Want to hear it straight from the Horse's Mouth? Ask your question here.
August ain't too bad at all this summer here in Connecticut! In fact, the nicest August in memory. I'm not too keen on hot weather - this has been 80's ish. Very nice.
Alex wants the chords to the middle of 'Roll Away the Stone'. Just checked with Jimmy the Greek (Mastro) - try the key of C; E flat and A flat and finish on suspended G.
Mick Toomey bought the 30th Anniversary MTH and AAAB - thinks both are fab. Says best ever of AAAB. Well, it takes a while to sink in sometimes.
Kelly Wallace says there's a gig in Brentwood with Slade (Noddy?); T Rextasy (Mark?) Mudd, + Mott the Hoople. Who knows, Kelly, who knows!
Bob Francis saw the Leps in Nashville - great show. Joe sounded excellent.
Pat is very happy with the Horse's Mouth.
Eric: Eric was 7 when I left MTH and was furious with me, but now he understands why. He asks how do I stay on an even keel? By hovering on the fringe, dear boy. Eric says I never seem down or depressed. Well, I might not seem that way, but I'm no different to anybody else in that respect. Depression's part of life. You can't be happy all the time. It gets easier as you get older. Do I keep in touch with the Mott chaps? By and large - now and again. Do I ever regret leaving? Nope.
Dale G: Try Angel Air's catalog.
Kevin Quinn: I'm not sure what Pete wears on the walks. Knowing him it will it will be sturdy hiking stuff. When he gets into something he goes all the way. He meets the most extraordinary people.
Andy Martin: 'Without wishing to sound distasteful - what would be your epitaph?' I like Spike Milligan - 'I told you I was ill!!'
Phil Huband: 1) 'Are you tinkering with 'Shrunken Heads' pending its release?' Not at the moment. 2)'Did you ever fly Concorde?' Yes, you only noticed the speed as you took off - you left town real quick. 3) 'Have you ever had an idea for a song from the Horse's Mouth mail?' No.
Howie Rose (NY Mets broadcaster) Hello Howie! Having a ball this year with the team. Willie Randolph - class act - followed him with the Yankees for years. Really happy for him. Howie says the Uris where we played is now the Gershwin Theater on Broadway. I often wondered what became of the Uris. Howie was 6th row center - all those years ago. I hear you give us a plug now and again - nice one - thanks.
David Priest: 'Did Bowie have any involvement in 'Henry 'n' the H-Bomb'? I don't recollect any Bowie input.
Karen: I was entering into success mode and didn't know quite what to make of it.
Mike Spindloe: At the site first time. I can't imagine slagging either Dylan or Springsteen - I love them both, and for the record, I think Elton's great too, and that's the truth.
William Corrigan: 'When's Ian touring the UK?' Spring 2007.
Sully: Lost in the chaos, I'm afraid.
Bill C: 'What's the best MTH live album?' Don't know. 'If this was 1776 and you were in Boston - who would you fight for?' Hard to say. We were different then.
Mike Turner: 'Is it true you're reforming MTH for Glastonbury 2007?' News to me. Mike says, 'Don't be pigheaded - I haven't got long.'
Mikey: Get well, Susan!
Andrew Whalley: 'Stick with the Rant Band.'
S.B. 'How come Overend wasn't considered to replace Mick Ralphs? He's quite good on guitar as later Mott stuff proved.' Actually, Overend was a guitar player before he was a bass player. I think if he'd have said something at the time we would have given it a shot. It's a lot to do with confidence. Pete obviously felt better on bass, and so the subject was never broached. Good thinking S.B.!
Pat: 'I read Dylan said that when he writes he'll come up with a great first part to a song, but he'll have trouble finding a bridge or another part that matches it in quality. Do you find that too? Tom Waites says that some of his songs are like little Frankensteins with bits put together. Do you have bits you can't match up?' Yes, identical. If there's any talent involved in songwriting - it's the enlargement of the original idea - which comes from God knows where. It can be really frustrating and it's a relief to know Bob has the same problems as us lesser mortals. Like Mr. Waits, I too have bits of paper all over the place with stuff written on them which are never thrown out. It becomes a question of quality control. I'm actually trying to relax the rules a bit in my old age. It's hard to figure out what's right and what's wrong. You're your own judge and jury - who knows how the big wide would will view it. I've had songs I've grown to hate that other people love - and vice versa. Who knows? Obviously, not me!
