Horse’s Mouth (Issue #158, Jan 2015)

Sorry I’m late – touring aftermath – finances – Christmas – a lot of relatives and friends. It all piles up. I hate FEU – double taxation. ANYWAY, now on a plane to San Francisco from Kennedy and I get a break to answer a few….

Danny G says ‘Let my goodness roll’.

Michael Wapner wants ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen’ at the Coach House.

Craig: ‘I imagine the advent of Rock ‘n’ Roll was a big thing for you. Did you have much interest before then? If so, what?’ To be honest, I didn’t really fit in anywhere and kind of wondered what was the point of my being here. Then Jerry Lee Lewis recorded ‘Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,’ and I realized why I was.

Jeffrey taking care of the weather for us.

Richie Cornacchi: ‘Do you have a particularly Christmas season that warms your heart?’ Not really – they’re all pretty good.

Bradley Brown: ‘Missed out on your U.S. tour. Was hoping for World Café in Philly or Wilmington where the acoustics and crowds are great. What happens next?’ Well, I’m just about toured out so I’ thinking of catching up on writing a new record. Proper are putting out a 30 cd retrospective so that’ll keep it going. Can’t see me out there until 2016 live. Maybe an odd one here or there, but no tour.

Ian Mack: ‘What would you like your music legacy to be?’ I never kissed the music business’ ass? I don’t know.

Drew Hosey: You’d have to ask Bowie about ‘Billy rapped all night etc.’ he wrote the lyric. ‘Ships’ was for my Dad. My Mum was mad, ‘Why didn’t he write about me!’ Thanks for the suggestions.

Edward Shirley re: ‘ stoke more coke on the fire’. No, no, no, no -no! Coke was a cheap form of coal. I know – I lugged it in a hand cart. For the life of me, I do not see the connotations with ‘coke’. It’s a singularly stupid drug favoured by people lacking in personality. Shallow.

James Zamba: ‘Cleveland – remarkable as usual!’ How could it not be in that town. Glad you and progeny enjoyed ‘Boy’.

John Rohana: (We’re taxiing! Glad to leave the 8 degree weather!) ‘I cannot leave this earth without hearing the Rant Band doing ‘Drivin’ Sister!’ Don’t hold your breath!

Rhonda Kirby wants ‘Words’ for several reasons and we don’t do it at the moment. Sorry about Wayne. Hope you enjoyed.

Rick Graves: ‘I often feel the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame’ is a farce and I sense you feel the same. If you were selected, would you attend?’ Who knows.

Deathrather Fanzine: ‘How come you don’t come to New Haven anymore?’ New Haven has to come to the party.

Jay Tashjian seems to be improving – goodho!

Bengt Olof Johansson: ‘Thank you for fantastic show is Falkenberg, Sweden.’ Thank you for your hospitality. Bengt (apart from being one of the organizers) teaches – and his students know ‘President’!

John: ‘My brother-in-law came to Brighton for only his third concert ever, after Steve Harley and Cliff!’ Hey, you’re probably better than Cliff.

Steve Baratta: ‘Thanks for a great show in Cleveland and for seeing us afterwards.’ (See, I do it now and then.)

Mark Hughes: ‘Looking forward to San Francisco. Can we purchase the new album there?’ Yup.

Ralph Berg: ‘Just wanted to say thank you for bringing the Rant Band show down South. It was a great show in Nashville. Hope you do it again next year.’ We had a great time down South. Hospitality was great. (Went to the Picker’s shop in Nashville with Justin and his family. Love Mike and Frank.)

Bill Milks: ‘How about El Mocambo in Toronto?’ We’ll see.

Paul Cavani: ‘Hope you enjoy your trip to Japan. Hope you meet up with Morgan.’ Morgan’s already been in touch and will ‘get up’ as they say. Ross Halfin (world esteemed photographer) is also making the trip with Kaz – so it should be special.

Jay Warsinske wants an interview at the Coach House. Jay’s been around forever so we’ll try to accommodate.

Bill Cown: ‘Sheldon Hall show was truly life affirming. Great energy. Any chance of a live CD from that tour?’ Don’t think so, sorry.

Rex Loyet enjoyed St. Louis. Yes, I did like the photo. Thanks.

Jimmy: ‘Your opinion on the members of the E Street Band – any good as musicians? Apparently they raved about the recording plant with you – loving the sound that you got in the big live room – which led to Bruce recording ‘The River’. Any chance of recording new stuff with surviving members?’ It wasn’t the Recording Plant it was the Power Station. We went in there when they were still building the studio. We had to stop when the car lift was going up and down!! The E Streeters were great to work with, particularly Roy Bitten, who argued with me passionately, over a couple of particular things. Roy was totally committed, as were the others. I’ve never heard a better band.

