Horse’s Mouth (Issue #177, September 2016)

The Horse’s Mouth
September 2, 2016

I don’t know about you, but I’m sunned out. They’ve got me doing interviews at the moment.

John H. wants ‘Central Park’ and ‘American Spy’ at the Bellhouse. Haven’t got that far yet.

Bjorn Svange: Trondheim Rocks! Yes, contact Mr. Nessjo. Hope he’ll turn up too.

Gav Black: New album sounds fantastic! What are you listening to at the moment? Curtis ‘n’ Kuby on talk radio!

Geff Ratcheson: Re: mastering of the box set. Proper have heard concerns similar to yours from fans and they asked that I pass on the following information that was shared with others.

‘I am Alan Price and I have been working with Proper Records on the gargantuan Ian Hunter box set since the initial idea was hatched nearly 3.5 years ago.

When we originally discussed the overall sound for the box set we decided we should be faithful to the sound of the original recordings and that we would not artificially enhance that sound, so we were never going to go down the ‘brickwalled mastering’ route therefore avoiding the screechy sound that you and most other people hate. Original tape masters from many of the licensors has helped us immensely.

We have obviously pulled together a vast amount of archive material, live and in the studio and we have been judicious in our choices of recordings and again have been sensitive in the way that they have been mastered, trying to avoid all of the nasty compression techniques. I do hope you receive your sampler soon so you can hear what I am getting at, oh and please don’t throw it away, it has 2 tracks that will not be on the box set.’

Vosmo: ‘After listening to the songs ‘When I’m President’ and ‘Brainwashed’ I’ wondering what kind of crystal ball you have. You’re a prophet – what’s next?’ Well, reality shows aside (they can rot your brain) one hopes common sense will win out. What seems to be lacking on either side is an overview. I wonder how it feels to put your job before your country.

Jonathon Hoaglund is having a hard time finding the Mott DVD on the internet. Dunno about this – try eBay?

Danny G: ‘ ‘Fingers Crossed’ has greatness running through it.’ Ta.

James Zamba: ‘Congratulations on ‘the box’ and ‘Fingers Crossed’. I already own all the released stuff, but the unreleased stuff makes it worth it. Going to both shows in Chicago.’ We’ll see you there.

Matt Parish: Sounds like we’re putting it out at the right time, Matt. Hang in there and get well.

Donn Deniston says the Ark in Ann Arbor is a fantastic little venue. We’re looking forward to it.

Losangelus: Telling me the real reason Neil Young left CSN. Hilarious.

Jeff: Buffalo’s as far north as we go on this leg.

Corinne Scott: Not going to Hudson after all. Oh, well.

John Tarpey: ‘We would love Dublin again. Any hope?’ Don’t know what’s going on – we don’t’ seem to get decent enough offers.

Philly Bob asks if I ever get my old stuff out and listen to it. Not really. Sometimes I have to if we’re putting a tour together (like now) but I’m listening more to what would fit in a set now rather than laying back. To me – once it’s done – it’s done. Onto the next. I really don’t do anything like you’re supposed to do (or so I’m told).

Ray Mackie – The Helsinki is in.

Peter Jordan: ‘Your right about corporate ruining everything – what can we do about this nonsense.’ How about shortening the weather forecast to what’s going to happen tomorrow. And while we’re at it, dispense with the idiotic medical ads that permeate prime time. Perhaps if drug companies were banned from running these adverts the drugs might be more affordable. I’ve never bought anything from a radio or TV ad – always word of mouth or investigation.

Geoff: ‘If you were to do a covers album – like Bowie with Pin Ups – what songs would you choose to do?’ My favourite songs are perfect as they are – they don’t need me messing with them.

Nik is going to Infinity Hall. See you there!

Matt: Re: Mott. Cheers!

Dave Hines: ‘Think you’ll like Infinity in Hartford – beautiful new venue. Will you play a lot of songs from the new album with your magnificent band?’ Not sure what the set will be as yet, but the band will be magnificent anyway!

Rick Graves: ‘H Ian – do you ever think about how Mott and your music have drawn fans together from all over the world? I’ve had a chance to meet people from all over the planet and we’ve become great friends. Coming to both Chicago shows and looking forward to ‘Fingers Crossed’ and the ‘box set.’ I think the web has been great for uniting pockets of people who otherwise would be relatively isolated.

Terry: ‘Sorry if this is a repeat, but what’s your favourite cover version of one of your songs?’ I like Maria McKee’s version of ‘Mother’.

Paul Field: ‘You did ‘Dudes’ by Bowie – which song would you give him to cover?’ ‘Broadway’ offa ‘Overnight Angels’.

