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Horse’s Mouth

April 7, 2018

Horse’s Mouth (Issue #193, April 2018)

The Horse’s Mouth
April 1, 2018

Thank God for Netflix!! ‘Babylon Berlin’ – best thing since ‘The Sopranos’!

Jeffrey is agreeing with me about idiotic pharma ads.

Oystein didn’t understand why the Astoria DVD and CD (Just Another Night) wasn’t included in the box set. The answer is that they wouldn’t license them to us.

Carol Clark McMullen: ‘Please tell me what sort of effort would be required to have a MTH reunion show in New England?’ A rather expensive one.

Philly Bob: ‘Fantastic run in Boston – so glad we made it. Highlight of the show 1 was ‘Don’t Let Go’ – would have walked to Boston to hear that; and night 2 rocked even more – switching 23A to the end was a great move. Thanks to you and the Rant Band.’ We had a ball.

Pasquale: ‘NY or Sweden?’ This year I’d go for Sweden – we’re not doing the U.S. this year. Talking to the Winery about my 80 – weather and health permitting.

Matt Nojonen: ‘How accurate are online lyrics?’ I really don’t know. I sometimes use them for my own stuff – some of them are suspect – I suspect.

Marty G: ‘Will MTH do the U.S.?’ Doubt it.

Danny G asks would I sing one of his songs if it were good enough. If it was good enough – you wouldn’t be giving it to somebody else!

Pete Morris: ‘In the first verse of ‘Rain’ you name check Lynn’s Cafe – was that the café just round the corner from the ABC cinema in Northampton?’ Yup. Had a great jukebox. Not as good as The Mitre’s, but very good.

Alan (your fav) Baker: ‘Out of all the guitar players you’ve worked with, is there anyone who is a little notch above the others, and for what reason?’ I’ve never worked with horrible guitarists. Always been lucky in that respect, but they’re such bitches about each other I wouldn’t dream of venturing an opinion!!

Jeffrey – the word is not ‘blow’ it’s ‘slam’. What would weather be without fear and drama. Incidentally, it didn’t blow or slam as per usual.

Brit Fan: ‘Did Blue Weaver play in the U.S. only? Thought I saw him in Sheffield.’ Can’t remember. Blue is a magnificent player, but I think his band was the Bee Gees – although he had fun with MTH.

Adrian McMinn says he nicked some words off me, but I don’t see them, so he’s safe – for now.

Joe S: When Joe and his mates were in their mid-teens they would debate on who was the best this or that. One category was who had the best scream or howl. Apparently, I came second for my screech at the end of ‘Death May Be Your Santa Claus’ – beating Ian Gillan (‘Child in Time’) but losing to Roger Daltry (‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’). A. You didn’t have much going on back then and B. Nothing much changed then?!

Carlo Mathews says I’ve influenced his taste and his music making. Sincere apologies, Carlo.

Jimmy Andrews: ‘Ever crossed paths with the Gallagher Brothers over the years? Noel always said Glam was a huge influence on him. They even sang portions of ‘Dudes’ at the end of their live performances of their song ‘Whatever’.’ Never met either. Admire balls though – and they both have them – Manchester lads.

Jeffrey Brown badly needs an autograph, but I’m afraid we don’t’ do that here.

Bedford Pete: ‘Any plans for your 80? Yeah – talking to the Winery in NYC about that – if I’m still in one piece. Nothing certain as of yet.

John Holcomb: ‘What amps were you and Mick Ralphs using around the time of ‘Mott’ and ‘Live’?’ Marshall 50’s with one 4×12.

Matt wants MTH recorded and videoed.

John Caswell: ‘Were or are you a country and Western fan? Some of your newer work sometimes hints of modern country.’ Country is part of what I do – what I do is across the board – I was a huge fan of ‘The Band’ – Levon Helm especially, and of course, Dylan – that’s all in the mix and eventually surfaces from time to time.

Steve H: ‘Any chance of other UK gigs for MTH?’ Nothing at the moment.

John: ‘Do you intend to visit the Bowie exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in NYC?’ Nope.

Anthony P: We would see ‘Roxy’ from time to time and Andy liked to hang out with Mott. It was only natural that he’d wind up playing on something.