Vosno: ‘My son and I drove 8 hours to see you at the Park West in Chicago. Amazing. Settle a family dispute, in ‘How’s Your House’ is it ‘the kids are in that car’ or ‘the kitchen’s in the car” Can’t remember, but I like ‘the kids are in the car’, so that’s the winner.

John Dalton: ‘When I listen to MTH records I’m amazed how Mott could go from zero to 100 in a nano second – then bring it back down just as quickly. The level of musicianship and production was incredible considering the limited technology available. Were you involved in the production and arrangements on these songs and albums? Back then – did Mott go all out during rehearsals in preparation for their albums and live shows?’ Everyone in Mott was totally involved in all aspects of the records and the gigs. As individuals, Mott could be selfish to the point of ridiculousness, but when it came to the music – everyone was totally unselfish. We were all aiming for the same thing.

Bob Kleb: ‘Mike Scott and the Waterboys?’ I loved them when they were with Karl Wallinger. Mike actually turned up at a gig we did at the Highline in NYC. Some A-hole wouldn’t let him back stage. If anybody knows him – my apologies and respect.

Ian Mack: ‘Christmas single?’ One never came up. I wish it would.

Yohan: ‘Very impressed with Nalen. Do ‘Red Letter Day’ next time. (That’s one of the wife’s favourites.) I like girl’s voices on your records – bring a couple next time.’ Beauty and the Beast, eh.

Derek Anderson: ‘What amps and guitars on ‘All the Way From Memphis’ ? Phenomenal! ‘ At that time, Mick was playing Les Paul Juniors and had a Marshall, so whether he changed in the studio, I can’t remember – but money and gear was pretty limited at that time, so I imagine this would be it.

They’ve got Valbona Cava on this plane – it’s really rather good!

Bill Reagan: It’s always a crap shoot, Bill. If I’m there – I won’t run away!

John Frawley: Because ‘Schitzo’ had done so well, Chrysalis wanted another one (such is life in the record biz). Of course, I had nothing in the can, so a live album was suggested. ‘Welcome to the Club’ was it.

John Nebergall invites us onto his 50 foot sloop (bought from Craig Ferguson!). Sounds fab, but we’re full on gig wise. That’s for the offer – try us again sometime!!

John Von Reine is talking about ‘Blondie’ coming up to our house in the middle of the night. Gary Valentine brought them up. Chris Stein says I recorded a session we played downstairs. See, I’m not the type that does that. I usually get pissed and have a good time. I remember the night, because I was on the piano right next to Debbie – what a girl and what a looker!! Love Clem and the band, but I have no tape!!

Phil Huband: ‘Who was the tallest in Mott the Hoople?’ Pete Watts (still is). Did you suffer discrimination because of your clothes and hair?’ Yes, but mostly it was all in good fun. There was more of it in the U.S. but we were British – so that didn’t count! Absurd!

Cole re’ ‘I Can Feel’ – ‘How did you come to write it?’ The truth is I never wrote it – just sat down at the piano and it was a stream of consciousness. It just came. Not a lot of people can do that. I remember when we stopped – there was complete silence. I thought – this is going either way – and then Guy Stevens went, ‘WHAAAAAT!’ Done and dusted.

Chris: ‘Overnight Angels’ outsiders – alients.

Andrew Stonestre: ‘Saw you in Kansas City in the 1970s’ (I actually remember that gig). ‘Flying in for the Roxy’ Excellent!

Jane Symonds: ‘Did you ever record at Rockfield or Clearwell?’ We never recorded at either, but all the rehearsals for MTH in 2009 and 2013 were done at Rockfield.

Geoff S says ‘Overnight Angels’ is better than I rate it.

Mark Kay: ‘Any chance of ‘Alice’ in San Francisco?’ No chance, whatsoever. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Ooer Wullie: Well, I have to make exceptions.

Kirn ‘n’ Jayne: Strange some people that enjoy ‘President’. Honored. ‘Goose or Turkey?’ Beef Wellington, actually.

Greg Becker: ‘How did you get all those guys to play on ‘AAA Boy’?’ I said, ‘Come and play on my album’ – and they did!

That’s it! I know I missed a few, but it was the Christmas greetings. I do appreciate your good will. Have a great year.

IH

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