Skip to content
Skip to main site content Ian Hunter Logo

Horse’s Mouth

April 12, 2020

Horse's Mouth (Issue #208, April 2020)

The Horse’s Mouth
4 April 2020

Morning. Hope you lot are staying sensible. Those of you in the NY area – the only thing I listen to is Curtis Sliwa and ‘Jet set Juliette’ on WABC radio – everything else is crap. I know it’s bad, but there’s too much hysteria. Stop the hype – facts only. People need relief – not bullshit.

Mike Mills: ‘Any chance of a new album?’ Working on it.

Francis L.: 1) ‘What inspired the ‘American Pie’ opening on Broadway’. It was probably the bit hit back then and somebody in the band suggested it. .2) ‘Did you ever do a book tour?’ I’ve been asked to, but never got around to it.

Lynn Ballas: I had to cancel all of the tinnitus stuff because of the C.V. It’s up and down – no pattern. Thanks for the info.

Mike Winikoff hopes I’m feeling better.

Jeffrey; I let you know my opinion of TV weather – see.

Bobby Joyce: ‘Can we get you to Hull for Mick’s concert?’ I guess everything’s on hold.

Kyle Everett: ‘What was it like working with Jaco?’ You would have to remember that Jaco was 21 when I worked with him – before all the L.A. crap went down. He had a huge ego (ok when directed the right way), but if he trusted you, he was lovely to be with. Amazing musician.

Rick Goward: Thanks, Rick.

Ray Harper: Good luck with the book.

Jim Patterson: Bad man ‘n’ Robin!

Greg Golden: Styx – say no more. Silly.

Garry Pressman: ‘UK tour this year?’ I’m realizing these comments are pre- Corona. We all know what’s going on – everything’s on hold.

John Gill ‘Went to an evening with Woody Woodmansey, and in the Q + A at the end, I asked him why the Spiders were never able to nail ‘Dudes’ while Mott the Hoople did. He said Mott approached it as a single. Is this your view?’ Well, David offered us ‘Suffragette City’ but we didn’t think that was strong enough for a single – so then he offered us ‘Dudes’. So, I guess we were looking for a hit – and so was he. I think they’d done it in ‘C’ and we took it up to ‘D’ which ‘livened’ it up a bit. I think there was some sax on his version – and we didn’t want that. Ralpher then played that great intro and I added a little chat on the end. It happens all the time. Songs get changed around – sometimes you get lucky!

Billy D: ‘It Aint Easy When You Fall’ – at that time Mick was leaving, or in the process of leaving and when he did leave we saw more of him than when he was in the band. He’d come round and play us stuff on his Revox, and after he left me and Pete would shake our heads – this stuff was going nowhere (we thought). The rest is history!!!

Dan Sutton: ‘Any chance of your early albums being re-released on vinyl? There was talk – but now everything’s come to a full stop.

Mike Floate: If you’re taking about the Mott premier – Jimmy was there – very nice guy – liked the Mott ‘sound’. He was sitting with Ralpher.

Joe s: ‘L.A. Roxy – ‘Cher walked out after Laugh at Me – probably because you smoked Sony’s version.’ Dunno. I remember Leslie West walking out when we did ‘Long Red’. Later on, we asked him why, and he said our version pissed all over the original. It didn’t, but he thought it did.

Michael Reed: Any memories of writing ‘Hymn for the Dudes’? No, but I guess we were pretty tight at the time.

Eva: Noted. Thanks.

Chris Kelly: ‘Amazed you and Miller backed Billy Fury and went to his parent’s house. How did this happen?’ I don’t think it was Mill – it might have been. I remember being in Billy’s Mom’s house because I never really knew he had that many gold and silver records. Every wall in the house was covered in them! Lovely man. I can’t remember how we got the gig.

Rick O Jones: They looked good, but that’s about it.

Randie: No, never recorded with Ray – met him a few times back in the day.

Don: We’ll see.

Neil McCormak: That’s a shame! I don’t bite! Thank you.

Barry: ‘Do an album, if you can’t. tour.’ We’ll see.

Tom L.: Cheers!

Bro: Cheer!

Tony S: Cheers!

John Dalton: ‘Ever meet Robbie Robertson?’ No, I was a Levon fan. The Band – one of the best ever. Great ‘Band’ documentary.

Bill Mason: Cheers!

Kyle Telleson: I had a couple of Gibsons once that were 2 of only 5 made for some specific fair. They were too heavy, so I let them go. Earl Slick got one of them. Dumb!

Matt Lanzarott: Cheers!

Bruce Wilk: Yeah, sometimes you get lines that are special. You just have to leave yourself open for them. It’s kind of fluky.

Fred Burkhardt: Cheers!

Terry Vee: Gateshead!

Terrie Walters: Still haven’t figured it out

Snit: ‘Ever guested on anyone’s recording that wasn’t released?’ Don’t think so; interesting question.

Rob Fryer: Here’s a guy who’s still got his ‘Sea Divers’ membership card. How any of you still have one? Nice one, Rob.

Wayne Cristaudo: Nah!

Oor Wullie: One can but hope? Good days and sometimes not so good.

