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Well it's all lovely day here at Horse's Mouth Towers. Sun, sun, sun. It's about 127 degrees, or it feels that way after the winter we've had. Buds are budding! That's got to have been one of the heaviest winters in years and it's probably not over yet, but today is magic. On to the emails.
Matt Nojonen's just been to see The Used, Finch, My Chemical Romance and The Movie Life. Suggest I start shrieking like a banshee and grabbing my private parts every 30 seconds. Well, I must admit to my share of shrieking Matt, but I've always regarded my nethers as rather precious accouterments and so they have never been grabbed, not by me anyway.
Daniel Giboury says he was homeless for four years and lost everything. He now wants to collect my stuff again. Daniel lives in France where he says none of my records are available. Chirac's probably banned them. Sorry, Daniel - cheap topical English type repartee. Can I help? Well, no - but eBay is as good a place as any for cheap CD's. Glad to see you're getting it together.
Dr. Arthur wants Sony to re-release Mott CD's remastered with bonus tracks. Didn't they do that at one time? Says he loved my greatest hits 2 CD set.
Ben Kolt looking for 'All of the Good Ones Are Taken'. Try eBay, Ben.
Enrique Ferrer Poggio from Spain. Ah! Our new best buddies. Loved the Freddie Mercury set.
Andy Talbot says Ralpher deserves a knighthood for the riff on 'Moon Upstairs'. Will I put it in the set next time? Maybe.
Pat asks if I have ever discussed 'Sons and Daughters' with Willie Nelson. How did he come to record it? Well Pat, I've never discussed anything with Willie Nelson and he hasn't recorded it as far as I know. Be nice if he did.
Maura Gilmore Herdman: The 'Schizo' tour was the first she ever saw - Palace Theater in Cleveland. Asks have I covered my house in duct tape yet to keep out Saddam's evil bugs! Nah. The whole thing's a bit hysterical, if you ask me. Mind you, I don't live in New York any longer. People in the city tend to worry a bit more than us hillbillies.
Gert Pederson is a long time Danish fan and wants an autograph. Sorry Gert, we don't send out autographs.
Sam Rhoades wants me to come to LA to do a Drew Carey spot and a local show. Actually, the producer asked Len Fico if I would do one and I said I would, but I haven't heard anything recently. You never know.
Carl Hursh says he wants 'All of the Good Ones Are Taken'. Always liked the video. He says recently he heard the slow version on press play on line - but can't get the fast version. Well, it's not up to me, really. It's up to Sony.
Rooster: No, it wasn't a dream. Mick Jones of Foreigner had a single solo album out and I helped out on the video along with Billy Joel. It was a song called, 'Just Wanna Hold'. Mick wrote some of it, I wrote some of it and a certain M. Jagger wrote some of it too.
G. Mick Smith: Is writing his first novel and would like to use a few lines from my lyrics in his novel, 'The Protagonist is Playing Hunter'. Oh - go on then.
Jon Jepson: We are working on it.
Jim Barnes: Huge fan. His favourite song is, 'American Music'. Was it my choice to leave it off the 'Once Bitten' compilation? Nope. Still has a copy of 'All of the Good Ones Are Taken' video. Are there any others? There's a three-song video with 'Once Bitten', 'Irene Wilde' and 'We Gotta Get Out of Here' on it. There's also a one-hour TV show of Mick and Me recorded in Germany. Campbell Devine was hustling Universal to put the Sony videos on the DVD, but it doesn't look as if it's going to happen. Any plans for Pittsburgh anytime soon? No, but if I do go out I've always liked Pittsburgh. We'll try to include it. 'Death of A Nation' favourite cut on 'Rant'.
Jon Jepson: Regarding the West Coast, how many shows to make it worthwhile? Ten. How much? Ask Marsha Vlasic.
Andy Harris: How about Australia? He says he's sure I'd sell out a club/theatre tour. It's not up to me Andy, it's the promoters who buy the package.
Dave Crisfield: I - I wasn't it? Not over yet.
