Horse’s Mouth (Issue #185, July 2017)

The Horse’s Mouth
July 17, 2017

It’s been a looooong time ……..

William Houghtaling: Vocalzones!! Where!

Big D: Didn’t include ‘Seein’ Rod’ this time.

Marcus Dohle: ‘Hamburg, Germany – is this real???’ Yup.

Martin McWilliam: Scottish promoters said it was too soon.

David K: There are only so many slow songs one can do live in a set.

Steve Hynds: ‘Now you can stay at 23A Swan Hill (air B+B rooms).’

Danny G likes ‘Ghosts’.

Ray Mitten would love cds of our live shows – we are working on it.

Eric Dinse: ‘Got a copy of Hanoi Rocks ‘Two Steps From the Move’ and was reminded that you co-wrote a few songs. How did that come to be?’ Bob Ezrin rang me and said the band were short on lyrics and I was the only chap they trusted. I listened and took some stuff home and sent them lyrics the next day – and they used them. I’m usually slow lyrically, but fortunately these came quickly.

Joe S: ‘What’s Trudi’s favourite song?’ She says there are too many to mention.

Tim: ‘Are you familiar with Warren Zevon’s work – there are similarities.’ Actually, I’m not, but he has had a great rep.

Jim D: ”Great first show at Boulton theater. Band tight – you sir – amazing.’ Blush.

Antje Averweg: Just saw the upcoming tour dates in Germany – is this correct? Haven’t been in a while, so we thought we’d have a look.

Johnny Martin: ‘Cats Cradle again?’ Not this time around.

K. Lucas: ‘Thank you for coming back to the area (Chicago Park West) – I go to every show.’

Mike: ‘Come to Tucson, AZ – big Overend fan – play bass – got a Thunderbird because of him.’ Pete was great.

Sarah Altmann: ‘Minnesota – N. Dakota?’ That would be nice.

Terry: ‘Whoever said the illusion of rock glamour was ‘sticky tape and make believe (and that wasn’t you, was it)? No – I’m not responsible for that one. ‘You can’t fake dignity.’ Aaah – Mr. Trump.

Liam Bailey: ‘Saw you at Northern Lights Potawatomi in Milwaukee – awesome show. You played a song ¾ of the way through – I didn’t catch the title.’ ‘Guiding Light’ from ‘Shrunken Heads’.

Jay: ‘Why no Canadian dates?’ No reason – didn’t see any offers.

Chris: ‘What do you do in the studio – let the engineer run the show? Twiddle the knobs yourself etc?’ With the last record we had a great studio and engineer – the sound was pretty much there from the off. To simplify it – Andy York and I are a pretty good team; Andy takes care of all the finicky bits and I’m all blood and thunder. It was the same with Ronson. I like the drama side of things – these guys are more sensible and rein me in. A lot was down to the Rant Band too. They pretty much get what’s going on without been coached too much. I feel very lucky to be in the gang.

Mark F: ‘You said you were going to rock again and the band sure did in Milwaukee. 7 tunes from the new release, my favourites: ‘Fingers Crossed and ‘Ghosts’ – wife liked ‘Mother’ and ’23A’. What became of the poem?’ Only do the poem when we do ‘It Aint Easy When you Fall’.

Geff Ratcheson: ‘Few artists touched me like you have.’ Ta.

Matt Nojonen: The gigs were great. The hotels were good. The travel was crap!

Johnnyboy: ‘Have you heard ‘Thunderbird’ – John Fiddler’s song for Mr. Watts? Any plans for one from yourself?’ Didn’t know about this. Songs regarding other people come to me – I don’t go out and consciously try to get them. If an idea comes into my head I’ll act upon it. I miss Pete more now than I ever did. The world’s short of Petes.

Corn Specks: ‘Howdy Sir – great to see you’re touring; thanks for the years.’

Ops: ‘Thanks for Milwaukee, come back soon. Did you enjoy the show?’ I requested that particular gig – great audience.

David Riske: Piano.

Kevin Greenfield loves Boschie. Did you get a photo? I’m only seeing this now.

David Andrews: Dunno.

