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Horse’s Mouth

May 25, 2017

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #184, May 2017)

The Horse’s Mouth
May 10, 2017

Catching up in Cleveland….

Gary Sawruk wants me to keep on writing until I’m 100 – perish the thought.

Goward Callmeafan: I know Dave wants another in-house, but it was impossible to schedule this time. Well get to it.

Philly Bob wants ‘Stranded in Reality’ live.

Jeffrey on listening to pap at the gym – why bother?

Dan Baker on ‘Sunshine Eyes’ was the house the one in Katonah?’ I think so. Dan loves the production of ‘Fingers Crossed’. ‘Did you ever solve the beaver problem?’ Certainly not. Wally still lives here with his wife and offspring – not sure if it’s a boy or a girl. He’s a little upset he has to share his turf with us and looks at me with some haughty aristocratic attitude you find in very English enclaves.

Danny G says Cleveland Rocks. We’ll soon find out.

Bobby V: ‘Will you ever do a tour of Mott the Hoople songs?’ Not on the cards at the moment, but I could – I wrote a lot of them.

Lambchop Vegan: ‘Ever consider a goatee?’ Not really, why?

GMickSmith: ‘Wondered how your S90 Guild Electric ended up on eBay?’ Dunno – Guild were giving them to me at one time. They were good guitars; a couple got broken and Ritchie fixed them. Preferred Gibson Juniors, but these were good guitars.

Matt: ‘Have you ever called a series of your live gigs a HUNTOUR?’ No – it’s kind of catchy!

Tamara: Well, you’ve got ‘Morpheus’.

Christian Lovell: We still do it.

Ralph Johnson: ‘A Mick question; why did he switch from Les Pauls to Strats?’ He went out with Bob Dylan on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour and came back a confirmed Strat player. I tried to get him back on Les Pauls, but you couldn’t tell him anything. I think he eventually acquiesced.

Bart: ‘Out of the famous people you’ve met over the years – who was the most surprising in a good way – and who was the most surprising in a bad way?’ A lot of people have been really nice – Elton John comes to mind – only met a couple of bummers, and maybe they were having an off day, so I’ll not besmirch them here.

Maria Moffa: ‘Please come back to the Coach House, San Juan Capistrano.’ We plan to – watch this space.

Paul: ‘Any chance of ‘Irene Wilde’ ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother’ or ‘Resurrection Mary’ in Pittsburgh?’ Oh dear.

Derek Anderson: ‘Do any demos exist of MTH working on ‘Drive-in Saturday’? No. I had the arrangement, but we were really busy at the time and we just never got around to it.

Shawn Freke: ‘Who’s the best all round guitarist you’ve ever worked with?’ They’re all different. Mick Ralphs thing was simplicity and he came with songwriting. Mick Ronson was a great arranger – created beautiful melodic solos. Andy York is consummate because he’s not only a great guitarist, but he has vocal chops, arranging chops and production chops. Boschie can do things on guitar that very few could even hope to achieve. Robbie Altar – in my opinion – vastly underrated – played two of my all time favourite solos. They’re all great in their own ways. The Great Ariel Bender – supreme showman who kept morale at the maximum at all times. They all have made their marks and I feel privileged to have shared the stage with them. Just wish I could play like any one of them myself!!!

Terry Hines: ‘Mate, I am sure you have a lot of fans here, so how about AUSTRALIA?’ We’ll look at it.

Michael Thompson: ‘Saw you at the Sage – never thought I’d see as good a gig again. Now you’re coming to Whitley Bay and I’m absolutely stoked – may your light always shine.’ See you there.

DiBiase: ‘ ‘Fatally Flawed’ – one of the greatest I’ve heard in a long time. Hope to hear it at both CT shows.’ You may……

Mike K: ‘Long time fan – saw you in Newton, NJ. Will be at the London gig in June – any changes in the set?’ There’s always going to be a few changes to keep the band fresh, apart from anything else. But remember, we’re pushing’ Fingers Crossed’ right now, so that takes priority.

Johnny Martin: ‘North Carolina? Cat’s Cradle was great.’ We’ll see.

John Nebergall: ‘Received the box set and love it. ‘Salvation’ on ‘Experiments’ just floored me. I can’t believe it hasn’t been released previously. By the way, the offer is still open for the Ranters to sail in Santa Monica Bay when you get out here.’ Thank you for that, but we have to go to Japan.