Ray Waters: 'People always going on about a Mott reunion, but I like what you're doing now. It would be nice to see you all meet up and go over old times (and see if Buffin can get the gripes off his chest he appears to have from some of the sleeve notes he's written).' Drama, drama, drama! Well, you'll be glad to hear Buffin is quite chipper at the moment and knee deep in a Mott movie script.
Gerry Draper has a kid he named after me (Ian Marc). He just received the Commemorative Medal in honor of the Queen's Golden Jubilee for his work in bringing his small town to life and honoring those Canadian soldiers killed in a 'friendly fire' incident in Afghanistan early last year. Well done, Ian!! Yes, Memphis was written about Mott's invasion of Graceland. Something I'm none too proud of, but I got a lyric out of it.
Garystice needs to know about full performances in Chicago/Milwaukee area. Says Rant is fabulous. Says he has an 'Ian addiction'. Nothing at the moment, but you never know.
Jill Lemieux loves 'Rant' Plays it on the balcony of her student house. Says she gets lots of enquiries. Wish you worked for a label. She wants a show in Toronto, but I'm stuck in the basement writing at the moment.
Andrew Field: Actually I like a lot of your questions, Andrew, but if you're going to ask me something I have a problem with - that's just the way it is. No hard feelings at all. Keep 'em coming!
Alan Butler: You need to talk to Emma Banks at the Helter Skelter Agency. She is my London booking agent. I remember Pontesbury! A certain haystack in a certain barn with a rather plump local girl. We've all got to learn somewhere.
Keith Johnson: Do I remember a gig in Canton, Michigan, when a young Johnny Cougar got his head busted open and so Ronson and me had to go on early. Vaguely. I remember the bit about John getting hurt, but that's all. How did that happen?
Mike Lambert (Mad Mick): Thanks for the H.M. Says he's been listening to Lucinda Williams - Essence - great album. (I like her too.) He's got Sylvain Sylvain - he's not too sure......and Mary Lee's Corvette with Andy York plucking the strings. Mike's sad to hear about the fire in West Warwick. I'm not sad - I'm angry. When will they introduce laws with regard to total stupidity. The club owners are stupid, the band's stupid, the tech's stupid. It wasn't criminal - it was gigantically stupid, and look at the suffering it caused. Pyrotechnics are for major venues. Not wood huts. Says it must be nice having Andy and Liz up by us. Nice people. Yes, it is. Andy, Trudi and I were out at the local Indian last night. Liz is touring with Elton and Billy Joel. Wound up at Rick's place (Guitar Hangar) for a long bevy. It's all happening round here!
Dave says he fronts a dodgy core band in Lancashire and he's been kicking my well-known phrases and sayings for years. Cheeky sod. What do I think of AC/DC? Great. If I did give Roger the V sign during the final chord of 'Dudes' it would have been in fun. Roger's been a good mate for many years. How did Mott get on with Queen when they opened for us? Great. Does 'Down in the city just Hoople and me' on Queen's 'Now I'm Here' refer to us? Yup. Did Fred ever say what he meant by that line? No, but I think it was Brian who wrote it.
Ken the Fat Bastard: How about a London show with all and only Mott's music? That's not what I'm about, Ken. What are the others doing? Mick's writing, Pete's about to walk a marathon, Phally's writing and Buff's doing a film script. Morgan's in Tokyo and I'm sure he's busy because Morgan's always busy.
Peter Squires: Have I thought of touring Italy this year. No, but I was in Venice last year and want to go back. Loves 'Rant' but AAAB still his favourite. Best cover: Overnight Angels (I like the cover too). Why isn't AOTGOAT available on CD? Ask Sony.
Gene Reynolds: Is it eerie to be mentioned in these articles about the Great White tragedy? No, not really. I don't know the band. They just happened to cover the song and it became a hit. I just can't help thinking the whole thing was so stupid.
Vyt Iskeliunas says he never thought he'd make it to 50. I had the same feeling, but here we are. He asks who decided on choice of guitars when playing with Ronson. He did. Were there any intentional decisions made regarding guitars or did each of us decide for ourselves. To tell you the truth, we just turned up and played what ever we had available to us. The only big change Ronno made was after Dylan when he started playing Tele's. A bit of a leap, but we managed. I still preferred him on a Les Paul, but others would tell you differently. Do I read music? No, but Mick did. How do I communicate with an orchestra? Well, I know what I want, when I want it, and how I want it and I know dynamics. The arranger will score it (and I've worked with a couple of great ones) and then either Andy or I - or Mick before - will fine-tune it so it would suit us. I get on great with orchestras. They're fine a) if they like you as an artist , b) if they like you as a person and c) if you've got a rough idea what's going on!