Uncle Todd loves the Astoria DVD. 'Do you have any say on how a concert is filmed live?' You know - you might have - but there's so much going on on the day you don't have time. Lights are all over the place - you're trying to avoid cables - you're trying to get the sound right - a live DVD is pretty exhausting. You usually leave it up to them and hope for the best.
Mark Silverstone: 'Were there ever MTH B-sides that were never used on albums?' MTH 'b' sides were on albums at that time. 'What's the oldest song you wrote you still do now?' 'Waterlow' comes to mind. We did a couple of the older things when Ralpher was in the band - Brain Capers stuff like 'The Journey' and 'Walking With a Mountain' from Mad Shadows. We still have a look now and again.
Zach Kleinheksal: 'What happened in Croydon - what made you not want to quit anymore?' There was a pub in Croydon - I forget the name of it - but we played there - maybe three times. The crowds got bigger and it was a pretty big venue. Eventually we got to move across the road to the Fairfield Hall which was a much larger venue. A proper 'big' gig. The first time we did the Fairfield Hall we walked on and the ovation went on and on - it lasted about ten minutes. I was all teared up. It was as if we all - the audience and us - had moved across the road from the small to the big. It gave us the impetus to carry on. Still remember that night. Special.
Bucks Burnett: 'Ian Hunter and the Hunted.' No!
Jeff Thompson: 'Does anyone out there miss Ronno as much as I do?' Me, for one.
William Kennedy saw us in LA. 'See so many heroes - ripped off and penniless (good title 'Ripped Off and Penniless'!). Are you doing OK? How many records have you sold?' 1) I'm doing OK. 2) Millions of the buggers.
Ralph Cohen: 'Don't mean to be a skinflint, but the suits give me the 'ump. Why do I have to go out and buy albums I already own in order to get two or three extra tracks on reissues where bonus tracks are added to the original CD? Do you have any say in the matter?' Nope - they put the stuff out - they own them - they're going out regardless. The only input I have is when they call and ask me if I've got any 'spares'. I guess it's the modern world - downloading - freebies - it all balances out for somebody, I guess. You don't have to buy them now, do you Ralph. 'Mr. Aspinall wonders if you play Papua, New Guinea, will Shrunken Heads be in the set?' If I play Papua - I'll do it. 'Wasn't the World Cup garbage!' Corporate.
Colin Moore: Information: 'Billy Connolly did a TV special called 'The World Tour of Scotland' - part documentary - part live footage (I believe he once supported you in the U.S.) in the early 90's. Anyway, the brilliant soundtrack is available on CD mainly Scottish folk tunes and songs and it's performed by Billy with Ralph McTell - violins played by Graham Preskett. The DVD and soundtrack is available on Amazon for next to nothing and well worth a look. Educational and very funny.' Actually, Billy was supposed to open for us in LA for a week but he gave up the first night. They just didn't get it, and Billy was headlining in Toronto the following week and was worried about losing his confidence. Must have been the accent. He's never had a problem on the east coast. It was a major bummer for me - I was really looking forward to meeting him. Graham Preskett was instrumental in 'The Hoople' album. Brilliant.
Joe S: Re: my Pet peeves - Joe was in a REI (sporting goods store) and as he was buying something for his son. The girl who was ringing up his sale asked him to join the membership club. When Joe said he wasn't interested the girl said, 'Anybody who doesn't purchase a membership is just plain dumb - no offence.' Oh man, I wish I could have been there!!! No offence!! And they want your details - 'Why do you want my details?' 'For our records.' Oh, I see - so I give you my details for your records. How about giving me your details for my records - so I can send you crap through the mail. Corporations - all there to 'help' us in any way they can.
Ron (S.C): 'Have you seen the website www.youtube.com? Lots of MTH and IH stuff. 'All Of The Good Ones Are Taken' video - 'Top of the Pops etc.' Thanks, Ron.
Alessandro just found a video clip of 'Once Bitten' on the internet. Thinks it's a promo video for 'Welcome to the Club'. Do you have copyrights of video clips? The labels paid for them.
Jean Martin: 'When Bowie offered 'Suffragette City' did you dismiss it out of hand or did you give it a go?' The former.
Jim McConnell: 'If you had a choice in who covered a song of yours - which artist would you select and which song would you like them to cover?' Rod Stewart would have done a great job on, 'To Love A Woman' from 'Overnight Angels'; The Stones doing 'Women's Intuition'; I dunno - Bob covering 'I Wish I Was Your Mother'. There's a few!
