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Horse’s Mouth

February 29, 2016

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #171, Feb-Mar 2016)

The Horse’s Mouth
February 26, 2016

Sorry! What with one thing and another, I’ve not been able to check the Horse’s Mouth. Better late than never …

Jeffrey wishing us a Happy New Year. Ta.

Fred C: ‘Any memories of Lemmy of Hawkwind and Motorhead?’ Not really. I vaguely remember Hawkwind from the Roundhouse days – long ago. The chaps in Motorhead are extremely friendly – I met up with Lemmy at an award show and we got along fine.

Rick Graves: ‘As a young man did you ever expect to be living this life of a musician – writing – touring – performing etc.?’ I don’t think young men are that mature. I just take it as it comes. There was never a ‘plan’.

Owen Kelley: ‘Since there’s not much chance of Missoula, Montana – how about Vegas?’ Tried it a couple of time – not our audience.

Nigel Woodall: ‘Blackburn slated ‘Midnight Lady’ a well as ‘Memphis’.’ What a guy.

Gary C: ‘So did the infamous story of the Zeppelin gang trying to rough up your Broadway shows actually occur? If so, what was the story and the outcome?’ Bonham kicked Buff because Buff wouldn’t let him play ‘Dudes’. Bit of a scuffle – nothing much (apart from the egg on Buff’s leg). All a bit silly – we all grew up!

Russell: Who was the inspiration for ‘Old Records Never Die?’ Elvis.

Neil Collie wants Portland. Wants a list of more recent albums I like. Sorry, I stopped listening years ago. The radio put me off.

Joe Merlie: ‘The song ‘Violence’ when being sung sounds like violins which are being played frantically in the background chorus. Whose idea was this?’ Might have been mine, actually.

Kathy Gonzalez: ‘D.C. or Charlottesville!’ We’re on it.

Ian Legg: ‘Canada!’ Maybe.

Mike Pecucci: ‘Did Pete do that umbrella thing spontaneously?’ I think somebody had one at a soundcheck and he just picked up on it. We all said, ‘you’ve got to do that!’ That’s what I love about Pete – well eccentric. ‘Was there any ‘fixing’ in the sound? Is it completely live?’ I can’t speak for the others, but I was on the first plane out – I fixed nothing.

Ian Mack: ‘Who do you consider the greatest woman vocalist anywhere along the musical spectrum? Any current women singers?’ Too difficult to answer. My two cents would be Lorraine Ellison. Check out her ‘Stay With Me Baby’ – orgasmic.

John Dalton: ‘Being as you’re a policeman’s son, what is your perspective regarding the state of policing in the U.S.?’ The U.S. by its very nature tends toward the over reaction. Americans are more excitable than the British. Policing is tremendously difficult and, of course you have the over zealous. Every single case is different. Every time the phone rings it is bad news. You get hardened and you see the worst that human nature has to offer on a daily basis. All rules were created by idiots – not police.

Ed the Shrew: ‘Did you ever record with Ronnie Lane?’ Ronno and myself got invited once, while on tour. Regretfully, we never made it.

Johnny wants Durham, NC again. Enjoyed that one – we’ll try!

Kelli wants central California – favorites are ‘Rain’, ‘Irene Wilde’, ‘Wish I Was Your Mother’ – good taste.

Rollo: I remember ‘Heaven’ in Toronto. Mick Ronson and I played there a couple of times, but I don’t recall who opened for us. Says our concerts are the most memorable – thanks!

John Sutton: ‘My health insurance continues to go up – do you think Obama is for the people?’ Yes – all the people.

Dan Baker: ‘Sunshine Eyes’ was a favorite of mine when my daughter was growing up – now it’s the same with the grandchildren – thanks.’ Yes, I wrote that in New York about Jesse, my youngest.

John Blackman: ‘Of all the places you have had and places you’ve lived, was there one place you were the happiest?’ You can put me anywhere as long as there’s a piano and a guitar available.

Dan Baker: ‘Will you continue to release more stuff on Rant Records?’ All depends.

Shari Lee: ‘Got kicked out of the Ian Hunter Appreciation Society facebook group last year for defending ‘Man Overboard’. Hmph! If that doesn’t’ make me the ultimate outsider, I don’t know what does. It’s very lonely being an Ian Hunter fan, but I still love you.’ I didn’t know there was a group like this. You tell them I said you have to be reinstated!!