Rikard works in a record shop in Sweden and they always have a lot of my and Motts back catalog. He's also got a band called 'Langhorns' (www.langhorns.com). I think it's still under construction. Don't know Tot but I know Gus - a bit!
Tony Adams just got the CD import of Overnight Angels. His friends say it sounds like Dylan gone metal. What happened to Slick? Last I heard he was back with Bowie. Tony lives in Kentucky (horse capital of the world). Says he's worked his share of stables and inside the horse's mouth is actually very sacred. 'They don't lie- it's not in their nature.' He says that's why when he goes to the track, he always talks to the horse before he makes a bet. (Not today, Tone - feel a little under the weather). Bought a Rainsong - the locals say it drowns out the dobro. Thanks Tony.
Dan Mazxcvm wants to hear Cleveland Rocks on this website. Not my department. We'll see if our webmaster has the time to sort it out.
J. Thomas saw the Palace show in LA with Axl and Slash. Has nearly all the stuff. Saw the Ringo tour. When am I touring? Don't know. Still waiting for word on the Oslo DVD/CD from Universal. I would think supporting these will be my next outing. Meanwhile I am writing.
Rich Harrison travels a lot and takes me with him in various shapes and forms. Can I persuade Stan Tippins to write a book? Well, you can't persuade Stan to do anything, but I'm told he has kept diaries all these years, so you never know.
Erin M. O'Leary: Just hang in. You're both at a difficult age, so the whole things hit you both badly. All I can tell you is hang in. Things will get better as the time passes and it's important you don't blow it with each other. OK?
Milo asks if I knew Rory Gallagher. I knew Rory when he was in the Taste and saw him periodically over the years. Ronno loved his playing but sadly, Rory couldn't get out from under his particular cloud. Great guitar player. Great guy.
Mike Brideweser: Stupid - right?
Baginski Bernard (France): How long does it take to write the Horse's Mouth? It takes between six and nine hours, depending on the volume. Do I answer everyone? No, I don't. Some just say I'm fab and lovely and thank me, so there's nothing to really answer. I think some people think I get people calling me crap and so I leave their letters out. That isn't true, as I enjoy a bit of controversy. Then a few say what they wanted to say and tell me I don't have to answer- so I don't. How important is the Horse's Mouth to me? It's just something we do! Have I ever been to France? Only when I've been gigging there. Your English is fine.
Simon Sorenson: Was at the Olso shows and describes it, but I don't want to repeat it here as it might spoil it for people who don't know what went on. Let's just say he got off on it. Have I heard Torstein's comp. CD? I've got it right here!
Nick Malcolm said he had tickets to see me and Chris Spedding at some point - why did it fall apart? I know Chris and I've played with him, but I don't remember anything about this. He says most of my stuff can be found in stores in Toronto, but does the release of a new record depend on monetary support from the record company? 100% The way the industry is today, it's all marketing and radio, and without them you struggle mightily. It's a sad old mess the industry has gotten itself into. There you go.
John Powell: I forwarded this to Trudi. Thanks.
Kevin Akin says he was going to Chicago for the Waltz V benefit. Says I'm messing his schedule up (sorry, Kev). Am I friendly with Graham Parker? Well - when you wrote this I hadn't met Graham Parker, but since the gig is now past, I can tell you that we met intermittently on the day and we got on quite famously. I'm hoping to see more of Graham in the future. Silver Needles was about Sid Vicious.
Bobby says he really liked the way Mott covered other artists. Have I considered doing other peoples songs since then? Well, I've done a cover on the Oslo DVD and I think it's great. I'm sure there are great songs to be covered out there but I don't listen that much. Any suggestions?
Ian Hollinghurst: No more! I'm covered in the bloody things. Thanks anyway.
