Horse’s Mouth (Issue #189, December 2017)

The Horse’s Mouth
December 3, 2017

Danny G: ‘Can you make another tune?’ Hope so.

Don Mease wants us to visit Denver. Haven’t been there since the Ringo tour.

Our Wullie: Nothing at the moment Willie – always the most important time.

Mo: ‘Thanks for being totally approachable in Murcia. Did the guys drive through Italy, France and most of Spain? (yup). Were you with them (yup). You must have been shattered at the end of the tour.’ (Yup!!)

Jay Sciascia: ‘Do you sell the ‘Stranded’ Box Set at the shows?’ No, they are too heavy to carry. You can order them from Proper Records.

Danny G: ‘What makes a good song writer better?’ A willingness to take that last killer line of the song – put it at the front – and then start over.

Anthony P: On Lynsey DePaul – ‘Her songs were honest – deserved more acclaim, although she did appear reclusive.’ Well, being reclusive doesn’t help, but you are who you are. It’s kind of nice just doing what you want to do – and no more.

Ofnir: I’ve answered this once before – I did.

Chris Hetherington: ‘Will you play ‘Schizo’ (in its entirety in Montclair on Friday night?’ (We did a couple). Can you bring back ‘Arms and Legs’ (we didn’t – but we like it).

Patrick Hanson: ‘Don’t be afraid to write ‘poppy’ songs, Ian – in my opinion songs such as ‘Girl from the Office’ and ‘Dandy’ had a pop feel to them! Actually, ‘Girl From the Office’ actually happened.

Dave Huckerby: ‘Any chance of reissuing ‘Diary’? It’s impossible to get without breaking the bank.’ Diary is being reissued by Omni Books in 2018. Scheduled for summer release, but might be later – if I tour in the fall.

Wayne L wants Denver, too.

SCHEPS: ‘Hi – Europe tour – why not Paris? France?’ Was scheduled, promoter let us down.

Johnny Boy: ‘Your version of ‘ Is Love in Vain’ – on U-Tube – is a belter – better than Bob’s. Ever thought of doing Dylan covers?’ Trouble is when I do a Bob song I sound too much like Bob – so what’s the point.

Greg: ‘Ian, in order from least to most enjoyable – which do you prefer – writing -recording – rehearsing – performing live?’ When I’m writing, I wish I was recording – when I’m recording, – I wish I was performing – when I’m performing – I wish I was home in bed. The only thing I’m not keen on is rehearsing – and we don’t do much of that (because everyone does their homework!)

Laurent Moitrot: Not saying I don’t have fans in France – just saying they’re isn’t enough of a following to go there. Sorry to hear about Moira – didn’t know that. Thanks for keeping the flag flying. I blame it on Johnny Halliday!

Terry Hines: ‘Australia a great place to play – Fingers Crossed’. We know some of you guys want us to go there, and there has been and is some real interest. Waiting for the right offer.

Sharon Taylor: ‘Thank you and the Rant Band for the music this year – always amazing – kindest regards to Trudi, too! ‘ Ta.

Kerry Kearney: ‘See you in Montclair!’ You did.

John Dalton: ‘Music critics and journalists have looked on you and the Rant Band very favourably over the years. Do you find positive reviews to be meaningful and rewarding or are they irrelevant to you as a songwriter and performer?’ It’s always nice to be appreciated – especially if the review makes sense.

Kevin McKeon: ‘Hey Ian – ‘Dandy’ is a GREAT song! Love the arrangement and production recalling Hoople sound. Congratulations and keep up the great work. Been a fan since ’74!’ (Nice review!)

Gudrun: ‘It would be a pleasure and honour to write your book.’ I think Campbell Devine is writing one.

Joan: ‘Will you tour next year? Have so enjoyed your shows.’ Dunno. Sorting through the option now. We’ll see how it pans out.

Jess Hires: ‘Any plan to play FL or NC? Not at the moment.

Aldo: Remarkable gig in Berlin. Great show – some of the best songs ever. Of course I missed favourites of mine. Have you ever played ‘Still the Same’ live? (No). Capricious PA system – do you let these things affect you seriously, or are thy forgotten on leaving the venue?’ We tell promoters exactly what to get before we do the gig, and nowadays, it’s pretty much 100% good – thanks to our FOH, Pete Dutton. It’s all written down in the contracts and Pete advances the shows, so it’s all the more annoying when a PA acts up like it’s 1972. I wasn’t impressed with the P.A. company at all, but there’s an audience to consider, which is, obviously, our priority – even if it’s not theirs.

Steve: ‘Will you be playing at ‘Celebrating David Bowie’ concert in NYC in February 2018.’ Dunno – haven’t heard of an offer.

Cheri Sanderfer: ‘Seattle’. When we can.

Gerry Fae Glesga: ‘Tempted to get a ticket for Mike Garson doing Aladdin Sane (Steve Harley on vocals), but I can’t help thinking it’s cashing in by a bit part player. What do you think?’ I think Mike Garson is a great player and Steve Harley is well established. It’s up to you.

Mike Scerri – Glad to be of service.

Anthony Schultz: ‘Ever consider working again with Benmont Tench?’ I don’t recall ever having worked with Benmont. I met him and Mike once at the Village Studios in L.A., but I don’t think we did anything. Great Band.

