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British viewers will be happy to know that I have inked the deal with Papillon Records in England. Papillon is a subsidiary of Chrysalis Records. They will also be licensing the record throughout the world bar North America and Canada. The U.S. and Canadian deal is looking good, but I don't like saying anything until the thing is signed. I feel at this stage I have to be with people I really like and respect, and considerable enthusiasm is being shown by all parties.
Andy York and I will be finishing the record in November and December of this year. Andy will be doing the guitars, John Conte will be on bass, Tommy Mandell will supply the keyboards and the drumming chores and percussion will be shared by Steve Holley, Mickey Curry and Ritchie Pagano.
On Tuesday the 26th it's the David Letterman Show. Remember, I'm side manning with Paul Schaffer and the band so most of the music will be lost in the commercials. Still, it's a great plug for the Sony Legacy retrospective - which is out now - and I'm looking forward to doing it.
ANSWERING WEB MAIL IN GENERAL TERMS:
Would I play Aylesbury again. Of course, but you have to find Stoppsie first.
We opened for Styx in South Bend Indiana. Three nights of hell. The third night a "student" came up to me when they were on - glared at me - pointed at Styx and shouted "That's Rock 'n' Roll!" You can see what we had to put up with.
There was Sam the Band and the Maddog connection, but that, I'm afraid, is it. Mist of time and all that.
Yeah, "Sunshine Eyes" is good. I can't understand why it never got on a record before. Maybe I'll do it. I really like it too.
A common complaint is that neither Mott nor I get played much on radio. You mention the Atlantic stuff. Perhaps they think we were English and they prefer the older American music. I don't really know how I can help you here. Radio is radio. Mott split a long time ago and I haven't put myself around much. Perhaps it's out of sight; out of mind. Ring them up and ask them! I would have thought classic radio could manage a few plays now and again, who knows.
What happened to the rest of the band (MTH)? Pete's go a big shop in Herefordshire full of "stuff". There's a record section in the shop and under the banner "Horrible Blokes with Glasses" I found a LP of "Short Back and Sides" with a 5,000 pound sticker helpfully printed on it. I love Pete and he's writing excellent stuff. Ralpher's still writing and occasionally goes out with Bad Company. I don't know what Buff's doing, although Pete mentioned more liner notes. Phally continues to write and record and Ariel Bender has a successful painting and decorating business, plus he does occasional CD's. Morgan Fisher busies himself in Tokyo either playing with well known Japanese bands, or recording. This is all I know.
Detroit - I'll be back, but Pine Knob is NOT booked.
Hello Jackie!! How's the baby? Sorry I forgot, but it's a bit of a roller coaster at the moment. Congrats to you and yours from me and Trudles.
Brian S: I don't know - it just comes.
It's suggested that I bootleg the bootleggers, and we do have a lot of live music at various levels of quality. We have quite a few of the gigs - some good, some not so good sound wise. One day we'll sit down and sort some of them out and perhaps put them on this site. We can't do it at the moment because we're busy with the new CD, but we will down the road. Anyway, there's a lot out there at the moment!
Yeah, me 'n' Frank use to collect stamps together!!!
Artful Dodger was and is a really good record. We just couldn't get anybody in the industry interested in it. Too slow? One major label said "What would we do with it?" I don't know what you do with it - you're the record company - I thought you knew what to do with records. Some labels know so little about music they have to hire "music consultants" to tell them if the music's good or bad and what to do with it. It's so pathetic - but that's what you're dealing with.
What do I do when I'm not working? A lot of family and friend stuff. I walk in the morning (4-6 miles!). Bit of business from noon till about two. Work most days anywhere from two to four hours. And many early mornings (3-6 AM on lyrics). I'm in England three times a year. Not big on holidays. Me and Tru have had three holidays in thirty years. BBC World and the Yankees. Lionel Bienvenue & Premier League Soccer - brilliant!!! Sunday nights 7-9 PM. This guy is an absolute gem.
The snare on "Sunshine Eyes" is off an Oberheim drum machine. Still got it but the batteries have run out. The keyboard was an Oberheim too. Oberheim snares were pretty wimpy, but somebody gave me a load of them and this was the strongest. I could have remixed it - I still have the old half inch somewhere, but I kinda liked it as it was.
What kind of sound are we going for on "Worm's Eye View" (the title of the new album due out in March 2001)? We're going for performance mainly, and we want the sound to be intimate rather than "large". I think performance is the key. This time there are quite a few rockers. Probably three slower ones and a couple in between.
Would I sell my Sunburst Strat? Not for all the tea in China. The white strat that Guitar Hangar has on sale was used as a back up for the sunburst for many years. It has a great tone for a lead player, but I never really got on with it. The Sunburst just feels right. It's always in open G. Because I didn't use the white one much my mate Rick at Guitar Hanger sold it. There was another Sunburst Strat as well, but I've forgotten what I did with that. I don't see the point in keeping guitars when you're not using them. They are made to be played. I either attach myself to them or I don't. It's the way they feel in my hands that matters to me. By the way, Rick just sold the white Strat, again.
