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Horse’s Mouth

January 13, 2019

Horse's Mouth (Issue #200, January 2019)

The Horse’s Mouth
January 12, 2019

Late as usual! Christmas ‘n’ all that. Happy New Year you lot!!

Jeffrey, Phillip Grant and Matt Parish, James ‘Tripp’ Pair – all wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving – oh dear – thanks!!

Oooer Wullie: No there is NO room for a kazooist!!

Al Johnson paid 80p to see MTH + Queen in Blackburn in 1973. ‘And now the kids pay 50 quid cost the need it just the same.’

Carol Mathews: ‘I often play your music back to back with J.J. Cale’s – any thoughts on his style/work etc.?’ Not to informed, I’m afraid – sorry.

Thomas Leiber: ‘Was there a specific person as an inspiration for ‘Man Overboard’ and thanks for capturing that song!’ I’ve know people like that.

Daphne: ‘What’s your favourite Scottish expression?’ Ye’vee a direct line!!

Bob Boyle: ‘Any recollections of Frank Barcelona?’ Frank was our first concert promoter – along with Dee Anthony. It didn’t do to argue the point!

Alan (in Portlandia): We couldn’t afford Jimmy Miller when we were on Island – not that his name came up.

Jim K: The ’74 crew won’t be playing the Winery – just me and the Rant Band.

Joe Manzello: Sorry – not this time.

Rick Goward: Sorry, no West Coast.

William Williams wants Scranton/Wilkes-Barre gig. I’m down with that – nice people.

Elaine Eaves is happy about Manchester. Never stop doing what you do!’

Jon White: ‘What happened to the website forums?’ Try Ian Hunter Appreciation Society – plenty going on there.

John Frawley’s a ‘Rant’ fan – thanks!

Rob Main: Melbourne to Gateshead – now that’s a schlepp!! Any idea of the running order – yes. Will you tell us – no!

Neil McCormack: I don’t have a copy of VHS Ian Hunter Rocks – so I don’t know who the drummer is. If Ronno’s on it then it could be Eric Parker.

Tony Day: Never been in a movie.

Alastair Ramage learned ‘Ships’ on acoustic. Is ‘Rip Off’ in open tuning? Can’t remember – try open G. Alastair is going to the Barrowlands gig – that’s the one I’m really looking forward to doing.

Tony V: ‘Are there any demos of you singing ‘Can’t Get Enough’? Dunno.

Rick Goward: See you in Boston!

David Shasha: Hi Ian – 200th Horse’s Mouth! Thanks on behalf of all your fans – we really appreciate the effort!’

Greg Becker: ‘Looking forward to Chicago.’

Lynn Brown: Happy HallowThanksMas (Hope this covers you and the clan). NY? 2019? Canna wait.

Geoff: British tour is pretty much set, Geoff. Our agent lives in Brighton, but no reasonable offer was forthcoming. The Andy York, Dave Roe ‘n’ me trio record is done. Just trying to figure out what to do with it.

Clyde: ‘Did you name your 1990 album ‘YUI Orta’ because you’re a three stooges fan? That was one of Moe’s regular lines! I think it’s a great album.’ Yeah – Mick Ronson was saying it a lot around that time and we decided to use it. Nobody really got it at the time.

Connor Peters: ‘How did you meet Joe Elliott and Def Leppard?’ Their record company PR girl in New York rang up and said Joe wanted to meet me – so we did.

Joe S: Your very impressionable at 14-15 – stuff hits you hard – first love – first music – first grown up stuff. Pretty powerful time and it tends to stick.

Matt Nojonen: Suggesting the book ‘Mayflower’ by Nathaniel Philbrick. I received so many books for Christmas and I don’t seem to get the time to read them. ‘Got a copy of ‘Diary’ for my birthday (HB) – really enjoyed it. The contrast between Mott and Japan sections was glaring. Two very different road worlds. I grew up in the Midwest and your descriptions of those places at those time and in those seasons were dead on – the cold – the gray – the decay – the hostility’

Erik Huth: Euphoric to hear Milwaukee may host MTH!

Kevin Dennis: ‘The success of Queen’s biopic inspired Denver’s Regis University to create a promo video marking the fact that Queen’s first U.S. show occurred on the campus. The infamous fake poster showing Queen as the headliner inspired a number of online finger wags and reminiscing about the concert. Do you have any memories of the 1974 Denver gig and Queen’s American debut?’ I remember we were staying in a place that had been an apartment building which was about to be converted into a hotel – so we all had apartments! I remember Freddie marching up and down in my apartment grousing ‘When will these silly bastards get it?’ Impatient little buggers! I told him – England’s small – America is huge – it just takes a little longer! You know the rest!

Phil Lewry saw Todd Rundgren recently out in Australia. He said Todd toured with an Australian band. ‘Great night’. ‘Do you have fond memories of working with Todd?’ Mr. Busy!!! He can do more in an hour than I can in a month. We had a great time on a short tour we did way back. Brilliant musician.