Marlen LaBianco: Nothing this year; although we’re talking about next year.

Mark F asks if we ever worked with Brian Ferry or the other chaps in Roxy? As I said, we used to bump into them from time to time and Andy use to be around. Nice Guys – good musicians. They were in Air 2 when we were in Air 1. I remember we’d started the ‘Mott’ Album with Bill Price and were still looking for a producer. Brian and Eno popped by and both said – this is good – you don’t need a producer. We never did get one. So thank you Brian and Eno for saving us a few bob!!

Neil McCormack: ‘When you first got together with ‘Mott’ who was your first ‘mate’ in the band, and what was your general impression of them as individuals? Mott always struck me as ‘different’.’ You can say that again. None of them spoke to me; it was Stan Tippins (whose place I was taking) who made me feel somewhat secure. They were very close knit – up from Hereford – and prone to going back as often as they could. I think they thought of me as a London lad even though I was from Shrewsbury – which is only 60 miles from Hereford. Later we all got pretty tight, but there had always been that invisible ‘Hereford Ring’. Of course I became the ‘front man’ which didn’t really help. We had great times – the humour was hilarious – when one stopped ,another started – and it wasn’t dumb humour. I was a lucky guy – I was older than them, but they gave me the shot – along with Guy.

Bob Boyle: Did the ‘Pink Mafia’ gay couch really exist?’ In some quarters – if one of they guys was gay – it helped. I know this for a fact, although I was never directly involved, neither were the bands I was in.

Bart: ‘You mentioned you drive a Mini – how tall are you? 5’10 1/2’ – see this is a fallacy. Minis are big inside. The original ones weren’t.

Sari Zirin traveled from Israel to Berlin for the Quasimodo concert – appreciates my integrity!! Thank you,

Eoghan Lyng: ‘Thanks for writing ‘Michael Picasso’ – it was a great comfort to me when a friend died. How did Ronson use his gift from Bowie to Reed to Morrissey and to yourself? Was he an easy collaborator as well as a gifted musician?’ As Joe Elliott would say, ‘Have you got three weeks?’ The first thing that comes to mind would be the fact that Mick had virtually no ego. He made people feel at ease almost instantly. He wasn’t particularly forthcoming – you had to ask him for whatever you wanted and then he would give it – in spades. He was perfectly happy to watch people trying to get themselves out of some musical mess they were in and wait until they finally turned to him and then he’d deliver the solution simply, quickly and without fanfare. He was naturally gifted plus he’d worked hard at it in his ‘apprenticeship’ years. He played violin and piano and could talk orchestral parlance if need be. Daft as a brush – could be a little crazy – but thoughtful and kind – and the list goes on. Daughter, Lisa, inherited a lot of his traits.

Anthony s: ‘Hope you’re feeling better, Mr. H. Love the column – nice you take the time. Saw a post of your may be retiring? Can’t imagine the time it takes to book shows and do studio work – must get tiring. But NO!’ Well – I don’t book the shows and I’m rarely in the studio – and I’ve never thought of retiring.

Pasquale: No Winery – bought tickets for Dalhalla. See you in the bar!’ I’m sure you will, Pasquale. Thanks for traveling.

Artos the Bear says I’m aging very well. ‘Is aging awful?’ I suppose it is, but I haven’t noticed anything yet.

Pat: ‘Read Trevor Bolders’ book – got the feeling he was let down by Bowie and Defries – felt he was owed something (money, appreciation?). Do you just chalk this up to show biz? How important was the band to Bowie’s career? Bolder said Bowie would play folk songs to them and the band would punch them up. Do you think the Spiders got a raw deal?’ I can’t really comment on another band’s situation. I was, however, there the night David ‘retired’ and I remember talking to Woody at the party afterwards. I told him I was sorry to hear David was retiring and Woody said, ‘yeah pity he never told me.’

Rich Michi: ‘Glad to hear you’ll tour in ’19 – mid-Atlantic, please and not on Mondays! Been listening and watching since ’74. It’s been a pure joy!’ Ta.

Dave Land: ‘Why did it take me until I was 43 before I discovered your music (you wuz listening to Noddy Holder ‘n’ co). You even played Wolverhampton?’ Yes – the Civic – and Noddy and Co were in the front row!

