Want to hear it straight from the Horse's Mouth? Ask your question here.
It's New Year's Eve and I'm in bed with a cold which developed yesterday, so I thought now's as good a time as any. Hope you all had a good XMas and I wish you all a happy and prosperous New Year. Tracie was here with her mate Sarah who we all love dearly and Jess was here with Ashley. Had a little "do" with Andy, James, Steve and their wives and kids on Boxing Day. We'll be at Rick and Steph's tonight. Start work on the Olso material tomorrow. Andy and I will work on it periodically together before flying out to start rehearsals. And here goes.
Steve B asks how did Overend get his nickname? It's not a nickname - it's for real. Peter Overend Watts. We don't sell CD's on our site. We don't sell anything; although we may change in the future.
Kelly T wants to hear "Big Time". We'll see.
Bryan McGowan: Hosts evenings for 92.1 FM WLNG and plays "RANT" regularly. Wants a phoner. I've passed this on....
Judy: I'll tell Trudi. How many have you got now?
Darren Monroe: "Louisville was excellent." Hates radio.
Bugger Bill: Loves RANT. Asks whatever happened to "Worm's Eye View"? That was the original title for RANT.
Jason: I haven't seen Brian May in ages. We exchanged Christmas cards. It's just geography really. He's doing his thing and I'm doing mine. I did think of him for "Morons" actually, but I just thought it would cost too much and Andy and Ricky had done such a great job on it I left it at that. Love Brian though; he's a good guy.
Mike says "Welcome to the Club" on CD, perhaps with additional unreleased live material from that tour. Well, I know we had five to six days of gigs recorded, so it's a possibility, and it might be fun, but the record company would have to come to me on that one. Mike thinks "RANT" is great and that the Boston October gig was a blast.
By the way, a lot of people say a lot of great things about RANT and the bands (both English and U.S.). It all sounds self-serving, so I'll just quote exactly what they say and that gets me out of the way.
Gary James wants an interview - I was going to forward this to Trudi but we do have a publicist, David Millman in LA. She clears everything with him so you journalists might as well go straight to him. His telephone number is 323-852-1428.
Danny Finnell: "We loved you in Louisville. The band was incredible especially your drummer (Steve Holley) and Andy York. Says he can now die happy! Yes, I was tired. It was 8 hours getting there and then 12 hours to New York. But no matter how road weary you get it never affects a show. The show's the payoff. Danny says we should sell stuff on this site. We don't have the time at the moment, but we're looking at it.
Rich Manson says he was listening to "Resurrection Mary" and wondered what I meant by "You must die the day before the devil knows you're dead." Well, it means what it says Rich.
Neal Alhadeff writes that "Rant" is reviewed as one of the year's best (and my best) CD in the South Florida Sun -Sentinel. Finishes up with "Get saved - get "Rant". Thank you Neal.
Larry Loud: You on about Hilly's gig? You're going back aways. Further refresh.
Jeff Hill: "Bring the band down to Austin for South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) in March." This was talked about last year, but we decided not to because the album was not out so there was no real reason. They did ask me to go on a panel, but I'd rather play. Maybe this year.
Deep Space: Says he's been "pirating" riffs off me and my pals since 1969. Well, a lot of people do it that way D.S., but I really do try not to.
Ed: Was I mates with George Harrison? No. Am I a Beatle fan? I don't know, but I certainly got off working with Ringo and the chaps and Sheila last summer.
Ed: Says he may have bought an unauthorized copy of "Rant" from a web site. It had "Rant" on it and the Fuel logo and came in a blank jewel case. Who the hell knows these days. Bastards.
Svein says welcome to Norway! Will the Oslo DVD include bits from both shows, or all of one. There will actually be four shows in Oslo. Two in the afternoon and two at night. The afternoon shows will not have an audience. The evening shows will. The DVD will pick the best moments of the four shows. He also says Sentrum Scene is a great concert hall.
PEEJAY says "One of the Boys" is pretty good. Do I ever play it? Yeah, it sometimes gets stuck on the end of "Walkin With A Mountain."
Joachim Wunschick asks if there are plans to visit Germany next year? No, but you could visit Oslo!
Richard Reid: "The concept of the next album sounds totally brilliant". Well, my thinking was it was totally different to "Rant" and I liked that idea, plus it buys me some time to start another studio album. I'm rather slow these days. Takes me a while to come up with things I'm satisfied with. I guess basically, this is an attempt to modernize my music. Go back and revamp. Some of the older stuff with a few surprises thrown in. I think it's going to be a great experience, but you don't know 'til you do it.
John Holcomb says "Rant" is amazing. Right up there with "Mott" and "Brain Capers". Thank you John. Talks about Les Paul Juniors. Well, to me they are solid and simple. Two knobs. Sound great - especially with a Gibson Gold top amp. Guitars don't have to be the most expensive to be good. If it sounds good, that's it - regardless of whether it's cheap or expensive. I just picked up an acoustic guitar from Rick at Guitar Hangar which is perfect for me. Jesse's desperate for it. It sounds great. New, $300.