Johnny Stieferman on me swearing at the end of ‘Looking Glass’. See you can’t do anything without it being flogged publicly. This was just a bit of fun to see how Columbia execs would react when we played it to them straight faced. Obviously it was never meant for public release, but somebody leaked it later on. Stupid, really!!

Johnnie Ayres: John!!! I saw your name and I remembered it straight away. (John was the good looking one in our gang). Sorry to have missed you in Spain. I’d love to see you if I’m over there again to catch up! All the best, mate.

Will K: ‘ Who were you singing about in ‘Boy’?’ I used several people – it wasn’t about one person in particular.

Elizabeth Militello: ‘Great show last night in Montclair.’ Thanks.

Ian Mack: ‘Having achieved so much, what remaining ambitions do you have?’ What do you consider your greatest musical achievement?’ I don’t think like this. I have no particular ambition – and I’ve no idea about any achievement. I just do what I do and enjoy it for what it is.

Rikki Flynn: ‘Any huge hits you wish you’d written yourself?’ Oh yeah!!! Tons of ’em!!

Nick Spillet says Steve Walker’s been a bit under the weather lately. Going to be 0 on New Year’s Eve. Happy Birthday, Steve – and many more!!

Bob Edney: ‘Any plans to tour Western Canada?’ No, but that sounds like fun.

John Caswell: ‘Now Is the Time’.

Scott McClymont: ‘ ‘Dandy’ amazing – can’t get it out of my head.

Timothy T Peterson: ‘Where and with whom did you spend Thanksgiving?’ We were local with long time mates, Rick and Steff and their family and friends. Good time had by all.

Jon Antalvari: ‘When are you coming back to the Beachland Ballroom?’ We’ll be there.

Alan Workman: ‘Going to Portugal next year; when are you playing, so I don’t miss it?’ Dunno – if we go at all – probably next autumn, but don’t hold me to that – there’re are a lot of things to sort out – it’s too early.

Tom Villemaire: Welcome bak!!

Matt: I have dreams too. They make no sense whatsoever.

Matt: ‘If you were to pen another bio etc – Matt has great titles – sorry – already got one!

John Caswell: Stick with it. I think Boston has been rescheduled for Feb 10 + 11 – but not confirmed yet. (Justin adds: Now confirmed and on sale)

Ed: Another old timer! Cheers.

Nick: ‘Saw two of your recent German shows. Any chance of the same next year?’ Dunno. I very much enjoyed the German and Spanish gigs – didn’t know we were that popular there – it came as a surprise. Danke schon!

Anthony S: wants to know about favourite song I wrote – not sales, but craft wise. I don’t have favourites – or the other ones sulk.

Bob Boyle: I get promoters do have to pay huge overtime bills if a show goes over, but on this particular occasion I wasn’t appraised of the situation, so it was a pisser. Fortunately, Jimmy came back and we discussed England 50’s rock bands for a while and I calmed down.

Mark Lamothe: ‘I got my first MTH album Christmas 1974. It was a live album – nowhere near your best – but I was blown away. All of your MTH albums all of your sol albums – 42 years and 335 days later, I finally, FINALLY saw you at Tupelo Music Hall. That ridiculously long time is entirely my fault – my failure – and my loss. But Saturday November 25th made it seem totally unimportant, because if you were ever better than you were on Saturday – well I wouldn’t believe it. Thank you for all these years and November 25th.’ (Blush)

Dave Griffiths M.B.E.: ‘Ian – congratulations! ‘Once Bitten’ has today entered Johnny Walkers like box on Sounds of the Seventies. About time too!’ I like Johnny – he a good guy.

Neil Brown: Ian – just back from the Derry show. It was fabulous – thanks for coming. My wife came and she enjoyed it immensely; you now have another fan despite some talkative woman next to her who kept saying this was your last tour ever. Say it ain’t so! (It ain’t so!) One thing I don’t understand is that I first saw you 37 years ago and now I’m an old man but you still look the same! (Blush II)

Tom Jordan: Yeah, I remember.

Paul Francis: ‘Have you heard Noel Gallagher’s song ‘Holy Mountain’? More than a touch of Mott in it.’ Oasis always said they nicked from Mott. Great Band.

Tony S: ‘Been a fan 40ish years…Wisconsin? Perhaps Madison?’ We’ve done Milwaukee, don’t know about Madison.

Dave Drew: Glad they were ‘floored’!

Rick Graves: ‘What are your thoughts on the way the City Winery in Boston handled the postponement.?’ That’s a difficult one. The Boston City Winery was actually meant to open two months prior to our engagement. It was all day by day – they kept trying to open, but ‘stuff’ kept getting the way and the city wouldn’t issue them a c.o.. I think they should have delayed the opening officially until they were sure of getting their final certificates. They managed to reschedule a lot of the artists to other venues in Boston, but we had a weekend date, and couldn’t move us. It inconvenienced a lot of people (including us) but I believe we worked out the reschedule for February 10th and 11th. I know that doesn’t do you or many others good and feel badly about that.

Forkbeard: ‘Is it true that Ronson and Slick almost formed a band at one time?’ No idea.

Timbo: ‘Have you heard from Bowie’s wife about ‘Dandy’ and how she reacted?’ No – and I didn’t expect to. The song deals with an entirely different era.

You got it!

Happy Christmas and New Year.

IH+ the Ranters

The Horse’s Mouth


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