Bryan Paterson: ‘Have you any idea of the sheer numbers of us who would like to see a Mott2 Tour?’ Dunno. I just wanted to give Morgan and Luther their due.

John Reh: ‘Do you know if Joe Elliott and the Outs are considering playing the States in 2018?’ As far as I know, he’s out with the Leps in 2018.

Pat: ‘Did Bowie and you ever discuss your music after the ‘Dudes’ album. Would have loved to have heard his opinion of ‘Marionette’.’ Nah – we never spoke about stuff like that, although I got it back second hand that he liked my song writing.

Ian Pearce: You can never say never.

Matt Nojonen: ‘Sunshine Eyes’ is actually one of the best things I ever wrote and it still gets me emotionally. It’s just me and a drum machine and a crappy organ playing in our NYC apartment over the East River. It’s about Jesse.

Matt Nojonen: You still got it, kid!!

Tracy Viser: How nice!! It’s OK with us. Go for it!

Bob Boyle: No idea.

Seymour Hare: Any chance of mini West Coast Rant Band tour (’18/’19)? Possibly 2019.

Rant Band are fantastic – keep them together for a long time (I already have) and they will be at the MTH shows. Were you pals with the late, great Lou Reed? (Nope). Did you ever work together? (Once).

Phil Grant: By the way – I always thought Mott were the best band ever, but the Rant Band – led by you and anchored by Steve Holley – is impossible to beat. Come back to Atlanta.’ We’d love to.

Christopher: ‘One of our family’s long term friends, Mike Harrison (ex. Spooky Tooth lead vocalist) passed away Sunday. Hope you don’t mind me passing on this sad news as I understand you were buddies long ago!’ We were on the same label (Island), but I didn’t know Mike, although Luther obviously did. What can one say. I feel badly for his family and I’m sure Luther’s feeling it too.

James Zemba: ‘Thank you Ian – and all involved in making ‘Stranded in Reality’ a reality for all its followers. Of course I had everything previously released, but with the additional 5 1/2 hours plus of rare video and nearly 13 hours of rare audio – this set is a treasure trove of pure bliss. I’ve been thru it now 3 times and I’m still in awe! Look forward to the next tour and great things to come. God bless you, Mr. Hunter, thanks for 49 wonderful years.’ That’s the way to do it!!

Lucky Harris Leigton: ‘ I am contacting you on behalf of my dad, Stephen Leighton…..’ Tell Steve to hang in. I’m up there and I’ve lost a lot of close friends over the years. Some even beat it and are still with us. Mott’s bass player passed recently, but not before entertaining the entire hospice – bringing in guitars and still playing away. When are they going to find a cure for this … Anyway, tell your Dad I’m rooting for him!

Nicholas Malcolm: ”Bout time for ‘Gun Control’ to come back – four minutes of sensibility.’ Don’t think they had drones back then did they?

John O’Rourke: Any chance of birthday show at the Winery this year?’ No – otherwise engaged; but like I said – it would be nice to do the 80th there – if I’m still kickin’.

Dan Baker: Do you make any money from streaming?’ Some, but not nearly as much as from downloads.

Pat: ‘Just went to a website which gives the impression that Barry Manilow wrote ‘Ships’ (that’s show biz for yah). People are saying how much that song means to them. One guy says it reminds him of his father and brings tears to his eyes whenever he hears it (that bad, huh).’ Good old Barry – ain’t no Frank Sinatra, is he?

Ted Malash: ‘Did you write ‘Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll’? (Yup.) Do you remember the shows that Queen opened for you?’ (Bits). Will you play the New York area again?’ (Yup.)

Pat H: ‘Why were Luther and Morgan left out of the 2009 and 2012 reunion shows when they were there?’ No comment on that. What I’m trying to do now is give Morgan and Luther their due. Steve Holley will be on drums and Paul Page will be on bass. Martin Chambers did a magnificent job on the previous reunions (he’s out with the Pretenders).

OK. If I missed you I apologize.
It’s still snowing.
Oh well!


The Horse’s Mouth

P.S. Some of these old lyrics are ‘wordy’. It’s taking a little longer to learn ’em!

If you would like to hear it “straight from the Horse’s Mouth”, you can Ask your question here.