John Dalton: ‘Did the release of ‘Pet Sounds’ and ‘Sgt. Pepper’ blow your mind to such a degree that they impacted the way you wrote and recorded your own albums during that period?’ Don’t get me wrong – these were epics – but neither influenced me at all. For some reason, I’m never keen on getting into something everybody likes. The only albums that got me off were Dylan – The Stones – Little Richard – Chuck Berry and Jerry Lee. (OK – everybody liked them too!)

Gus: ‘What’s wrong with me? Mott the Hoople is one of the greatest rock bands ever, but I don’t get the fuss about Queen – in my book the most over-rated band in history. Must I kiill myself?’ A serious maiming will do.

MG Driver: ‘What kind of car do you drive? Do you listen to satellite radio (Sirius XM)? Favourite station – Underground Garage? They play a lot of your stuff.’ I drive a 2008 Mini – which is in perfect condition – so now my loyalty will not allow me to replace it. It doesn’t have satellite (Trudi’s car does). The radio in the Mini is stuck on 770 – ABC – which is full of idiot shock -jocks – the only outstanding exception being Curtis Sliwa – who I think is the only sane man in New York.

Matt sends me his latest: It seems words come easier to him than they do to me – it’s like pulling teeth!! Nice one, Matt.

Mike: ‘Do you think you’ll ever finish ‘Henry and the H Bomb’?’ I think Jeff Tweedy sorted that one out.

Bryan George: ‘I’ve always found your song ‘Waterlow’ so touching – it always pulls my heart strings. What inspired you to write it?’ Too close for comfort.

Chris White: ‘I know you’re a fan of Sonny Bono – any interest in seeing Cher’s Broadway show?’ Noah – but she’s great.

Danny G: The playing or the writing? The playing’s more fun; the writing’s more satisfaction.

Rick Graves: ’30 years since the Vogue in Indianapolis. How do you select songs you want to cover?’ In the early days, Guy Stevens came up with a few that were on his bucket list. Over the years other people have suggested covers from time to time. ‘Isolation’ was an Andy York idea. The only one I recall wanting to cover was ‘Berkeley Square’ and ‘Berkeley Square’ is just how I imagined it from the original 78’s; beautiful piece of writing.

Andy – Nothing for the West Coast at the moment.

Ryan Boerema: ”An’ I remember all the good times – me ‘n’ Miller enjoyed. Up and down the M1 in some luminous yo-yo toy.’ Who was Miller?’ Miller is my brilliant mate Miller Anderson – great singer, great guitarist – google him up! We’re in different necks of he woods but he’s really special. Miller and I go back to the factory days. We struggled together until he got his break with Keef Hartley and later, I got mine with Mott the Hoople.

Steve O’Donnell: ‘First gig I was MTH on 22 March 1974 at Leicester De Montford Hall. Desperately need a programme.’ We’ve got nothing from that far back – anybody?

Peni Snose: What’s the status of the Rant Band? They will back Luther Morgan and me on the Mott ’74 gigs and then we pop out and do Rant Band gigs. Then an album – then a tour in the fall – and so it goes (I think).

Ryan Boerema: ‘Ariel Bender kept leaning into you during Azkena. Don’t you throw him around on stage, anymore?’ I was too busy trying to remember the lyrics! Don’t worry – I’ll get him!

Tom Doeing: Hendrix was a master. Nice guy – I met him in in Colin Johnson’s NEMS office (Colin has managed Status Quo, forever). I remember I was sitting on the floor and Jimi wandered in. He couldn’t make up his mind which party to go to that night – one was in London and the other was in New York. I was duly impressed!! Mick was a Beck fanatic, but he loved Hendrix too.

Scott Strawn: ‘Any chance you’ll be asked to collaborate on Jimmy Page’s new project?’ I like Jimmy, he’s a sweet man.

Steve Engyel: Nothing at the moment – sorry.

Keith Hollinshed: Thanking for the current situations.

Rob Hudder: Northampton lad! My old stomping gound. Very fond of ‘Rose’ – badly underrated. Well, it was only a ‘B’ side on a single, so it didn’t get much notice.

Jeff Gress:’Have recently been listening to a lot of your solo stuff and Mott stuff on vinyl and sounds awesome. What’s your preference vinyl or CD?’ Vinyl – warmth.

Paul Franceschi: No West Coast dates, sorry.

James Geary: Received with much thanks!

Stretch: How many Grandkids?’ Three – Jamie, Ben and Louis.

Stonefly: ‘Did you ever meet or play with Joe Strummer?’ I remember being taken to a session in Whitfield Street in London by execs from CBS. He said this band want you to hear their stuff. This would have been the Clash’s first album, so I met him then. I met Paul a few times and I worked with Mick and Topper.

Wayne Deacon: Highly likely, but I wasn’t there.

Mary Drews: ‘Be well dear man.’

Joe S: There’s a distinct possibility!