Seth Purvin: 1) ‘Who named the Rant Band, and where did the name come from?’ While recording ‘Rant’ in 2001 – the lyrics were kinda rantish so we ended up calling the album ‘Rant’ – and the band then became the ‘Rant Band’. Nice and short – ala ‘the Grease Band’. 2) ‘How many takes was it for Jaco to lay the bass solo on AAAB and how long did it take for it to become magic?’ He had most of it down in a couple of takes. I seem to remember he found a better part for the back end of it so later in the recording we went back and dropped him in. Ronson was the same way. I don’t know about magic – we just thought it was Jaco putting down a solo. Years later – everyone catches on.

Carol Kelleher: ‘Jergels – great nostalgia but wonderful new sets. You mentioned Pittsburg doesn’t like you, but that took us by surprise. Your level of talent is more appreciated in our sometimes passed over part of the world.’ Reboot!

Stuart Hyde: ‘Ever see a West Coast tour of Canada?’ Dunno.

Andy Wood: ‘Thanks for coming to the Stone Pony; like you, it has quite a history.’

Wilton Smith: ‘Going to Liverpool. Does Ian do meet and greets?’ Nah.

Keith: ‘First – hope Mick is getting better! Brought a few newbies to both ark shows highly impress now fans! Thanks for keeping politics out! Thanks for the pics after the second ark show – very nice of you and the band. Steve Holley a class act. Thank you guys!

Kurt Garvens: ‘Lifelong fan – ‘Why isn’t Ian or MTH in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? And the consensus was you would eschew this. I believe it’s a honor you’ve earned and deserve. Thoughts? Great show in Milwaukee. Thanks for being you.’ I think it’s all a bit daft.

Bryan: ‘Ark a rock ‘n’ roll masterpiece. The band were on fire. Simply the best and always getting better.’ Ta

Jim Reid: ‘Hi are you going to do a tribute song to Peter? I love the Bowie tribute?’ I truly don’t know.

Tim Brown: Mick Ronson and I have known Joe Grushecky for longer than I care to recall. Joe’s the genuine article.

David Evans: ‘Australia?’ There is interest now – we’ll see how much!

Paul Zotter enjoyed Pittsburgh.

Rick G: ‘How come San Diego never gets a shot re: West Coast?’ Dunno – financial? Routing? I think we go to Japan immediately after the Fillmore.

Lisa Vineyard: ‘Please come to NC or TN. We drove from Knoxville to the ‘Cats Cradle’ and it was awesome.’ Thank you.

Bill Allison: ‘You, Sir Ian – going to the Teragram on September 12th. Keep doing that voodoo that you do. Jazzed up now for a Rock ‘n’ Roll show.’ Yee haw!

Gary Lockard: ‘Ann Arbor – the greatest concert I’ve ever attended.’ Glad to have been of some assistance.

Bobby Bank: Come to Colorado in September – it’s beautiful.

Tom: ‘Can you do ‘Women’s Intuition’ and ‘Laugh At Me’ anywhere in the U.K.? Get your arse back to Glesga!’ Sorry!

Tamara: ‘Safe travels across the pond.’ They were.

Danny G. ‘How are you feeling? I know you’re off for a week. Does your playing and traveling need a break?’ Nah, I’m ready.

Graham Walker: Glad stuff working out.

Theresa: ‘Thanks for the Stone Pony – incredible set list and performance – a question about ‘Dandy. The final few lines get lost in the mix – and they’re lovely – why are they buried?’ Dunno – maybe we thought that was appropriate.

Rick Graves: ‘Greatly enjoyed Chicago. Loved ‘Morpheus’.’

Dennis: Par West, Chicago – an incredible show and a great set – any chance of a live recording this is the finest band you’ve ever worked with.’ We were going to record a show in the UK, but it was 91 degrees – no AC at the venue, hotel or in the sprinter – so we nixed it. Played the gig, but it was too exhausting to record it. More survival than music.

Cathy Kittell: What happened to Marc Kaufman? He’s a pilot somewhere.

Dave/Milwaukee: ‘Great show in Milwaukee – how much latitude are band members given? Is Bosch expected to mimic Ralphs and Ronson solos?’ Boschie likes most of the old solos, but he has free reign to do whatever he wants as do all the others. You hire guys for specific reasons – why then try to change them? It’s a team. I know that’s a cliché, but in our case it’s true and it works. Boschie also loves the Great Ariel Bender solos.