Ellen Holbrook: Thanks, Ellen. Hey Phil – it’s your old pal, Ian wishing you a Happy 60th Birthday!

Neil McCormack: Your right about Mountain influencing ‘Restless Youth’ and I believe we did do ‘Boy’ in Wrexham.

Jeffrey’s Mum is a fan – and she’s only 93!

Aj Slick: Noted.

Eoghan Lyng: Re: who wrote what on ‘Hymn for the Dudes’ – Phally wrote the musical intro – I did the rest.

Bill Saltzer: Always enjoyed Philadelphia – for real.

Robin: ‘Will you be coming to the States 2016 – New York or PA?’ Yup.

Tony Day: ‘Do you know about the Ronno gig in Hull?’ Yup.

Danny G. enjoys ‘You Nearly Did Me In’.

Mad Mick (who once decked Tony Blackburn) confirms Mott played with the Faces and the Who. I think the gig you are thinking about was actually the Festival at the Oval – 1971 – for Bangladesh. We were on that bill with them and Lindisfarne, Atomic Rooster and others.

Keith Nickless: ‘I’m sure you will get lost of Bowie questions so forgive if it’s boring. Did you ever play a gig with him apart from the Freddie Mercury show?’ No, we didn’t. When David was touring we recorded and then we’d tour while he recorded. I remember he got up in Philly one night and introduce us – that was about it. I remember he wanted us to do the ‘Save the Whales’ concert with him, but we wouldn’t. If you opened for David you got only 45% of the lights and PA. We weren’t falling for that one!

Mathew Gantz: ‘You came to Atlanta and I took my girls.’ Hope we’ll be back again later this year.

Kirk: How nice! Thank you.

Mark Moe: You know, we spent a few months with David over 40 years ago. It was a great time and it changed our lives, but – that was then and this is now. To say I regret his passing would be the understatement of the year. It was a shock, but – life goes on.

Mark F: ‘Do you have a favorite memory of the man?’ I have a few.

Andy Sheehan: ‘Looking forward to Butlins.’

Charles Reece: I have been asked to appear at memorial concerts for David Bowie, but for personal reasons, I’ve decided against it.

Ray Banks: ‘Come on Ian – Aussie down under for you and me lad.’ It’s a schlepp!

Kevin (Newcastle): going to Butlins.

John Frawley: ‘RIP DB. Can you put into words what this man meant to you and your musical career?’ He was pivotal at a certain time – as was Guy Stevens.

Joe Natiello: Thanks, Joe.

Chris: ‘Always loved Mott’s take on ‘Laugh At Me’. Thanks for that – such an underrated music guy (I think he was Phil Spector’s engineer at one point). ‘Do you remember the first Sonny ‘n’ Cher song you heard?’ Not really, although ‘I Got You Babe’ immediately comes to mind. Brilliant song.

Mike Costanzo says, ‘In Greg Renoff’s new book ‘Van Halen Rising’ lead singer David Lee Roth recalled covering ‘All the Way From Memphis’ while auditioning for the Whiskey in L.A. back in 1975. It worked – they got the gig!’ See, it was all down to me.

Mike (Tucson) ‘Just wanted you to know – your songs helped me through puberty tragedies – celebrations – highs and lows – and everything in between.’ Thanks for making me feel good, Mike.

Joe S: Thanks.

Robert Sharpe: Stick shift.

Dave Marin: Did Mott ever play ‘Suffragette City’. Nope.

Edward Shirley: ‘Can you write an instrumental for us, please?’ Er, no.

Dirk Verelst: Thanks.

Michael Wolf: We consider anywhere if it’s financially viable and it works routing wise. No set rules.

Doug Lombardi: ‘San Francisco 1988 – the Phoenix Hotel.’ Apparently we met!

Shel North: I doubt the 2010 live will go to vinyl. Hoping my next record does.

Rusty Pickle: ‘L.A.?’ It’s in the works.

Matt Nojonen says D.B. album reminds him of Warren Zevon’s farewell ‘The Wind’.

Jason: ‘Why are you so awesome?’ Dunno.

Kathy Berger (Switzerland) is harking back to the 70’s.