"All of the Good Ones are Taken" was an album that came out on Sony around 1985. There are two versions of the songs on it - a fast one and a slow one. I like the slow version. I think it's deleted.
Ray Coles: My booking agent is Marsha Vlassic. See the front page of my web site.
I don't know if there's a live version of Ronno doing "Darling, let's have another baby." The weirdest thing was Mick doing it in Helsinki and they all got off on it. Half the equipment blew up so Mick stepped up and delivered it perfectly. Then, buoyed on rapturous applause he proceeded to tell two of the most hackneyed awful jokes I've ever heard. Both of them brought the house down. God only knows why. Mick's tribute concert was on release in England on the Citadel label. I don't know about the vi deo.
Why wasn't Irene Wilde on the new Sony/Legacy retrospective? We thought it was on enough records already.
Yes, We'll play San Francisco in 2001 if somebody asks us and the money's alright! Nashville as well.
Hello Bumper Cables!
We do plan to be at the Astoria sometime in the Spring of 2001. Looking forward to it too.
"King of Rock 'n' Roll started with "You made your money on a dead man's grave." It was supposed to have been on "All of the Good Ones are Taken" but either it wasn't performed well enough or I didn't actually finish the lyrics to my satisfaction. There were several versions of it, but I don't think any one of them saw the light of day.
To Bill Hammond and the kids in the 7th Grade at Louisa Middle School, #9 Bulldog Lane, Louisa KY 41230: Cleveland Rocks!!! As do you!!
To Dave Clemens - thanks for your support.
Peter Noone is not the Peter Noone from Herman's Hermits. Or if he is - he never told me.
A guest book would be a great addition to this sight. I'll askTrudi to look into this with Todd after I finish. Hopefully we can get it together.
It is "Funky little boat race. Boat race" Cockney rhyme for "face". Don't ask me about the end of "All American Alien Boy" There's a whole load of Indian chiefs names. All of them are authentic. Took me ages.
"At the Crossroads" was something Guy Stevens wanted us to do. I'd never heard of it until he walked in with it. P. S. Nice Letter.
To the snow plow makers of Ohio. CLEVELAND ROCKS!!!!!
I think some of you have the impression I'm appearing on Dave Letterman as a guest. I'm not. I'm sitting in with the band. We tried to make this clear. I'm not a guest - just a sideman.
I remember Wolverhampton Civic Hall. I got done there for "rude and abusive language." years later Noddy Holder told me the whole of Slade were in the front row.
Any chance of me front the E Street Band or Queen again? These things arise when these things arise. They're all great people and great musicians. If a situation arose I don't think it would be a problem, but these things don't usually arise!
George Saadi - think of me in the Spring of 2001.
Australia - torpedo! You chaps are doing a great job with the Olympics. The old flying saucer looked a little dodgy for awhile there, but it finally made it. Seeing the North and South Koreans together brought a tear to the eye. Made a statement.
Will I play Connecticut? One doesn't play in Connecticut, one lives in Connecticut!
Are there studio versions of "Silver Needles" or "Man O War" No, to the best of my knowledge.
No, I haven't thought about publishing poems. That's not that I wouldn't; I just haven't thought about it.
I do remember the gig in Oslo when I lost my voice. The tour manage, Craig Goetsche made up some awful concoction based on cayenne pepper and it did come back eventually. I remember we started over - did the entire show again. Please don't judge me on that outing!
Why don't I do VH1 - They haven't asked.
The Artful Dodger came out on Citadel Records in England and Polydor/PolyGram in Germany and Scandinavia.
I have a Fender Bass, Fender Strat, Ovation Electric, Rainsong ace electric. Fender acc,. a twelve string. a mandolin (which I can't play), and an old Martin 0018 which was born the same year I was. Contrary to what you may think, I don't have hundreds of guitars all over the place.
Records & Starry Eyes: Joe's out and about, but I left your e-mail address on his machine. Good luck.
Alot of your e-mail has been congratulatory, mainly with regards to "Once Bitten Twice Shy". Some of you thank me for "hangin in" in these dark days of music. In truth, I have no option. This is what I do. I can't do anything else, and I don't want to do anything else.
Right now it's exciting seeing the new songs taking shape in the studio. It's kind of like a pay off for the years I've spent writing things -throwing them away - starting again - when you first write a new song you're sure it's the bes t you've ever written. Three weeks later you come to the conclusion it's crap and ditch it. Start again. Year after year coming up through all these different levels until you finally decide it's good enough for a record. This is the fun bit. A lot of people think you're only happening when you're out there doing tours and radio and TV, but that's just the selling part of it. The real fun is down here in the basement. Having painless babies.