Seth Purvin: ‘Dylan song you wish you wrote?’ Jokerman.

Ian Mack: ‘What musical ambitions do you still have? When you started in music was your goal to make a new artistic reality or to escape the reality of your of your day to day life? i.e. were you running towards something or away from something?’ 1) I have no ambitions – but I like surprises!
2) I started out as a fan and then caught the bug.
3) I definitely felt like I was running towards something – blind faith, I guess. It wasn’t a popular choice.

Kevin Dennis: You never know.

Jeffrey doesn’t know how I do it and I’m not telling.

Wendell Dolittle: Cheers.

Steve Norton is going to sing at his own 60th birthday party next year. Have a good one!

Stuart Hyde: ‘Met Long John Baldry in a pub – said he knew everybody from the 60’s – didn’t know whether to believe him or not.’ You could believe him – Rod Stewart’s favourite singer. Elegant gent.

Lenise: I used to like the Astoria in London.

Gary: ‘In Ann Arbor, you mentioned AAAB nearly ruined your career – why? Because nobody got it at the time and sales took a nose dive.

George T. Ross – no relation songwise – never met him.

Karen in NJ: ‘Would love to see you and the band back at the Tabernacle in Mount Tabor, NJ.’ Beautiful gig – we’ll see.

Alexia: ‘Do you like the Who?’ On a good day – unbeatable.

Hal loved Fairfield.

Andy Harris wants us in Australia.

John Dalton: ‘Have you ever crossed paths with Steve Windwood? Are you a fan?’ Steve’s a phenomenon. Great singer, great musician – he’s kinda like a college professor to talk to. Different neck of the woods but I appreciate his amazing talents.

Jeffrey: I heard some ‘pop’ in England – pretty naff, but it keeps ’em happy.

Dave Crisfield: ‘To mark your Somerset visit, I’ve put together a gift of local cider and cheese for the Ranters.’ I never saw it – must have been devoured before I got there.

John Frawlay: ‘What do you normally do on the day of the show?’ Get there.

Donny Phil: ‘Ghosts (new single in the UK) best song on the album’.

Ooer Wullie requesting the impossible!

Dan Hartman: Too complicated.

Shinobu Kokubun: Happy Birthday.

Ian Merryweather brought his daughters to the Waterfront in Norwich and wanted ‘Artful Dodger’. ‘When they were little kids they loved shouting out – ‘well sod ya!’ in the car. Keep rocking!’

Hal Burte: H. B.

Bob Boyle: No relation to Ian Hunter the actor.

Brian Feeney: ‘HB Ian – Charleston, SC?’ Need an offer!

Mark Hughes: HB – doing the Fillmore.

Kevin Dennis: If the routing is right and the money is right – we do ’em.

Ian McClenaghan: ‘As a successful songwriter in your own right are you ever resentful of being known for a song you didn’t write?’ If it hadn’t been for the song I didn’t write I may not have had the chance to write the songs I did write – so, no. ‘After MTH split and before ‘Dudes’ what was your plan going forward?’ Didn’t have much time to think – it happened pretty quickly. Not sure where I was.

Rikki Flynn: Thinks ‘Fingers Crossed’ is great. Ta.

G Mick Smith: No knowledge of this. I’d be suspicious.

Seth Purvin: ‘What are those pills you keep taking on stage every show. I keep telling my brother they’re vitamins – he does not believe me.’ They are Vocalzones (throat lozenges).

Roland: This is a new one on me. My Mum was about as far from that as you can get.

Gary Dedoussis: ‘HB You continually pass expectations.’ Thank you.

Rich Michi: ‘Any chance of U.S. gigs this year?’ Dunno.

Francis L: ‘HB’

Mike: ‘ ‘Man O War’ ever make the set list?’ When am I ever gonna do the songs that you chaps want?

Jim K: ‘Going to both Winery shows – you pick the tunes.’ YES!!!

Larry Woodside: ‘HB – see you in LA.’

Jim Scully: Robbie Altar played on the demos of ‘The Loner’ and ‘Wings’ to my mind – two of the best solos I’ve heard on my stuff. He also did a masterful job on ‘Ill Wind’. The ‘Picasso’ solo originated with Ricky Byrd.

