Want to hear it straight from the Horse's Mouth? Ask your question here.
Hot and humid - that's me. Not too fond of all this warm stuff; sitting this month out! Actually, it's been rather gloomy at Head Quarters. Couple of weeks of rain and humidity. The great blackout didn't affect us too much. Everything went out at about 4 PM, but returned at 3 AM. We were fortunate compared to some.
As some of you know I will (with the able assistance of the Rant Band) be doing a 45 minute set at the Mercury Lounge on September 3rd. Also on the bill is Levon Helm (I'm a huge fan) and a good and talented friend, Willie Nile. The gig is a benefit for Alejandro Escovedo, a lovely man who's got a serious health problem we all hope he will overcome.
Universal in the UK tell us they are now looking at an October 20th release for Europe and later (perhaps even early next year) for the US, Japan and Australia. This is the Oslo DVD and CD. I believe they're also doing it in S.A.C.D., which is DVD format without the vision - thereby opening up more space for fidelity. I'm just passing along what they're telling me. They are also stalking about a TV special, but nothing is firm as of yet.
John Bolton: Will the first four MTH albums ever be remastered? I think I've already talked about this. Angel Air in England have licensed them from Island and Buff has been involved in the remastering. By all accounts he is delighted with the results.
Alwyn Turner: Noted.
Dr. Arthur says enough of the Angel Air cassette quality crap. Well, in fairness, the stuff you're talking about did come from cassettes (I believe they were found in Pete's attic!) I believe Sony are remastering and releasing the MTH Live album (Hammersmith/Broadway) next spring. Sales of the Ian Hunter double set (the fast one and the slow one) sold extremely well. Thank you for that!
Maura Gilmore Herdman is a paralegal currently managing a dress department. They put 'Rant' on their muzak loop and sales went up 50%. Memo to Debenhams!
Joe Demauro: With your body of work - is a box set ever coming out? When my body doesn't work and it's set in a box.
Bill Atkinson: Pat Kelly? I can't remember.
Glen asks what my favourite guitar is to play? Ralpher's on the phone so I asked him, 'who cares' was the immediate reply! He has a point - everybody's different. We're both fans of ancient Les Paul Juniors, and I like the Rainsong acoustically, although Ralpher secretly frowns because it's 'not authentic'.
Mike Phillips: Sorry to hear that. Good luck with the muse.
Dave Bennett's company is sponsoring the Hereford United/Shrewsbury Town game at the Gay Meadow on November 22nd. They are offering to wine and dine Stan Tippins and myself at said event. If geography permits David, we would be delighted!
Richard Murray Reid asks if the TV in Dudes is Tony Visconti? Get a life, Richard!
Andy Little: Your friend should contact Emma Banks at Helter Skelter in London. We'll probably be there next May. Sounds interesting.
John Martindale: Why don't I do 'Overnight Angels' stuff live? Because I don't want to, John.
I May Be asks, 'Are you a dictator?' I may be.
Paul Limbrick: Have I heard Springsteen's 'The Rising' album? How do I feel about 'taking' September 11th to the public? Well, I have great respect for Bruce as an artist so I know it comes from his heart and that's fine. It's when some hoakie twit tries to make a few bob out of phony patriotism etc. that I draw the line. I had not intended to write about 9/11 at all. 'Twisted Steel' just came to me and I thought it was a simple and honest sentiment. 'Twisted Steel' was actually written about a person - not the event.
Matt Nojonen writes a synopsis that is too long to repeat here, but again he hits the cynical nail on the head. Don't make an album, Matt; it'll never sell.
Peejay: I'm back.
Jeff Stanke has now aligned with Willie (N.W.T.R.) from Glasgow. The mind boggles!
Kennan Shaw says Ronno knew how to make one note work better than 100 fast ones. That's it in a nutshell. Offers the services of his band on the West Coast. Well, I've been asked a few times to do something like this, actually with some rather illustrious people, but I prefer to do it my way or not at all. Thanks anyway, Kennan.
Alan in Sante Fe: 'I think the quality of music today went downhill when they started calling people 'recording artists' not performers or musicians.' Well, I think the quality of music went down when the music business corporatized and started employing people who thought musicians were a necessary nuisance.
