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Horse’s Mouth

December 7, 2013

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #148, Dec 2013)

01 Dec 2013

OK – I’m back. Sorry bout the delay.

Danny G says ‘Yo’. Says he’s got stuff from ‘sound cloud.’ Excellent.

Gene Metrick says, ‘Thank you.’

Marc Sutton said, being a lifelong fan, he downloaded a gig from Kent, Ohio. ‘How do you feel about people recording your gigs and sharing them with others? (not being sold – they are free).’ Mixed feelings. On the one hand I’m grateful for life long fans and on the other hand – we don’t get a night off any more. (If I had a third hand – it would be asking for 10 bucks!!!)

Paul Rivers telling me to relax as per the O2. OK – I’ll try.

John Kirkham: ‘Who was the inspiration for ‘Alice’?’ No idea – you’re talking a lot of years.
Gary Nielson: ‘Great show in Kent.’

Carsten wants a MTH gig in Germany. Stranger things have happened.

Edward Shirley: ‘What would you have done if ‘Mott’ HAD split in 1972?’ Good question. I like to think I would have found a way.

Daniel (Switzerland) ‘Love you and Jethro Tull. Do you know him? Have you worked with him?’ I met Ian when MTH opened for them way back. I met him again when the Rant band opened for him in Florida more recently. Intelligent chap. Always liked Martin Barr – underrated.

Steve Baratta: She was just being nice – I tell the truth!

Rich from Pitt: ‘Kent was great – worried about you stopping, but – carry on!!

Steve + Judy from Tulsa popped up to the Winery shows (twice in one year). We appreciate the travelers!! Thanks for coming.

George Ross: ‘Do you still do ‘Saturday Gigs’ or ‘Foxy Foxy’? We do ‘Saturday Gigs’ regularly; it’s a good song.

McClenaghan: ‘As people playing alongside you on stage changed over the years – do you feel there were distinct musical phases? Which songs were landmarks of personal change?’ The one song which immediately comes to mind is, ‘Now is the Time.’ That’s when I got serious again – around 93/94. Trouble was, nobody was particularly interested; at that time as I was out of favor. Bjorn Nessjo put up with me in Norway as I began to find myself again. Andy York played a big part around 2000; confidence grew with Andy and he introduced me to New York’s finest. Before that, I didn’t really know anybody in the New York area. Steve Holley played a part as well.

Ian Mack: ‘Have you ever asked for anybody’s autograph?’ When I was 11 – me and my mate,Tony Powell, went to Chipperfield’s Circus in Shrewsbury (England). Randolph Turpin had boxed for the circus whilst learning his trade and had always said if he ever became world champ he would return to Chipperfield’s and do an exhibition tour. Randolph – true to his word – became world champ (middleweight) and returned to Chipperfield’s for said tour. We waited all day (there was only one exit from the fairground). Finally, he emerged with all his brothers – all the colors of the rainbow – he had one brother – white with ginger hair who was also a pro boxer. We ran up to him, ‘Please Mr. Turpin, can we have your autograph?’ ‘Piss off’ came the firm reply – and who were we to argue!

Jim Reid: ‘See you in Aberdeen every time you were there (twice, actually – to a very thin turnout – we gave up!!!). Going to the O2. Oslo 2002 was brilliant. Do ‘Ships’. Had to be MTH stuff.

Paul Wood (Hereford): ‘Martin is the only drummer who can fill Buffin’s boots.’ I’d go along with that.

Doug Burris (St. Louis) ‘Do you have a copy of the ‘Willard Manus book?’ (one is on e-bay for $395!). I’ve got one somewhere – thanks anyway.

Daniel enjoyed Wilmington with wife, Linda.

Bill Milks: ‘Congrats on a great year; great ‘President’ tour and exciting MTH ahead – you must be having a lot of fun.’ I was!!

Jeffrey just had a prostrate test (I really don’t want to know this) then he goes into the technical bits!!!

Johnny: One thinks of the members involved – one hangs out, and then one uses the advantage of said company and doesn’t use the disadvantages. Business is entirely another matter and probably one that one will never overcome!

