Want to hear it straight from the Horse's Mouth? Ask your question here.
It's a gray old day at Hunter Towers, so we might as well have a look at the old email bag. Here goes.........
Ed says now Clash, Police, AC/DC and Elvis Costello are in the 'Hall' is it a vindication of me since my music influenced all of them? Well, I'm not sure if my music did influence these people. I know the Clash - but the others? I don't know how the Hall of Fame works, although people tell me it's a New York process - not Cleveland. If it's on sales alone, well those guys sold more than me - so maybe that's it. No one has asked me Ed, and to be honest I'm not too sure about the whole thing. Thought we were anti-establishment and all that. It's fun for fans though.
Glenn Iserman asks what are pence? They are now the equivalent to cents; 100 pence equals one pound (also called a quid), which is about $1.60. A shilling is no more - it used to be equal to 12 pence in the old money. We are now decimalized to make it easier for you, and we'll probably convert to Euros soon,which will be even easier if slightly lacking in tradition.
Jeff asks when am I playing New York next? Andy York was round the other night and he's getting antsy. Maybe later this year.
Rick Goward says there was an article in the LA Times that said the band Incubus has generated about $76 million for Sony yet their share amounts to $4 million - this is par for the course. You'd think with a name like Incubus they'd have a better lawyer, but yes, this is what happens. Sad isn't it?
Kevin Shepherd asks how did Bonnie Tyler wind up doing 'Going Thru The Motions'? I think this was Jim Steinman (the producer). Jim is very fond of some of my songs. He tried to get someone to do 'The Jar' for ages.
Brent wants me to play further afield in Ohio next time out. I shall endeavor to do that.
Gerard Thomas York says Artful Dodger followed by Rant was my best 'one-two' punch ever. Thank you. Why don't I boot leg the bootleggers? Haven't got the time or inclination.
Graham Pemble asks: 1. Have I ever lived in Sussex? Yes - I had a place on the coast circa 1985-90. 2. Have I seen the new Queen musical yet (says it's brilliant)? No, but Brian wrote me a nice letter inviting me the next time I'm in London and I shall take him up on it. 3. Was 'Now is the Time' written about Freddie Mercury? He was in my mind at the time.
Geoff Bryant asks why has the DVD release been put back. Well, it hasn't actually been put back. I always figured it would be this autumn, but I had hoped it would be earlier. It's not only the DVD - there is a 21 song CD as well. Both sets of artwork took time (three lots of artwork were rejected). When you're dealing with a huge company and trying to get a release worldwide it takes forever. Bjorn Nessjo was producing and he was busy elsewhere with his orchestra a lot of the time. It's quite a large undertaking. It will be worth the wait.
The Big O wants a copy of 'All American Alien Boy'. Try Amazon. Says he saw us in Providence with McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1970. Somebody threw a whiskey bottle on stage and Ralpher jumped off stage and 'totaled' the jerk. Well, on a bill like that something was bound to happen.
Thomas Bryngelsson saw us in Sweden in 1991. Wishes he'd have seen Mick play the solo on 'The Outsider'. Yeah - well I was there and I saw it and I couldn't believe it. It was fantastic. Who was 'It Ain't Easy When You Fall' about? Another guitar player. Wants me back in Sweden. Well, it's a possibility with the Orchestral thing, but too early to say.
Andy Day: How did 'Rant' sell? It's still dribbles to this day. Did it out sell 'Artful Dodger'? It's way, way ahead of 'Artful Dodger'. It's way ahead of 'Artful Dodger' and 'YUI ORTA'. What's my biggest selling solo album? 'YNAWAS'.
Charlie Smith asks, Is there a planned tour of the U.S.? Not so far. I'm kind of in limbo waiting for the Oslo release.
David Stribbling asks if I can remember what 'The Floods Roll On' was about? Did I keep a copy and who accused me of stealing it from a book? I was about fourteen and I wrote it while attending the Priory Grammar School in Shrewsbury. The English Master (who was gay) accused me of nicking it from a book of poetry. He was rather angry. I didn't fit the Byronic format. It was great - the first real compliment - albeit backhanded - I'd ever had. I forgot his name, but he was a prat. There was a great teacher called Scott, but I only had him for one term. I lost the poem and I forgot what it was about, but it was strong and I regret having lost it.
Mike P. wants my view on people who trade without money being involved. It's fine by me. Anything you own you can trade, providing you paid for it in the first place.
Steve McKinch says he's not getting updates and news emails and asks us to check to make sure he's on the list. (Oh illustrious Web Master - this one's for you!) Things have been fairly quiet of late.
