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We've just come back from doing a bit of running around. Saw the kids and the grand kids (the new one's ginger!) Popped over to Venice. Harry's Bar is magnificent, as is Venice. If you haven't been - go if you get the chance. I think it was Carnaby Street at one time, but that was long ago.
Liz asks if we can expect anything new. Well, Oslo's kind of new. The sound on the DVD is great. It retains the feeling of the night. Well happy with that one. When's it coming out? Still going through the corporate labyrinths at the moment.
George: I've given this to Trudi.
Tony Prender: Still listens to Mott on vinyl. Have the songs been remixed for CD's? Well, they've been out and there was that triple Sony CD - Buffin remixed that.
Ross Hartnett asks if I played drums with Ellen Foley? Nah! Hilly Michaels.
Lars (from Sweden) wants 'Rant' in Lindome.
Greg Joyce: A 'Rant' lover.
Joe Crow: If you put the poem in a letter to H.M. I'll have to!
Hope Campbell says friend, Ian, (named after me) has written 'Ian Hunter is God' son the sidewalk in front of the High School, hoping to covert the kids to 'Hunterism'! How nice, has it worn off yet?
Mick McCuistini: I've forward this to Trudi.
Bob, 'The Milk' loves as song called Bluebirds'. Actually, I've always liked that song myself, but it didn't drum up too much interest elsewhere.
Daniel Hoegger wants the words to my first two albums. Well, I'm not writing them all down - that's for sure. Trudi says to try Adrian's web site.
Peter Lewis: Vaguely. I meet a lot of people, but you two ring a bell.
Ed asks what did I think of 'Drive On'? To tell you the truth, I didn't really think about it much, other than I was glad Pete was getting a song on there. Was there a struggle in the band before I left between Pete and myself? No way - love Pete.
Paul Dunford: on the Otway hit. I don't know John although he once sent me a book with a lovely note in it. Would I want to do what he (they) did viz a vie 'the campaign'. Well, my brain doesn't work that way, although the advantages you mention are all legit. I can't see me on TOTP though. I never liked it the first time round!
Phil Wood says Jackie Lynton is doing a live version of 'I'll Forgive You'. Not mine unless you're referring to 'The Other Man' in which case - great. He's real good.
Ziggy Rokita wants 'Resurrection Mary' back in the set. I like that one.
Michele Lynn says she saw Ringo's DVD and asks did I get a sense of who the audience would be there to see any given night? Well, I know Roger was going down great in Canada. You could sort of tell if you've got a following there but really the fun was in doing Ringo's gig. I had a ball - no responsibility.
John Holcomb says he's interviewed several musicians (including Peter Buck and Terry Anderson) who say the Mott live album was their all time favorite. Any plans for Sony to release an expanded version? Not to my knowledge, but that is a good idea.
Radio Dave: Does Ralpher have an affection for 'Mott' songs? He probably does for some of them, but he prefers my newer stuff. We just spent some mad time together at his house and he wants me to move in a more bluesy direction. He likes stuff more like 'Purgatory'- the newer songs. Mick's got a new CD coming out on Angel Air soon. He played me a track that really went home.
Mark Hannen likes me and Bruce Springsteen. Have we met? Yes we have met. He's a really humble guy - exactly how you'd expect him to be. He was (dare I add) complimentary. He's one of those guys. A lot of people run round the tree. He is the tree along with a few others. Miami and the band are great. All in all - I'm a fan.
Mike Castanza: Desert Island Disks - my top 10. Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Platters, The Stones, Dylan, Nirvana etc. I don't like lists. They're stupid I've decided! Anything by these people. Lorraine Ellison, P.J.Proby ... here I go - stop!
Andy Dav asks what does 'Rabbit Foot and Toby Time' mean? You've got me.
Hans Minnerva: Got everything we ever did. Should he listen to other people's music too? It's up to you Hans - ready for a change?
PeeJay asks, 'Were Queen a hard act to follow?' Nah. We were pretty good ourselves. I don't remember ever even thinking that. We were mates.
Steve Andrews: Likes me and Tom Waits (my I am going up in the world this time round). Says he's telling the truth, not sucking up. Good lad.
Dave DeStefano says Mambo Sons wrote a tribute to Mott the Hoople and the guitar player plays on it like Ronno. They have a site.
Robert Henry asks who's the best drummer live in the studio I ever played with. I've worked with so many great drummers. I can't really answer this. They're all different according to their personalities.
Todd Brenner says it's not a shame I never made it huge as he would hat to share me with most people he knows. Therein lies the crux.