John Dalton: I don’t think education – or lack of it – affected me either way. However, that’s just me. I think education is pretty vital in general; a lot of people don’t know what they want. Education widens your options – or at least it’s supposed to! My education consisted of reverse psychology (you stink – no I don’t!!). Not for the faint of heart, but I survived because I found something I loved doing – and I was lucky. The problem is that teachers have to be great (rare) and kids have to be great learners (equally rare!). My guys all stunk, but fortunately, I was going to be a teddy boy!!

Alan and son (13) going to Glasgow. ‘Last time I saw MTH was at the Apollo – thanks for 44 great years.’ Now that was a gig….

Peter Jordan: ‘I was wondering – when was the time you got independent enough to please yourself creatively and career wise?’ Well, if you want to please yourself creatively, you can kiss your career goodbye. So I wrote a couple of songs that were hits for other people – gets ride of managers etc, and did what I felt like doing. And here we are.

Mark F: Do I individually sign the posters on Rant Band gigs? Yes, I do – every gig – at sound check. They’re kosher!!

Edward Shirley: ‘Who did the spoken bits on ‘Violence’?’ Buff. We’ve got Stan doing it nowadays.

Ed ONeill: ‘Ever done ‘Suffragette City?’? No.

Bruce: ‘California?’ Nothing at the moment. Time off.

Rick Graves got a photo signed in Kent (see – I do do ’em). Going to Manchester and London.

Donn Deniston: ‘Holy shit – great piece of work.’ Don just got WIP.

Kevin: Good on Mr. Harley, but I don’t think that way.

Frank Eff: ‘New album?’ Give me a break here.

Bart: Excellent!

John N.: Sad about Lou.

Ian Mack: ‘Question for Trudi – What’s Ian’s worst fault?’ Stubbornness. (I always thought of it as a plus.)

Ed Musiak: I can’t believe you use things I say in a classroom!! What’s the world coming to!!! No if’s ands or buts – I did what I did and I’m happy with it. The fact that I was crap at everything else might have had something to do with it, but don’t tell them that – poor sods!

Tom Caulfield (Phillip Island, Australia) went to tall the Rant Band gigs (Shepherd’s Bush and Fillmore were his favourites). ‘Great musicians on stage and friendly off it.’ Going to MTH shows. Say ‘My Mind’s Gone’ twice – Agoura Hill (LA) and Winery (NY). Jeez – if we had a credit card we’d give you one!! Thank you!

Edward Shirley: Buff will get an equal share for this tour.

Rick G.: Pretty good, but keep the day job!

Bruce B: ‘Do ‘Sweet Jane’ as a remembrance.’ We didn’t do ‘Sweet Jane’ because we didn’t want people to think we were cashing in on Lou’s passing. It’s one of those – you can’t win either way.

Howard Chapman: heard nothing.

Jeffrey: ‘Rest in Peace, Lou.’

Lee Martin: Thank you.

Ian Gell: ‘What character (fictional or real) do you have most affinity with and why?’ I don’t think like that.

John McMillan: Still don’t like TV; not the right forum.

Martin Ward loves the Rant Band. ‘The energy and love of your music by the boys rings out in every note!’ See – now they’ll want a raise.

Corinne Scott on Joe Elliott: ‘Aw yes – I love to hear people talk of Joe’s love for music. My love of music has literally tripled since I became a fan of his. I’m a huge fan of yours and Mott because of him. I’m 17 (NY) and I would probably never have discovered you guys if it hadn’t been for Joe. See hive him a pat on the back for recruiting me as a fan (I do). He’s the best and I believe 100% that he learned it from being a fan of yours. He never stops talking about how you love making music and you can see the influence. Any memories of you and Mick Ronson?’ Too many to relate here, but thanks for your Joe email. He does more in a week than I do in a year. Wonderful chap and a great friend.

John Frawley: Says he was listening Sirius XM Classic Vinyl and Gene Simmons says I was a drummer with MTH before taking over the front mike. Errr, no. I was always the singer in Mott. Before that, however, I was a bass player. ‘Come to Detroit.’

