Horse’s Mouth (Issue #181, Feb 2017)

The Horse’s Mouth
February 2, 2017

And here we go again……

Erica W prefers originals to covers.

Jeffrey: Don’t worry about the weather – it happens.

Danny wants another album this year! I don’t!

Sam Richards: Noting the death of Florida fan Ron Tocco who named his son, Ian Hunter Tocco. Rest in peace, Ron.

Marty G’s wife, Marianne, has finally converted with ‘Fingers Crossed’ Phew!

Anthony P: Get a keyboard – that’s what I did.

Bill Pisano: Best of luck, Bill. I’m not going out at the moment. Regards to the band.

Danny G: ‘Easier or harder to write songs today?’ I’ve never found it easy; it’s always been a bit of a struggle.

Seth: Dunno – I guess he likes hats. I kinda like them, too.

Seth: ‘Do you have any Iggy Pop stories?’ Not for you, sir!

Royboy is enjoying the new CD and box set.

Jimmy Andrews: ‘Would you do another album with the E-Streeters? Bruce has a great band – and so do I. Don’t think it’s on the cards. E-Streeters are great though.

Wade: ‘Congrats on ‘Dandy’ reaching the podium on Underground Garage.’ Yeah – thanks to all who voted!

Keith Hollinshed: Last words ‘Brigade’ – work on it.

Stephen Grayce: ‘Did it bother you that Great White tamed down a word or two of your lyric on ‘Once Bitten’?’ Didn’t notice.

Colin Thayer: ‘If you played 10 shows in the NYC area against 10 in the UK at similar sized venues where would be the larger audience?’ Who knows – it depends.

Rick Goward is enjoying ‘Stranded in Reality’; ‘San Diego Freeway’ – awesome.

Bill Milks: ‘I was so happy with 1979 Hammersmith and Ryerson concerts on the ‘Stranded in Reality’ box set. Ryerson show is the best concert I’ve ever been to. How did you come up with the bluesy version of ‘Daylight’? Totally forgotten. Probably just cropped up at a sound check or rehearsal. We use to mess with stuff for fun.

G Mick Smith: ‘Came across a tape I’ve not heard before – Ian Hunter – studio Jam Inc. Suite 3105 875 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Ill. 60611, 25 June 1979.’ Anyone? [Justin says: a little-known one-hour syndicated radio show; likely an edited version of the Park West local radio broadcast from 22nd June.]

Peter Jordan loved ‘Speakeasy’ with Joe Elliott – seemed to be more emphasis on performance rather than writing. In the past you’ve tended to see yourself as a writer. Has the balance changed in recent years, and if so, why? Would love to hear ‘I Get So Excited’ with the Rant Band.’ I’m enjoying live better than I have before, but I’m still a writer first off the bat.

Ed the Shrew: ‘Duck’ Dunne – English master at the Priory. One of the many biased idiots called ‘teachers’ at that time. I know they were crap because I had a great teacher for one term. His name was Scott and he was magic.

Larry Woodside: I’m up for that.

Phil Border: ‘Was ‘Backsliding Fearlessly’ or ‘Half Moon Bay’ the first song you wrote? Apparently you dove right in.’ Probably the first songs I wrote for MTH, but I’d written stuff before for Francis, Day and Hunter.

Steve from Tulsa: Wow – Jerry Lee Lewis and Leon Russell together – I would have loved to see that!

Jeff Falzoi: ‘Rochester, NY – I saw you and Mick Ronson here. Give us one more time.’ We’ll see.

Roy Dawson: ‘My wife, Pat, says she remembers you saying Trudi cooks a mean Shepherds Pie. It is now know in our house as Ian Hunter Pie – are there copyright issues?’ Ask the Rant Band about Trudi’s Shepherds pie – they’ll tell you.

Darren: ‘You’re awesome (I needed that) and the epitome of cool (I’ll take that as well). Next time you speak to Joe Elliott, ask him if there’s a connection between Billy Porter (Ronson) and Billy’s Got a Gun (DL), not to mention Die Hard (the Hunter) (DL ‘Pyromania’). Anyway, thanks for the music.’

Lynne: ‘City Winery this summer?’ Next week – February 6 and 7.

John Dalton: ‘Do you regret turning down David Bowie’s ‘Drivin’ Saturday’ shortly after ‘Dudes’? Was there any friction between MTH and Bowie afterwards?’ No regrets – no friction.

Bradley Brown: ‘After realizing ‘Stranded in Reality’ was available, I ordered two from Proper Music in London – one for me and one for my twin brother, Birney. Got a phone call to verify things as he said it was an expensive buy. My response was ‘money is fleeting – this box set contents are forever and worth every penny.’ Loved the Ardmore Theater.’ Thanks a lot.

Greg: ‘Did you know they’re opening a City Winery in Boston (hint – hint).’ We’re on it.

Neil McCormack: ‘Possibly an odd question, but do/did Pete, Buff and Phally have any kids? How’s Mick Ralphs faring?’ Pete, Buff and Phal never had kids to the best of my knowledge. Mick continues to improve – it’s just a slow process.

