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Horse’s Mouth

April 7, 2016

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #172, Apr 2016)

The Horse’s Mouth
April 3, 2016

Had the flu – pain in the ass. Held up recording. Record ‘s done apart from me and mixing. Band played great.

Colin Wheeler: ‘Saw MTH open for John McLaughlin in Providence in ’72. Your handling of a hostile audience was nothing short of masterful.’ What an idiotic bill!

Mike thinks the mandolin a pleasant feature. We belong to no particular area – we just play songs.

Bullet Bob: (i) and wife thoroughly enjoyed Nashville (ta!) (ii) ‘Why not put out Bitten’s version of ‘Just Another Night’?’ Too Springsteeny.

Phil Fortin: ‘Is there a recording of Mick Ronson and MTH live together?’ There might be a bootleg – nothing official.

Mike Kilroe: ‘Do Darryl’s house.’ No.

Rick Graves: ‘Love the background vocals on ‘Hymn for the Dudes’ and ‘Rose’. You are credited with the arranging all those – amazing background vocals?’ Can’t remember, but all of Mott – especially Pete and Buff – were good at harmonies.

Bob Crawford: ‘Where did you get the inspiration to write ‘Ta Shunka Witco’?’ He was an amazing guy. The more I read – the more I wanted to write a song.

Robert Hart: Once a song is out there, anyone can cover it. Only snag is you have to pay me and credit me!

Stephen Grayce: ‘What was it like working with Jaco Pastorious?’ It was great working with Jaco – just the same as working with the Rant Band – until he got caught up in the silly stuff.

Arnold Mann: ‘Fan since ’73 (Queen). Have admired your songwriting since RANT. Why don’t you do ‘Rip Off’ when you play Northampton next time?’ We’ll see – there are a lot of songs – over 300. Can’t play ’em all.

John Caswell: ‘A few years ago you covered Lennon’s ‘Isolation’ – amazing job’ (that was Andy York’s idea). ‘Also remember Roxy’s ‘Jealous Guy’ cover? You’d do a great job of this one.’

Ron: ‘Ian, saw you in Portland, Maine – best 10 songs of my life. Come back to Portland as a headine act. ‘Boy’ would blow me away live!’ It’s all down to the promoter chaps up your way.

Yvonne Smith: ‘Cleveland or Columbus in 2016 – please!’ Working on it. Watch the site.

Vic Pyle: ‘Any hints of a summer tour including Toronto?’ Too hot.

Mark F: ‘Hope when you go south you go mid-west too.’ I’d love to. Frank Riley knows what we want.

Matt: ‘From one stream of consciousness to the next (from last months H.M.) Brilliant!’

John Holcomb: ‘Throughout MTH and your solo career, you’ve often leaned toward the Gibson side in regards to guitars. Juniors, especially. I notice the Cross given to you by Joe is loaded with P-90s. Why do you think you (and often the guitarists you’ve played with) have gravitated towards that sound as opposed to Fenders?’ Initially, Leslie West turned us on to LP Juniors. Two knobs! Loved the sound. Solid. That was it. Still have some hanging around although I play acoustic Martins with the Rant Band. The guitar Joe had made for me is quite the finest electric I’ve ever played. I know it’s flashy to look at, but it’s the best rhythmic guitar I’ve ever played. I did actually play Fenders for a while. The ’66 sounded good against Ronno when he was on a Gibson. Basically, you play what the music demands. Boschie’s playing a Telecaster on nearly all the songs on the new album. Why? Because he says it’s a Tele album! Secondly – there is that German release of Ronno and me live – Rockpalasst. It was a German twice annual Beat Club’ DVD. That’s pretty good.

Stratocaster: ‘How about a return to Kent?’ Already decided. See the website for the English tour details.

Matt Nojonen: ‘What bands would you select if you could line up 7/8 at 1 show?’ Dunno.

Callmeafan: ‘With regards to California, there a great venue you should check out Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles – central CA.’ Sounds very exotic!

Iain Moss: ‘Will the new record be available in vinyl? I hope so.’ So do I.

Hans: ‘The song, ‘Pearl and Roy’ you wrote was about the political and economical situation in England in 1974.. What do the names Pearl and Roy symbolize? Rich and poor? Great song – love it.’ I’d love to tell you, but I’ve forgotten – been a long time.

Martin Jones: ‘I thought you were Canadian – where did I get that from? Any family from the land of the Mounties?’ Nope.

Stuart Hyde: ‘Saw you and Mick in Victoria BC Any chance?’ There’s always a chance.