J. Magnuson: ‘Gearing up to be the only representatives from Idaho at the O2 – can’t wait!’

Kooz: ‘Great show at the Howard – come on back.’

Stuart Tate: Too late now!

I’m sure you chaps realize by now that I’ve been there – done that – and I’m home again. Onwards!

Java John: Didn’t get this till now, but you guessed right.

Gerry Fae Glasga: ‘Was a bit disappointed with the Glasgow gig – took a while to get going. Maybe it was the venue? Was at Hammersmith and that was excellent. This one didn’t have a buzz. See you next year even if I have to travel to Edinburgh! ‘ Maybe the Barrowland’s? Crowd were subdued – I didn’t know if it was the security – the gig – them – or us. It was definitely quiet for a Glasgow audience. Joe mentioned that the security was really tight so maybe that is part of the answer.

Derek Sargeant: Just got in from Manchester; highly enjoyable. I assume you’ll do it again, and ‘this will be the last time’ was a wind up?’ Well, we did sing ‘we don’t know’.

Andy: ‘Manchester simply magical.’

Alan: ‘Great night at Glasgow gig; maybe wrong venue – Barrowlands would have been more suitable.’ Mott does feed off its audience – they did seem somewhat subdued.

Danny G: It’s random – sometimes a hook line, sometimes a sound, sometimes a musical line – it varies. There’s no logic. If there was, everybody would be doing it.

Joel Rollo: ‘Kent Stage – song selection – incredible. Rant Band dead on. Still talking about it four weeks later. A night to remember!! Cheers.

Lou Babinga: ‘Whatever the next thing is – I can’t wait.’

Mick Rushton: ‘Last night a realization of a 40 year ambition. Absolutely brilliant – can’t wait until the next time.

Arthur Byrne: ‘Australia?’ Who knows. Don’t see any offers.

Rick Graves: Thanks for the continued support.

Dave Parry: ‘Do you or Mott have much unreleased material laying around the vaults?’ I think Mott’s vaults are probably empty by now – there’s been over 50 compilations. My friend, Rick Tedesco has been examining reels I did back in the 80’s and early 90’s when I was ‘off the roll’ so to speak. Some of it is really interesting. More of that later.

JVonThaer likes playing along with YNAWAS in Alaska.

Mike Pecucci: Too late now!

Geoff Pearson: ‘Loved the reunion gigs and thought you really pulled it off at the O2. Hope it’s not the end. When did Mott first use the Jupiter Suite to come on stage?’ No idea, but I know it was Pete who suggested it and it’s also Pete on that last electric chord on the end.

David: ‘Do you talk to David Bowie these days? What are your thoughts on the ‘Next Day’ if any? Haven’t talked to David in a long while. No particular thoughts on what he’s up to.

max odonnal: ‘Wings’ was one of those unfortunate songs that occurred ‘between’ albums. It was a one off with Robbie Altar who played a magnificent solo on it. I still have the demo. We later played it in the Hunter/Ronson band. I have no recollection of a piano version.

Malcolm George: ‘Apart from everything – what went wrong in Birmingham?’ Not sure it was the venue. I was in the circle and Mick couldn’t hit a note – Pete hadn’t bothered to rehearse. 2009 was brilliant 2013 was the pits. Almost felt like getting my money back. Sorry I was disappointed and I was local. Many travelled from overseas and must have felt suicidal for wasting all that money. Don’t do it again. I’ll come and see you with the Rant Band in Leamington. When are tickets available?’ Oh dear.

Joachim Golla: All in German!!

Lee Ann: Pete said he liked the food so much at the Classic Rock Awards he not only ate his, but others too. Since you watch your weight, did he grab yours?’ Pete ate about five meals and four puddings – it did taste good. He never got mine!

Kevin: ‘Newcastle was awesome!! Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!! It was like you’d never been away – brought back so many MTH memories of the City Hall in Newcastle – piano playing brilliant. East your heart out Jerry Lee!! Did the bye wave at the end really mean the end?? I made superb Hammersmith shows, but Newcastle was special to me. Thank the boys and Martin for me!!
I thought Martin Chambers was (as they say over here – pretty great.