Paul Edwards: Sorry to hear this.

Ted Kriss: ‘Thanks for the great music over the years. It keeps getting better. Any chance of a show in upstate New York?’ Hope so.

Gary C: Ronno’s passing was the worst; not only on a personal level, but on a professional one as well. Unique.

Jeff Dickinson: It was extremely difficult for him, but he made it through. There was the nerve factor as well. He was determined to do it – and he did.

Jeffrey and many others on Buff’s passing.

Bill Holes and many others on David and Buff’s passing.

Robert Rawlings: Good old whispering Bob – a fellow and former Northamptonite (incidentally, Cobblers 10 points clear – congratulations!).

Bobdylangotnuttinoniew: Italian? Wants L.A.

Douglas Monka: Take it easy! Stuff happens.

Ian Hunter Teckenbrock: ‘Parents named me after you in 1990. I don’t want to put off seeing you – are you playing anywhere this summer? Just want to see my namesake once live.’ We’re touring this fall – all depends on where you live.

K: ‘Where did you get your custom ‘H’ ad Cross guitars? They should be in the Hall of Fame.’ I smashed the one H and the other H was in Cleveland’s Hall of Fame (with the piano) for a number of years. The first cross I bought in a San Francisco pawn shop and sold it to a guy in Falmouth, UK. The second cross, Joe Elliott had made for me. I still have it and it’s the best sounding electric guitar I’ve ever used.

Bradley Pool: ‘Australia?’ Dunno – yet.

Deighton: ‘UK Northeast?’ Check my gig guide page – I think we’re doing the Sage Theatre.

Chris Wood is looking forward to Minehead. ‘You are the ONLY person I’d go to Butlins for – any surprises?’ Actually, there weren’t any surprises. There were a lot of bands on so people were there to see various shows. No point in obscurities at this gig.

Victor Romiszewski: ‘Why do you wear dark glasses?’ I have extremely weak eyes.

Stephen (Georgia): ‘Is my memory correct – saw Mott on 2nd Atlanta Festival?’ We were there.

Chloe Louise: The article you read regarding the kitten was completely wrong. I’ve never hurt an animal in my life. I can’t. [Much to my dismay, Ian won’t even kill a mosquito or fly or a roach! – Trudi]

Bob Boyle: ‘Play Civic Theater New Orleans.’ Haven’t been down there since the 70’s. Would love to do it.

Nigel: ‘Just listened to ‘Strings Attached’. Loved it. How was it singing with the orchestra? Do you do things as usual or is it a major adjustment?’ They made it pretty easy for us. You just have to imagine the orchestra as a keyboard – then it works. Wonderful orchestra; they were really into it and that made it so much more special. It was one of the highlights of my life, actually. (Plus, they put us in the Nobel Suite!)

Abigail Recklenwald: Says I’m still ‘incredibly cool’. Goodho.

Keith Hollingshed: ‘Bastard – not you – the song – who’s it about?’ I just got sick of silly love songs.

Dave Tapps: ‘My 15 year old daughter took me to see The Vaccines at Brixton. Great gig. I’m returning the favor by taking her to the Copper Rooms this Friday. This should illustrate to her that older doesn’t mean past it. Have a great gig.’ How did she like it?

Clyde Hartman – That’s me.

Gary Aston: We’re doing the Sage.

David Drew: You never know.

Russell Pearce: There might be something in the Box Set – which is now scheduled to come out September 2016. See you in Holmfirth.

Brit Fan: See you in Holmfirth, too.

Ken H is looking forward to the next Chicago gig.

Svein Ove Ueland: ‘Norway?’ It’s on the cards.

Matt Nojonen: Cheers, Matt

Sheila Sheehan: Only just picked this up so hope you had a very Happy Birthday, Andrew!!

Alan Wadley: This was thanks to James Mastro – It’s an Alan Lomax authentic tape of a chain gang.The song is called ‘Early in the Mornin’ ‘ and is on the Alan Lomax Collection ‘Prison Songs’, Historical Recordings from Parchman Farm 1947-48, Volume One.

Pete Chown: ‘Great night at the Copper Rooms – thanks. Do you still keep an eye on Cobblers results?’ Yup – it’s all happening!!