Brit Fan: ‘Just found out that at 58 you can still shed a tear. Caught Holmfirth (as usual) and Naalen (Stockholm) on the tour. Both places rammed to the rafters. Is this a new phase for the band? Bigger venues on the cards? (Hope not – extra nights would be better). ‘Fingers Crossed’ is an album by a band.’ It does seem to be building – you never know. We’re cool with it whatever happens. We’re having a good time.

Steve Finn: ‘Massive fan of MTH since I was 13. Pete’s passing is like losing a lifelong friend. Fantastic rock musician and entertainer, then great producer and wonderful writer. I endorse the ‘hugely underrated’ input he had in continuing the Mott story (along with Buff and Morgan). 2009 gigs were triumphant occasions and exceeded all expectations and of which he was much the star, embracing the experience fully. Pete’s voice echoing across Manchester Apollo in 2013 as he remained on stage after the others had left, will be a treasured memory. Thank you for so much Peter Overend Watts, R.I.P.’

Sara: So sorry for your loss.

Rachel: So sorry to hear about Pete. I think my Mum went to school with him at Ross Grammar. Her name was Barbara Preece and she lived in Sellack, near Ross on Wye.’

John Frawley: ‘So sad to hear of Overend’s and Bill Price’s passing – and Mick recovering from a stroke. Take care of yourself.’

Karen Bennett: ‘So sad to hear the news this morning. November 1973 – Liverpool Stadium was my first time and I’ll never forget those high boots and long hair. R.I.P. Overend Watts.

Costanzo: ‘Saddened by Overend. His stories in Campbell’s book brought to light how hard it is to make a living in Rock and Roll. One of the great characters of 70’s rock.

Jeffrey: ‘May he Rest in Peace – Jeff’

J.C. Finn: ‘Will you play gigs in Devon or Cornwell on 2017 UK dates? Have you ever visited Cornwall for gigs or holiday?’ I think we may be doing Frome in Somerset – is that near enough? I have an Aunt in Devon. MTH gigged in Torquay a long time ago.

Iain Dandy: ‘Did you know that Radio Caroline is playing ‘Fingers Crossed’ to death. They ask why ‘Dandy’ is not a top 40 hit! being my namesake, I agree – it’s a wonderful piece of work. P.S. saw Steve Harley gig recently and Paul Cuddeford’s in his band!’ I didn’t know about Radio Caroline, but great!

Gav Black: ‘Another happy owner of ‘Stranded in Reality’ – best investment I ever made! Recent gig at the Sage – a cracker!’

Mick O’Hara: ‘Was ‘Boy’ about David Bowie?’ David played a small part in that movie.

Chief Muddy Waters wants ‘Crazy Horse’ on the West Coast. I think we’ll be around September

Karen Bennett: ‘Play the Philharmonic in Liverpool.’ I think we are playing Liverpool, but that’s not the venue.

Norrie: ‘Been listening to you since your first album, but saw you for the first time at the Garage in Glasgow 2016. Tremendous atmosphere. Just showed me what I’ve missed. Love the new album. Keep writing, mate. Classic. Thanks.’ Thank you.

Neil McCormack: ‘Ever worked with Steve Harley?’ No. He rang me up a few years back and wanted to co-write, but he didn’t realize I no longer lived in the UK, so we never got around to it. Ralpher knew a lot more people than I did. He lived in Henley where a lot of ‘known’ chaps were in the neighborhood.

Bob Boyle: ‘We’ve all seen the comedy ‘Spinal Tap’. Do you think Rob Reiner had Stan Tippins in mind when he created Tony Hendra’s band manager character role of Ian Faith? If so, did Stan carry one of those spanking paddles around for bad groupies ha! ha! ha!?’ Stan was – and still is – the bees knees of tour management. Nobody better. If it’s all running smoothly, he’ll go out of his way to create havoc. Sadly, he won’t TM any more, preferring life in the country and all that it entails. He assures me, however, he will be visiting us on the June tour of the UK. Always been a Stan Tippins fan, so I’m looking forward to seeing him.

Ed: ‘Saddened by the news of Pete Watts. I’m sure many questions about him have come your way so I’ll refrain as a small way to honor your friendship and history with Overend. I do wonder what a movie (almost docu-drama) of Mott the Hoople would be like. Since Dylan needed three different actors to portray him in a movie – who would be a good actor to portray you during the MTH years?’ I don’t think it’s easy for actors to portray rock people. It always comes off phony to me; Bill Nighy being the exception.

Paul Edwards: ‘Really sorry to hear about Pete Overend Watts. ‘Mott the Hoople’ was the first album I bought at the age of 12 in ’74 – since then I’ve bought all the albums. Finally saw them live in Birmingham in 2013, sadly without Dale Griffin. Fabulous live band. Great Band, great passion and great music. R.I.P. Pete.’

Mike Costanzo: ‘Enjoyed recent interviews (Songwriters Universe and Speakeasy) you posted. Seems like you’re talking a bit more now and that’s good because we’re listening.’