Andrew Jones left England a year ago and now lives in Krakow, Poland. He understands 'Rant' (unfortunately, the rest of Poland doesn't). 'Please go with Stan to the Hereford/Shrewsbury games'. He also says Nigel Kennedy goes and does free gigs.
Tod Denison: On about Brian May's version of 'All the Way From Memphis' on 'Live from Brixton Academy' Likes my bit in the middle 'and we used to eat'. That Brian!
Peter Squires says Cardiff City are going to use 'Bluebirds'? How do you know? Did I like the Ronno biog? Course I did. He says he was at Bristol and the sound was great, but apparently if you get stuck behind a pillar there's a problem. I'm not planning on any gigs between November and March at the moment.
Ellen Cherry: 'My front car tag says, 'Hoople' in big silver letters. You rock.' Nice one Ellen.
Marlen was listening to 'Welcome to the Club' and asks when will I do south Florida? There are infant plans afoot. Too early to say.
Janey Todd: I'll include you again!
Ed mentions Martin Briley (a member of the Welcome to the Club Band). Says Martin had a great tune called 'Salt in My Tears'. In fact, Martin went into a very successful career in song writing and has had or been part of several hits. Do I influence band members? Haven't got a clue. You'd have to ask them.
Chris Kelly - the old acoustic/guitar/solo question. It's never on the front burner, but it is on the back burner.
Michael Corbett tried many times to buy 'All Of The Good Ones Are Taken' on eBay. Several came and went usually fetching more than $125. Finally he got a copy for $80. Several weeks later he got an official looking letter from the company that administers sweepstakes on eBay and he'd won 2nd prize (in a contest he didn't' even know he was in) and they sent him a check for $1000. Karma - see- karma, Mike.
Len Costello: Noted. Thanks, Len.
Brent Coursey asks when will the live CD Ralpher and I did be available? Probably the fall of 2004. There's a lot of stuff coming out and it's not good to saturate. Better to find a window when it's the only one out there.
Bjorn Svange: Play Trondheim! Well, you know I want to for obvious reasons. We'll see what happens financially.
Bob Clayton says my writing is too heavy and heady for the average rock fan. I wish I could write dafter and quicker, but I just can't do it. Perhaps I should write a quick daft album just for the fun of it. Nah - you'd all be on my case!
By the way, I'm sure you all know I only pick bits out of the emails. A lot of emails lately bewail the radio (hip hop, rap, the business, etc.) I don't see the point in dealing with them because we all know what's going on and I can't do anything about it. Music is now all about money, and it's all very short term these days and silly by and large.
Geordie Nick: Speaking of daftness! I agree with you on the last sentence though. You can't beat a good riff.
Happy Larry: When I worked for Rolls Royce was it in Crewe? No, it was at Sentinel in Shrewsbury. I was an apprentice there for a couple of years (30 bob a week and I had to give my Mum half of it). How come I drink Champers and not cider? Well, I've drunk both scrumpy and champagne and I can tell you there's a bit of a difference. The only time I got pissed on scrumpy I was sick for a week. Sod that. I'd rather pay a bit extra (13.99 in Sainsbury).
Willie from Glasgow is now my manager! I have to wear a kilt and sing the National anthem (a lot). TV coverage. Willie's written to the Beeb and I'm topping a hogmanay show with the Alexander Brothers, the Corries, The Crankies, Fran and Anna and Sydney Devine. He says we have to watch out for the Corries as they sing the now ex Scottish National Anthem and jealousy could be a problem. No one can manage me Wullie - I'm Scottish!
Jack H. prefers LP's to CD's because of the art work. Me too Jack, and you can't burn 'em.
Mike Brideweser asks me if I'm familiar with www.buymusic.com that sells songs for 99 cents. Not that actual site, but Jess works for Tekserve in New York City and he told us about Apple's iTunes when they hit the street; similar legit things I believe. My take on burning - I've said it before - If you're a plumber and you work all week then comes pay day and you only get half the money you're owed because 'it's the people plumbing' I don't think you're going to be too happy. If everybody wants to start working for nothing, then it's OK.