Jim Stotts finds it interesting that I'm working with Mick Ralphs again. If we continue, who's past will dominate? Haven't got a clue, Jim. At the moment neither of us can get a word in edgewise.
Kine: When will 'A Very Special Night in Oslo' come out? Still don't know yet, but it's called 'Strings Attached' (courtesy of my friend, Finn, who is a big radio chap in Oslo.)
Merwyn Thompson: The Intro for 'Dudes' was Mick Ralphs. How did I meet Aynsley Dunbar? Can't remember.
Martin B. - Hello, Mate. I get dribbles. I hear the songwriting continues successful. Nice one.
John Prior says 'unfortunately all the H.M. prints these days are letters from sycophants who tell you how brill you are. How about a more balanced view? Well, John, all that goes to print is what I can answer. If anything, the ones I leave out tell me I'm so lovely that they're too embarrassing to put in. I don't get many negatives and when I do - they get printed. It makes for conversation. If it's of any help, go to other sites. Mick showed me a Bad Co site and they were doing the same thing. Loves 'Rant' - see what I mean.
Danny Finnell: Don't remember any outdoor concert in Cleveland. You're going back a bit.
Rick Goward: No, I haven't worked with Eno. He did get in touch with me once over a small piece of art he wanted me to do, but I couldn't think of anything at the time. 'Heroes' was a magnificent track.
Michael W. Smith: No, Michael, never heard Del Amitri's 'Waking Hours' (says 'Wash Us Away' reminds him of that album.)
Mike Wagner says 'It must suck to be so underrated.' We've had this before. It really doesn't matter. I'm only happy when I'm writing well. The rest seems to sort itself out somehow.
Neil Coleman loves 'Rant'. Says his 19 year old likes my lyrics. What's a 'Luminous yo- yo toy'? I would imagine I was referring to the tour van. Any plans for Chicago? Not at the moment. I can't tell you who Neil puts me in the company of or I'll get another email from John Prior. Says I'm too obscure to be mainstream To me, I couldn't put it much simpler.
Andrew Donavan: OK so we got that sorted.
Brent Coursey likes 'You Nearly Did Me In'. That was fun.
Nick asks when is the new album out. Don't know yet.
Trond Kvernmo asks if I ever worked with Jeff Lynne. No. Our paths have never crossed which is rather odd because we're both from approximately the same area. Oh, I think we said hello once at TOTP way back when. Sorry!
Mike Minehart is looking for 'All Of The Good Ones Are Taken'. Anybody?
Louanne loves 'Rant'.
Tricia Pearson: 'Do 'Honaloochie' on the next tour and put out the live version of 'Pearl and Roy' on something!'
Joe Eglash: Writer's block. We all get it. I'll go down and do something anyway, just to annoy myself. If you don't keep doing it, how do you know you're over it? Occupational hazard. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. You do have to live a little as well. I get melodies - it's the words - the idea, that's the problem, I think, for everybody.
Dave Simpson: 'Road to Birmingham' on BBC. He says 'keep writing you're getting there.' Thank you, David.
Marty Fitzgerald: Did I know Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe? I remember Nick always played a pub we used to go to in London. Pub band Kippington Lodge who became Brinsley Schwartz - the famous press hype band. Can't remember meeting Dave Edmunds. They are both extremely talented people.
Dan Baker asks if I own any of my masters. Yes. Is the recession causing problems with my life style? Nope. (Well, a bit, but that's Trudi's department.)
Theresa Mabbutt: We don't sell albums on this site. Sorry, try Amazon.com
Clare Ludditt says 'Rant' kicks ass. Come to Sheffield.
Dr. C: Not a big fan of 'Overnight Angels' I must admit. 'Silver Dime' - the origin escapes me. Earl Slick is back live with David Bowie. How did I control my emotion at the Freddie Mercury Concert? Well, we were well prepared for it. We'd done a weeks' rehearsals at a film studio just outside London. I remember watching the first half from the royal box. It went by really quickly and that was it. Of course, it was bittersweet, in several ways, but everything worked on stage and we thoroughly enjoyed it. Somebody told me that there was a crew of 4,000 that day. It was like a city backstage. The crowd was great. As far as the eye can see. They're pulling Wembley down now.
Bruce Helwig: He's got a four year old and a six year old and they have no chance! Asks if Leee Black Childers was a Louisville native. Now you come to mention it I believe he is from the south. I'll ask him when I see him. Don't know Adrian Belew. Loves Picasso.
Bjarne Borck: Don't know yet. When I do, it will be posted on the web site.