Tom Knight (Tom's athletics correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph) says he's been amazed (and delighted) to hear that meetings in Scandinavia - particularly Oslo in June and Stockholm (July 25) have been using opening bars of 'Roll Away the Stone' to precede trackside announcements, victory ceremonies etc.. Am I aware of this? No, but we are on the ascendancy in those countries at the moment. Regards to Sybil and yourself.
Rick Lake: 'You've probably been asked thousands of times (sorry), where did the name 'Mott the Hoople' come from?' A book by Willard Manus - 'Mott the Hoople.'
Rob Windsor: Come to Australia. Did I write 'Life Like A River' - was that on an album? Don't think so.
Willie Fi Glasgi: Re: 'Salvation' It will see the light of day. It's just a question of when and where it fits. Willie says a friend of his was involved with recording Tracie in Glasgow and is raving bout it.
Ryan: 'Come to Northeastern PA! A lot of kids and friends - big fans - in Scranton, Wilkes Barre, Allentown and Jim Thorpe, PA. Heck, we'll even come to Binghamton, New York!' I'll be going out next spring - all the promoters have got to do is ring Paradise Artists. Like I've always said - it's not up to me.
John Von Reine: Likes 'Seeing Double'. So do I. Unfortunately, it was the only organic song on that album. I've always had a soft spot for that particular song. I guess it must have been a hangover.
Susan wants us in Texas. She's not been well and thanks all for helping out. Get better soon.
Robert Hart saw the Finnegan's Wake (Philly) show - 'converted many of me mates into hard core fans. Upcoming shows?' Well, I have to get the label thing sorted first. I was thinking next spring. 'How did they get you to play there?' They made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
Bucks Burnett: 'Met Ray Davies - any stories?' No, not really. He's difficult when he tours and that's not a bad thing. Socially, he's a gentleman.
Ray Chan: Looking for Lem Lubin. Lost touch long ago, but I'll print your ad just in case. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Willie: 'Ian Hunter's Salvation Army'. Best one yet!
Jason Rubin: 'Here's an odd one; if 'the Outsider' was made into a movie, who would you like in the title role? Boy George.
Moira: Scotland? Usually do it in May. May 2007?
Kelly says I'm missed terribly in Northern California. Lovely! We are working on something as we speak.
Lindsay Williamson: Congratulations to all. Hello, Ruby!
Simon Ambler: 'Hello, Mr. Hunter. My Dad took me to see you at Leeds a few years back. I was only 12. I preferred you to Bob Dylan. When will you be performing next in Yorkshire?' Oh, anywhere for you lad! May 2007.
Steve Council: 'Dead Man Walking' is the favourite at the moment.
Rob Goald: 'When are you coming back to Las Vegas?' The chap there wants another one. Maybe March 2007.
Jeffrey: It's been lovely. Best August in yonks. Swimming quite a bit this year.
Paul Leonard: 'Andy chance of a tour down under?' I'd love to, but it costs the earth what with the band, crew etc. and nobody makes an offer to foot the bill. I guess half of England must be there by now. They've got to move somewhere.
Frank Ewing: 'Who wrote 'F.B.I.'? Well, it was the Shadows, wasn't it? The band that backed Cliff Richard and then had hits on their own; 'F.B.I.' was one of them. I don't know, but I would imagine Hank Marvin probably had a hand in writing it on his Burns guitar. [Editor's note: the credits say Peter Gormley]
Janey says to tell everybody to have an MRI first before bunionectomy. OK - we've got that. Ageism - like racism - is not cool.
Warren Richardson: Glad to have been of service Warren!
Jeff: Weather is not life - it's just what goes on above it.
Rhoades D'Ablo: 'MTH reunion? - that band changed my life!' Changed mine too.
Clyde Hartman: No!
Brent: 'Somebody on e-Bay is selling very classy (it appears) collections featuring pins depicting you on the front and back including AAAB, Schizo, SBAS, and YUI Orta. Is this legit and are you getting anything from it?' First I've heard of it. Thanks for the info.
John Pottage: Wish I'd been on the team.
Tom McGary: Do you get nervous before a new album is released or is it water off a duck's back? Do you scour the reviews or ignore them? When's the release date for 'Shrunken Heads?' 1) I do and I don't. It varies. 2) Reviews are opinions - individually, they don't count for much - what you dread is if they all hate it; when there's some kind of constant theme. I don't see them unless they're put in front of me. 3) I'm thinking early 2007. A lot of stuff has to tie in.
Stay tuned for Part 2 ...