El Hombre Griego: What do I do to stay in shape? 6 1/2 miles, every other day, regardless of weather. No gym, no weights. Do I eat carefully? Yes, and no. Used to jog 12 miles one day and swim two miles the other when I was younger, closely followed by a bottle of wine every evening (8 pm start). If Ronno was living with us brandy would come into play a bit. On the road I found that what you're doing keeps you fit, although on the longer tours in the old days I had weights and used to run a lot with Tommy Morriengello. My rather small friend, Ritchie from Worthing, had to carry the weights around. They were nearly as big as he was.
Kevin Frick: Am I currently producing new bands? No. They're nasty, smelly, pimply things with far too much energy and not enough brains. Just like we were!
Rick Goward: West Coast tour - please!!! I'm very flattered you guys out West want to see me so badly. I only hope I can live up to it when I eventually get there.
Greg N.: 'What makes you keep at it after all this time?' It's simple, I have an outboard motor stuck up my rear that refuses to let me stop. 'What or where is Honaloochie?' That's what I said when I presented the song to MTH, but they said it didn't matter. That was the only 'word' that fit- an early misdemeanor!
Mick Mitchell: Misses 2003 UK tour. Enjoyed Neil Young's gig at Hammersmith. Says he's his own man. The only way to go, Mick.
EHG: The weather, I know. I'm here.
Jim Fowers suggest the Banff Spring Hotel for an acoustic spot - Alberta, Canada somewhere. I'll just pack my bags!!
Franjo had a look and found the Home Page. Lyrics among the best etc. thanks, Franjo.
Tom Andrews: 'Play Houston.'
Mike Gebhardt: Leaving for a tour with the Strawbs. Tell Blue and Andy they're both lovely boyos.
Kevin Ewing saw the Detroit show at St. Andrew's Hall on the 'Rant' tour. When the basement club band started early and ruined the encore, his brother stormed the ticket office in my honor and got assaulted by a rather large bouncer. 'A fitting end to an otherwise fine show.' Point being, Kevin, wants me to know Detroit still cares about RESPECT. I know Detroit still cares about respect, Kevin. The point is - does Clear Channel care about Detroit?
Mark Thompson: Any thoughts of touring Australia? Well, you have to be asked for a kick off and it's a bit of a schlepp. The Oslo DVD should (I am assured by Universal) be out there early next year. Hopefully, that will give you an idea of the acoustic/string side of things.
Pete Lewis asks what were the two most memorable gigs to date? The Freddie Mercury comes to mind (Mick's was too sad) and maybe, Oslo. I don't know. I've forgotten most of 'em. Two worst gigs? Well, standing up and telling thousands of people we couldn't play for one reason or another. Do I get nervy before gigs? Not as a rule, but I use to. If I was to rewrite a lyric to a song - what would it be? They all stand - it took me long enough in the first place! Actually, we tried a song in Norway which was called 'Your Way' (for want of a better title). That had a good melody, but the words in the hook need changing - hate to lose a tune. Do I realize how many albums I'm on? I don't really think about it but it has been a lot when you do. 'The Journey'is Pete's favourite song. The reason I've never done it is because it was uniquely, MTH. Nobody else could do it.
Phil M says he's a singer/songwriter/producer in Melbourne. Thinks AAAB has some of the best songs ever written (try 'Rant'). Wants a copy. They rereleased it over there but have run out. Where can he get a copy? Try eBay.
Billy: What is the reference to 'Hi Number Ten' in 'Pearl and Roy'? No. 10 Downing Street, London.
Wullie: Just go out 'n buy Bob.
Tom Davies asks when next year's UK dates are finalized, will we put it on the web site? As soon as we can.
Joey Thunders' 'I.H. you rock, of course. My question is - Stan Tippins - good guy or dick (I've got to tell him this one) - Both!
Andy: When I play the UK his kids are now teenagers and a new generation of fans!! (We hope.)
Tom Davies: I'll pass this onto the legal department - Trudi!!! (Tom, send JPEG's to Justin our webmaster and we'll work it out.)
Robert Henry asks how I met Todd Rundgren and what is my favourite Todd song? 'The Last Ride' comes to mind. I think the first time I met Todd was backstage at a MTH gig at the Felt Forum in NYC. 'The Dolls' opened for us. Buff was a huge Rundgren fan and I think I brought Todd into the dressing room Years later he rang me out of the blue and we did a little tour, which was highly successful. We also formed a band for a benefit for Vietnam Vets: John Cale, Paul Butterfield, Todd, Michael Shreave (Santana) and moi.