Mark Leigh: I've forwarded this onto Trudi, Mark. Thanks for taking the trouble.
Ed says play Cincinnati. We'll see.
Kevin O'hara wants sheet music to 'All the Way From Memphis' for his daughter. Try Universal Music Kevin. They are my publishers. Aside from the sheet music, just tell her to stick her fingers all over the keyboard until they match with the record (it's in C sharp - if that's any help).
Tor Egil Ludt says 'Rant' is very good. When will I release the next one? Watch this site.
Richard R. Reid: Loves Ringo's CD. I see a few of you are getting it. Richard got a friend to digitally enhance the German rock show Ronno and I did. Says the difference is remarkable.
Patrick j. Martinez: Thank you, Patrick. Can't print your letter or that John will be on my tail!
Robert: How did the reunion with Mick come about? Well, Mick felt like going out and mentioned it to Angel Air who mentioned it to me. We had a chat at Heathrow and it went on from there. Will we work together again? I think it's very likely.
Rick Katz: Get 'Rant'
John Spears: Why did I play 'Still Love Rock 'n' Roll' on Ringo's shows? Well, it seemed like the thing to do at the time, although I later started doing Irene Wilde. It fit the flow of the show better.
Roger Malech would like a New York gig on Thanksgiving. Sorry, Roger, we're having people over.
Keith: Do I still have the Maltese Cross. No.
Larry Swieca has offered to put up the band, crew and family members if we do Chicago. Mmmmmmm.
Paul and Jake Almond: Congrats on the old black belt pass there Jake. You can do security for me now. I don't know about doing 'Alice'. Too many chords and I've forgotten them.
Mark asks if there will be a U.S. tour in 2003. Short answer to that is I really don't know at this time.
Frank Ehnle: There were two H. Guitars. The original one was awful and Pete Watts remembers me smashing it to pieces quite clearly, I'm ashamed to admit. I did that on stage somewhere. The second H. Guitar was made for me by Tokai and is now in the Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
JZ + Big Denny: See above.
Adrian McKinney: Forwarded to Trudi.
Tom Davis: In answer to the first part of your letter if you get as sick as the people you mentioned you really don't want to think about it so you become as busy as you possibly can. You really don't want to stop until you're asleep. What is the point of sitting around think about it? Yes, I do remember Edmonton, and what you said about Chuck Berry - it's all true.
Phil T: Talking about the death of Lonnie Donegan this past week. Lonnie was fabulous. Great band (I think his brother was in it). I saw him a few times. A true star and everybody started playing skiffle and that led on to Rock 'n' Roll. Pioneer - definitely yes. And a major British early influence.
Judy: OK. I'll tell Trudi. Good luck with the cheerleading thing.
Hope Campbell has a friend, Jon, who's in a punk band. He played her a version of 'Cleveland Rocks'. Hope was horrified. Apparently, Jon then had a dream that I came to his house and he played me his version and I took his guitar and hit him over the head with it. That was no dream, Jon, get it right.
Jeff Betschel: American booking agent is Marsha Vlassic (MVO).
Strad - probably next May.
Steve McGough: Thank you for your information. We'll see.
Elizabeth Caban: Thanks for the letter and good luck with the vet/music job thing. actually these two career choices are a lot closer than they immediately appear to be.
Michael Lane has kept two cigarette butts (Kents) in a cylinder for 20 years. Sling 'em!!!
Scott Bowers: No, I've moved. Different neck of the woods, now. I remember the spa. The girl there showed me how to swim.
H. C.: O.A. was the worst album!!!
Greg Holloway: What process do I follow when writing a song? There is no process. You have a radio in your head sometimes. Sometimes it's inspiration, a lot of the time it's accidents. 'Dead Man Walkin'' was the result of a wrong note being hit on the piano. There's no tried and true method. It's probably retarded imagination. Do I have orchestrations in my head when I go in. Sometimes I know exactly what it is and other times I'll rely on people like Andy York to show me a bigger musical picture. If a lead player comes up with a terrific solo does he get a writing credit? Not as a rule because he's doing what he's paid to do. If, however, he alters the song structurally, then he comes a co-writer. I have given people co-credit in the past on certain songs because I've just wanted to. On 'Rant' I wrote every song completely - words and music - before I got Andy and other people involved. For some reason 'Rant' had to be totally mine, songwriting wise. A live DVD is coming as mentioned elsewhere. It was done in Oslo in January with a six-piece band and a 17-piece orchestra (it was 18, but one fell off).