J: ‘Picked up a copy of ‘Short Back + Sides’ two weeks ago. It hit on every type of music that came before, foreshaddows popular music of the next three years, while at the same time captures the sound of NYC in 1981. F___ing brilliant record.’

Tom Willis: ‘Ta for the heads up re: Equis in Hamilton. It’s the best!’ We never miss it on Scottish gigs. It’s not only the ice cream – everything in there is first class. Been going there 77 years.

Bob Boyle: I saw that pink Lincoln outside a house in Long Island and banged on the house door and inquired if it was for sale. The Guy said ‘no’ but rang me up later saying he’d sell it because his mates were calling him a pansy!

Harry Sack: A Stockholm Indian knock my socks off. There are great places all over. There’s a good Italian near me.

Terry: Campbell Devine’s done a two part biography published by Omnibus. Volume one is out now and volume II is scheduled for when things get sane again.

David Gray: Really enjoyed Campbell Devine’s ‘Rock ”n’ Roll Sweepstakes’. When is part II being published? (see above) Bought my original copy of ‘Diary’ for 20p. in the OBAN (Scotland) branch of John Menzies.’ They owe me!

Kev the Rev: We’ve done a few festivals, but not Reading. Not keen on festivals, although they do pay well. Stick to the garden.

Allan in Portlandia: ‘The original Maltese Falcon guitar you played was made in Kent, WA by Harvey Thomas – a local performer who got into making instruments in the late 60’s. Guitar Maniac store in Tacoma, WA had about 12 different models of HTR guitars 10 years ago. The last time I was in, there was a Maltese Falcon like yours. The neck had been repaired and they were nice enough to let me handle any guitar I wished.’ Well, Harvey had a great sense of style, but that was about it. I sold mine to a guy in Folkstone, UK. The ‘Joe Elliott’ one that I have now, looks the part and sounds great as well. Thanks for the info.

Kirk Loveland: ‘Saw on the news Toronto Western hospital had a doctor doing surgery for tinnitus and curing patients!’ WOW!

Sean: ‘Any plans to re-issue Mental Train Box set? Can’t find it anywhere.’ Dunno.

Andrew Dow: You must have somebody else mixed in there by mistake. This could never be!! Appreciate your interest.

J: ‘My aunt has lived in NYC since 1958 and she’s moving to New Hampshire in May. My aunt ‘I effin hate it here.’ Central Park ‘n’ West it’s not.’ But it was.

Wayne Curr: ‘Bob Dylan – greatest writer ever in Rock ‘n’ Roll?’ (Without a doubt.) Did you ever meet Bob Dylan?’ Yup.

Mike Costanza: ‘Enjoying Campbell Devine’s new book. You’ve got yourself a fine biographer there. About Guy Stevens -did you have any contact with him later in your career, after MTH and did he comment on your solo albums or did he approach you to produce? Guy was a genius concerning band names – album names – covers. Ten minutes with Guy could probably turn an unknown band into the next Beatles!’ Well, if you wanted to sell millions of records I wouldn’t say Guy would be your first choice. Guy was for the center of rock ‘n’ roll spirit wise. That’s what he always looked for – the real thing – not actors. Most people can’t tell the difference between the real thing and actors – same in politics! I know he sold a few with the Clash, but the Clash understood him – as we did. Guy was not everybody’s cup of tea. I loved him, but he went downhill once too often and he couldn’t be stopped. If he’d have had a voice to match his ideas, he’d have been up there with Elvis!

Glen: I lived in Chappaqua, NY and was hitchhiking when you picked me up in a big, black Blazer (Chevy). I couldn’t speak – blown away. I miss hitchhiking; too bad it’s unsafe.’ Yup, I wouldn’t pick you up nowadays either!

Carlos Mathews: Overnight Angels is false – and nobody’s fault but mine. Fake music!!

Michael Bavone: Cheers, Michael.

Fat Wally: ‘Somebody said, ‘Hope I die before I get old.’ Did you ever think you’d live this long?’ I didn’t think I’d made 50 – Trudi had other ideas!

ET Allen: ‘ Your favourite Ronno album?’ I haven’t got one. ‘Ronno’s favourite your album?’ All American Alien Boy – and he’s not on it.

Drew Cantrell: ‘On ‘The Good Doctor’ this week they played, ‘Through the Looking Glass’ – nice to hear MTH on a TV show. Also bought the biog.’ Nice one.

Steve Engyel: ‘Re: tinnitus – had it for years – come to Toronto.’ Maybe I will – to the hospital!

Jodi Miller: It’s been a pleasure, Jodi.

Stefan: Which restaurant?

Rick: Nice one!

Mike Costanzo: Check out ‘Better Call Saul’. We have.

Steve Rager says he can’t find a copy of ‘We’ve Got a Great Future Behind Us’ for under a grand. Will it be re-released? I don’t think there are any plans for that.

Hannah Krisstan: Lovely guy – good fun – intelligent. So sorry about this.

Atle Askeland: I remember those gigs. I really can’t comment on the Scandinavian system as I’m not fully up on it, but America should take a real good look at itself – and quickly.