David Gentzel: ‘Ill be seeing you in Pittsburgh in May – can’t wait to see you and Joe Grushecky.’ Good-ho.

Yucca Flats: ‘Any Boston shows coming up?’ Not yet.

Peter Jordan: ‘Why don’t you look at the number of requests for songs you don’t do as a problem of success. If you hadn’t written so much great stuff it wouldn’t be an issue! (Never thought of it that way.) I’m always grateful that there’s usually an ‘oddity’ thrown into the set and the extra effort that must go into that. Are there any that the band haven’t heard when you introduce them and does their reaction affect whether they go into the set? Well a band (being a band) are always going to look at their particular contribution to a new song. Sometimes it can put a musician off if he doesn’t have much to do in the song and I have to be aware of that. I’ll give them a set list, we’ll all argue and you get the result!

Ed: ‘Hello Ian – are you a Dylan fan?’ He’s the man. ‘Any chance of sharing the bill with him on his never ending tour?’ It’s never come up, but I would love to.

Bill C: ‘It’s gotta be cool to have a room full of people like me screaming your lyrics back in your face. Does it ever get old? Do people like me screaming out of tune throw you off professionally?’ Nah- actually it comes in handy now and again when I forget the words!

Mike Costanzo: ‘Is it difficult doing a live show where there’s a language barrier? I’m thinking of Japan.’ I was told that in Japan they clap loudly after a song and then there’s total silence. It wasn’t like that at all – it could have been Birmingham – New York – Newcastle – the reaction’s exactly the same as the gigs we do anywhere else.

Ed: ‘Have you ever considered doing an album with someone similar to what Elton John did with Leon Russell?’ Never came up. I’d have a look at it, but it’s not on the horizon.

Doncaster Phil: ’40 years ago – met my Mrs. At your Overnight Angels gig at the Gourmont Theatre in Doncaster! I was a volunteer roadie for the day so I got to see the sound check and bare bones backstage. Thinking of doing the Winery!’ You should make your mind up quickly – it’s nearly out.

Dave Sroka: Noted and forward to the band.

Pat McAvoy: ‘Why no Boston?’ The security at the Paradise got a little rough with some of our fans. Waiting for another venue to come forward.

Ralph Johnson: ‘I.H. writing, ‘I can’t believe we’re doing none of the songs you are requesting!’ – that’s because we can’t get enough! We want them all because you’re the best.’ Ta (blush)

Marlen LaBianco: We finish in the north of England and fly back to the U.S. around the 4th of July – so, sorry.

Bob Boyle on the sad loss of Allan Holdsworth -condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Tall Paul: ‘Lyric? ‘Saint’ is one of my fave songs of yours. What is the meaning of ‘I’ve got one leg and a tin?’ I pictured a young chap reflecting (and begging) on a street corner just after the American Civil War.

Pasquale: Coming to the Winery!! Our Italian chap! Welcome!

Archie Da Bishop: How true.

Shawn (San Diego) ‘Did it ever bother your family that you changed your name?’ Well, I didn’t really change it. Ian is my Christian Name; Hunter is my middle name – I just lopped off the back bit. One the whole, I think my father was rather relieved at the time!’

John Dalton: ‘Where do you stand regarding satellite radio in terms of exposing listeners to different musical genres? Does such exposure benefit artists both new or established – are artists short changed financially?’ Dunno. I do know the music biz doesn’t exist for my benefit – but it never did anyway.

Jeff: ‘Happy Easter to you ‘n’ Trudi!’ Cheers, Jeff.

Steve: ‘Buzzed when I saw you and the band will hit Southern California again in September. The drought may be over but we’re still thirsty for real rock ‘n’ roll.’ We’ll be there.

Les Lingard: Noted – we’re on the road at the moment so be patient.

Ian Mack: ‘Before ‘Dudes’ how had David Bowie been aware of MTH? Had he been to one of your concerts or listened to any albums or just word of mouth?’ I don’t know. We’d split up and Pete rang him for the bass job with the Spiders and it all started from there. He certainly seemed very keen on us. We did the circus tour and he was sending bouquets of flowers to every gig we played. I have to say, he was great with us.