Rich Webster: 'The Angel of 8th Avenue' did and does exist. It was written on 8th Avenue at the old Ramada Hotel so it didn't look out on Central Park, but it nearly did. The song wasn't made up. It's all true, but I'm sorry - I can't elucidate further.
Steve Baratta - Ronno always said I was useless at tuning a guitar onstage and so it developed over the years that I would just walk over to him and he'd do it for me. Quicker! I saw Mike Smith on Letterman. Class - as usual.
Lyle Bekwith keeps hearing 'Just Another Night' in the strangest of places. He's been around a while. Thanks for hanging in, Lyle.
Matt Nojonen asks if I like any American comedians? Well, Richard Pryor was a genius and Steve Martin in his younger days. All the original SNL crowd, but for sheer genius off the wall, totally nuts, combined with total uniqueness it would have to be Gilbert Gottfried. I use to go and see him all the time. He gave me his number, but he was painfully shy off stage. Always difficult to televise, he mostly yelled with his back to the crowd - but I used to ache - many a time I'd walk out to the deli just to take a break. I know he's not everybody's cup of tea, but he rings my bells. Judy Tenuta's another one. Off the wall and totally unique. I have a problem with corporate comedians, but I'm still a regular Seinfeld watcher (love Elaine) and Ronson and I watched the Honeymooners for years until we knew them backwards.
Dan Davidson: Nice to get these. Dan says I've helped him through difficult times. Actually about a third of the letters I get say something along those lines, and I never put it in the answers because it sounds so - large. I'm actually rather chuffed so many of you say this as being a musician is not really classed as a 'helpful' profession. It's more associated with entertainment and selfishness. I've always tried to write what I felt about stuff and we all experience down times in our lives. Musicians are absolutely no different to anybody else. There fact that this has been of some use to some of you makes me feel worthwhile and a little less guilty about the cheques I get! Do I ever do guest appearances on little known artists CD's? Well, I have done a few (Ronson did a lot). It's usually geographic. I just happen to be around - I get asked and I do it. Why not?
Hope Campbell is ranting at me. (This comes immediately after the above letter!) Her Mum says musicians are not real people and she can't understand why they're regarded so highly (me neither). She says her Mum is married to a bloke who advocates stealing music off the internet because to put it in his words, 'Why should I support someone else's drug or alcohol habit?' Well, your Mum's bloke is just rationalizing his actions. If you take this premise further, there will be no music in the future. When he goes to work what would he think if at the end of the week his boss gave him an empty pay packet and told him he was not willing to support his habits (whatever they may be)? Hope springs eternal.
Professor Clemens wishes me good luck with my basement writing and boy do I need it. I stink at the moment.
Michael says, 'Well - if it takes six hours to write the Horse's Mouth it's appreciated.' I appreciate that.
Ed read in Bill Wyman's book that Ronno was considered for the Stones gig. Did he ever talk to me about it? I think he had a word, but nothing much.
Gerry Draper says it must have been a major blow when Mott finished. Well it was, and it wasn't. Too much stuff was going on so the end was inevitable. If you don't feel at home - you move. They could have gotten bigger and maybe they would have, but for me it was over and I enjoyed the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted and with whom I wanted. No big deal.
Armin: Next to Steve Harley I'm the only other guy he can listen to all day. What do I think of Steve? Well, I've never really seen Steve full length - only an odd song here and there, so I'm not really qualified, but I know he still has a very strong following and there must be a reason for that. Actually, Steve rang me once and asked me to write with him, but he didn't realize I lived 3,000 miles from him, so it was a bit difficult. Maybe we'll do it one day.
Brian Scott: As a former member of a MTH tribute band - whatever happened to the H Guitar? I'd forgotten, but Pete says I smashed it to pieces on stage and gave it to the audience. I was a bit of a lad way back when. Heh, heh.
Ian Kell says I've never given the 'All of the Good Ones Are Taken' album a real live airing. Does the album disappoint me? Well, I can't remember half of it and that's not a good sign, is it? Have I heard Status Quo's version of 'Speechless'? Yes I have, and I love the way they deadpanned the middle section. Are we mates? We say 'ello! Any plans for a new studio album? Not yet. Any plans for a UK tour? There will be one - that's all I can say.
Bjorn Eggen says John Cooke was looking for 'Welcome to the Club' Two web sites in Norway have it: www.akersmic.no and www.platekompaniet.no Thanks, Bjorn. Bjorn goes on to ask if I like 'Dirty Laundry' and do I play any of the songs on stage? I really enjoyed doing 'Dirty Laundry' it was a lot of fun working with Darryl, John and the lads. I don't do anything from that album on stage as it's been mainly the 'Rant' stuff lately, but I do like a lot of the songs on that album, particularly, 'Never Trust A Blonde.' Bjorn goes on to bewail the current radio debacle, but don't get me started on that one.