Jody Kean: ‘Still inhaling last night’s concert at the Infinity in Norfolk – never better. HB.’ Thank you.

Otto Greenleaf: ‘HB’

Irini: ‘HB’

Ian Martin: ‘ ‘Fingers Crossed’ keeps getting better and better. HB.’

Jim Mcconnell : HB – any chance of ‘Day Tripper’ live?’ There’s another one.

Paul Wolfe: ‘Drove 750 miles to Norfolk – fantastic!!! 35 years between shows was too long. Please come to Toronto.’ We’ll try.

Gary Sawruk: Saw you in 1977 at the Stone Pony – 40 years later – lo and behold – we have staying power!!! Masterful – Rant Band sounds great!!’ Cheers.

Jeffrey: ‘HB’

Steve Parsons: ‘HB what do you think of the UK?’ Well – I wouldn’t have gone along with Brexit in the first place, but this is a different time. At least the British politicos won’t be able to blame Euro MPs for the cock ups – assuming it goes through. The West seems to be declining and falling – or is it just me? People are very confused as to where technology is taking us. A lot of people feel left out – this is democracy and evolution at a crossroads. The need for intelligence has never been greater. The U.S. is in the same boat – look at what is happening here.

Fred Petterson: ‘HB Looking forward to Gothenburg and Oslo. 40 years since I invented the cylindrical feather hat! So it’s an anniversary for Fred and the Hat people too!’ And we are all the better for it Fred. Regards to you and all the family – and thanks for all the support you’ve given us.

Paul Vernet: ‘HB – Hey Paul, you string ’em together rather well!

Chris White: ‘Another stellar show at the NYC Winery – I continue to convert the family. I’m a Catholic School Principle of a Grammar School in the Bronx – the school closes forever on June 16th. At the end of my final speech, I’m going to close with – ‘God Bless – don’t forget us, we won’t forget you.’ That’s it.

Richard Wilkinson: Go for it.

Mike Riley: ‘Your schedule puts me to shame. Where do you get the energy?’ I delegate.

Daniel Halferty: ‘Please come back to Kansas City.’ Sounds like a song.

Rob Stronach: It’s nearer than it’s ever been.

Bob Vondruska: ‘HB – see you at the Coach House.’ Yeah.

Jim Tuyls: Loved Milwaukee.

Nick Malcolm: ‘I just saw a sign, ‘is there life after debt.’ Dylan’s Nobel speech is technical and interesting.’ Haven’t heard it.

Liz Krinsky: On the various stupidities in Missouri – not a nice read. To think people like you describe actually have a voice. Travel.

Bernd is very happy about the German dates.

David Parry: ‘Dead Man Walkin’ in Preston?’ Another one. Actually, I love doing that song, but there is just no room at the moment.

Martin Miller: ‘Any chance of a Jools Holland appearance in the UK?’ They haven’t been in touch, so I guess not.

Bart says ‘Don’t Let Go’ helped him through a few sticky situations and I’m glad of that because that’s why it was written.

Keith Nickless: ‘HB – see you in Milton Keynes.’ Should be renamed Molten Keynes!

Lynne: ‘Did you get my present at the Winery?’ Dunno. Thanks a bunch anyway.

Glenn: ‘In Hull – will you see the new Mick Ronson Garden and Sculpture?’ Never got the chance – too much going on. Trudi was at Mick’s Mum’s funeral and I was travelling with the band. I’ve seen the photos; I love the sculpture.

John Caswell: ‘Boston Winery opens September 17th. City Winery loves you and so do we -maybe this fall?’ Watch this space.

Dalilama: ‘Saw both CT shows….Wow!…any chance of any more CT dates on the back side of this tour?’

Andrew Jones: ‘Does the White House really exist?’ Sure does, and it’s not pink.

Kevin: ‘Excellent night in Carlisle – who were the three ladies who opened?’ ‘The Worry Dolls’ – bloody good, don’t you think?

Rick Goward: I should be around, Rick – or if you see one of the band, they’ll sort it out.

Andrew Ward: I think all avenues are about exhausted.

Peter Mason: ‘Lovely show at Harpendon.’ Beautiful area – and I guess – expensive!

