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SHREWSBURY TOWN 2
AH AM !!!
Hope you all had a good one - I know I did. It's January 10th. Cold and gray; I walked seven miles this morning. Didn't know I was a nature lover, did you? It is actually very nice round here if you like that sort of thing. They didn't celebrate Boxing Day over (ancient English custom by which English nobility gave boxes of leftovers/presents to the peasants) the day after Christmas. They do now! Here we go.....
Mark Nicholson helps me out here. Asks if I have any plans for a 2003 tour. Well, the sort answer to this is - not at the moment. Steve Holley was booked for four months of work - one of those months being May, so we've had to shelve our little English sojourn for the time being. That's not to say we won't tour later on, but I have to keep an eye on the Oslo situation too. The DVD is finished and I love it. I've just okayed the artwork. They went through three lots of artwork before Petter at Universal in Norway got what he wanted. Bjorn Nessjo is now mixing the CD, which is a different mix to the DVD (which is 5.1). Petter tells me it is looking promising for Universal distribution throughout the world. The people at Universal is London say it's brilliant. This may mean I'll have to be available for promo and there is the likelihood of live shows as well. This all happened just around Christmas and I've heard nothing since labels (and everyone else) tend to wind down for the holidays. So there you have it. It's a bit of a mess at the moment, but I think it's going to work out fine. 'Get another drummer', I can hear someone say. Well, we could do that, but Steve's so good in the Rant Band now, we'd hate to change. If I do go out with the Oslo Orchestra they have their own drummer (Per Lupstrom anyway, so that wouldn't be a problem.)
Tom says I never get much further north in Scotland than Glasgow or Edinburgh. Why not Inverness? Well, if somebody in Inverness wants to book us up there (and the money's reasonable) we will come. Tom says he comes anyway. Well, it's a bit of a schlep for me, too.
Ben is looking for 'Shouting and Pointing'. That's post Ian Hunter. Try Angel Air Records.
Jordan wants a gig in New York. He asks if there are differences between the UK and US releases of 'Ian Hunter' and 'All American Alien Boy'. That's a long way back, but I don't think so.
Tony Adams: Happy holidays from Lexington, Kentucky. Well thank you, Tony.
Mike Gebhardt: Did 'The Weapon' find its way from Japan to Cleveland? I believe it's resting in the Hall of Fame right now, next to Ronno's.
Michael says his teenage kids like me, and they also like running lyrics through on-line translators and back because it comes out funny. He says my lyrics are a big hit because of the imagery and vernacular coming out as a literal translation - with none of the poetry of the original. He then sends me two versions of 'All the Way From Memphis' now called 'Completely Out of Memphis' A bit too much to write it down here. Suffice to say, I obviously like it better than the original! 'Yes, his a manner a powerful long down below boulder and a roll'. Priceless. Tell them to get lives! 'It forgot herself my knife of six twine - hits the half Heaven environment to Memphis before of I know well - I touch the information - my axe was coldness - they said him walks of the train to Oreole!' Guy Stevens must have been an online translator. He talked like that, anyway.
Bill C: Just joy rode around the hood with 'Overnight Angels'. Thinks it's a great album. Doesn't care what I say. Well, it probably does sound good if the alternative is scraping the driveway.
Tom asks me after working with Mick Ralphs again, is there any chance of a Mott the Hoople reunion? 'Let us relive our youth.' Merry Christmas to you too!
Alan has a band called 'Little Alex' in Toronto. They're into me and Ronno and open with FBI. Does a couple of mine in the set. Loves Tracie's stuff (heard it on a link) and wants he new CD. She's just finishing up one now. I think it will be ready probably March. Alan is playing the Horseshoe in Toronto on January 16th. Best of luck with the gig.
Renee asks if I still take tea (the meal). Well, no. When I was growing up you had your dinner at lunchtime and when you got home from work you usually had beans on toast or something 'for tea'. We're all Americanized now, so it's the same as here really.
Ted Jones: A true fan. Circus poster on the wall, the lot (when growing up, of course). Luther was a different player to Ralpher. How was it working with him on the 'Hoople' album? Well, Luther was always self cheerfully insane. Half the time it would be great - the other half of the time he'd launch into stuff that seemed to have very little to do with what was going on. We had to sort of harness him down and then we'd get what we wanted. Whatta bloke!!
Joe Eglash: Do I go through months (and months) without writing? Well, I always write - even if it's crap, and I drop what I don't like as I go. Sometimes you get a great line - you know it's great - but nothing comes with it - and that's frustrating. Sometimes you think you've got something, and it disappears on you. That's frustrating. The whole process of writing is frustrating, but it still beats the hell out of all those other jobs I've had. I don't have a boss and it pays a lot better too! Frustrated Connecticut.
Peejay's booked a ticket for the Stones at the Astoria on August 27th so if we could tour that week it would be the Right Week. Yeah, that would be fun.
