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Got the weekend off so I thought I'd appraise you all of the situation. The album's done - it has to be mixed (starting Monday) and we're hoping to have it mixed and mastered before January 1. We are about a week behind schedule, but I'd figured that might happen.
Andy York and Rich Pagano have worked their butts off and continue to do so - particularly Andy who has totally immersed himself in the project. What do I think of it so far? - SCARY! Albums are like movies - you always mean well when you go in, but you're never quite sure what you'll come out with.
Producers, musicians, studios and engineers can all add or subtract from what you're try to do. They have all been a distinct plus on this occasion (although we haven't mixed yet). And so far, I'm very happy. I nipped over the England and did a photo shoot with Paul Cox (who was great to work with), acquired a cold and came back. Papillon's Mike Andrews says the photos are great. Lately I've been compiling the credits and the lyrics. I like the lyrics on this album; going back over them gives me satisfaction. So, it's Sunday morning and I've decided to have a go at the old Email. Let's see what we've got here.
I see Todd Rundgren infrequently these days. I think he's moved to Hawaii, although I've bumped into him a couple of times in New York. We had a lot of fun on that tour. I remember Alma Cogan's version of "Eight Days a Week" went down very well live. I later formed a band with Todd, Paul Butterfield and John Cale and we played the Pier in New York. That was a buzz! I think Todd actually asked me if I would like him to produce me on one occasion, but I thought that we were too different for that. Todd has a definite way of doing things.
Yes, Madelaine and the lizard are back in Maine, but the pipes sure make funny noises and the opera singers yodel every morning at 9 AM. Hey - it's New York.
Thanks for telling me, Sally!
A guy here talks about me doing an "In Session" for PBS. Let's see what happens when the record comes out. Boston, here I come.
There is a good concert video of Mick Ronson and me in Germany! "Beat Club" was the name of the show I think and the Pier in New York was also filmed. The German one is full length including back stage. This was a show that we played live to 11,000 people and was televised to 21 million all over Europe. My record sales jumped dramatically in Germany after this one show. "The Pier" show wasn't with Mick. Robbie Altar was on guitar (who incidentally does a great job on piano and guitar on one of the tracks on the new album). Check out E-Bay. Toronto would be nice.
I don't know how you would get Artful Dodger on the internet. I'll have to get Trudi to look into that one.
I remember Kansas City. You made us feel right at home surrounded by a sea of heavy metal. Small club, everyone stood on the tables. That's the one I remember.
Have I ever thought of writing a rock opera. Well, I have actually - everytime I see Pete Townsend getting kudos for Tommy etc., but never seriously. I do, however, like to write mini operas. "Marionette" was a mini opera and during the writing of the new album I'm working on someone said "why don't you write another mini-opera - nobody else does it." So, I've written another and it's called "Morons."
Are there any tapes around of the Hunter/Ronson tour appearances etc. Richard, I'm the last one to ask. I've got a memory like a sieve and honestly once I've done something - it's over. Listening to old stuff is torture for me and it was for Mick, too. Once you've done it - it's gone. Sorry.
So "Rock 'n' Roll Jeopardy" credited "Ships" to Barry Manilow. Par for the course mate, par for the course.
I do speak to Pete Watts. But Pete doesn't have and never had the "H" guitar. We don't know where it is.
Dear Diane. Keep watching this space. I will tour next year and I promise the dates will be listed on this web site. Just check in now and again. Regards to the family.
Any recollections of me being on the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder. None. I was never on it. Was I?
Stacey - Genya's still around; she lives in Manhattan. I talk to her once in awhile. Great lady. You see - this is why we get fed up signing autographs now and then. Apparently I signed all these albums and then the guy flogged them the next day - Bastard! Then you wind up not signing albums for people who genuinely want them.
See Cliff - the kid knows all the best bits.
Dear David - this goes back a long way, but around the recording of "Wildlife" I remember Trudi (who is a big Byron fan) saying this and it stuck with me. Made me look very intellectual, but alas it was Trudi and not Byron I was quoting.
Yeah, we did record with Joe in Dublin after the Dublin show, but the band were knackered and I was hoping for stream of consciousness words which never arrived. Well, we tried!
The guitar intro to "Dudes." I was there, but I can't remember. Probably a combination of Mick Ralphs and David Bowie.
Australia. No your flatmate wasn't mine, but interestingly enough I do have a brother, and his name is Bob.
Yes, I have been back to 23A and the very surly owners gave me short shrift. My Dad was a sergeant and the house was free. They never paid coppers much, but gave them free housing, electricity, coal etc. The idea was you didn't have enough money to leave, but you lived well. Kinda like Mainman and Motown.
"Silver Needles" was Sid Vicious - to the best of my recollection.
Dear Fred: haven't got a clue what the words are to "Backsliding Fearlessly" Sorry.
Tad: Yours is the only white Strat I owned. The ones you see on the footage are Tokai copies. Tokai used to give me stuff in the 70"s and 80's. I did use to throw them a lot. I practiced the move with whomever was my roadie at the time. If you threw it properly it was easy to catch. It saved time and people thought it was cool. Tokai's were good guitars. Pickups were a little milder. Didn't have the cut. Billy Schwartz, a New York guitarist of some renown had your guitar before me. Billy now lives in Copenhagen. I bought it around 1975. I never touched the guitar; perhaps Billy messed with it. I kept it as it was - although I may have put in a De Mazio.That tends to dirty them up a bit.
What we need is an Australian Promoter!
Regards to all at the Three Tuns, in Hull!
