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Horse’s Mouth

May 8, 2016

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #173, May 2016)

The Horse’s Mouth
May 1, 2016

Done all the vocals; well pleased. Still got to mix with Mr. York. So far – so good.

Phil Monaghan: ‘Ever worked with Woody from the Spiders’? Maybe Tracie has – I don’t think I have. Saw the ‘Holy’ tour (Paul Cudderford is a good friend of mine). I thought Woody was playing better than ever.

Jack Benson’s grandson and he would not be averse to a gig in Philly. Working on it.

Dave Hancox: ‘The creative process amazes me – how it can start with something and end up with something very different. My question is how does the iterative process work these days assuming there’s no longer endless time in the studio?’ Well, for a kick off, a lot of people have home studio facilities these days so they can take as much time as they want. Some bands ‘phone it in’ – a process I find not to my liking. Basically, I write the songs and the lyrics and then run them by Andy York and the Rant Band. If they’re up to par, we then set a window to actually record. This is not easy because people have lives. The Rant Band members – one or two at a time – will start visiting at odd intervals and the arrangements ‘develop’. During this time songs can change, disappear, or go in a completely different direction. Mistakes can be magical. Finally, when everybody is on the ball, we’re all required to bring our various talents towards the finished article. Then, out the door to the masses – who mostly miss the point completely. Fun isn’t it!

Hal – my favourite colonoscopy doc (not that I’ve ever had one!) ‘This will be a huge year for you in view of a new album, and 30 cd box set, touring etc. Going to all three Winery shows and wondering if there is going to be differences between the shows.’ I think so.

John H wants the Bell House. I like that gig; we’ll save it for later. ‘Is there a release date for the new album?’ The provisional date is September 2nd – same as the Box Set, but don’t hold me to it.

Dave Hines: ‘Can we look forward to new music from you and the Rant Band this year?’ If all goes to plan – that’s a definite yes.

John Von Reine: ‘It was such a treat seeing the portrayal of Mick Ronson on HBO’s ‘VINYL’. I’m waiting for your turn.’

Gong Ehrhia (well thought out lad) No Boschie wasn’t in ‘Crossroads’ with Ralph Machio (at least he never mentioned it) and I wasn’t in ‘Goodfellas’. That was Joe. See you in L.A.

Michall Schifferddecker: ‘Any plans for in or around Chicago?’ Waiting on Frank, but probably.

Janey Todd: ‘Do you ever get stage fright?’ I can get nervous – intense – but not scared. With the Rant guys it’s a lot of fun in the dressing room prior to going on so I don’t really think about it. We just do it. 2. Jersey Cop lyric – good to go.

Robert B: ‘Ian, as a friend of one of your biggest fans – maybe perhaps your biggest! Would you ever stop by a very worthy Long Island charity event he will be hosting?’ I’m sorry, but this is kind of vague.

John Dalton: ‘Where do you stand regarding the rap music genre? Is it complete rubbish as some proclaim? Or did rap music add some kind of needed energy to the music scene? Are some rap lyrics more nuanced, relevant and meaningful than those in other music categories?’ I’m not qualified to be a judge of rap. It’s a neck of the woods I’m not in. I didn’t grow up with those experiences. As an outsider, I don’t hear many actual songs you can hang your hat on. ‘Hey Ya’ and ‘Gangsta Paradise’ being notable exceptions. Lyrically – rap probably has the same percentage of dross and pretenders as any other form of popular music. I know I’ve hears some great rap lyrics and I’ve heard some really bad ones. To me – it’s poetry with a groove – not too much melody involved -heavy repetition – usually I’m done after 30 seconds. Like I said – I’m not qualified!

G Mick Smith: ‘Ever thought of doing video responses?’ No.

Mark F: In Feb/March HM you said one of the tunes is called ‘Racket’. What are some of the other titles?’ Well, the album is called ‘Seein’ Red’.

Jeffrey: Hope all is well. Hats off to Kathy.

Elisha E: ‘I love your music and songwriting! I just discovered Mott last year. Joe Perry mentioned the band in an interview. Can’t stop listening and now I’m into your solo material. I’d love to see you and the Rant Band. Come to Columbia SC. I’m 17 and I’m taking up singing and harmonica. MTH, T.Rex, the Doors the Yardbirds and the Small Faces are practically teaching me how to song. Got any advice for me?’ You’re listening to some good stuff. Ignore peer pressure and stick to your guns and don’t ever give up.

Janey Todd: I will rock again!

Mark Moe: ‘On ‘Standin in My Light’ ‘sweepin dead bodies ‘cross an open sky’ slays me. Any insight on how that line came to be?’ Dunno – too far back. ‘What songs of yours do you want people to play years from now?’ I’m fine with anything!

Mike Sodi: ‘Have you been watching ‘VINYL’ on HBO?’ Actually most of the music for that show was recorded at the studio we’re working in and I know most of the musicians.

Ian Merryweather: ‘Any chance you can point the promoters toward the newish purpose built APEX Centre in Bury St. Edmonds?’ Already had Southside Johnny, Steve Earle plus Graham Parker/Brinsley Schwartz on the way.’ I’ll inform the office!

Danny G: Don’t remember Frank, but you mentioned Lydia and Craig – so he’s legit.

Rich B ‘Saddened by Prince’s death. Magnificent artist and played by his own rules.’ He kept me going through the 80’s. Prince was the complete package – he had the lot. R.I.P.