Bob Clayton: Boy, this was a long one. First from the Village Underground. Was it special to me? No. Neither I or the band could move (although Andy pointed out afterwards we probably played better because we couldn't move). I can see why the people that came liked it though. It's tailor made for an audience. Actually, I thought it would be really hot, but the promoter had really good A/C. No, I couldn't hear the crowd singing along. The P.A. monitors are in the ceiling there and it was just a euphony of sound so I put earplugs in. Will we play there again? Well the promoter wants us to, and he pays up front. We will have to see. I'm not against it, but it is not the easiest gig in the world. Just remember, when you walk into a show you walk in to see the band. When I walk in, my first thought is logistics. How can we make this the best show possible? This was probably one of those gigs where the front sound was fine, but the sound on stage was a little confusing. Nice guy, the promoter.
Stuart McKenzie, who is 15, saw us at the Cat House a while back in Glasgow and says he was surprised there weren't more 15 year olds there. He's wondering if I'm going to increase the 15-year-old population at my gigs! Stuart - I don't know any 15-year-old kids in Glasgow - you do! Bring 'em with you next time, OK. What inspired me to become a singer? Well, for us semi skilled chaps, there were only two alternatives if you wanted to escape normality. One was football (which I was crap at) and the other was music. I was crap at music too, but I had the drive and ambition and determination and I hung in and that's 60% of the equation. I picked up the other 40% along the way. You say you'd like a career in the music industry. Well it's a really horrible industry to be in, Stuart, as are all industries where a lot of money is involved. You can't trust anybody and you can never confuse personal with professional. You will have to have a rhino's skin to avert all the rejection and criticism you will receive, and of course there's no guarantees at the end of it you'll make it. My two youngest are in the industry and I wish they weren't. But everybody's got to do something and it's better than digging holes in the road. The rewards are great if you're lucky enough to break through, but make sure you've got a good lawyer or all that money you thought you made won't be there. I think it's more application - dedication - ambition - ruthlessness - tunnel vision. Yes, some people do have a lot of natural ability - but a lot don't and they make it through sheer force of will. It's kinda like the lotto, Stuart. Only the better you get - the shorter the odds.
Dave Mosey: "How can I persuade my wife (a Roxy fan, no less!) to accompany me to Oslo next month as opposed to her insisting I wait until you're in London?" Who said I was playing London?
Dave Clark: "Rant" best album of 2001!
Jim Mcconnell: Any thoughts on the title for the DVD release? What about "I did it Norway." You know - I really like that Jim. I really do!
Robert Vaughan: Great show at the V.U. Both love "Rant". Asks if "Irene Wilde" is a true story. This goes round again and again. Yes, it is a true story and yes, she did like the song.
Jim W.: Thinks "Rant" is great. Bought an import of a MTH CD that doesn't sound like the band at all. Yeah, there's two guys who purport to have been in the Animals at one time who've put this record out. We got it stopped in England. K-Tel were fined £10,000, but it leaks out of Denmark and places like that.
Chris Brown: Says "Rant" is not available in the UK. It is available in the UK. The label is Papillon.
Wil De Clercq says "Thanks for RANT." Don't worry about the collage. Somewhere down the road ...
Steve H.: Remembers a Robin Hood 2 gig that was so hot the air was burning. Yes, I remember that one. I just thought "don't move - conserve energy." It turned out fine.
Wyatt: Front and center at Cleveland loves "Rant". Thanx.
Steve Green: Glad you finally got lucky - I'll pass this onto Trudi.
Dave Griffiths: "Why you I oughtta" was a Three Stooges staple saying. Wants me to play Isle of Man. Up to the promoters - not me.
Steve Quinn: Lives in Australia. Ordered "Rant" as an import. Hates radio - Clear Channel takes over the world. (Actually, a lot of the gigs I did in the U.S. were Clear Channel too, so they apparently are nearing a monopoly on music). Best of luck with the site. Thanks for playing "Wash Us Away."
Lars Hoiby: I think I remember! Hope to see you in Oslo.
Barry: There's always a chance of a West Coast tour and I would love to pop back into the Roxy again, but there's no airplay and promoters aren't interested.
Jon Jepson writes about the Fuel contest. The first guy who won it was in Southern Ohio, but he moved and is untraceable. Fuel have just chosen a new winner who is on the West Coast. I will be going sometime after Oslo.
Mark Paulin asks would any members of MTH join me on a CD? Well, Pete and Buff haven't really played in 25 years and Pete says he's terrified, so that lets them off the hook. Phally's been playing and still sounds great. Ralpher - I don't know what he's up to. We talked about maybe doing something, but we never seem to get around to it. Anyway, if you've seen my band lately, you'll know it would be a bit stupid to go back all that way.