Dear Sean: not at the moment.
I'm sure we'll do San Francisco this coming year.
Earl Williams from Philly!! I remember Earl. What a great guy he was. He drove an immaculate bus with an unerring sense of direction aided only by enormous cups of coffee. His wheels were so spotless I used to leave my harmonicas around next to them for a quick polishing. He also took over the role of protector and was brilliant at doing stuff backstage at no Extra charge! His favorite catch phrase was "Don't worry about it." He would drive some of those good old boys C'Ber to distraction. Earl Williams of Philly. They don't make them like you anymore!!
Tracie's just got a world wide deal and will begin recording in January. I'm not saying who it is because until it's signed and sealed one shouldn't tempt fate. She's coming to her Dad's for Xmas.
Jennifer - haven't got a clue. E Bay?
California here I come.
Dear Scott: Best of luck with the "Vice Principals" Great name.
Richard W. Usually the music comes first. I find lyrics tortuous. The ideal situation is at the "birth of the song." You really try to catch the words right then and there and if they do come it's great, but more often than not - they don't. Just because they don't come doesn't mean the song's not as good. "Once Bitten" was written in 10 hours and became a hit. "Ships" took 6 years - and became a hit. It's just more fun if you happen to get the lot in one go. More organic. I believe the industry was a lot better then than it is today. A hundred times better then - less corporate. Would I change anything. No. If you don't experience the bad then you never recognize the good.
I don't think I'll do an album of cover versions. I don't see the point really.
Leon: It's been a total gas working with Andy.
David: There's tons of bootlegs of live gigs. P.S. Has anybody in Chicago ever heard "Resurrection Mary"? I just wondered - it's local.
Has growing older affected my desire to perform music? You know I never really did like touring a whole lot. In the early days, when we lived in pig sties it was wonderful to get out on the road and stay in Holiday Inns with swimming pools, but as our homes got nicer the attraction of the road dwindled. I think you have to be in a 'Road Hog' to tour constantly and I'm not into that.
I like writing the songs best. Then recording them second, and finally touring which comes third. When I'm touring I can't write - it's a different head. When you tour you're basically a salesmen. You're selling your wears. It has to be done and that's another reason why you don't want to do it. It's not the stage bit. That bit's gratifying and fantastic - it's the rest of the day that gets to you. As you get older, it is a little harder to break new ground. You've already pretty much covered it. But music is a bottomless sea. I just keep on diving in.
Dear IAN HUNTER - how are you doing - Ian Hunter.
You can never tell if the Artful Dodger will be released in America. There have been offers, but they weren't good enough. A lot of the material on "Dodger" is pretty much timeless, so it doesn't matter when it comes out. It would need help though. Maybe the one I'm doing now will help it. 'Overnight Angels' was released, in part, on 'Shades Off.'
Yeah, I liked 'Invisible Strings' alot too. Glad you noticed.
Bob: I can't remember if "Friend" in 'Boy' was Ronno, but when you think about it - it could well have been. Kids are so perceptive.
Tommy Mandel's got his own studio uptown (and very successful it is too). He still plays the Empire Diner downtown one night a week (over 20 years now). He's on a couple of tracks on my new album. Lovely guy - Harpo Marx revisited.
Yes, we should have put 'England Rocks' on the Once Bitten CD You can't remember everything can you. And it was originally supposed to be three CD's, but was cut down to two.
Chip and Patti - Happy XMas to you and the kids!
Look out for UK tour dates on this site and don't believe what you read until you see them here.
Dave Simpson. You got that right and there's a lot more where that came from.
Barbara, "You Nearly Did me In" wasn't planned. We knew the Queenies quite well as they had opened for Mott the Hoople. My wife, Trudi, was on the same transatlantic flight from England to New York. They asked her what I was doing and she told them I was in Electric Ladyland recording "All American Alien Boy" . They got off the plane and came straight down to the studio. I found them in the lounge and Fred said, "Right, what can we do?" and we did "You Nearly Did Me In" that night. They all sang the first couple of levels and then Roger took over - for the really high lines. Fabulous people. Love 'em all.
Amanda - things have been crazy round here and I can't remember the CD you mention or if I've heard it. All I can do is wish you - your Dad and your brother a very happy Christmas. Anyway - it doesn't matter what I think - he has to keep banging away if its in him.
Anthony: The name of the song was, 'Original Mixed Up Kid' and I love Liverpool - who doesn't. Looking for the right room
Peter: There's a few "Ians" and now we have a Trudi as well - she'll be chuffed!
Dear Henry: Which Ricky? I know a few Ricky's.
Dear Kermit: When writing a song the idea is the most important thing. It can be poetry it can be a story, but before that comes the most important thing - the idea.
Alex: Haven't got a clue. Good luck with it.
Suzanne - can't remember - you want it - it's yours!
Bob Gordon. Yeah, we know about the tracks on MIA. Carlton says his life was crazy at the time and somehow this happened, unbeknownst to him. Said he was going to pull all the rotten copies and remix. Should never have happened. Carlton has great taste in music, but his business acumen is a little off as of late. He will say you got the second CD gratis - which is true. You win some you lose some. Will know better next time.
Gary: I don't recollect using this live or on a record. I did, however, autograph it. I have a few SG's. I like them and they don't cost much and they're good guitars.
That's it for now. Thank you all for your continued support and a very Happy Christmas and great New Year if I don't get a chance to get back to you before then. It's a beautiful day in Connecticut (if a little parky!) I'm off to take the dog for a walk.