Gordon Maitland: Miller didn't have the gold painted Anglia - I did! I had it painted black and gold and the car looked at me like, 'How could you?' Miller had a mini. No, it was the group van. Sorry to destroy illusions, but there you go. Gordon says there's a flying Anglia in the Harry Potter film. If anybody's still got an Anglia, don't paint it. The colours (cream and green, usually) were exactly right.
Peejay (part II): Daughter's 14, plays acoustic. How did I start? My Uncle Jack gave me what I called a bow and arrow when I was 15. My Dad hated it in the house. My fingers bled learning C, F and G and I positively 'burned' with ambition. Got a chord book - that was it.
Isak Leifson works as a trainer and massage therapist with the national sports teams in Iceland. Basically says I'm fab. Thanks, Isak.
Manfred Koehler: Wants us to tour Germany. Knows what's going on. Likes H.M.
Bryan McGowan: Did I play a role in John Carpenter's movie 'Ghosts of Mars'? No. Never done a movie role. Always wanted to and got near a couple of times, but no.
Ed says he's got a cassette of YUI Orta with a bunch of extra songs he says were not on the LP, but were great. Do I have a lot of recorded stuff sitting on a shelf somewhere? There's a few bits and pieces around.
Peejay - part III: If I lived in the UK - where would it be? There are so many great places. A lot I've never even seen. I'm half Scottish so I might plump for Scotland. Who knows.
John Pottage says his mate, Jimmy Forbes, says I was playing bass with Brian May at Edinburgh Playhouse in 1999. Nah. Brian did ask me to join him at the Beacon in New York around then and I was going to, but we got snowed in. Lovely bloke, Brian. Second part of your question - Yes.
William Bailes writes a beautiful letter about 'Rant'. Thank you very much.
Peter Lewis from Wales - Nadolig Llawen and a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda - you can see why it never caught on, can't you?
Al Johnson asks if the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert was the biggest crowd I've ever played to? Overall, yes (satellites and all that). Al says he recently went to see Marty Wilde. He did a concert locally steeped in nostalgia. Not only playing his own songs, but paying tribute to rockers who are no longer with us by performing their songs and talking about them. Marty Wilde has always been a class act.
Colin thought Burnley was great.
Manfred Koehler II: Frohe Weihnachten und ein guters neus Jahr - no, it will never catch on. Says Peter Ruechel from Rockpalast would like to show the gig I did with Mick again, so we'll get onto that right away.
Kelly Boles is looking for 'All of The Good Ones Are Taken' CD. Try Amazon.
John quotes 'You Nearly Did Me In.' He seems to be quite taken with it. Thank you, John.
Tim Mott wants some help. Don't we all. Get On With It.
Andrew Field: Ah Andrew! He asks if me and Ralpher are writing together at the moment. No, we're not, but that's not to say we won't.
Martin from Perth, Australia: Happy Christmas and a safe New Year - this I understand.
Kelly does the same and she's cute!
Maggie Dutcher: We'll see what we can do. Congratulations.
Matt Nojonen: Some credit my older work (Crash Street Kids) as inspiring the punks. What is my take on this? I couldn't believe Joe Strummer died. I had no inkling - not that I knew Joe really well. I knew Mick Jones the best. I know Joe mentioned me a few times and obviously it's a good feeling when anybody says your music inspired them. Joe was so young. It's a great shame. It was the same with the Ramones. I only know after Joey died that he was a big fan. Very often musicians come to my gigs. Sometimes they are or have been in big bands. It's so difficult after a show. A lot of them are too shy, or there is too much bother to try to say hello. Especially these days. I don't know why, but I wish they would. I like the camaraderie and appreciate the support. Matt's a librarian by profession and asks if books have inspired me? I don't really know. Books have always been a part of normal life for me, but I'm very forgetful. Same with movies. There's so much to take in.
Hoba/Oslo: Hello Hoba. Lucky man is off to Thailand. I believe we spoke about this when Andy and I were there.
Jim Stotts is still enjoying 'Rant'. Asks if I'm writing now? Yes, I am actually.
Tommy: What is the capitol of the Faroe Islands? Now I know this, but I've forgotten and I'm not going to look it up as that's cheating. Stanley comes to mind. Go ahead - jest away.
John Sadden saw us at Bristol. Thinks 'Rant' is the best CD of 2001 (He's on his second copy). Karen (16) likes it, but won't admit it. A common failing at that age, John. Shrewsbury Town for the premiership. I saw the Gay Meadow on TV. It's exactly the same as it was all those years ago. They must have spent.... oooh... 20p. on the grounds in the last 50 years. Now Jon wants me off on British Politics. Who would I vote for? Well, for a kick off, I'd like to vote for a political party (not a business as both Labor and Conservative are). Then I'd like to see a manifesto that's short on jingoism and long on home truths. Finally, I'd like to see a leader with a little more integrity and depth. Blair's about as deep as a paddling pool. It's a God awful mess all round. Things change when they have to and hopefully, someone will emerge who can withstand the corporate intrusion. Democracy has always been this unwieldy balance between government and big business. Unfortunately, the scales are way off balance at the moment, but we're not supposed to know that. Always remember - we're morons.