Tina Ramirez: O.K. I've forwarded this to Trudi and she'll be in touch.
Kevin has everything. On a trip to Chicago March 14-16. Well, you ain't all lucky Kevin. I was there on the 8th. Sorry.
Marc says why the other version of 'Cleveland Rocks'? Well, Drew says it's a hoot!
Janne Olsen heard Ronno was asked to join the Rolling Stones instead of Ronnie Wood. I heard he was on the short list. Never was asked.
Peter Jordan asks if Meatloaf ever got up with me? Yes, it was Cleveland sometime in the '80's. Think we did 'Whole Lotta Shakin Goin' On' His record company managed me at the time. Meat's kind of operatic and Jim shared the vision. I like Jim Steinman. He goes for it - no compromising.
Dan Davis: Yeah, I still talk to Craig now and then. He was handling one of the Ringo dates in New Jersey. Lovely bloke. Best of luck with the music.
Geoff Bryant asks, 'It is now March - where is the DVD?' It's finished and brill, but it takes ages for record companies in these troubled times to sort out individual territorial licenses. All the news I get is good, but you'll just have to be patient a little longer. If it's of any consolation, I'm rather itchy myself.
Bart: I've played with so many people over the years - who are my favourites? Jaco Pastorious comes to mind immediately - he was fantastic when I knew him and was totally committed. Ronno, obviously, and Andy York, obviously. Steve Holley's been a rock as has Mickey Curry and Max Weinberg. Chris Stainton was brilliant as was David Sanborn. See, now I'll miss people and piss them off. Ralpher's a hoot; one of the funniest people I know and still a great and unique guitarist. John Cale has music coming out of every pore. It was quite an event watching Queen on 'You Nearly Did Me In.' Am I a fan of Dylan's newer material? Love his voices.
Jeffrey S 'A brand new avid fan' after Chicago. Always like new ones, Jeff. Welcome aboard. Enough of the nicknames.
Jeffrey Stanke did 24 years in the Navy and wound up Chief Petty Officer. He visited 26 countries and speaks six languages including Greek and Latin. Actually, I did Latin at school. I was crap. Well, you're raving on about me, but you're not doing too bad yourself, Jeffrey.
Jeff Underwood: Talking about 70's Gibson L6S's. Says he has 12 guitars and the L6S is the sweetest of the bunch. And they're still relatively cheap, too!
Peter Lee: Any future tours of England (he went to the Cambridge gig last year)? Well, we're giving the Rant Band a year off, but it will return next year. Meanwhile, we're sitting on the Oslo Orchestral DVD. It would be nice to do something around that.
Jack Protzo thinks 'Rant' is awesome. Why don't they play it on the radio in San Francisco? Because I'm not on a major label with lots of push money. Because I'm an older artist. How many (dumb) reasons do you want? It's not the jocks that can play what they want. They play what they're told to play. The whole system stinks. Don't get me going. 'God's' in open G as is 'Ripoff,' 'Death of a Nation,' 'Once Bitten,' and 'Women's Intuition.'
Richard Berry got a CD copy of Mott Live. Raving away in the car.
Tim Kearns from Uji City, Kyoto, Japan - went to see Hanoi Rocks. How did I come to write with them? Bob Ezrin rang me up and said they were short of lyrics and they'd had a meeting and said the only guy they'd work on their lyrics with was me! Went down to meet them. Got the tracks and wrote the lyrics the next day - that was it. What do I contribute most in collaborations? Usually the lyrics - but you mentioned BOC, on 'Goin' Through the Motions' I wrote the middle eight music as well as the lyric.
Normal Bob: Did I have a word with Scorsese with regard to 'All the Way From Memphis' being in Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore? No, it was his call. Somebody just told me one day it was in the movie.
Andy Blackhurst: Rant is unique. Wasn't sure at first, but now is. It always takes a while with some albums. When AAAB came out, everybody hated it because it wasn't straight rock and roll. It can be a drag sometimes because you know it's good, but there's no accounting for taste.