Scotty C: ‘Back in the day I had ‘Schizophrenic’ and ‘Born to Run’ recorded on blank 8 track tape (I did pay for both copies). Sometimes you’d hit the track button and you’d go from one epic track to another and it always sounded pre-arranged. Were you ‘n’ the Boss meant to be together in more places than my Ford Pinto?’ Nearly the same band on the tracks.

Marc Mathews: ‘Seen you in Louisville, Chicago and Nashville. Please come back to Louisville again.’ We’ll try.

Jeff S. ‘Ian – use your clout and suggest a City Winery in Grapeville, Texas. Great location.’ They do seem to be popping up all over the place, so you never know. I’ll put in a word!

Neil: ‘Am currently on holiday in Mexico – the hotel DJ just played ‘Foxy Foxy’.’ Catching up then.

Pasquale: ‘Ordered both – will be there in November. If you need a free guide next time you’re in Italy….’ I’ll bear that in mind.

Iain Moss: ‘Vinyl or digital?’ You know – I don’t really care.

Drew H. is going to The Ark.

W. Anderson re: U.S. dates. That’s all we’re doing before Europe; maybe in 2017.

Big Rab: It’s always been that. Like you say, I had nothing much to do with it and wouldn’t want to appear ungrateful.

Dai: Fillings concluded successfully.

Jeffrey: They still find ’em!

Nigel Benjamin: I talked to him for five minutes – that was all it took.

Phil Grant: Atlanta’s at the Winery.

Fred: ‘What’s on the set list for the latest tour?’ Nothin’ yet.

Donald Mease: West Coast 2017 (I think).

Bob Kleb: Still Rolling.

Teresa: ‘ ‘Teachers’ was on a compilation album which made up the soundtrack of ‘Teachers’ a Nick Nolte movie.

Simon Bayliss: OK Simon – you pay 83% of your income to your government. Grow up.

Lash LaRue: ‘Could they make a version of the box set that contains the previously unreleased music and the DVD’s? I’ve bought all your stuff once – and again because I wore out the lp’s. I’m not as flush as I hoped!’ You have a point. However, I don’t think they plan to break up the box in this manner.

John Dalton: ‘Have you ever considered a Christmas related song?’ I always liked ‘I’m getting’ Nuttin for Christmas’ but I’ve never recorded it. Did it live a couple of times. I’m easy if one comes along – we’ll do it.

Rick Lake: West Coast 2017.

Liam Bailey wants ‘Central Park’ in Chicago.

Jed Goldman: We tried Vegas a couple of time. Didn’t work.

Tripp: ‘Will ‘Dandy’ be in the set list?’ More than likely.

Pondering cerebral thoughts – got to be ‘The Broons’. Though that was then.

Bruce CB: ‘Helsinki – got my table – ever thought about ‘Golden Opportunity’ or ‘Silver Dime’? Not really.

Dave: I was famous for a fortnight and that was long enough for me.

Steve: Read ‘Small Town Talk’ by Barney Hoskyns.

Bob: ‘Looking forward to Cardiff in November. Any Welsh connections?’ My brother, Bob, lives in Wales – he’ll be at the gig.

K. Lucas: Going to the Chicago Winery.

John Cook: Wants us in Bristol.

Gary Sawruk: Says I’ll live until I’m 97. So now I know.

Hope Campbell is going to Cleveland. Hi Hope!

Jeffrey – not seen London Chuck Berry sessions – but would like to.

Joe Schellentrager wants us to bring a sax player to Cleveland.

Jeff Pavlock: ‘Stoked about Buffalo. We’ll sing the harmonies if you need them.’ Goodho.

Kyle: ‘Thank you for ‘Dandy’. It’s great you penned a tribute through the fan’s eyes. I’ve noticed Mark slipping in some Ronson licks – is that intentional? M.C. loved Ronno’s playing and is not at all averse to popping a few reminders in now and again.

Neil Shakeshaft: Any footage of the set you did on Jools New Year’s show you did a couple of years back?’ Don’t know. Haven’t seen it yet.

Mitch Marcus: ”Dandy’ – elaborate – where does that come from?’ Think the cover of the ‘Dudes’ MTH album.

Lewis: Don’t know at this time, but I honestly don’t think so.

Steve Baratta is going to Washington D.C.

John Von Reine: Try ‘Bonaroo’ (I think they were out of Las Vegas or Reno). They opened for Hunter/Ronson; he was with them.

Ken Grady: Check out ianhunter.com – all the info is there. Ken’s enjoying ‘Dandy’.

John Von Reine: When I first started writing AAAB I was hanging out at Bobby Columby’s house just over the Tappan Zee Bridge. Bobby was the drummer with Blood Sweat and Tears – a great groove drummer. One afternoon I took Mick over with me and we jammed with Bobby and Jaco Pastorious. The audio on this super 8 has long since gone so I guess they dubbed the album track onto it. Mick never did play on AAAB – I think he was out with Van Morrison or Dylan – but he always said AAAB was his favourite IH album.