Dan Hartman: ‘Steve Holley played on your pre YUI ORTA tour, but didn’t play drums on the CD. He is so great in the Rant Band that it is surprising he wasn’t on that CD.’ Around that time Joe Cocker offered Steve a gig and he had to take it. AB – the same – went with John Mayer for a spell. These guys are working musicians – Mandel wound up with Dire Straits and Brian Adams. If big gigs with arena bands come along – then have to take them. It is a business. People have families – you have to take these opportunities. Sure, it’s upsetting – but that’s the way it is.

Don Butler: ‘Ian, was ‘Boy’ about Bowie? I always thought so, but read some other ideas on line recently.’ ‘Boy’ was a compendium of several people I was intrigued by around that time. It was never specifically about David.

Barry Gray: ‘I wrote to you in September and asked you to play ‘Silver Needles’ next time you’re at Sellersville. You said, ‘maybe’. Now you’re coming back, can we upgrade that to a probably or a definite?’ Maybe.

Richie C: ‘In April’s HM you mentioned you play acoustic Martins. I could have sworn you’ve been playing Gibsons. Lately I’ve been using Martins. They’re harder on the fingers, but I like the tightness. You’re not wrong – I’ve played Gibsons in the UK for years.

Paul Zotter: ‘Any chance of Pittsburg?’ I’d love to play Pittsburg, but it seem a little too sophisticated for me.

Edward Shirley: ‘What’s the new record like?’ Better than ever.

J C Finn: ‘I lived in Worthing – which road was your house on?’ We lived in ‘Beach House’; we had the top apartment (with the deck). It’s right on the sea front. Miller has since moved to the other side of Brighton. ‘BBC rules stated that all tracks had to be re-recorded before they could be mimed on TV. Where did those recordings take place?’ Anywhere cheap! The BBC bloke would get bored and Stan would take him down the pub. When they came back, the track would be magically done. The whole thing was ridiculous, but you had to do it.

D. Murphy: ‘My first Mott LP was Wildlife. Loved the cover and the music – very cool. Made me a fan for life. Any fond memories from that period?’ No – not really. I was a bit of a mess around that time what with one thing and another.

Anita Short: ‘One of my absolute favourite songs of yours is your demo of ‘Sunshine Eyes’. Do you ever do it in concert?’ I like the song a lot too. We were living in Waterside Plaza in New York. Jess was a toddler and I wrote it for him.

Paul: ‘Sheffield 2016 PLEASE!’ Sorry, can’t you come to Manchester?

Janey Todd: Re: the half dozen fibs. It’s good – (didn’t want to give the title away).

Louis R99: ‘From the Uris to Toads Place (with Ronno) to Wineries to Merc Lounge to Sellersville! Glad you came back to the road? We are!’ I’m a happening dude!

Gary Sawruk: ‘My older daughter adores you and says you ought to write a song about Bi-polar.’ I haven’t live through that, so I’m not sure I could, but it’s a thought.

Bob Boyle: ‘Does Alex Harvey’s remaining family retain ownership of his record catalog, or has the catalog become the sole property of a recording company entity?’ That would depend on what type of contract Alex signed. ‘Many AH songs went unrecorded and unpublished – could they have been sold to other artists?’ It’s a possibility – if he never stipulated anywhere in writing that they were his songs. It’s unfortunate, but it could happen. Ours is not the most innocent of businesses.

Lisa Lee: ‘Come back to Boston. The Winery’s opening in the fall!’ We’ll definitely check that out.

Twmas: ‘Are the Rant Band the best you’ve had. I think they’re fantastic ‘n’ you’re not bad either! ‘ We’re FAB.

Janey Todd: ‘Have you ever written a song that insulted the person you wrote about?’ Oh yes! That’s one of the perks!

Paul G: ‘With the EU in or out debate in full swing here in the UK, your song ‘Morons’ seems very appropriate given the level of some debate. What were the issues that promoted you to write it?’ The problem with stupid people is – they don’t know they’re stupid. Having been thru a ‘stupid’ period myself, I would suggest a lot of todays pundits should stop shooting their mouths off and either travel, read a book or change their particular radio / newspaper / TV station – just to get another perspective. It’s not a particular trait of any particular nation. Every country has its percentage of loonies and the more power loonies have the more dangerous the world becomes. Standards have lowered. People love a bit of show biz – reality is not reality. Watch out!

Rick G: ‘Steve Jones has a radio show you should be on.’ I’ve done it a couple of times – most enjoyable.

Donald Mease: ‘Will Bill turn up to the Inaugural in a frock?’ Is he into that?

Rudy: ‘L.A.’ Still in the works.

Colin Thayer saw Earl Slick recently do a show with Steve Harley and Lisa Ronson. ‘Despite your lack of affection for ‘Overnight Angels’ did you get along OK?’ Slick’s a great guy. When we were in the fire in Morin Heights whilst making OA I managed to get out of the back basement door. Slick was turning the corner from the front to alert us of the danger. I liked his Dad too. His Dad was a cop – same as mine – old school!

John Reali: ‘Do you still have the key to the City of Cleveland?’ Actually, I have two. I gave Joe Elliott one and I’ve still got the other somewhere.

That’s it. Some of you may have noticed a slight bounce in the prose. Feeling sprightly!!

The Horse’s Mouth

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