Mark B: Well that’s nice, Mark – appreciated.

Carlo Mathews: Leon Russell.

Rob Mend: Yeah, I went up to Woodstock and talked to Harvey and I think we were rehearsing or we were going to rehearse ‘Alien Boy’ with a view of taking it on the road. In the end, I got cold feet. Not because of them – I just didn’t feel confident enough to do this album ‘live’ at the time – too many slow tunes. Harvey Brooks ‘The Fabulous Rhinestones (and Electric Flag) – check them out.

Steven Kalnasy: A fellow tinnitus sufferer – I’m 6 months too. Hang in.

Gareth Toms: You mentioned Mary Hopkins (ex) husband. Did you ever consider him producing one of yours? To tell you the truth, we met David – he wanted to do it, so that was it. It could have happened, but for some reason it never did.

Rich: Cheers!

Matt G: Cheers!

David Yohn: Oh, dear. Sorry about that.

Dave Tapps: ‘Is ‘Overnight Angels’ LP cover – a cropped version of full head shot painting/drawing,or is it simply a bespoke drawing for the LP.’ I know it was done for the album – but that’s about it.

Anna-Maria: Thanks, Anna.

John Eastwood: Thanks, John

Joe McGrath: Thanks, Joe

Willie Wit: ‘Is your health ok?’ My health is fine.

Tony Day: More power to you, mate. Esteem to your daughter – a true star.

Lynne: ok with the cv – tinnitus better, but unresolved as of yet.

Minna Pinger: What a nice letter – thank you.

Laurent: ‘Overview’ comes to mind for some reason.

Jeffrey: Same to you.

Jeffko: So far, so good.

Michael DeMola: ‘Any ideas about. Stir crazy song?’ Yup.

Doreen: ‘Where can I see you?’ Nowhere, at the moment.

Edward Pearce – on a remix of ‘Overnight Angels’. Impossible – you could actually see through some of the tape.

Martin: Coronavirus -Just like to wish all on the site to follow advice and stay safe.

Phil Grant: Your wife is a saint, give her our love. Heroes, both of you!!

Keith Hollinshed: ‘In the biography it says the master tapes for the ‘Dudes’ album turned up – but were sold at auction.’ I didn’t know this – wow.

Connor Peters: ‘Do you have a favourite Def Leppard song?’ The album ‘Slang’.

John O’Rourke: ‘Acoustic performance from home?’ Nah!

Mathew Gorham: Re: Howard Stern/’Dudes’. I think I did it with Steve and James. Just remember I had my eyes closed when I was singing it and at some point I opened them – Howard’s booth as some distance away from where we were playing – but he’d left his booth and was now inches from my face. It was a bit of. shock – maybe it’s the hair – but his head was huge close up.

J: ‘Andy Fraser is completely forgotten as a bassist – why is this? Was he that much of an a-hole? On the odd occasion I met him, he seemed like a very serious, sober sort of guy – totally into what he did – which was great. Very straight – not a party guy. I didn’t really know him, but that was my take.

Seth Purvin:. i) ‘How did we get old?’ I know!! ii)’Have you heard ‘Murder Most Foul’ by Bob – so simple yet amazing. Why can’t others write such epics?’ It’s not only the song – he’s done a decade. Who does decades?

Todd McGowan: Up and down.

Stewart Rowley – as above – Dylan.

Rick Graves: Everything’s down for now.

Tom Doeing: Am I writing – I do a bit now and again.

Philip Holmes: Thank you, Philp – regards to the chaps.

Noel Cunnngham: There was a festival at Milton Keynes – Thin Lizzy – me – others – before going on Trudi said she wanted to catch a song, so Phil said he’d look after Jess so she could – and he did!

Nik: ‘My wife’s been listening to the ballads on ‘Once Bitten’ compilaton. Asked me to tell you that you saved her life today. Thank you.’ Good – good. I’m glad for her!

Jocktrick: ‘Hello from Scotland. Hope the ringing’s gone. ‘ Cheers, Martin.

Ken H: I’m not in the UK – I’m in the USA – both countries – similar reactions – this is no time to be stupid. Stupid’s fun – but this is no time to be stupid.

Colin Thayer: ‘Did you ever meet Joe Cocker?’ Yup. Chris Blackwell left him in our dressing room – somewhere. Very nice guy – if a trifle confused. Steve Holley, who plays drums in the Rant Band, was with Joe for 3 years. Enjoyed every minute.

James Zemba: I wrote ‘Wings’ when we were living in NYC. Robbie Alter did all the original guitars on the demo – we did in our apartment- as he did on ‘The Loner’ and a few others. Ronno remained pretty true to Robbie’s original idea. I like the song. We do it now and again – it’ simple.

Tim Livingstone says ‘Roger C Real and Rue Morgue ‘Collection’ has just been released – that has an album previously unreleased with Mick Ronson, Jimmy McAllister and Hilly Michaels. Tim says – really great stuff.

And so to bed!

I know I missed a few and we’re all wishing each other well through this crap. American TV drives me up the wall!

Thank God for Netflix, Amazon etc.

Thanks for joining in!!

The Horse’s Mouth

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