Gary Raine: ‘Will you ever do another Diary?’ I’m always doing diaries. That particular Diary had a cute ending; most of the time we just go home.

Mike K wants ‘Waterlow’ – another one.

Brian Hiltz: ‘Are you ever getting out to Easter Canada, Halifax, Nova Scotia? Your NY Winery shows sound amazing. Great Hunter piano playing! ‘ Wow! We don’t get much of that.

Mike Burnett: ‘Milton Keynes brilliant (and HOT!). ‘Morpheus’ – incredible – come back in the winter = you can freeze your nuts off!! Saw Richie Blackmore at the O2. I read recently that you jammed with him on a Fabulous Poodles gig at the London Speakeasy in 1976. True? If so, was it a coincidence or did you know Blackers? Let me down gently if it isn’t true!!’ True. I didn’t know him, but he invited me up at the Speak and we had a go at something – cant’ remember what. He’s pretty powerful when you’re standing next to him.

Rich Michi: ‘Would you and the band ever consider doing YUI ORTA live from beginning to end?’ Nah.

Simon Henshall: You on Danny Baker’s show – great stuff. I’ve got tickets for Liverpool. Yippee.’ I like Danny, he brings out the best in people. I enjoyed being on his show and he enjoyed it too.

Danny G: ‘Did you play ‘Picasso’ in Hull?’ I had a go at it.

JC Finn:’ Have you ever worked with Herbie Flowers?’ No, Ronno worked with him and Miller Anderson – he’s a great musician. Don’t know about the union stuff.

Myra Travin: What a beautiful email. I won’t discuss it publicly, but I know what you’re saying and I’m in tune with it.

Kevin Baggott: We are supposed to go straight to Japan.

Carl Ewens loves ‘Dandy’.

Mike Constanzo telling me how lovely I am! Thank you, Mike!

Scott: ‘Fingers Crossed’ simply terrific.’ Thanks.

Joe: ‘Are you playing in the fall?’ Yes, check the website.

Edward Shirley: ‘What does the postman bring in ‘the little yellow envelope?” A telegram from the war office.

Ian McClenaghan: What lyric are you most proud of? Dunno. ‘What lyric by somebody else?’ That would be a Bob lyric – take your pick.

Seth Purvin: ‘Are you gonna do anything else with Jesse? It was one of the great moments?’ Dunno. He’s more interested in other stuff these days. He still jams, but his heart lies elsewhere.

Ian McDermott: ‘Did the man on the merch (Mick Brown) – show you my tattoo?’ Not that I recall – it was all so busy. There was so much going on I was glad to get home.

Kirk: ‘Loved Sheffield, but preferred Holmfirth. (Too soon.) Do these tours actually make money these days?’ (Yup.) Didn’t hear you heckling (Play something we know), but apology accepted!

Andy Smith: Hey Andy, Appreciate the honesty regarding the cold. We’ll make a point of a natter next time. ‘Seeing Red’ is about a Pulizer Prize winning journalist by the name of Gary Webb. He was working on the West Coast and investigating the cocaine epidemic in LA. People were turning a blind eye so that the Nicaraguan contras could be funded. Gary was blanked by the media and his despair at their cowardice led directly to his death. He committed suicide – shot himself – twice in the head. Many years later, the media owned up to how Gary was wronged. Gary died listening to the live album that Mick Ronson and I recorded at the Roxy in LA. ‘Seein Red’ was to remind.

Ed: ‘In Dennis Dunaway’s book he calls you his musical guru. What is your relationship with him?’ Mates.

Andrew Dow: ‘Thank you for the best gig of my life last night at ULU (London)’. Aw shucks.

Steve Abrams: ‘What a great performance of ‘Wings’: Ta.

James Zemba: ‘What an unbelievable tour! 7 shows in 7 months – all in the front row). Trudi is a true treasure.’ Ta.

Whily: I play the songs of people I respect. That it. Doesn’t really matter where you put them really.

Mike Costanzo: ‘Thoughts and memories about the Roundhouse?’ When we played there it was hippy town; we did it a couple of times. I think it’s better now. Best night there was The Who – Elton John opened. The Who were ‘on’. Usually you discussed gigs after the show. This gig I was shell shocked. I remember Pete turning round to Keith and asking him if the gig was sold out. Keith said it was sold out then Pete said, I hope he’s reliable on the door.’