Dean Roecker: What do I think about Buff's screenplay idea? Good luck to him if he can swing it. Will I sell any of my guitars? Not at the moment! Does Trudi ever sing on tour? Have your heard Trudi sing?! We have a cat called Stinky who I hate. We had a lovely Newfoundland Lab for a decade. She was a beauty inside and out and we can't replace her. Her name was Saffy.
Daniel Halferty: Noted.
Elizabeth: No plans to play NE soon. Saw the Lepps at Jones Beach - had a great time!
Noah Casey: There's a bookshop on Denmark Street in London called 'Helter Skelter' they usually have it. Or try Amazon.com.
Peter Jordan: Re: Short Back 'n' Sides: Was it a one off product of its time and the company I was keeping? Yes. Mick Jones came in actually to help out on 'Theatre of the Absurd' but stayed as Ronno and I were at a bit of a dead end. Turned out well. The label hated it.
Greg Rich lives in Sydney and finally got an import of 'Rant'. 'great!' Hello Rich!
John Pottage: Just watched 'Bowies Millions' on BBC3. 'Mainman employees could buy anything with credit cards etc. Did that happen with MTH?' No, this whole thing went down prior to Mott's involvement. By then, Tony knew better than to do that again.
Vosmo loves H.M. thanks, Vosmo.
Andrew Field has 'several' bootlegs - five of which feature me. He says Justin (our webmaster) made him feel guilty. Says no one has ever paid. Where does he send the cheque? Justin.
Grant Smith: Mott Live - best LP ever. What happened to the rest of the recordings of these two shows? Do they exist? Are they ever coming out? I think Phil Savill at Sony is working on that one as we speak.
Jeffrey Stanke says there's a Mexican band called MANA and the singer sounds like me.
John Van Reine says he purchased Best of Bowie DVD and finally got to see the Mick Rock 'Jean Genie' film (after 30 years). Great shots of Ronno. Will they DVD me? Nah.
Tom (Edinborough) Congratulations on our web site. No, it's not me, it's Justin and Todd our webmasters.
Paul Clark: Too techie for me, Paul. Go to Ralpher's site. He's totally mad on guitars and is always fiddling with them.
Steve Garza: When am I playing LA? The short answer is I don't know, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to.
Renee: More begging and pleading!! It's not that I have anything against the left coast. If I lived there then the right side would moan. Yeah, The Rant Band's great. Love 'em.
Tricia Devine: 'I know our Michael played uncredited 500 times - did he play on any Alejandro Escovedo tracks?' I really don't know the answer to that. It's the kind of thing he would have done, but I can't ever remember him talking about it.
Dirk Faude: It's the contract you sign and the licensing rights you grant them. If the deal is worldwide then even if the record is recorded in the U.S. the masters belong to the company who signed you.
Dean Roecker: At last! A comment about my black trousers! Purchased from Trash and Vaudeville many years ago - and they are still going strong. They stretch a bit if I've been drinking. One pocket's missing and Trudi's fed up with them. Ringo actually went out and bought me a pair of jeans like his because he was 'sick and tired on looking at my bony ass.' I've still got his, but I don't wear them. It's not often a Beatle buys you a pair of jeans. I've tried others, but I always wind up back in the same old pants. Pathetic, isn't it.
Mike Costanzo likes 'To Love A woman' from 'Overnight Angels'. Says Rod Stewart should do it. I agree. Always thought that.
Paul Alvarez: Curious about my opinion of Roxy Music. All lovely people. Great management. If we'd had their management we would have done so much better. Same with the Lepps. Great management helps a lot.
David Powell: Noted.
Kevin Miles: What's a tab?
Charlotte Fox: Really likes my music - her Dad is a mad fan. Charlotte is 9 and wants me to wish her Dad a Happy Birthday. He'll be 42 on he 20th of August (I hope this makes it in time). Unfortunately, Charlotte doesn't give me her Dad's name, so it will have to be: Happy 42nd birthday Charlotte's Dad. X I.H.
Joe Rockitt: Joe's 23 and swears he's going to support us when we go out next. He's already supported Tracie's band and had a blast. Good luck, Joe.