Louis Williams: ‘Have photographs of you being presented with the keys to the city of Cleveland by Dennis Kucinich in 1979. Would you like a copy?’ Thank you, but Trudi says we have them.

John Rutherford: ‘Any chance of an appearance at Steve Harley’s gig Rock for Ronson in Hull on April 23rd?’ I’m recording over here at that time, sorry.

Colin Thayer: ‘Did you see Bowie again after the Freddie Mercury Concert at Wembley?’ No.

Constance Van Beek: I’ve talked to him. Richie’s going to be fine.

Pjb.: ‘Any chance of MTH recordings with Ronno bring released live or studio? Can’t wait for the Box Set.’ I really don’t know about this. Sony own that stuff.

Adrian: I played Wrexham on the Saturday night.

Lee Ann: ‘Loved Butlins, so nice to meet you and Trudi – waiting to speak to you felt a little like the scene from the Godfather with everybody lined up to pay their respects.’ It’s not as bad as that!

Twmas: ‘Just back from Minehead – fantastic – every time you outperform the previous time!’ What do I do now?

Strad aka Mott heads: ‘Thanks for the photo op backstage at Wrexham – it’s only taken 40 years! Thanks to Trudi and Pete for making it happen.’

Steve K: ‘Coventry, Wrexham (nice venue) what a pleasure. See you in November.’

Andy was very happy with Wrexham.

Arthur Temlett: ‘Copper Rooms – a great way to celebrate my 60th. Did you fly in on Friday and fly out on Monday?’ Flew in Thursday flew out the following Thursday – some of the band went back earlier. Had meetings in London with Proper Records regarding the Box Set.

Dale Haskell: ‘Sorry about laying it on thick – saying you’re one of the great rockers, but you are.’ Well, that’s alright then.

John Maguire: ‘Come to Thailand!’ One has to be asked.

Owen Harrington saw us in Cleveland (‘amazing show’) want us to play Indianapolis.

Steve Baratta: Thanks for the info.

Mike Burnett: ‘Thanks for Butlins. That’s one hell of a band you’ve got there! First time I’ve seen you live – got my ticket for London. I love Sparks, but I miss them having a rock backing band – having seen you – I miss that even more.’

Doug Harris: ‘Hard to have a ‘favorite’ song of yours, but ‘The Outsider’ would be mine. I read somewhere you were a little embarrassed by this song – why?’ Songs sort of ‘arrive’ in your head from time to time. I just thought this one was misdirected – should have gone to a more countrified artist!

Steve abs: ‘What a wonderful three day tour, and Minehead was unbelievable. Everyone else struggled with sound quality – but you were amazing. ‘Boy’ and ‘Now Is The Time’ were standouts. Loved every moment. Band so tight – just keep doing it.’ We will (Pete Dutton is our sound engineer and he was MTH’s sound guy too. Lovely man.)

Steve P: ‘No question – but thanks for brightening up a pretty miserable weekend in Minehead.’

Jeffrey: Wednesday, February 3rd 2016 – Rest in peace, Buddy, Ritchie and J.P.

Peter Jordan: asks which is better ‘YNAWAS’ or ‘Rant’? For me they’re both fine. ‘Rip Off’ and ‘Death of A Nation’ seem to be about the same issue – well guess what – there’s a song called ‘Racket’ on the new one. As long as it’s still going on – I’m going to have a go!

Tich: ‘First saw you at the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow (I was 12). Nazareth opened. Saw you in Coventry last Friday and you’ve still got the wow factor. My Dad’s a couple of years younger than you and it’s hard to get him to leave the house. Thanks for a great trip.’ Tell him he’s got to keep moving.

Oscar: ‘Hope you don’t play the Winery. Bunch of snobby mid 50 year old dust farters in that place that don’t want to enjoy a show. God forbid you applaud the artist – they complain to the management. Play the Highline – anywhere but that old age home.’ I don’t know about this one. We’ve been there a few times and it’s always been fine. We did their Nashville and Chicago venues and they treated us well and never had any complaints from fans. I’m not in the audience, but they’ve always seemed fine to me. Last time round we also played in Brooklyn (standing venue) so you had your choice.

Tony Lamb: Another chap requesting Australia.

Phil Bonell: ‘Amazing at Minehead. You made my weekend. Champagne or Lambrini when you came on?’ (The former.) See you in the autumn.