Arthur Tremlett: ‘First saw MTH at the Market Hall in Carlisle 45 years ago. Now I have tickets for the Old Fire Station – only 100 yards from the Market. Can’t wait!’ Enjoy.

Shinobu Kokubun: I have finally got the tickets for your September concerts in Japan. I’m so happy. Enjoy.

From Milwaukee!

Dennis: ‘Did you meet any of the Ramones?’ No, I didn’t, but I was told they liked what we did.

Jonathan: ‘Looking forward to Norwich. Would you like a bottle of Norfolk gin?’ Nah – I’m terrible on gin – aggressive! At my age – not a good idea. Thanks, anyway.

Paul Rivers: She still doesn’t get it? What have I got to do!!

Danny G remembers Mick Ronson.

Cecil Piverotto: ‘What do you think Ronno would be doing if he were alive today?’ I have no idea – honestly.

Tim Wilson: ‘Come back to St. Louis.’ We would love to go back.

Dave Simmons: ‘Great album – can’t wait to see you play in London in June. Did you know there’s a racehorse called, ‘Hymn for the Dudes’? at the moment – ran the other day at Chelmsford – owned by Charles Wentworth – must be a fan.’

Matt Gorham: ‘Looking forward to the Stone Pony – my 5th time seeing you. Thank you for all the joy your music has brought me.’

Louise: You have selected the wrong tunes.

Bill Sinnett: ‘I find you one of the artists I continually listen to- thanks.’ Yes!

John: ‘Ian – I just wanted you to know in a world full of bullshit and lies – I’m honoured that you both write and sing the truth!!’ Ain’t getting better, is it?

John Leece: ‘Love ‘Fingers Crossed’ – thanks for coming back to the UK so soon.’ Pub noted!

Martyn Jones: If I remember correctly, it was 6, York Street – on the road at the moment and can’t check it.

McGarry: ‘Amazed at the length of the tour – no Scottish dates !!’ That was down to the promoter in Scotland and our agent. We love Scotland but not my department. Some gigs don’t want you back too soon.

Elizabeth M: ‘Are you annoyed by fans going to gigs and watching through their phones?’ I don’t see the point.
Will you come back to LA?’ We’re on the way.

Bruce CB: ‘Ever thought of ‘Red Letter Day’ in the set?’ It’s the old problem – you can’t do too many slow ones in a set and I’ve written a lot of them.

Philly Bob: ‘Stranded in Reality’ (the box set) has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving!’ Blush.

Andy Smith: ‘Picked up No 806 (of 1,000) gold version of ‘Dandy’. How’s it selling?’ Dunno – see you at the Plug.

David Drew: ‘Emergency request…..’ Sorry David, just reading this now.

Matt: ‘Every aspect of ‘Through the Looking Glass’ continues to amaze me – 43 years after its release. How old were you when you wrote it? This incredibly haunting lyric and nerve shattering melody?’ This is going to sound dumb, but all I remember of this song is the very last line. I was probably in my early 30’s.

Dennis: ‘Will there ever be a ‘Best of’ collection of your more recent work?’ It usually happens eventually.

Iain Moss: ‘Glasgow!’ Not this time, sorry.

Mark F: ‘DiBrizzi’s tweet of the Shepherds Pie was mouth watering – any chance Mrs. H would share the recipe? I read it to her – she giggled.

JD Pennock and his cousin are flying into Chicago from Salt Lake City. ‘I’ve picked up the albums over the years and ‘Fingers Crossed’ has hit me strongest of all. Anyway I can get a set list?’ We prefer to surprise on the night, but ‘Fingers Crossed’ is heavily featured.

Mark Day: ‘Did MTH ever play Norwich?’ Not that I remember. (Justin adds … three times: 1970.01.16 and 1972.04.22 at the Uni, and 1971.08.14 at the Lad’s Club)

Trevor is going to Whitley Bay. The seaside!

Steve (from K.C.) ‘I realize your songs have been a constant for me. Just want to say thank you for putting all of our thoughts and feelings into such meaningful words and music over the years. See you in the UK in June.’ Ta, Steve.

Jeff: Beau geste.

John Caswell is going to the Winery on June 3rd.

I’m off to do the casino sound check. Sorry if I missed you.

Stay cool


The Horse’s Mouth

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