Richard Johnson: ‘Your merch page is sorely lacking in the XXL and XXXL department. Please consider your large manly and overweight fans as you hit the road in October.’

Michael Conroy: ‘Who’s in the Rant Band on the upcoming tour?’ Steve Holley, Dennis DiBrizzi, M.C. Bosch, Paul Page and James Mastro.

Matt Nojonen – Do you have a favourite Shakespeare play, quote or sonnet?’ I was a wall once at school – does that count?

Bill Hammond: ‘You didn’t play ‘Dudes’ in Cincinnatti in 1979 with Mick. Can you play it in Cleveland?’ Too early to say.

Johan: ‘Still hoping for ‘Red Letter Day’ on the coming tour (going to Stockholm).

Iain Dandy: ‘Any chance of back stage meeting at Leamington gig?’ I don’t do meet and greets, but if you bump into me I’m quite sociable.

John W: ‘Can’t wait until Atlanta – is there an opening act?’ Dunno – check their website. With regard to your request – it’s kind of difficult as I’ve written around 400 recorded songs and everybody wants something different and usually I don’t do whatever they want! So I just do what I feel like doing. Sets have to match.

Bill Adair: ‘Can’t wait for new album; ‘Dandy’ is great.’

Mark F: ‘Do you have any interest in watching the Olympics?’ You know, I use to; I’ve sort of waned over the years – I can take it or leave it. I’ve always liked track. I think the athletes are truly mazing – it’s just the Olympic organization.

Dan Baker: ‘Wings?’ I think it’s on the Box set. Robbie Alter’s solo on the demo of ‘Wings’ I find incredibly inventive – as was his solo on the demo of ‘The Loner’. Brilliant.

David Taylor: I’ll give this to Trudi.

Rikki Flynn: ‘Mott were great musicians as are the Rant Band. If you could go back thru the years who would be your ideal backing band?’ Hey – I’m perfectly happy with the situation I’m in. Always thought ‘The Band’ were the greatest; second album – killer.

Mccclenaghan: 1) I’d keep it! 2) I’d have to know what it was for.

Ian Mack: ‘Ever seen a good RnR movie?’ Bill Nighy in ‘Still Crazy’. ‘Was your ‘Diary’ ever considered?’ Yes, and I was excited, but movies seldom happen – finance – Hollywood – stupidity etc.

Steve Parsons: I was never bothered about guitars. Mick Ralphs was and is obsessive as is Pete Watts. Many cutting – in the end chosen by the record company – so who knows.

Matt Nojonen: We played St. Louis and very much enjoyed it. Why we’re not back there is a mystery to me.

Ian Mack: I mean when a firm gets so big it starts buying up all the other firms in the same business and then reduces them to rubble. Where’s the competition – eliminated. You want three labels when could be 30? Check Fender. It’s not the people within it. It is the nature of the beast. Hey, Amazon’s paying $10 a hour!

Andy: ‘Just finished a weekend of gigs to pay for the box set.’ Good for you. In order to pay for ‘Fingers Crossed’ I opened for J.Geils and did the Butlin’s show. There’s always a way. ‘Will you play any rarities on the UK tour?’ Dunno yet; haven’t heard them. They haven’t sent me one as of yet.

Dale Haskell: Dentally done.

Jim Patterson: ‘Selling the box set on the road?’ No, too heavy. There might be a display and ordering info.

John Rafferty: ‘Why are you unhappy with ‘Overnight Angels’? Just pissed at myself – everyone else was great.

John Caswell: Most people go through differences of opinions during the course of their existence – somewhat irrelevant in the big picture. There it is.

DCJ: Sorry you’re getting the run around. I’ll get Trudi to try to sort this out.

Paul Cavani: My relationship with Equis goes back to 1942! It’s a shrine!! Leave us in peace!

Steve Karmazin: ‘Just heard ‘Dandy’ – and it’s brilliant. Do you do anything voice strengthening wise? The voice is a muscle – you can’t just get up and do it. You have to tone up for a while before you take it on the road.

Eric loves ‘Dandy’.

Lewis likes ‘Seein’ Red’.

Will Thompson: Likes the new single (Dandy).

Mike Costanzo is fond of ‘Sunshine Eyes’. Same here.

In Record Collector there was an ad by Key Mail order for the box set for 143 GBP. Sadly, they are advertising something they cannot get. Proper have already been in touch with them urging they stop this misinformation. This offer is not legit.

And on that happy, bloody note – I’ll sod off!!

Sorry if I missed you.

IH
The Horse’s Mouth


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