William Wallace: ‘Warwick – magic’. Ta.

Steve from Tulsa: Thank you for that.

Paul Cavani: ‘Good to see you and the band at Minehead. Another first class performance – first time I’ve seen ‘Rest in Peace’ – that was special.’ (That was my way of honoring Buff and D.B. ) ‘See you in Glasgow in November.’

Danny G: ‘Which do you feel more comfortable on, guitar or piano?’ I kinda like the piano a tad better. You can explore with the left hand and you get to sit down!

Mike and Lydia: I use to hang out with Eric, but I haven’t seen him in a long time.

Ian Moulson: ‘Great gig at Warwick University. Do you remember playing there in ’72 on the Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus tour?’ (Nope). ‘Hackensack was supporting (No Max Wall). You played the Airport Lounge which was the venue back then and the ceiling was so low Overend pushed his Bird Bass through the ceiling tiles and they were left hanging there. Great night.’ Sounds like us – nuts.

Phil Waller: ‘Great to see you in Holmfirth. It will be 40 years since I met my wife at your gig in Doncaster. I was a ‘roadie for the day’ and I met her on a blind date. Still married 35 years later. I owe you for a great life!! I think Doncaster was the gig where we let Joe Elliott and his mates in the back door because they were skint!

Christine Curtis: Happy Birthday to Christine’s Dad, Steve Hill!

Iain Moss: ‘Booked Glasgow/November 5th – can’t wait. Any new songs in the pipe line?’ We start recording the new record next week.

Josh Caswell: ‘Back in ’96 you wrote ‘Aint No Way to Treat a Lady’ and said at the time you like it, but ‘something was wrong the groove’. Try it again.’ Once it’s done – it’s done, but I did and do like the song. Actually, there’s a song that’s in a similar style on then new record.

Lewis (Big D): ‘Any plans to release acoustic set you did with Andy York and Dave Roe?’ Trudi says it’s ‘iffy’ .

Terri: ‘Great gig at Butlins – have to say, holiday camps are not my thing, and the accommodation was a bit dodgy. I hope you fared better.’ (I did!) ‘Can’t wait for Holmfirth.’

Malcolm George re: Birmingham Town Hall: Well actually, I don’t think Birmingham’s in the mix – the venue double booked shows. Very often promoters ‘hold’ a venue for a particular night during the routing of a tour. In this case the Town Hall suddenly accepted somebody else for the night we wanted. Right now, I don’t there is another, comparable, venue in Birmingham. Our agent is looking at Leamington Spa. Watch the website for confirmation. ‘As you seem to be launching your life’s work in a box set this year, are we reading too much into it if we surmise that you are on your last UK tour?’ You never know.

Bob Balloch: ‘Were you ever tempted to use sax with MTH live?’ Not really – live was just us.

Bob Venafra: ‘Will you be touring the U.S. in 2016 – and doing dates in the Philadelphia area?’ As far as I know now – yes.

Gordon Hines: ‘Get Your ass to Australia!’ Has Britain moved?

Andrew Volney: ‘A friend told me you did some recording with Mick Jones of the Clash a few years ago. How did it go?? Will it ever see the light of day?’ Mick set something up for a TV show and it was a lot of fun doing it. (It was after the MTH reunion.) However, I believe the director, (who was really good) suddenly died, so the show was shelved. Don’t know what Mick is doing with it.

Bill S: ‘Do you remember where you were and who you were with when you watched the first man set foot on the moon?’ Yup.

Carlo Mathews: (1) ‘Can we expect more Boogie Woogie or Little Richard type piano songs?’ Yes. (2) ‘Would you be willing to do a long scale composition (like ‘Boy’)?’ If one turned up – why not.

Kevin Newcastle: ‘Despite our reservations, Butlins was fantastic! The bands and musicians were incredible – what a treat. Apart from the great Mr. H of course, the bands that blew me away were, Mick Ralphs Blues Band and the Billy Walton Band. Mick’s band was superb and what a vocalist they had! The CDs I bought from both have gone straight to the top of my playlist. You need to get a copy of each.’ (I’ve got Mick’s). ‘Thanks for a great show!’

Ricky: Happy about the box set.

