Editors Note: Starting with issue #43, the Horse's Mouth column is now posted two parts, about two weeks apart.
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Thought for the day.....
Have you seen these reality shows on TV where all these idiots eat live bugs? And you wonder why I don't sell millions? Imagine being the host on that show. Am I totally stupid? I know they're insects, but they are alive with legs and arms and senses (the insects, that is). What's next NBC? Kittens and puppies? Oh no - that would be cruelty!!!
Karen: Nope, we don't own the rights to 'Diary' outright but we have a reasonable deal and the publisher is a good guy.
Oystein came to the Astoria. Play Oslo!!! Oystein wants 'Silver Needles' live at some juncture.
Tim Smith found 'Dirty Laundry' in Portland recently. Thinks it's great.
John Phillips asks when will we play NYC? I'm hoping to do New York again before Christmas.
Ed Gaffney: i) What's 'All the Young Dudes' all about? Well, it was about today's news - only then. ii) Which Mott disc is the one to own? The one you like the best.
Neil Jeffries says HMV in London is selling the 'Once Bitten Twice Shy' compilation for £9.99 as a re-issue. That CD set has actually sold a hell of a lot, so I think they're staying with it. Neil politely requests I retire "Nightingale' from the set list. Politeness will get you nowhere.
Andy Bunting: No, that name doesn't strike a bell. Sorry. I really didn't know anybody at Francis Day and Hunter except Kay and Marlene.
Frank O'Reilly says to do a covers album! Well, I would if somebody asked me to in the business. I'm fed up with writing my own.
Scott Annapolis - inquiring after my '69 handlebar mustache. Why did I grow one? Like everybody else, I suppose, I was checking out what it looked like. It wasn't there long.
Ken says a group of Marine Biologists are working on establishing a Cleveland Aquarium. Will I play at the opening? The best thing to do is to contact Mike Rand at Paradise Artists. Telephone: 734-477-6677 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rick Goward enjoyed our little Vegas sojourn. I just remember scrubbing Dave's carpet.
Jeffrey: The pool is finally clean (I think). I had a go at it this morning. Jesse and Suzi Ronson are coming up for a dip at the weekend.
Renee promises she'll let me know when I start looking like a prat up there! The Astoria DVD should be out around Christmas time. I think the sound is more or less done; it's the film editing that takes the time. P.S. Renee says Tracie rocks.
Bob Knight says a gig in Hereford is long overdue. It's up to Hereford really - I just do them.
Trevor Berry says he enjoyed driving us around Europe - and we enjoyed your excellent company too, Trev. We must do it again (in a different vehicle!)
Ray Waters: Do two in Worthen next time!! Actually, we tried to do two last time, but the council wouldn't go for it.
Rikard asks if I'm coming to Scandinavia in September? No. I wanted to but I couldn't get the band together at that time. My guys all work for other people and I'm really rather picky about musicians. Somebody jumped the gun here. I told my European advocates I would let them know after Spain. By then I knew I couldn't get the guys, but somehow the promoters over there seemed to think I was definitely coming. I don't know where the mix up came. I do apologize to the fans there and the promoters, but my conscience is completely clear on this one. If I can't do the job properly then I'd rather not do it. As I say - I don't know who jumped the guy here = Mick or the promoters, but it was not me and I seem to be getting the blame for it. I can only hope the promoters understand my position. If and when I say I'll do it - I'll do it, but I'm not going to do it with half a band. Hopefully, we can get this reorganized for spring next year.
Dominique did an interview with me for Crossroads (a French Magazine) in Paris. Says, 'F--- the jazz posers, the spotty DJ's and the music industry.' Here, here!!
Ian McMaster says maybe he's a bit thick but it's taken him 30 years to realize that 'Memphis' is a time reference back to R + R's roots. Well, I always try to give the masters a nod whenever possible.
Paul Abbott: Raving about Bender's playing on the double live set.
Keith Hollinshed wants more extra large AAAB T-shirts. Well, we're still relative infants in the T-shirt game Keith. We ran out of a lot of stuff, but it's basically guesswork.
Jon White: 'Classic Rock' just named you one of the top 100 front men. How can you be a real star and one of the lads at the same time? Well, I was a fan for a long time before I turned pro. I guess there's still a bit of fan in me. I must confess, I did like the showbiz bullspit for a fortnight, but then the music took over. I still don't' consider myself a front man. I prefer to be part of a group (but it has to be a group I choose!).
Manuel Prats: Dead jealous because he couldn't make it from Florida.
Nick Awde: Noted.
Fiona: No, but I'll drop a line here. Happy Birthday Tony Mills!!!
Birney Brown: All I can say is the only three bands that interested me at that particular period of time were Bowie, Roxy and us. We were all different, but in a way we were similar because although other seventies bands were very popular - some more popular than we were - we were actually writing our time. We were the diary of that period and we still are.