Marty Fitzgerald lives in Chicago and is a WXRT listener. They were saying I was on the radio and then I wasn't. Why? Well, they wanted the interview and I said yes. Then I was told I HAD to sing live on the air. I said I didn't want to sing live, but I would do the interview and would they play a couple of 'Rant' tracks. They said they're on an Infinity format and it was their 'policy' that they would only have people on who sing live as well. I've been sitting in the basement writing and am not in 'touring mode' so I said it was a problem. They then passed. You know XRT have been good to me and I'm grateful and I really like the people there, but I will not be dictated to by Infinity and their 'policies'. What's a bloody 'policy' anyway? Some 'law' that's enacted somewhere by someone arbitrarily. Hey, I have 'policies' too - if that's what you want to call them. Anyway, we missed the bloody plane, so I wouldn't have made it anyway!
Knut Red was at the concert in Oslo and wants to know when it's coming out. It's coming - it's coming - still don't know when the release date is.
Clyde Hartman wants me to open for Bruce at Giants stadium. Well, there's more to it than that, Clyde.
Jeff Campbell wants a gratis license for 'Overnight Angels'. It's a good cause and it would be OK by me, but the copyright is owned by Sony. It's their legal department from whom you will have to get permission.
Phil Rossner - (Victoria, Canada) just got 'Rant'. His wife's a big Dylan fan and she likes my lyrics and likes the feel of the recording. Praise indeed. No, to the second part, Phil.
John Von Reine wants Mott the Cooper with Smith and Dunaway. I think we're all a bit too old for that kind of mayhem.
Judy: So....get to the phone!
Willie: Oor Wullies at it again. Says 'No Wheels to Ride' has been officially adopted as the New Scottish National Anthem (replacing 'Scotland the Brave'). He says my Hamilton 'connections' swung the final vote. Well, what can I say Willie - it's an incredible honour. But Willie's not stopping there; he is now in the process of entering 'No Wheels to Ride' in this years Eurovision Song Contest!!! Will these accolades ever end? Will Hamilton Ackies survive? Stay tuned!
Gregory Marincic was at the Chicago Waltz 5 gig and saw the show with his brother and his daughter - loved it. P.S. What was the deal with Chance and the sax on 'Dudes'? Beats me. I asked him and he said he saw the opportunity and took it. Chaotic, but fun nonetheless.
Dave Bolton got 'Rant' and gives me a complete review of the entire record. His question - Is it risky to be 100% honest in lyrics? Do I ever wonder about upsetting people? Good question. Yes, it's true, there are times when subterfuge is the best way to go. It's called artistic license. It all depends on what you're talking about. If you want to offend or if you're hinting. I like hinting. It's more cowardly, but it keeps me out of trouble. Then again, 'Rip-Off' leaves no one under any illusions.
Kurt Zillies: Don't mention it!
Andre Pisani saw me and Ronno in Bergen. Any chance of Bergen again? People were great to us in Bergen. I remember the club. It's just a question of tying it in with other stuff. I would say I'll probably be back there sometime. I know a lot of nice people in Norway and love playing there.
Bjorn Eggen has seen me before and was excited about the Oslo gig, but says the show was so much more than he expected. Actually, to tell you the truth, Bjorn, it was more than I expected. A tribute to all who worked so hard on it. He says he's not young anymore and had not expected to be taken to 'that level' again. See.....I told you it was good.
Phil (Long Island) asks if I am touring this summer. Not that I know.
Paul Stepto elucidates on 'taking the piss'. 'Sometimes a man wakes up with an erection which is caused by pressure from a full bladder, rather than erotic stimulus. When he takes the said piss, he loses the erection. The phrase, therefore, has the meaning of deflating someone who's maybe being pompous. 'Taking the mickey,' is related in this case 'mickey' stands for micturition.' Thanks you for that, Paul.
Mac found an old LP of Ian Hunter in his garage. His son (14) had never heard vinyl, so he put it on. Next thing Mac is all teary with Ronno's playing. We'll never forget.
Johnny Arwidzon: Am I going to do a gig in Seden. I don't know, but it's probable.
Dave Simpson says Ronson's memorial was great even though I did pinch a chip off him on the way into the Odeon (lies). What was Rolf Harris doing there? Dana Gillespie brought him and I can honestly say he was a gas. Have I listened to Roger Glover's new album? No, but Roger probably hasn't listened to mine. Dave says there's some good stuff on it. Nice one, Rober.