Geoff Bryant: As far as I know, London is the only southern date.

Andy: ‘Did you ever meet or work with Cat Stevens?’ I might have said hello in the early days at Island – can’t remember. Trudi’s a big Cat Stevens fan. I’d probably do ‘First Cut Is The Deepest’.

Lipscombe: ‘Virginia, Richmond or Charlottsville?’ I want to – we’ll see what comes up. I want to do more in the South.

Jonny Cobb: ‘Ever met Gene Simmons?’ Don’t think so.

Slappy Pickle: ‘God bless you and the Rant and all your loved ones.’ Ta.

Pasquale: ‘Marisa is still waiting for a live ‘Old Records’.’ We actually did it a couple of times. I have problems singing it for some reason. Tell her not to hold her breath.

Barry Whaites: ‘Just wanted to say how much me and the wife enjoyed your show at Butlins. Did you enjoy it and would you do it again?’ Sure – we enjoyed it. It was actually hit and miss. Had it been the week before, we wouldn’t have made it out of New York. I was coming off a bout of the flu and it’s always dodgy weather wise at this time of the year to do transatlantic touring. But, hey! We made it and all went well!

Chris White: ‘Long time fan – first saw you and Mick at the Felt Forum in NYC. What would you say you learned about yourself at the time as you transitioned into a solo artist?’ I learned that I didn’t want to be a solo artist. I’ve always preferred being in a band – I enjoy the camaraderie. The Rant Band is loads of fun. It’s a pleasure being in it.

Paul T: I see no service in going backwards.

Arthur Taws: ‘We know Stan is (was) a devout Hereford United fan. Were any of MTH football fans?’ I was the only other one (Shrewsbury Town, Nothampton Cobblers, Hamilton Accies).

Mark Bauer: That’s it – just keep movin’ forward.

Richie Cornacchio: ‘Just finished reading Dennis Dunaway’s book. Why are you mentioned as his guru?’ Dunno – I’ll ask him when I see him.

John Reh: ‘Come to Washington DC in 2016.’ We’ll try.

Alan Birch: ‘Wrexham fantastic – what guitar was Jim Mastro playing?’ [The guitar is made by Hanson and is the Cigno model – JM] ‘Loved the whole set.’ It was a kind of in between set. We’re on hold until the new record is done. Then the set will change.

Peter Mason: There were two versions of ‘Just Another Night’. The one on the record and the one I call the Roy Bitten version. Roy had a great arrangement worked out and was a bit put out that we didn’t do it his way. The trouble was it was too Springsteen for us. Nothing against the mighty Bruce, but I didn’t want to sound like a carbon copy! Pity really – it could have been commercially a good idea.

Johnny: ‘North American dates?’ Working on it.

Alan in Wonderful Portland: Re: People getting in the way of my flying pianos (three that we know of). A flying piano narrowly missed Chris Blackwell (Island Records boss) when he came to see us. He said, if they want it that much we might as well sign them!

Matt Parish: From one stream of consciousness to the next.

Janey Todd: Ruminating!

Gary Herbert: ‘Fan since ’69 – forthcoming tour no where near Essex. Traveled to the Stables last year – you were fantastic). Try to get nearer to Essex – you have so many fans here.’ I go where the offers are acceptable and don’t forget – we travel too!

Tom McGary: ‘Ever tempted to go down the Willie Nile – just you and the piano route? Don’t think for a second I’m not a huge fan of the band, and I will, of course, be coming from Elgin to Glasgow on Bonfire night.’ All depends on what comes down the pipeline song wise. I’d be tickled to do a solo album, but I’d need suitable material. We’ll see.

Jock Trick: It’s me and the Rand Band on all the tour.

James Beattie wants us in Canada – we’ll see.

Well that’s it for now. Praise be to all that came out for our little tour.

I’ve missed tons of emails with regard to Buff and DB. I’ve seen so many people pass in my lifetime that I’m a bit of a stoic in that regard. Life’s random – there’s no logic. Basically genes play a huge part – and sometimes how you live. Buff wasn’t much of a drinking man and never touched drugs. He was the youngest by far in Mott. Who would have thought it would turn out this way. It’s all a bit back to front. All I can say is enjoy it while you’re here – and laugh – because it’s only Life.

The Horse’s Mouth

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