Paul Mc: ‘Great Copper rooms gig. Warwick gig. Looks like there is a delay in pinning down a venue for Birmingham in November. What about Cheltenham or Gloucester? It’s been sorted; Leamington Spa – check out the website for details.

Alan Smith: As above.

Steve Eaton: ‘Still ‘Back Sliding Fearlessly’ or have you made peace with our maker?’ Who would that be.

Bill Milks: ‘Listening to ‘The Truth, the Whole Truth’ in the car today. Love the solo by Mick. How do you decide on the type of solos or the length of solos in your songs? Has the method changed?’ Actually, it’s pretty simple. In the case of ‘Truth’ I wrote the song specifically for Mick. He generally liked slower grooves. I – like you – ws a fan and wanted to feature him. As to the length – I just said ‘How long do you want?’ He told me and that was it. I like movement – chord changes – more usually under a solo. ‘Big Time’ comes to mind. I’ve tried a few modulations for Boschie on the new record. Guitar wise – I’m a melody freak – I look for a song within a song.

Opie: ‘The last two shows in Milwaukee were great. When are you coming back?’ We did actually try to get one in the last year but the venue was booked. We’ll try again this year.

John Dalton: re: the end of ‘It Aint Easy When You Fall’ like a lot of endings (‘Dudes’ was another one) it gets a bit boring if it just goes round and round at the end. In the case of ‘Fall,’ I had a handy book of poems I’d written and one of them seemed to fit.

Steve Jeal: Hey Ian – do you get royalties for ‘When I’m President’ being used as a backing track on the ad for Mountfield ride on Lawn mowers? Just seen it on line.’ Don’t know about this one – lawnmowers???

Kent Riley: ‘Ever write any songs with Freddie Mercury or Joe Elliott?’ I occupy a different neck of the woods.

Tony on about Australia. You guys are persuasive!!

Douglas Lund: No – Rock ‘n’ Roll’s a grown up business game; nothing to do with either you or me. Thanks for your support, Doug.

Matt: Coulda been – no idea.

Danny G’s grandson’s favourite artist is Eric Church. ‘ I told him nah – Ian Hunter Man!!’

Bob Boyle: ‘Sad loss – Keith Emerson. Cotillion Records never paid H R Giger for creating the ‘Brain Salad Surgery album cover.’ Don’t know anything about that situation, but I met Keith not long ago in London. He showed me his arm – it was really a bit of a mess. Really nice, quiet guy. It’s a sorry year.

Matt Nojonen: Dunno (ii) !!

Martin Canon: ‘I have seen an advertisement for the ultimate Ian Hunter box set called ‘Stranded in Reality’ to be released in 2016. Do you know exactly when I can order it? It looks fantastic.’ I know it’s Proper Records out of the UK. I’m told the release date is September 2nd. That’s all I know.

Christopher John Walpole: The cat incident NEVER HAPPENED. I repeat, the cat rumour – NEVER HAPPENED!!! The journalist got it totally wrong and blew it. I wouldn’t mind but they never printed a correction or apology.

Oooer Wullie is bringing cakes and beer to Gateshead as it’s his birthday.

Vivieen Rock Masney: ‘Just didn’t want another day to go by without saying thank you for all you’ve given me over the years. I’m sure you hear it all the time, but I first saw you in the early 70’s and you made a difference to me. With much love, Vivien.’ Blush cubed!

Johnnyboy: ‘Arise Sire Ian. Would that be of interest to one of Britain’s finest songsmiths?’ Don’t go in for that sort of thing myself. Some do and that’s fine too.

Ian Mack: ‘Why did you rate Sonny Bono’s writing so highly and did you ever meet him?’ Sonny didn’t have much of a voice but he did it for me and he wrote some brilliant songs too. Loved ‘Laugh At Me’ lyric. Kinda like Little Steven’s ‘While You Were Lookin’ at Me’

Rikki Flynn: ‘Does Ian prefer large halls or more intimate clubs?’ I used to prefer small clubs – I like one on one. I’m fine with 1,000 seaters. I just hated it when Mott played 10-20,000 seaters; no contact with the audience whatsoever. Just you and your monitors. I’m liking theatres a little more – clubs can see me close up in all my ancient glory!!

Anders Lundquist: ‘Your take on Todd Rundgren?’ Mr. busy!!! Everywhere he goes – hotel rooms full of computers! Todd’s a one off – great singer – writer – musician.

Dirk Verelst: ‘ ‘Resurrection Mary’ is really fantastic. I prefer the Ronson Memorial version.’ I’m fine with that. Sorry you’re not well. Hoping you improve.