Campbell Griffith: ‘Just to say thanks for Glasgow. I was transfixed from the opening chords of ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen’. Strange experience being transported back to my teens. Absolutely awesome. Performance wise, sound wise, music wise, one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to.’

Tom Semioli: ‘Me thinks Eric Idle should play Mr. Watts in the film adaption of ‘The Man Who Hated Walking.’ Should I start on the script?’ Nah – he’s quite capable.

Angel: ‘Thanks for including ‘When My Mind’s Gone’, ‘No Wheels to Ride’, and ‘The Journey’. Hope you had a good time and the pressure didn’t ruin the fun.’ We had a good time.

Frank de Koning says many Belgiums and Dutch were in the O2 audience.

Mitch (1) ‘Did you know the great Trevor Boulder?’ Sure I knew Trevor. I was really surprised when he passed. He came to a gig in Leeds and looked great. Individual style of playing – very melodic player. He will be sorely missed. (2) ‘How come you guested on Alejandro Escovedo’s album ‘Street Songs of Love’ (Down in the Bowery)?’ We’re pals, so I did it for him.

Twmas: ‘Just got back from Wales. O2 gig was brilliant. How did it feel to have so many family members on stage?’ Great.

Matt Chasteen: ‘Are there any plans to bring MTH to the U.S.?’ Not that I know of.

Michael Wolf: ‘Sounds like MTH shows were successful (of course). Have you ever considered touring with one or more of the Hooples on your solo tours – or would you be concerned about the relationship to the Mott stigma – drawing away from the solo thing?’ The thought has never really arisen. Mick fancied coming out with us on one tour and we had a great time. Mick and Phally get up sometimes on my solo tours. My Rant Band tours are different to MTH shows so I don’t’ really think the one infringes on the other. I just like to hang out with MTH ;I really enjoy the humor.

Jon Bailey: ‘Thanks for the great shows. I managed Birmingham and London – awesome to be there. Waiting for the book to arrive. I have a question on the Maltese Cross. I thought there was only one, but you obviously had two of the buggers. Have you had a copy specially made? They look like p90 pickups – am I correct?’ The original Maltese Cross was not a very good instrument; I sold that many years ago. It looked good but that was about it. Joe Elliott had two copies made that stayed pretty faithful to the original design. The only difference being that they sounded GREAT! Kinda like a Les Paul Junior (which I’ve always loved the sound of – only denser and heavier). Joe gave me one for my 70th birthday (a hell of a surprise) and kept the other. While playing in Cheltenham (I realized the Junior I was playing in ordinary tuning wasn’t anywhere near as good as the Maltese I was playing in open tuning. We emailed Joe (who was in the States) and asked if I could borrow the other one. By 4pm the next day, Joe was in Birmingham with his Maltese Cross. It sounded great – exactly like mine – so that was it. I used them both for the tour. There are only two in the world. I think it’s really neat that a guitar can look that good AND sound so good. Very cool!! Praise be to Joe!!!

Neil McCormack: ‘Not a question – just sincere thanks to you and all involved in the fantastic show at Manchester Apollo – that’s all.’

Malcolm Freestone: My heart goes out to Alec McPhedron. He organized a few chaps to attend the Mott gig in Birmingham. However, a few days before the event he had to be hospitalized and a leg was amputated below the knee. Malcolm says Alec is the last person to make a fuss about stuff and all I can say is get well Alec!! We’re British!!!

Carlo Mathews: ‘Your music and Lou Reed’s were a driving force for me in the 70’s. While I thought Lou slipped later, your new material rivals your classic songs. Did your paths cross and what were your impressions of the man? Also, have you ever thought about adding Mott like arrangements to your work?’ Well I didn’t know Lou Reed so I really can’t tell you much about him. I met him once and that was about it. I was a fan because Lou simplified and that’s one of the hardest things to do. He was minimalist at least on the music I heard. Still, can’t figure out how he came up with the riff for ‘Sweet Jane’. I think the MTH arrangements were suited to that moment in time. The simpler the better (like Lou) is what I like to go for now.