Orr Wullie Fi Glsgow wants Ralpher back next year. Was Stan Tippins tour manager? Yes, indeed he was and he loved every minute of it. Me and Mick in the back going Stan, Stan, Stan this Stan that. He's an awful stirrer and he tells fibs and you've got to watch him, but he's generally considered to be one of the best in the business world and I wouldn't quibble with that.
Kelly! Happy B'day. 17. Getting up there. There may well be a May tour. 'Big Time' - we'll see.
David Hanox: Get him a kapo and let him work it out for himself. That's what it's all about.
Tullly: I'll give this to Trudi. We'll talk soon.
Jorday: Are you sure? You young chaps nowadays!
Greg Maitland: Talks about the Japanese tribute album to MTH put together by Morgan Fisher. He of the never-ending intellect! I thought he did great putting all that together - and it sold a lot of copies too.
Steve Barretta: A Mike Smith (Dave Clark 5) fan. Where would poor Dave been had it not been for Mike Smith? Dave was a lousy drummer but a very astute businessman. He owns all those great Ready, Steady Go shows from the '60's. Always liked Mike Smith. Great chops. Mike's doing dates in the U.S. His agent is Margo Lewis at TCI2001. Well, I've done my bit Mike.
Mick Allsop: Wolverhampton gig terrific. Glad you got round to that Nick. Says he owes Steve Holley a fiver. I'll tell him when I see him. 'How many gold and silver disks do I have?' Well, I've got a few but do know what those mean buggers at labels do? If an album goes double platinum they'll give you one album but you've got to pay $75 for the second. That actually happened to me on a cover. Can you imagine how much money they made and they still wanted a lousy 75 bucks for the trophy. I told my then-manager where they could stick it.
Janne Olsson: Who is my favorite producer? Have I ever worked with Roy Thomas Baker? It's a funny world, producers. Often they get credited for a work where the artist was at the top of his game. So it's hard to figure out quite who did what. Alan Toussaint's great. There's a few of them up there. I did 'Overnight Angels' with RTB and I was not on top of my game when I did that. Roy was great, a load of fun to be with, and we had a good time.
Rob: When I set out to write an album, how much emphasis do I place on the commercial aspect of the finished article as opposed to the artistic integrity of the piece - and has this changed over the years? Well, obviously you need some kind of success to start out or you're not going to start out so I would say at the beginning I had a weather eye out for a single. We were in that league and it didn't seem too much of a stretch. We use to try and counterbalance with ballads to even it up. From AAAB I've concentrated more on the body of work and not really thought about hits. My idea of success in my mind is when you write a complete album that sort of hangs together to be one piece. Obviously, this doesn't always happen. It's like movies - you go in with good intentions. With me, writing is therapy. I have to do it; I'm lost without it. But that's just me. Ralpher does it differently and has had considerable success, so there's no hard and fast rule. OK?
Per Ekberg: Where's the Norway DVD? He says he bought the DVD player just for that one - well, almost for that one. Be patient, lad. These things take time. It's worth the wait in my humble opinion.
Chris Kaye: U.S. tour not planned at the moment.
Baginski Bernard: Oslo gig would be nice XMas present. Hey - I've done my bit. It just takes time.
Greg: Same as above.
Peter Jordan: Reading something by Baron Philipe Regis de Trobriand, a Frenchman who became a U.S. cavalryman in the 1860's. The Baron wrote, 'Everything is logical in this world - ages of passion first, age of reason next - he who has not gone through these phases has only half lived.' For some reason this reminds Peter of 'Good Samaritan.' Beats me Pete, but I'll go along with the quote. Ah, Pete says sorry, the quote goes on, 'Knows but one side of life - he who has had only reason is no better off and he who upsets the natural order of the two periods has been nothing but a fool from beginning to end.' It's amazing what you come up with on guard duty, isn't it?
Joe Crow asks if I consider myself a spiritual person. I don't know. I'd like to think I was a good person inside. I don't know if I am, but I'd like to think that I was. Somebody said that everyman on this planet thinks he's good. Amazing how we can delude ourselves. What's the yardstick, Joe? Religion? I don't know the yardstick.
Terry Battersby: Do I worry about the intensity of some fans? No, not really. To me, it's like soccer or baseball - it's just something to do. Something to get involved in. I don't think it should be taken too seriously. It's not rocket science. When I go out we have fun. Some of these people have been with me from the off. It's not so hard to have a cyber chat now and again.
Take it easy you lot. I'll try and get one more in before Christmas. If perchance I don't have a love Christmas and the happiest of New Years.