Phil Huband: Did I do a version of 'Sweet Jane' with Lou Reed? No. Lou sung on the Mott backing track to give me an idea of how it should be, but we didn't do it together. Studios: Some, obviously, are better than others, but it depends on what you're doing - who you're working with - and the producer (if you have one). Producers will favor certain studios for reasons of their own. The same with musicians. A lot of albums have been made in the wrong studios and a lot in the right ones. We wanted an 'us against the world' vibe on 'Rant' so we went into a tiny studio on 8th Avenue and did it on a shoe string. It worked. Others haven't in much finer studios. Really, it's down to the songs. Studios can help, but they can also be a hindrance. Phil goes on to say he visited Jerry Lee Lewis's sister's museum in Ferriday, Louisiana. Sounds great; I'd love to go sometime. Another new DVD owner!
Anthony Caminiti enthuses about 'Dirty Laundry'. How come other people did so much of the writing? Well, I was the last one in on it. Like I said, it was a pleasure doing it, but it seems to have gotten lost. Remember - it wasn't my album - they asked me to join them and off we went.
Jeff suggests a 'Horse's Mouth' evening. A gig somewhere only for fans and Horse's Mouth participants. Yes, it's a good idea. Will I do anything about it? Probably not. I'm not the type that can organize.
Chris is writing a book based loosely on the Mott characters. I would suggest Martin Roach of Independent Music Press (www.impbooks.com). Chris said he already knew I'd written the bridge to 'Going Thru the Motions'. Good man.
Ed Marentette elucidates on how John Cougar Mellencamp got hurt in Canton. He apparently jumped on the shoulders of his guitarist during a solo and knocked himself out jumping off. He said we played two nights and he was there for both. 'Rant' the best in years. Wants an American tour with Ralpher before he's too old. Me too!
Paul Bitner says 'Bastard' still one of my finest love songs. Has there been any mellowing in that department? Don't know - ask Trudi.
Jeffrey Shapiro getting married in August! Opening walk in song - 'Knees of My Heart' Good luck to both of you.
Trond Kvernmo: Re: 'Death of a Nation': What is the biggest difference between living in England and the U.S.? More room and better infrastructure. America understands education is of prime importance. England thinks education doesn't pay. 'Mr. Bush thinks God has selected him to rid the world of evil' and this scare Trond. Well it was a bit scary before this happened Trond and it was going to get scarier - still might. Something has to happen - it can't just go on. Someone has to do something. The drag is there are some pretty awful people in the world and there are also some pretty awful weapons. In the wrong hands and we've all had it. I think he's just trying to nip it in the bud, but what do I know - I'm a rocker.
Martyn: Do I remember a stifling hot night at the Old Robin Hood? Oh yes I do! They're closing it down. Well, it had a great vibe, but it was undeniably funky. I liked the people who ran it.
Steve Andrews is a fan of Tom Waits' and my lyrics. Asks what I think of his lyrics? He's good, isn't he? Conversational a la Bob.
Jason Rubin says, 'In amongst all the sleaze bags in the music industry I must have met a few good chaps. Sure I have; unfortunately most of them are dead or have left in disgust (Dick Asher comes to mind). Dick's now a lawyer in Florida. Goddard Leberson, an eloquent genius died, as did John Hammond. Clive Davis went pop! Steve Popovich owns his own label. Petter and the people at Universal Norway are great. Tom, Randy and Mark at Sony Legends, Phil Saville at Sony in the UK - so it's not all doom and gloom. I'm sure there's other great people, but the nature of the game leans more and more towards their extinction. They get fed up with being little pieces of penicillin in a sea of bacteria.
A.J. UK asks were UFO influenced by me (he thinks they were)? I don't know. I never worked with Michael Schenker, but there was a time when we might have done something. Great player.
Tom McCool: Did I ever cowrite any other songs with Jagger? Nope. Did the Stones steal the 'Sticky Fingers' title off MTH? Yes. Well, Guy Stevens took it off us and gave it to them and it was Guy's title so he was 'entitled'. Have I heard of Bruce Cockburn - yes, but that's about it. He says he gets a good reaction on a Stones mailing list when mentioning me and Mott. He says , 'They might not buy the CDs, but they like you.' Obviously not enough, Tom.
Matt Nojonen says an import edition of 'Welcome to the Club' is available on Amazon.com - he's just got one.
Steve Verc: Any chance of seeing the track listing of Oslo before the release? No!
