fact. There is an undeniable lure – I didn’t want it to stop when it stopped last time. I love all of them and Martin’s fit in beautifully. It’s kinda like going back to school again. On the other hand – my solo thing is recent. The Rant Band’s my band and I’m totally proud of ’em. We’ve had a great year and I can’t wait to do another record. Variety’s the spice of life. Had a great time with Andy York and Dave Roe too on the acoustic trio tour. I do this, and I do that, and it’s all good.

Jeff: ‘What’s the tuning on ‘Flowers’?’ It’s tuned normally, but a semi tone down with Capo on the second fret.

Nigel: Pete Hince (or Booster as MTH called him) was Mott’s first roadie. Built like a bring thingie. Thought nothing of toting Phally’s Leslie on his back. Haven’t read his book. My feelings about Fred and Queen have been pretty well documented over the years; brilliant – we had great times with them.

Malcolm Lay thinks 2009 MTH wasn’t as heavy as 70’s version. Will it be heavier this year? Dunn0 – we just plug in and hope for the best.

Mark F: ‘ ‘Irene Wilde’ or ‘Shades Off’ in Milwaukee?’ Don’t know.

Anthony Selby: Phally wasn’t skinny in those days. He was burly and he could get a little crazy at times.

Callmeafan3 wants Mott to go to the West Coast. Sounds easy doesn’t it.

Jeffrey: Re: Sonny Bono’s ‘Laugh at Me’. Great song, isn’t it. I like Little Steven’s ‘While You Were Lookin’ at me’. Mick and I did it for a while as well.

Marvin Sammons: Can’t guarantee anything, Marvin, but I hope you enjoy.

Rich Michi: ‘I guess no ‘Havana’ this year?’ I’m elsewhere; sorry about that.

Dale Smejkal: The most rehearsing the Rant band do is a couple of days. It’s all in the homework. ‘TH takes longer. They’ll do a bit before I get over there. Then we rehearse together for about a week then do a production day and we are off! ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother’ is a song about what you never had that somebody else did.

Andy Mercer: MTH are playing the Apollo in Glasgow on Wednesday, the 13th of November.

Robert Schipits: I’ve asked Jeff for the lyric, but he’s been pretty busy and hasn’t got back to me yet. (Henry and the H bombs)

Dan Casavant wants to play ‘Flowers’ with his band. Play it!! If you record put me down as the writer and obtain a mechanical license.

Ann Diamond: ‘Memorable experiences on the road with MTH?’ There were so many, but nothing sticks out a mile.

Steve G.: ‘Well, I spent a fortune on Mott and your solo stuff when I was a kid, so what was the nicest thing you did with the money?’ I donated most of it to those kindly record companies and affiliated friendly publishing corporations!

Rob Lewandowski: ‘In ’79 you played the Royal Oak in Detroit – you had your amp serviced at a music store my brother worked at and delivered it that night. It was an Ampeg combo amp – do you still have it?’ Nah – long gone, sorry.

Oor Wullie wants me to do lots of things I can’t do, as usual.

Tamara: Make it 25.

Shawn/San Diego: ‘Enjoyed ‘Now is the Time’ in LA. Shawn talks about a documentary called ‘Twenty Feet From Stardom’ which was all about back up singers in rock and roll and want my view. Back up singers are usually infinitely better than the singers they’re backing up – especially in the pop world. You can have a great voice and for various reasons – not happen. A lot of people just don’t have the stomach for the limelight – preferring decent money with no hassles in the shadows. Others, although great, are missing that indefinable x factor that connects. They have to be spot on in order for harmonies to work. There are some great triple scalers about!!

OK – must fly. Got a couple of songs on the boil.

IH

The Horse’s Mouth xxx


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