Mick/Halifax: ‘Have you read Overend’s book and if so, what do you think of it? Well, I just spent a couple of weeks with him and I thought I was done, but then I read the book and there’s no escape!!! He writes exactly how he is. This is what we had to deal with on a daily (and nightly) basis!! I think the book’s great – it’s Pete – I mean Overend – to a tee – a total eccentric. I haven’t finished it yet though – did he say anything horrible about me? I’m up to the Albert Tatlock bit.

Jay Tashjian: Sorry about the foot.

Our Wullie: ‘Fantastic tour – any chance of more MTH gigs? How about NY? Thank you for playing my song – was in tears all five nights.’
Well I can’t play it all can I? It goes on a bit – so I did the next best thing (having been nagged for years!!).

Peter Jordan: ‘Love makes cowards of us all until age completes the job – the late Lou Reed was a great poet. He referred to death in ways I’d never heard before. Cool and contrived. For his last message to be his face upon a door and the consequences of an artistic viewpoint tends to be pretty mixed. Which leaves me thinking that perhaps it’s better to have a mind that’s fixed. You see, a settled view offers certainty – that the poet isn’t allowed which is why we can end up mawkish and separate from the crowd? Sometime it feels like too high a price to avoid a point of view that persists. All I have is a T-shirt that says, ‘never cease to resist.’

Dave Ramshaw: ‘What were the guys thoughts on problems at gigs?’ I can’t speak for the others, but I wasn’t too happy with the lights and that infernal dry ice – be it oil or water based – it messes with my throat. I told them not to do it but I was literally in a fog in Manchester. I couldn’t see how to get off the stage. I guess they thought it was DVD night – go for it. Thanks a lot. CD night next and my throat’s bone dry from the dry ice. Poor old Ian – can’t do three nights in a row. – I can do five in a row with no dry ice floating down my throat. Infantile. ‘Huge thank you for every member of the band.’ Yer welcome.

Bill Milks: ‘Congratulations an a great set of shows. I have a solution for the critics – give em ‘What For’!’ I’m cool with critics nowadays. I don’t mind what they say as long as it’s big.

Ralph Cohen: Bumble and Bumble!! Ask around

Matt Parish: Very good, Matt. Very good.

Jeffrey: ‘Happy Thanksgiving – same to you.

Keith Nickless says get out while the going’s good!!

Phil and Mandy: ‘Thanks for a superb set in Manchester. We thought you got even better. Fantastic night – took me until Wednesday to start of calm down!!!

Edward Shirley: Thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Thank you for doing it again.

MacDonald: I don’t put the tour together, but I’ll put a word in.

Stevekettell: ‘Thanks for the reunion shows. Hope you and the band enjoyed it as much as the crowds did.’ Believe me – from where I was standing every night (including Birmingham) the crowds were up. They didn’t all do a Newcastle – times have changed – and venues vary, but you guys looked like you were having a ball to me. It’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but you like it!

Paul, Jenny + Josie: ‘Love Mott at Birmingham and especially enjoyed ‘Waterlow’. Josie is 16 and has loved Mott since she was 10 having ‘discovered’ you on my i-pad. Great you can still write a song line ‘President’.

Geoff: ‘When are you announcing dates for 2014. We picked up a leaflet for a Leamington Spa date in November – are there any other daters?’
That was just one of the promoters jumping the gun.. When I know what we’re doing I’ll put it up on this website. All I want to do now is have a bit of a holiday and hopefully write. I really can’t see that far ahead at the moment.

Paul Vernet had a great old time at the O2. Teamed up with chaps from Philly, Chicago, New York and Memphis. True fans help each other out. Excellent!!

That’s it – sorry to have missed a few but I was pretty busy. Thanks to all who turned up. You made it very special for a bunch of old chaps who like to shoot the breeze once in a while.

We’ll talk soon. Safe and Happy Hols.


The Horse’s Mouth xxx

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