Big Dave - live set was mindblowing (Glad I'm not George Michael!!) Says Stelly (the wife) now a convert and he loves you, Stelly!
Kenny Mac enjoyed the Garage in Glasgow. Good oh!
Gino's off on 'Rollerball'. Actually, that song dipped a bit for a while but it's doing all right now. Sometimes you've just got to play them.
Pete Lewis says his brother lives in Belgium and he gave me a box of chocolates for my birthday which is more than his brother gave him!! I remember them - they were great. Lasted three days.
Chris Homes prefers the Robin II to Wulfrun Hall in Wolverhampton. So do I.
Renee: What a gorgeous email. You should do it for a living!!
Bruce Dawson: 'Just found the DVD in Virgin - outrageous price, but worth every penny. Vocals amazing on the DVD. Did you us any special techniques to record them?' Not really. I went back to patch a few cock ups. See, the people who did the sound on that used to do Miles Davis. When you get sound like that (and lights which we don't usually have) it's very inspiring.
Jerry: I was going to say 'Brindisi' but Jerry hasn't got a question either. Well, he was at the Stone Pony and he is buying the 30th Anniversary MTH for his mates - all 26 of them. Good on yuh, Jerry.
Doug - Among Mr. York's admirers - a lot of you are commenting on 'The Truth the Whole Truth'. The front and the back. Everybody's saying stay with the same band. More difficult than you think!!! Andy will be out with John Mellencamp next year. Don't panic I have a great chap in mind.
Stu Owen thought Leeds was brilliant. Rushed out and got OBTS and the Live re-issue. Hats off to the band.
Paul Wilson: 'On closer inspection of your Euro tour programme I noticed you were wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt. Do you ride?' Nope. My eldest, Steve, biked for years and worried me sick. Nah, it was a cool looking T-shirt that's all. 'What happened to the leather suit you wore in the '70's? Don't know. Paul also offers a couple of hotels in the Northeast, which I will forward to Trudi.
Tore Fjield: Sorry, but read what I said before.
Mark Bradford: Great Leeds gig. 'Have you noticed the place gets fuller every time you do it? We weren't the only gang turning up in a minibus.' Loves 'Strings Attached'. By the way, 'Strings' will be coming out in the U.S. and it won't be too long now. The parties concerned have agreed and now it's down to me, Trudi and our lawyer. I'm very happy about the U.S. label. More of this next time.
Andy converted his son to 'proper music' years ago! Edinburgh. Great gig; great band. Another 'Outsider' fanatic. We'll see.
Gareth felt young again at the Preston gig. Mainly because he missed the last train and spent the night on the platform. Went and had a look at 23A (Sorry, Pam).
Susan K: Actually, they did contact us about the Randall's Island gig, but I couldn't get the chaps together.
Greg Poirier writes thanks for the influence. Stick by me Greg - you can't go wrong.
Andrew Field: Aah Andrew! It's that old wine improving with age saying! Thought you'd find a better one. Saw Preston and Paris (a heady combination). Says original live Mott thing hardly a reflection of Mott live. Well, that was Columbia who were determined to get it out as cheaply as possible. Why do people who don't understand a band get to make those pivotal decisions? Good question. Answer - they had the money and we didn't at that time.
How much of the I.H. first solo album was written before the demise of MTH? Nothing apart from 'Lounge Lizard'. We didn't actually wind up doing the songs we went in with either. I wrote as we recorded. 'Once Bitten' was written during the sessions as was '3,000 Miles from Here' and 'It Ain't Easy When you Fall'. 'Truth' I wrote for Ronno to give him a vehicle. How did me and Ronno share arrangement duties? Very easily - it was the same with Andy on 'Rant' He did what he did and I did what I did - we thought the same way at the time.
Who's decision was it to strip down the sound? Again - like 'Rant' we worked with what we had. Mick always preferred a basic sound to layers. Was I thinking about going solo when I didn't allow 'Lounge Lizard' as Saturday Gigs B-side? I don't know - maybe subconsciously. Praise be to Gibbo for the chat in Paris and for Ralpher for signing stuff on stage. 'As Strummer says - it's good to be in a human situation.'
Andrew again: 'York/Ralphs combination is stunning. It is insane that Jools and ilk do not pick it up. You could not see two more contrasting players (that's the whole idea). 'To pedal or not to pedal -- that is the question.' I think it's just a question if guys can play or not. When are we going into the studio? Not for a long time, unless I can get rid of this block.
Mike Riley: 'You played Minneapolis and I missed it.' Aah see Mike - you can't do that.
Chris Brown: 'Thanks for Manchester - top night - dodgy venue' (agreed). Converted two mates. Why do I play small places? Well, I can come and do three gigs in big places like I used to but it hardly seems worth the bother of all that rehearsing, traveling and arranging to do three gigs. I much prefer to do more gigs in smaller venues. Holley doesn't even kick in until the fifth gig and Ralphers is another one.
Horse's Mouth #44, Part 2 will follow shortly ...