Bill Martino read I was to pitch the first ball at a Cleveland Indians World Series game - did this ever take place? My youngest son, Jess, rang me when I was on tour in England and said they wanted me to do it. He was excited. Unfortunately, I was still in England when the game took place. Oh, alright then - Minerva Rocks!
Hope Campbell says she got 'Welcome to the Club' on CD with bonus tracks at Borders.
Tom Ross got his 'Welcome to the Club' on Amazon.com. 2 CD version with extra tracks. You're in business Mr. Cook!
Dan M. (www.impbooks.com/music) This is where Ronno's book is.
Oor Willie writes: 'Great to know my efforts at extolling the virtues of 'No Wheels to Ride' aren't going exactly unnoticed. Next move (after its success as Scottish National anthem) is to make it the world's sport and peace anthem. Only one anthem at all international sporting events. We need it translated to Arabic and chanted on the front line - an end to hostilities, peace, brotherly love and mutual appreciation of good music!' (.....and a few wee bob for me too, Willie!)
Billy Beattie asks if I'll ever croon the Scottish National Anthem before a Scottish football match. I didn't know we had one. Yes, I did enjoy the Garage last year. Billy says there were teenagers outside trying to get tickets. Alright. His Dad preached to him about MTH and now he preaches to his dad about 'Rant'. Billy also made a marionette of me, which has earned him a few bob in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Where's mine?
Rich Gelfand asks what I'm saying at the beginning of 'Just Another Night'? Da -dada - da - that's the nearest I can get. Says he's been wondering for 20 years. Leave it!
Richard Mills: Would Ronno (had he joined the Stones) have stayed? I really don't know the answer to that. Your second question's too complicated for me! Might I do the Oslo concert live with an orchestra. Yes, I might - me and Andy.
Paul Morgan: His house got broken into. Wants to source YUI Orta. Check Amazon the end of May.
Dan McDonald named his son after me. Ian is now 20!
Paul Gunill asks if I've been invited onto 'Later with Jools'. We sent them 'Rant' and were told the bloke liked it and that was that.
Glen Metsch-Ampel wrote a poem called, 'Toll Booth Etiquette' and sent it to me. It's definitely a poem more suited to hip-hop as some of the words would be difficult to get round in my area. Nice one, Glenn.
Mick Perkington saw Mott in the 70's and then forgot all about me until Sheffield Leadmill. Come back to Sheffield. Actually United have had a great run this year. Wednesday, however, going down (along with Shrewsbury and Northampton).
Steve Hall was looking for Mick's statue in Hull. It's not a statue - it's a bandstand.
Julie saw us at Winterland and the Old Waldorf in Northern California. No one knew of us except her and her brothers and that's the way they liked it in Modesto, California. Loves 'Rant'.
Poppa bear says for Daniel Giboury's information he just bought 'Wildlife' and 'Braincapers' on CD from 101cd.com. The other early Mott LPs were also available. Thanks. Wants a lyric section on the website. Trudi says Adrian Perkins site has a great one. (webmaster - you can Adrian's site at www.hunter-mott.com)
Bill C.: This is for Carole - Sorry I missed your party. How'd it go?
Michael W. Smith: Do I get a piece of my book sales? (He just bought 'Diary' on Amazon.) Yes, Michael, the book man is kosher. I think Oslo will come out in the fall. Is 'Strings Attached' the Olso album or something else? It's the title of the Oslo DVD and CD.
Paul Brooker: Going through a divorce. Wife gets Mott stuff - he gets my stuff. Is that fair? Yup.
Michael W. Smith: says there's only two cool people in Rock 'n' Roll - me and Joe Perry (actually, I'm cooler). What is my favourite fast food? (That's a cool question, Michael.) I don't eat fast food. It smells good, but it tastes rotten. I will go for fish 'n' chips (with bacon) or a good curry. 2) Favourite beer: You're going to hate me, but I prefer champagne. Draft beer's fine - anything will do - but I can't drink beer in the bottle - there's something wrong with it. What do I miss most about not living in England? My kids and my mates. What do I like most about the U.S.? The room.
Dale Ferguson says Canada's got indoor plumbing and they like me. Play there. Well, I will at some point, Dale.
Dan Baker wants another book. Says he saw 'Diary' had sold 84,000 on Amazon. How do you know that?
Peejay: When am I touring the U.K.? I don't know yet. I'm not messing you about. I'm being messed about. No, I haven't seen Joe Jackson, but all reports are very good.
Alan Sewell: You'd want Emma Banks at Helter Skelter in London.
Shawn: Come to California! We will, we will...........eventually. Did I write rock and roll think pieces prior to release of 'Diary'? No.