Julian Richards: Contact my agent Emma Banks at Helter Skelter in London. As of now, I don't know if I'll tour England this spring. I want to see how the Oslo thing works out. After all, it is a departure.
Jon Beales: I was born and brought up in Shropshire, which has a brogue I don't particularly like. This changed s I moved south to Northampton which I found had a more attractive ring to it and it was more humorous. I finally got to London in the late 60's and lived there for a number of years before moving to the U.S. so I guess my speaking voice is a combination. I lived in Scotland too, so I can do Scottish rather well. I can fall into Liverpool or Birmingham quite easily and Andy Keating says I'm not bad at Welsh, but I can't do Newcastle or American (where I have lived half of my life). My daughter, Tracie, was also brought up in Shropshire, but is now sort of cockney. We just didn't like the Shropshire accent.
Lauri Wendel: Where to go to find my albums. Borders has them. I even saw RANT in K-Mart. Any amount of internet sites. Try Amazon.
Normal Bob hates the radio. Who was the band that played on "Great Expectations"? I don't know. I turned up at Pasha Music in L.A. and these guys did it and that was it. I think they were a heavy metal band. I didn't like it at the time. The drummer was off, but it sounds OK now.
Pete: Come to Australia. Ah, we'll see.
Bill Steffen says he'll burn off copies of my albums for fans - for postage only - and what did I think? Hey, this is one big mess. Record companies delete CD's and then moan when people burn them. Indies? Who the hell knows how many Indies sell/burn on their own. They can tell an artist anything. How do I know, Bill? If they're skint what are they doing with a computer in the first place. It's all relative. It's like I've always said. How would you feel if you went to work all week and then opened your wage packet or checked your bank balance and there was nothing in it? It's a fact that some "fans" have every scam in the book going. How do you differentiate them from the genuine ones? You are not entitled to "free" anything. Burning CD's is really nicking; robbery. You're leeching off someone else's hard work. Alright, Bill?
Mike Hamblett: Don't know yet, Mike. After Oslo will have a better picture.
Phil Fortin - Get "Rant".
Hope says virtually everything I ever did is somewhere online. The main sites are: CDNOW.com, Amazon.com, AmazonUK.com, HMV.ca (canadian). For rarer stuff she says GEMM.com is a web retailer who brings dozens of specialty music shops from Europe, Britain and the U.S. together in one site. She says they are more reliable than Ebay in that you're dealing with actual shops so you get your money back if you are not satisfied. She loved the gigs. John Eddie and Kenny great - new converts! Thanks a lot Hope and give my love to my two shortest fans!
Stephan writes to apologize for the fact that the said I never mentioned George Harrison at the V.U. gig - when I actually did. The thing is Stephan - I am English and a lot of Americans have already said on this site they can't understand a word I'm saying, so don't feel bad. Apology accepted. I'll try to speak slower in the future.
D.M.J. thinks "Rant" is the best work I've ever done. What are the five songs that impacted me the most? 1 - Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin on. (Jerry Lee Lewis) 2- Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) 3 - Brown Sugar (The Rolling Stones 4 - The Girl Can't Help it (Little Richard) and 5 - Somewhere (P.J. Proby).
What's the funniest thing I ever saw happen at a rock show? It was at a Queen concert at the Maple Leaf Garden in Toronto. Three quarters of the way through the set Brian's amp went off. Fred was playing the piano. Fred wasn't singing so his mike was supposed to be turned off, but in fact it had been left on. Brian leans over to Fred and you could hear him saying to Fred, "Fred - my amp's gone off!" Back came Fred's retort, "Oh just jump about a bit - the silly buggers won't know the difference." 20,000 people jumped up and applauded!!!
Frossbyte says if he buys a radio station in the San Francisco bay area and plays my tunes will I come. Well, if you buy me a radio station in the San Francisco area - I'll play your tunes and I'll definitely come. See you in Oslo.
Cliff Carpenter: "I borrowed Gypsey's Gibson just to show them. Now I'm a rock 'n' roll start - I don't want to know them. If they want a straight they'd better go out and grow one."
By the way, I get asked to do "Death May be Your Santa Claus" a lot. Does anybody know the words? I can't make some of them out, so I don't do it!
Mike Pecucci: "Chicago was truly mind blowing." Do I consider an audience when making a set list? A little - towards the end of a set. But not the main bulk. Which version of "All of the Good Ones" do I prefer? I prefer the slower, but neither version is right. Who knows, I many have another go at it.
Amanda Octeau: No problem
ED says the Philly show was grand. Did I ever play the "Tower"? There's a bootleg recording of Bowie introducing the show.
Richard Opie: "Waterlow" was about a great loss. Yes, it has been done live. Cuddles does a lovely little solo in it when we do England sometimes.