Michael Wolf: It’s true I’m not keen on huge venues. You feel separated from the audience – it’s more like a business than Rock ‘n’ Roll. Sound depends on a lot of things – not least the crew. A bad sound guy can ruin a gig – they ruined several MTH gigs. I campaigned to have the sound company’s names on the posters, but it came to naught. You’d think you had Claire Brothers, but they subbed out the gigs on some nights and the results were poor.

Martin M.: ‘Loved the band lining up and walking to the crowd in 23A. You look like you’re all together having a great time (we actually are). Who came up with it?’ We just did it. Maybe Boschie started it – don’t know.

Terry Hyland: ‘Thanks for Bingley. Any chance of more acoustic gigs with Andy York?’ Nothing planned.

Kevin from Newcastle: ‘Great show at Whitley Bay – you and the band never cease to amaze. Cracking. Thank you.’ Thank you.

Jim Main: ‘Great gig in Whitley Bay – any chance of Scotland soonish?’ You never know.

Jon Cobb: ‘Another brilliant tour. Harpendon, Milton Keynes and London – from brilliant to perfection. Although I loved MTH I’m an IH fan and I get a bit wound up when people shout ‘Dudes’. Have you ever considered doing a gig and billing it ‘IH without MTH in it?’ 90% of our gigs are billed IH and the Rant Band. Some less knowledgeable promoters think in the past and add MTH on for additional ‘security’. It’s up to them – they’re paying. It’s a bit silly, but so’s life.

Terry: ‘Ian, any particular reason why you play only acoustic now?’ Boschie’s plays lead and James is the colourist – the painter – there’s no room for another electric. It would cloud things up. I think acoustic adds a little class to the sound. MTH had only one guitarist, so I played electric.

Graeme Rintoul: ‘Loved the London show – who’s the keyboard player?’ That’s Dennis DiBrizzi – the last piece in our jigsaw puzzle. Please don’t’ tell me he’s good – I’ll never hear the last of it. Dennis not only plays the keys, but has an excellent vocal harmony voice. Plus, he’s now our official line checker and website photographer. He also plays with Dion.

Jo Rishton: ‘Thanks for a fantastic gig in Preston. Lovely to see you all again and Trudi. Glad you liked the gifts I made for you all.’ Thanks, Jo – be well.

Dave Drew: How is it going Dave. How’s the Fifty Ones – doing well, I hope.

Tom Anderson: ‘Thank you for playing the States; please come back to Chicago and Milwaukee.’ Will do – eventually.

Dave Rowe: ‘Thanks for another amazing set of shows.’ We enjoyed it. Keep watching this space.

Phil Hughes: ‘Were you interviewed recently at the Beeb?’ Yup.

David Morgan: ‘Did the UK feel different now we’re Brexit bound?’ I thought there was a lot more sense being talked in the UK. The U.S. is plain stupid at the moment.

Sandra Richmond: Hey Tom Villemaire – hurry up and get outa there!!! Come and see us next year when you’re all cured. Regards IH

Tony V: ‘Saw you in Sheffield – rumour going round you’re coming back next year. Any truth in this?’ Too early to say.

Dave Simmons: Please thank Maria for making me look so gorgeous!!

Margaret Finch’s husband David: Happy Birthday! Sam – have a great tour playing flute with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales.

Tom Semioli wants to hear more of Paul Pages vocals. ‘Page nails those low notes – plus he’s a fine actor!’ Sussed Page – you’re sussed!

Keith Hollinshed: :Saw 4 – you guys get better each year. They were all awesome.’

Steve Merchant: ‘Shrewsbury lad here. Did you ever drink at the Coach and Horse or the Admiral Benbow? Still use both – good pubs.’ Not really. I was underage and my Dad was a copper – it just wouldn’t do.

Barry G: ‘Show at Ardmore great, but Stone Pony was off the charts!’

Matt: Thanks. What a nice way to end the Horse’s Mouth.

I know I missed some, but a lot came in. Sorry ’bout that. Try again next month.

Be cool

IH

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