Smognet Minster: ‘New club in Pasadena called ‘The Rose’ opened up. It’s owned by the Capistrano people.’ Sounds good.

Shawn (San Diego): See – it’s always something, Shawn. I’ve been round a long time and it’s always something.

Mcclenaghan: ‘What’s your favourite lyric of all time (by someone else)? I like ‘Bob’ lyrics. Period.

Colin Thayer: ‘Gateshead on a Monday; Manchester on a Wednesday; Cardiff on a Tuesday – are you asked if you want such an extra amount of travel or do you just play ’em?’ I keep on telling them I’m old and I’m sick, but nobody takes any notice! My favourite’s Tokyo. 13 hours on a plane and it’s still 100 k’s to the city – and just in time for the rush hour!!!

Paul A: ‘Any chance of releasing live album of the acoustic shows?’ You’ll have to ask Trudi about this. (The box set contains some tracks – perhaps after that – T) ‘Ever play San Diego?’ A long, long time ago.

Magolla Gortilla: ‘Two questions spring to mind. Are you a vegan (no) and what city in the world has the best food?’ Dunno. ‘Hope some day they grant you Sir Ian Hunter cuz you earned it. More than that cabbage doll McCartney. He’s a cheeseball. You still rock with soul. He’s turned into oatmeal. Later Homie, keep a stiff one to the wind yo.’ Had to put this one in – it’s funny!!

Bob Dwyer: ‘City Winery – phenominal as usual. Will you be back in NY soon?’ Three Saturdays in June just went on sale – check the website.

Otto Greeleaf: ‘I just finished listening to a song you wrote called ‘Two Steps From the Move’. Short but sweet – recorded by Hanoi Rocks. How did you guys get together and how was the experience?’ Their producer (Bob Ezrin) got hold of me and said they needed lyrics for some songs and the only lyricist they would use from outside of the band was moi. I went in and I remember Jack Bruce being there for some reason. They gave me the tracks and I wrote the words the following day. I like Michael Monroe a lot. He’d come round my apartment 3 in the afternoon in all his finery. The genuine article.

Tom McGarry: ‘Why did ‘Rest in Peace’ never make it onto a MTH studio album?’ Too slow? ‘Any news of Glasgow support act?’ Are we not enough? ‘Got a firm release date on the new album?’ Had a delay owing to a long bout of flu (from which I’m still recovering). The tracks are pretty much done and it sounds GREAT, but I’d only sung three when the voice went out. This messed Andy up as he’s away all this month, so we’ll try and get it finished and mixed in May. Then it’s up to the labels.

Doug Otto: Noted! It’s just not around the corner!

Devon Paisley: ‘This is Devon Paisley from ‘Nott the Hoople’ out here on the West Coast. We will be holding a birthday tribute to you on June 3rd at the Kensignton Cirus Pub near Berkeley, California. Happy 77th mate! (oh, whoopee) We were wondering if somehow we could get a short video message from you to play at the party. Nott the Hoople loves you and we tear it up nightly in your honor.’ How lovely!! I knew there was a ‘Not the Hoople’ in the UK, but I didn’t know about you chaps! I’m not up for a video at the moment (got flu) but I hope you have a great evening and save all your birthday presents for me and I’ll pick them up later!!

Larri Butti: We got into Atlanta around noon – played in the afternoon – flew to LA – and played the Whiskey that night. Busy, busy, busy. Never saw Hendrix. Met him, but I never saw him play.

Syd: ‘How about a gig in Indianapolis? I know the show in ’73 was a drag’ (I was arrested and put in jail). I’m not averse if the right situation arises.

Tall Paul: I have a Gibson Gold Top – two actually – which were given to me on the Ringo tour. I like them – solid. ‘Phoenix this time round?’ S’up to those who book us.

Frank Mascaro: A concentrated attack!!

Mike Costanzo has been through the mill and emerging from it. Salads for you my lad!

Hal: ‘Your favourite colonoscopy doctor here … are there going to be differences between the three Winery shows?’ Yes! I don’t know what those differences will be, but they’ll all be somewhat different. The ‘album’ a gig thing’s been done so much I’m wary about doing that. I think we’ll just change the songs (some of the anyway!). How’s business!

Larry Woodside says the UK’s ‘Not the Hoople’ just played the Harbour Club in Shoreham – so they’re still going. Nothing on the West Coast yet, but Frank’s on it.

Jeff Scott: ‘Flying in for the Winery – it’ll be four years in a row. Any chance of new tunes from the new album?’ You know what happens if I do that now don’t you.

Anybody got a tissue?

Sorry if I missed you.

Danny – I can’t keep up – a few less.

The Horse’s Mouth

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