Larry Swieca says he's spent the last two days recovering from the Waltz 5 at Chicago's Metro. Raving away. I've got to say, it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The musicianship was excellent (thanks - Nick Tremulis) and the organization was excellent, (thanks - Sharyl Holtzman and Nicole Frankhauser and JAM). It must have been a hell of a job to put it all together. To cap it all, Andy, James and myself were put in a dressing room with Mavis and Yvonne Stapes. Down-to-earth beautiful ladies who told us great stories. We wound up down at Buddy Guy's club watching Johannson and Hubert Sumlin until three in the morning. David Amram - such a gentleman and as I said before it was a pleasure meeting Graham Parker. Some how we missed each other all down the years. Nick, your arrangements were spot on. It took us 10 hours to get to the rehearsal, but your band revitalized us. Anytime!! The singers - the strings were more than I'd expected. Billy Corgan was extremely nice as well and we did the photo stuff. Here's to the Neon kids.
Richard M. Reid wants to talk about Pete Oxendale. Yes, we were together for a while and I should have included him on the list of all the great people I've worked with. Pete was later with Frankie Goes to Hollywood. A consummate musician he once told me he made tons of money doing stuff he hated so he could blow it touring with me. Peter's idea of keeping fit was standing in a paddling pool with a brandy in one had and a cigar in the other. Slick hated him and once dug him a grave (true! I was there). Fred Heller, my then manager, knocked him out cold one night. Pete knew how to wind 'em up. Total maniac, married a beautiful model with a sense of humour and as far as I know is Britain's premier musicologist. Doesn't smoke anymore (pansy).
John Cooke asks if Welcome to the Club is available on CD? I don't think so. Don't know about Seattle, John. In flux at the moment.
Professor Clemens asks how the heck did I write 'Dead Man Walkin'? Well, I've told this story before. I was writing 'No One' and my left hand missed and hit a wrong note. It was, however, a great wrong note and that's how 'Dead Man' was born. You get a lot of stuff from mistakes. That's why band rehearsals are sometimes great. Somebody cocks up and you're off in another direction.
Dean Roecker: Yes, the book does exist and I've read it and it's good. I've left Trudi a note as I don't know where you get it and I think she does. She says go to the IMP (Independent Music Press) web site: www.impbooks.com/music
Hope Campbell: another convert - her friend Sean. Welcome aboard Sean. Hope says I was really moving around a lot on the Ringo show. Usually I don't move much. Well, that was how I felt and also I wasn't singing lead a lot of the time so there was more time for posing!
Dave Hancox: What's the biggest factor that determines the sound on my albums? e.g. 'Schizo' (with the E Street band) sounds different from any other album (as does 'Rant'). Well, you choose who you use. In the case of 'Schizophrenic' we knew the nature of the songs. We tried it in England - it wasn't working - we tried it again in the U.S. - this time it worked. 'Rant' was a budget album. Small studio - closeness - nearness - more than stereo greatness was what we wanted. I agree, Morons could have been bigger, but we couldn't afford it quite honestly. Also albums (like movies) do take on a life of their own. You can mess up and I have done a couple of times. That's the worse. I think, on balance though, you choose who you use and it just happens.
Kurt Zilles says when he was young he stole my records. I stole a few myself; I had to. Fortunately, by the time the first solo album hit, Kurt had a job milking cows so he's been paying for them ever since. Good lad.
Don Donofrio: I've passed this onto Trudi. Sounds good to me. The DVD has 16 tracks on it. The CD has 21.
Shug Cassidy: The orchestral thing came about because of Bjorn Nessjo (who produced 'The Artful Dodger'). He asked Petter Singsaas (the head of Universal in Norway and a fan) to come to see us in London at the Astoria. They took me out the following day and put the idea to me and I was ready for it. Bjorn had asked me once before, but I wasn't ready then. That's how it happened and I'm so happy that it did!
That's it chaps (six and a half hours for our French friend). Is it me, or were there lots of newcomers this time around? If anything comes up, you'll be the first to know.