Michael Dwyer: By now you should have more details than when you emailed. The tickets went on sale on December 19th and are going well. Check the news on the web site.
Kelli - converted by an ex-boyfriend definitely wants more shows. We should be doing more; I just don't know when at the moment.
Flemming Christensen: Emma Banks, at the Helter Skelter Agency in London. Telephone number 44-0207-376-8501
Paul Stanich said Louisville was outstanding. Camped out at our Chappaqua house all those years ago. It's got a double garage now. Loves RANT.
Pete Stavrakoglou: "Irving Plaza - Mulcahy's fantastic". Now Pete had cancer and put off his surgery 'til after the gigs. He was front and center and then went into surgery afterwards. After the op the surgeon asked him how the gig went! And the cancer's now gone!! Bloody hell kids. Don't try this at home. I can't believe you did that - if you'd have been my kid you wouldn't have seen those shows you nutter!!! Great stuff. James Mastro rounds the band off. That's what we think too. Madman.
PEEJAY (2) Why Oslo and not the UK? Well, there's this little thing called money...
Kelly: I came downstairs the other morning and who should I bump into but ... my daughter!
Colin Powell: He of Newcastle attire! Says V.U. was superb. Going to Oslo as it's easier from Newcastle. See you there CP.
Anthony Ryan: "Rant is Wonderful" Saw the Agora (great show).
Tommy Green (#2) Says ClassicRockRevisited.com just added a rating system to CD's that have been review for their site. There are about 60 reviews, but only two five star (classic) ratings- a Stevie Ray Vaughn release and "Rant". Thanks Tommy.
Pat: Finally got "Rant" and can't stop listening to "Dead Man Walkin". Says this is my best and "Morons" better than anything she's heard on Broadway this year. Nice one, Pat.
Jan Petter Markholm: Yes, it is true we're playing January 29th and 30th 2002 at Oslo's Sentrum. Tickets went on sale December 19th. All info on the news page of our site.
Tommy Green (again!): "Rant" named #4 rock release of the year in the Amazon.com year-end editors poll and #21 in any genre. Check it out on their site under the 2001 Poll results link. Again, thanks Tommy.
Sande Roberts: Sorry, but nothing at this time.
Paul Coombs: passed it on
Dan Prine: "A buddy had an extra ticket and I'm glad I went. I picked up the Rant CD on Saturday morning - great disc - a new fan." Slowly, but surely. Slowly, but surely.
Kevin Ohara: "V.U. - great show." Wants another one.
Pete Ziering: "V.U. show amazing. Great energy, musicianship and showmanship." Passed other half of your email onto Trudi.
Bob C: "V.U. rocked our socks off. I'll never forget that night as long as I live - and beyond." (I am not making these up!)
Todd LaBrie: "V.U. NYC was the best show I've seen in 33 years and I ain't no stranger to Rock and Roll." It must have been good!
John Varvatos: "Rant is the best thing I.H. has ever done. I've been a huge fan from early Mott years and I saw Ian in NY last month and was blown away. The band was really hot!!!! Andy York what can I say. Awesome!!!! Keep the ire burning. I.H. is at the top of his game." You know something - that's just the way I feel about it!
Roger C. Reale: Hello, Roger. I've heard the name - I think from Hilly, but it's been a while ago now. I didn't miss much at Toads then. They think they have carte blanche on that area F 'em. Loves "Rant".
Ingela: Glad you enjoyed it. We did too.
Steve Bove: "V.U. great show - great band." Tony gave me the stuff, thanks a lot mate.
Jimmy Steal: It's a nice email James, but no matter how you put it there will be no MTH reunion. Yes, we could make a few bob but a day is an eternity when you're doing something you really don't see the point in doing. It's not a question of personality differences. I've never met a band yet that got along. It's just a pointless exercise to make money and quite honestly, I don't need it that badly. It's not all bloody show business, you know. I just do what I want - and that was the original idea of Rock and Roll.
Michail Salmon: V.U. NYC "incendiary". That's a new one. "Rant" truly a great CD. Well keep it coming Mike!
Stephen: Just got back from V.U. hasn't picked up "Rant" but will do now ASAP.
Well, there you have it. Thanks to all of you who just sent the season's greetings which I never had to answer. The old Horse's Mouth sounds a bit self-congratulatory over the last few months. I know some of you would like some bad news, but we haven't got any at the moment. We haven't set the charts alight because radio never gave us a chance in hell, so I don't feel bad and "Rant" continues to sell - mostly on word of mouth from you lot. The tours went great in England and the U.S. and I got to play with a Beatle and all the other nice people on that tour. I'll tell you what though - if it hadn't been for Steve Holley putting me onto Andy York, none of this may have happened. It's a funny old world, innit?
And so to Oslo
P.S. Off to Rick's for a bevy.