Jeffrey Stanke got back before all the hot stuff happened in the U.K. fortunately. They're not too big on AC over there.
John Council talking about Alejandro's benefit. It's a Wednesday - not a Tuesday.
Lisa: What's the story about 'Lisa Loves Rock 'n' Roll'? The Ronsons - Mick, Suzie and Lisa lived with us for a while and I wrote the song for Lisa who was little and gorgeous. Now she's big and gorgeous.
Jim Bradt: Wow, I never knew Alejandro went that far back. I knew he was a fan but I hadn't realized for how long. I don't know Peter and Scott McCaughey, but it's nice they know of me.
Hope Campbell: Where was I at the finale of the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert? I was on the end with Spinal Tap and the Lepps. I think I've said this before, but I asked Spinal Tap what the words were for 'We Are The Champions'. I think they thought I was trying to outdo them, but I wasn't! Bit of a jostle in the middle if you know what I mean. Am I sick of 'Cleveland Rocks'? Not at all, Hope, not at all.
Mike Blackburn writes he recently purchased a CD from eBay and sent it to the buzz web site. Justin replies: Mike: you are not a banana - you have been ripped off. Ian and the band took these guys to court in the UK and had the release stopped. Unfortunately, many discs were already distributed and it was also issued in Germany, Holland and Denmark. Watch out for a disc called 'The Magic Collection' or any other discs with 'Shadows of Yesterday' 'Forgotten Dreams', 'Steamer' or 'Yes' on it. These are recordings done by Danny McCullough - who was in the Animals. Best, Justin.
And thanks, Justin. How scum like this sleep at night is beyond me. The whole thing's a phony con. When we first threatened to sue K-Tel in England the reply was 'Join the queue'. Pigs
Lisa: 'Are all musicians tormented souls?' Errr. yes, probably. 'How the hell do you and Trudi do it?' Er. I don't really know. Lisa's just been through hell for the last few months with her bloke who is talented (to be fair). It's the scales of justice, Lisa. You gain a bit in one area and you're lacking a bit in another.
Dirk says to play Ziggies in Winston, Salem. You never know.
Clinton P. Desveaux: Noted.
Peter Jordan comments a fair number of my songs refer to the depressed state of Britain. Having been on holiday and come back, he and his friends agree it is the uptightness we share as a nation. He says in other countries people seem more relaxed or more clued into having fun without the necessity of booze. I just think a lot's wrong with the infrastructure and people just get pissed off. The poor don't like anybody, the rich are condescending and the middle have to pay for everything. Democracy! How do I feel about early Mott stuff being re-released? Fine. Do I get any benefit? Yes. Peter looks forward to hearing 'Wildlife' again. Did Ralpher have more influence on 'Wildlife'? Well, all Mick said was 'enough of this drama, let's do a normal record with good songs on it. Unfortunately, we only had a few good songs so we went and messed it up with a live version of 'Keep a Knockin'' which although stalwart - didn't quite fit.
Rick Goward: As soon as I know I'm playing somewhere for certain we always put it on the website. Unfortunately, rumours sometimes get around first and we don't want to put rumours on the site.
Patrick J. Martinez corrects me about the BBC album Mick Ronson, Steve Holley and I did. It was on the Windsong Label (Trudi tells me that Windsong were then taken over by Strangefruit). Says liner notes a killer (Campbell Devine). Thank you.
Dean Roecker (he of trousers fame!) Have I done, 'The Truth, The Whole Truth' live or 'Lounge Lizard'? I have done 'Lounge Lizard' in recent years, but not 'Truth'. I always thought of that as Ronno's song. Actually, I have been thinking of doing it again lately. It's got to be great with Ralpher and Andy playing it. Yes, Ronno did have his custom stripped - Rick Tedesco is an expert on this. He had it stripped and messed around with and when he got it back he didn't like it so he gave it to the Hard Rock in Australia. Rick got it back at some considerable expense and put it in Cleveland's Rock and Roll's Hall of Fame. Rick took it out on loan recently and if any of you were at the Def Leppard concert at Jones Beach recently you may have noticed Phil playing it on a couple of tracks. That was it. Rick is sending it back to the Hall of Fame soon.
So there we have it. Hope to see some of you at the Mercury Lounge on September 3rd.
Bye for now,