Mike Turner: ‘Pete Watts was my Super Hero. From age 14 in 1972 I idolized the very boots he walked in. From outside Liverpool Stadium with a 12 bob ticket along with my three mates my heart pounded as I was about to see a majestic artist perform amongst the greatest live Rock and Roll band members ever, adorning a sweaty wrestling venue that was heaving to the rafters. It’s amazing I say, when something special stays with you for all of your life. Thank you Mr. Watts xxx.’

Dave Donner: I’ll hand this one over to Trudi. Hope all is well with you.

Chris Miller: ‘Just purchased the amazing S.I.R. Box Set. Fab stuff – even mentions Aylesbury Friars on the Poster. Great days indeed. I also have a rare copy of the diary signed not by you – but by Gary Neuman. I bumped into him at he Astoria – he was queuing up for chips! I thought I’m not going to see you sign it – so I asked him to. He’s a big Hunter/Mott fan and a really nice dude. Have you met him?’ I think I have. Kind of surprised he would like us, but he does – so that’s great!

George Miller wants Florida.

Bobby Balloch: ‘So sorry for your loss. It’s lovely to hear so many were inspired by Overend – to pick up a bass and try to be a Rock ‘n’ Roll star. White thunderbird currently sitting in my front room.’

Maria Pigott: ‘I use to go and see your Mother and Father in Bispham. I would show them my scrap books and they always made me welcome and made me a brew. Happy days. Now 57 and a great Grandmother, I have to say I feel the same as I did back then. Thank God! Sorry about Pete. Hope to see you next time around!’

Matt: So sorry to hear about Pete…..geez…..wish I knew him like you did as he seemed like such a fun character to hang with – and such a huge part of Mott the Hoople. Got his book a few years back and found it completely engrossing and fabulously left of center (as did I). He was the original Mixed Up Kid – send him victorious – happy and glorious – off to the stars.’

Matt: Pete’s last name should have been Dulgence – as in Overend Dulgence! The action or fact of having too much of something enjoyable. He was indeed…’Just a Rock ‘n’ Roll star…’

Tom Semioli: ‘I enjoyed seeing/hearing you flex your Freddy Fingers bass chops on ‘Born Late’ at he London O2. Would you consider adding the song to the Rant set list as a tribute to Pete – or perhaps ‘Ballad of Mott’?’ We’ll see.

Cee Jay Price: ‘First of all thanks for the fantabulous show at Shepherds Bush Empire last November ’16. We made the trip from Vienna, Austria to catch you on that tour!! Awesome!!! Expectations met 100%. Thank you for the music and we love the new songs too!! Any chance of you playing a show anywhere in Vienna or Austria? We would do our utmost to help promote it. (My partner is a fairly well known musician in Austria.) C.J. and Reinhard Stranzinger (my guy).’ Glad you enjoyed. We’ll see. We’re branching out a bit these days, so you never know.

Stevo: ‘Patriots or Falcons?’ Dunno.

Kevin Shannon (Windsor, Ontario) ‘You and the band were amazing at Ann Arbor last time around.’ Thanks.

Marty G: ‘Sincere sympathies on Peter Overend Watts passing. I met him when I was 18. He spent so much time talking with me and introduced me to the entire band and Stan. Genuinely nice person – provided me with a memory that lasted a lifetime – he will be missed by many, many people.

J.C. Finn: ‘I know you like soccer – do you like cricket, boxing or rugby?’ I played cricket and rugby and boxed at school. Didn’t mind playing , but I didn’t like watching.

Geoff Pearson: ‘So sad to hear about Pete – who would have thought in 2013 that a little more than 3 years hence…….Buff, Pete and what’s happened with Ralpher? So glad you got together when it was still possible to. When did you last see Pete?’ (2013) ‘Did you guys stay in touch?’ (All the way.)

Jerome Preisler: No question – just condolences for the loss of Overend Watt and Bill Price. Sad news.

Mark Lipscombe: ‘Consider Virginia, Richmond, and Charlottesville for the next tour.’ It’s not up to us – it’s up to your local promoters.

Chris Hetherington: ‘Can I request ‘Rest In Peace’ for the Winery next Monday. I’m one of the few who has not heard the new album, so I’m excited to hear it live for first impressions.’

Sari: ‘Do you think I’ll be notified if you come to my area (yup). Can’t afford to come to NY this February. Love you SZ.’ The Winery gigs are very last minute pop ups. Somebody bailed o them and they were on the spot. We were glad and are glad to help out. Sorry for the late of notice.

Ralph Johnson: ‘Lucky enough to catch 3 shows from the last tour and will be at the Winery on 2/6. Seen 30 shows since ’80. Any chance of ‘Marionette’ or ‘Violence’? (Nah) Do ‘Dead Man Walkin’ and ‘Black Tears’ (Nah). Love you like a brother (Still?). ‘You’re the best.’ Ta.

Aldo (Berlin): ‘Just got ‘Fingers Crossed’ – it’s gorgeous – two versions – one from Japan with two extra tracks. S.I.R. blows me away. Don’t ever stop – we follow you wherever you take us.’ How lovely! Thanks.

At least we got to the end on a happy note.

And so it goes….

IH

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