Shawn from San Diego: Why haven't I done a 'theme' album. I don't know. It sounds like hard work, but it would be great after it was done. Prefers 'Artful Dodger' to 'Rant' because, 'All the elements are at ease.' True, but all the elements are at ease on 'Rant' as well. Never have my elements been so at ease. Thanks, Shawn.
Mark says I should do a one-man show. The overheads are lower and then I can go to Northern Ireland and play to him. I know; I just never seem to get around to doing it. I probably will one day. Andy and I have talked about it and I often talk about Miller and me doing one. You know, if somebody just rang me up and said, 'I'll sort it all out - just turn up.' I'd do it.
Reno Bo says a friend of his sent him an mp3 of 'No One'. Says it's a great song. Get 'Rant' - there are many more.
Paul Kennett: I've left a lot of the Merry XMas and Happy New Years ones out. Thanks very much to all of you. I just put this in because Paul lives in Hereford.
Greg: Noted. Good luck with the band. Boston, most definitely, rocks.
Curtis Hawkins remembers Mott opening for Mountain and Traffic in Fort Worth. I remember that gig. I went to the john and when I came back out I got lost and they wouldn't let me backstage. Dramas!!!! The rest is noted.
Darren Hohensee is one of those guys who forces other people to listen to my songs. Where would I be without you chaps!
Anders Lundquist: Noted Anders. We are passing your request onto Universal.
Luther Center thinks 'Rant' is the best album of the decade. (I know - but it's fun!!)
Nici asks what was Ian Hunter's hit song in the 1989/90 timeframe. Errr... I don't really think we had one - did we? The only thing I can think of is Great White's cover of 'Once Bitten Twice Shy.'
Patrick J. Martinez: The thing about Lionel Bienvenue to me was that most Americans talking about soccer haven't got a clue. Lionel not only knows his stuff, but took the piss out of it as well! I really miss him (and I don't live in the UK - I live in the U.S.). I thought he got fired just because he was so damn good. That's what usually happens. Tell him from me, he's got 'it', and if he ever did go to England I'm sure he'd do well. We don't see that two-hour show any more. I wonder why? Didn't the Stones ring the show to see what was on when they toured the U.S.?
Patrick (English name) says simply, 'I've been a fan for 30 years. I can't express well, but I love your music, still now. So long.' I think you express yourself very well, Patrick. Thank you.
Steve Parsons: Talking about Warren Zevon. Says he went to see Miller Anderson (Miller's an old mate of mine and a great musician) and 'Miller's still the mustard'.
Steve heard says, 'It's better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.' and that sums me up. Well, it all depends on what you're doing, Steve.
Ian Hollinghurst saw us in Manchester when we recorded the gig. How did it go? Don't know. Haven't heard it yet. How's Tippins? Actually Stan was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia not too long ago, but he's OK now.
Mike Blackburn: Dave Stopps was talking about Aylesbury at one time, but nothing came of it. Ring Emma Banks at Helter Skelter in London for any future bookings.
Stevie Vee: Loved Leeds. 'Picasso' his favourite.
Lauren: Thank you.
Colin Powell: Thank you.
Robert Clayton talks about John Prior who wrote about the 'sycophants' who are always 'Michael Winnering' me. He says he disagrees and that I'm up there with the best (he mentions a few). He says he's an objective musician and listens to all types and kinds of music. Over to I. P.!!! Actually, all I think John was doing was trying to get to the reasons why I don't sell trillions of records like some of these people you mention. There must be something wrong! Thanks, Robert.
Joe Eglash II asks why 'All American Alien Boy' was labeled commercial suicide when it came out in 1976. Because it was.
Susan and Mark ask where am I appearing live? Nowhere at the moment. Check in now and again for developments.
Roy Dawson and John Overend loved 'Rant' and ask will the next album be in the same vein. Too early to say. Was Guy Stevens really as mad as a box of frogs? Why do you think frogs don't live in boxes anymore?
Steve Daniels says he got 'Rant' for XMas. 'It's very nice to hear rock and roll written and performed by an adult for adults'. Well, here's the thing. If you write moon in June about some electric 18 year old, heavy metal groupie who's giving you one, and you are upward in age you look pretty stupid to me.
Produce Pair: Congratulations to Dan 'the Produce Man' Avakian on child #4 - a bouncing baby boy named Ian Hunter Elliott-Avakian.
Merwyn Thompson. Remember it was an acoustic set on Howard Stern's show. 'Purgatory' doesn't take to acoustics the way 'Wash Us Away' does. How do I keep finding the best musicians? Well, I usually start with one and they lead me to the others.
Dawn Liguori: How are you all doing? Happy XMas and New Year. Trudi prints these up for me so she saw you first. Julia looks great.
Anthony Caminiti: His 7 year old asked him why I don't get played on the radio. Power.
And that is that. Andy and Liz York now live not far from us, so we'll be having an Indian tonight and hopefully not too much Kingfisher. I look forward to the New Year. We're not quite sure what's happening as of yet, but it feels really good.
Isn't it nice not to plan?