M. Mohr: ‘Enjoyed MTH version of ‘Crossroads’. Did you ever meet Mr. Sahm, and do you still perform it?’ Ronno and I went to a club in NY where Doug was playing. We got up and played – Mick on guitar and me on piano. Good fun.

Paul D: This one’s too far back for me!

Jeff Cross: You’re very welcome, Jeff.

Alan Parry: Yes, but I didn’t ask why they name checked MTH.

Richard Moore: ‘How about the Ark in Ann Arbor one more time?’ OK

Keith Nickless says ‘Tax the Heat’ are very good. He also likes ‘White Buffalo’. There were several options in the mix – it just worked out the best with them.

Anthony Prendergast: ‘I realized recently that many of your songs are about me! (I was just wondering whom they were about). Did you ever get scared that the label might release a song that was too personal?’ Happened to me once. Ton of swearing (an inside joke at the time) – embarrassing to say the least. Still, I got it off my chest!

Bruce Schneider says I’m vastly underrated. I agree!!

Fred Burkhardt: Travelling north.

Peter Jordan: ‘Did Mick have a favourite song on YUI Orta?’ He liked ‘Beg a Little Love’.

Donn Deniston says when Bruce isn’t yelling he sometimes sounds like me. I think when Brice is yelling he sounds like Andy York.

Robert Mend: ‘Still alive and enjoying your work. Gave you some play on the Rock Pathology FB page.’

Phil Gillies: Canada’s kinda tax expensive.

Joe Livengood: ‘You and Bowie were such an early influence on my music and singing style that I named my son, Ian, after you. I wrote this song and decided to send it to recording magazine. It’s my 15 minutes!’ Thanks and best of luck with it.

Ooer Wullie: Oh, shut it!

Carlo Matthews: (i) ‘Did you ever come up wit a song from a dream?’ It’s difficult, but it can be done. It involves your conscious recognizing your sub-conscious; normally the two don’t meet. (ii) ‘Was there ever a song you didn’t manage to finish the way you would have liked, and what album was this?’ That would be ‘Broadway’ off ‘Overnight Angels’ – great verses and bridges leading up to a very average hook. Ran out of time on that one.
(iii) ‘All time favourite riff?’ Brown Sugar.

Phil Brown: ‘Just listened to ‘Live at BBC with Mick – ‘Beg a Little Love’ – bet you ain’t done that in a while.’ Bears thinking about, doesn’t it?

John Rasile: ‘How do you keep your singing voice so good?’ Well, it’s a muscle – so like any other muscle – it’s got to be worked on weeks before you go out the door. Can’t just leap into a two hour set – you have to work up to it. Two songs a day – 5 songs a day – and on up.

John want Cleveland – and he’s going to get it!

Tom Dunsmore: Jaco was great when he was working with me, but this was early on – before everybody started telling him how good he was.

Neil Brown: Enjoyed New Hampshire.

Bill C: I’m all in favor of the Rant Band doing something before I come on – less work for me! So far nobody’s volunteered.

Carol enjoyed latest version of the Diary.

Tripp Pair: The other way around.

Kellianne Flynne: It’s coming along, thanks. Trudi is fine apart from a cold + cough and she has help on this one.

Stonefly: ‘Black Dog’ is used as a term for depression.

Brit Fan: ‘We’re starving here – when you going to feed us?’ Soon.

Laurent: I’m not that into the classic composers – I’ll recognize a piece of music, but I’ll probably not know who wrote what. This is probably because I’m chiefly a lyricist. I take more time with the words than the music, and I do think I’ve got it the wrong way round. I know what you mean when you say some songs don’t fit. It’s kind of sad when you have one too many ballads and one of them has to leave the album.

Nancy Brass: If she see me tell her to say hello. I’m not that bad!

Ken: We were in Chappaqua from ’75-’78 but I was never at a school meeting.

Harry Wang: There’s a lot of talk about Fred’s choppers but I didn’t think they were that noticeable. He had a ‘full mouth’ but nothing out of the ordinary.

Jeffrey: Tell your Mum, Happy Birthday!

Timothy T. Peterson: ‘Can you explain royalties a bit for me? How much and how long. Do they change if others record your songs?’ You need a lawyer. Seriously, don’t ask me – see a lawyer.

Steve Parsons: ‘What am I looking forward to?’ FUN.

Constance: ‘Hoopril’ OK

Phil Wood: Yeah, somebody showed me that. Greg Hart – talented guy. Trudi would like to buy a print.

Joseph Zavilla: ‘When Luther hit the stage at the Palladium, first time out with Hoople – magic happened. I still talk to people I met at that show all these years later. I know when Luther walks into ‘Ariel Bender’ (the Great) he energizes everything and takes it up a notch.’ He’s not change a bit. Like I said, FUN.

OK – that’s it for now. Expect an announcement around January 22nd regarding Mott the Hoople ’74 dates in the U.S.

Back to the basement – all the best for the New Year!

The Horse’s Mouth
(Sorry Willie – the Horse’s Mooth)

P.S. Thanks for all the greetings.

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