J.T. of L.I.: No reunion. What's 'Walk on Water' about ? You know, I can't remember. I knew at the time. Senility setting in. 'Rant' fantastic. Which song is my favourite? 'Dead Man Walkin''.
Carl Ewens: 'Come on, Ian - get off your arse and get on the blower to Sony/Columbia and get all your albums re-released (including the Mott the Hoople Box set)!!! Well, it doesn't quite work like that Carl. They do what they want to do when they want to do it.
Steve Morris: Was he right in thinking I was on the David Frost program in 1972? No, you are wrong. David Frost was never quite right, was he? Still the same.
Sakari Lehtonen: What does 'Mott the Hoople' mean? It was the title of a book by Willard Manus about a chap called Norman Mott. In every chapter he is Mott the something or other. In one chapter he is Mott the Hoople; Hoople being another word for hobo. This became the title of the book.......and the band.
Janey Todd says I look wonderful (obviously, she hasn't seen the gradual deterioration). Jane used to know Morrongiello who's been touring as Dylan's guitar tech for a number of years. Lovely man. Do I remember the poems and the watercolor picture? Nope, but it was a while ago. Am I going to play Jersey anytime soon? May this autumn.
Artur from Poland says I'm not a marginal artist. Well, a marginal artist is somebody the mainstream has very little knowledge of. That's me folks! Arthur says I'm a hero. Whoopee. That'll cheer you up first thing in the morning (I started H.M. yesterday). Thank you, Arturo!
Douglas Taylor: 'Who actually types up your replies in the H.M.? He/she does an excellent job.' Well, it's the wife actually, Doug, and she's definitely a she. Doug has bought 7 copies of Rant so far (thank you!) and given them to friends and relatives who won't buy them themselves. He says they don't think dinasaw rockers can make great CDs 30 years after their prime. I thought the whole idea of living was to get better at what you do. It's one thing if somebody doesn't like your music - or you - that's fair enough - but all the ageist bullshit is infantile.
Stephen Scott thinks I never received what I was due. I think I did. What was the highlight and what was the lowlight? Well, I really enjoyed Oslo. That was an incredible buzz. I could live like that forever. The lows - the 80's. What is it about England that reviles me so? Well, it's not England - England's beautiful. It's the people that run it and the infrastructure. Come to Australia. I will if somebody comes up with a reasonable offer! 'ello, here comes Stephen Scott again and I'm coming over like Michael Winner. I have to print this because it's good - here goes:
Twinkle twinkle, little star
You see, I'm a rock'n'roller too
So my bus stop girl was Irene Wilde
I saw the Prince of Glitz get all the gold
The young dudes and the pretty things
Man, we cried when the axeman fell
True, rock and roll's a loser's game
Still, you survived and kept your faith
Like you, I left Britannia
So keep on rocking, stand tall and proud
See, I don't care that I can't see your eyes
Thanks for 30 plus years of great music...
Gulp-gulp. The only bit I don't like is that I wear my hair like a tart. Suzi Ronson has tried it all ways - it's just my head's big and I look stupid with it short. At least I've still got hair! Thank you, Stephen.
Geff Ratcheson: Is there any releasable film or video footage of MTH? Will you ever see it? Well, (there that 'well' again). Buff's probably got some stuff. He was a keen collector and Pete might have some stuff. I saw some footage on an English TV show recently that I'd never seen before. Somebody has to want it on a business level. VH1 seem to be of the firm belief we never existed, despite there being a strong fan base.
Kelly: Hi Kelly, how are you doing? She gave her boyfriend 'Rant' and he won't give it back. Regards to Mum and Dad.
Matt Nojonen is slagging off Clear Channel for 'fees' on top of ticket prices. (In his case these fees were $11.00.) My daughter went to the Apollo in London (now a Clear Channel venue) and they shut the toilets at 9:45 PM! You see, it just gets worse and worse. Joe Elliott and I just did a two-hour interview and all this came up. They have to re-regulate and legislate and they have to be quick about it. I heard this female spokesperson for Clear Channel say, 'People always criticize pioneers.' No, dear - people don't always criticize pioneers, in fact, they are rather respectful of pioneers.' They do, however, criticize murderers. Clear Channel owned radio stations believe playing different/new/or hard to find CDs is 'naive'.
And on that happy note, this horse will shut its mouth. If I hear anything concrete on the discussions new going on re: the Oslo DVD I will let you know as soon as I know. Keep the faith and we'll talk again soon.
P.S. Once again I missed a few. You can't not appreciate some of the flattery, but some are too over the top to print! Keep 'em coming!