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Horse’s Mouth

October 21, 2020

Horse's Mouth (Issue #214, October 2020)

The Horse’s Mouth
October 9, 2020

Everybody right should watch CNN, and everybody left should watch FOX, and anybody with any sense should turn it off!!!

Matt Parish: Got the Dylan CD – thanks a lot!!

Edward Shirley: ‘Is there a bass guitar on ‘Read ’em n Weep’ or did you play all that on a piano?’ Just checked with James – Tony Shanahan played upright bass and Andy Burton played piano.

Ritchie C: ‘I recently read an article about the movie ‘Spinal Tap’ and how a certain lead singer from a very famous American rock band did not get the movie at all. Did you see it and did you think it was funny?’ Of course I got Spinal Tap!!! At the Freddie Mercury benefit show I stood in front of them during the finale – which was ‘We Are the Champions’ and I asked one of them what the words were. They all looked at me like I was spinal tapping them!!

Tony: ‘Do you have any ideas for a Little Richard song?’ I don’t know what you mean – if you mean a rocker – yes.

Mark Kuhar: ‘Tell me a story about the song, ‘Walkin’ With a Mountain? Is that song title based on anything in particular?’ Probably. ‘How is the tinnitus?’ My tinnitus has a mind of its own – unfortunately, its attached to mine.

Peter Jordan: ‘Memories of ‘Dirty Laundry’ sessions?’ I was asked to participate in an album’s worth of Mexican folk songs. When I arrived at the studio things didn’t quite turn out that way. Most enjoyable. A bit out of its time, but we had a ball making that record.

Toni Ferrante: Shit happens!

Paul Dinford: Trudi will pass it on.

Maire: ‘Who does your hair?’ Susie Ronson was the person who cut my hair – God knows the last time. Lately I’ve been chopping it off myself due to Covid – great hairdresser.

Craig Nevitt: ‘Any chance you’ll cut ‘Suffragette City’? after all?’ To tell you the truth – it doesn’t blow me away.

Stan Davies: ‘Mad Shadows’ was probably Mott at its darkest. Guy was in bad shape; I was in bad shape, and, as a band, we were pretty unsure of ourselves. Early days. There’s blood in that record. Slow version of ‘Brain Capers, perhaps. Glad you liked ‘Wheels’.

Jim Coats: I have diaries from tours, but none have the ending that the ‘Diary’ has. As for your comments about ‘Roll Away the Sone’ – haven’t got a clue.

Gene Metrick: When I get a letter like this it makes it seem that we were doing things that were worthwhile – not just showing off (and making a few bob). Thank you for this, Gene. Condolences.

Mike Flanagan: ‘Any regrets? I regret unkind things I said to my mother.’ Of course. I’m no different to anybody else. Just don’t let it get to you.

Brit fan: ‘What’s your impression of a good bass player?’ Well, as you probably know, I’ve played with some great ones – Jaco, Pat Kilbride, Tony Shanahan, Pete Watts – like guitarists – they all have their different ways of doing things. I’ve never played with a bad bass player. Steve Holley wanted Paul Page and that’s how we got him. I love Paul and his playing. He’s a consummate team player – intelligent – and he wants to ‘get it right’. He’s a thinker. My favourite guitar is the one Joe Elliott gave me for my 70th birthday. Sounds like a Gibson Junior only better.

Dave Guthmann: I remember that gig – met Keith Moon after the show. I didn’t know about this!! Perhaps it was Keith!! Wouldn’t put it past him.

Connor Riley: ‘Favourite song on Schitzo album?’ Dunno really. I’d say, ‘The Outsider’ because of Mick’s playing.

Andy: ‘Can’t get enough of Robin Gibb’s voice. Did you know these guys?’ I met Robin Gibb once at an award show. He’d won some thing and I congratulated him – he just looked right through me. Dissed!

Ted Bryan: ‘Any chance of Mott ’74 tour in 2021?’ Is there any chance of anything happening in 2021? Nobody knows at this point.

Michael Maldonado: ‘Was any of ‘Marrionette’ autobiographical, and if so, was it directed at anyone in particular?’ Me against ‘them’ as per usual.

Kenny M: Favourite this – favourite that – as I’ve said before – they’re all my babies. I can’t favouritize. Well, I probably have, but I’ve changed my mind a couple of minutes later!

Mark Daum: ‘Has your hearing improved? Concerned.’ It’s still there, but it doesn’t bother me so much. I have new, improved hearing aids which cuts it a lot, plus I’m used to it now. It can be almost gone – it can be present – there is no logic. Just had ear molds done for in-ear monitors with a view to the future.

Jon White: ”AAA Boy’ is a timeless classic which gets better with age. Does it piss you off that CBS didn’t ‘get it’?’ Well, the only person at the time who ‘got it’ was Ronno – and he wasn’t on it. I think Joe Elliott said it best, ‘We were still kids – we were use to the whole rock thing and then you went and did this! NOW we get it.’ I thought it made a change. I definitely took a dive at that point, but what can you do? Maybe it could have been handled better, but that was not my department. I was producing it too! Scary!

Danny G: Next album is coming along just fine.

J.: ‘Has Rock ‘n’ Roll ever felt like a job to you?’ Sometimes, towards the end of a long tour – but it still beats the hell out of working in a factory.

Ivan Millest: (i). I’ve no idea. (ii) ‘I was at Birmingham Town Hall for the Mott/Queen gig – just sold my stub for £110 ! That’s probably more than we got for the gig – and definitely more than the ‘Queenies’ got!

Jeffrey: Same here.

Gon Maso: ‘Any chance of a Mott the Hoople ’74 live album?’ Don’t know at this point.

Javier: Lou and you…?

Seth: (1) ‘How did you know John Cale? Saw him a few times live – gave you every pennies worth.’ Can’t remember how I met John. We toured – we recorded – he got on well with me and Ronno. I think he moved out West. Great player. Welsh – they either like you or they don’t! (2) ‘Schizophrenic’ started life at Wessex Studios in London, but I wasn’t too happy with the way it was going. Steve Popovich (my manager at the time – now sadly passed – great, great guy) said the E Streeters would be interested if I wanted to come back to New York. Mick and I went back to the States and we recorded at the Power Station in Hell’s Kitchen. John Cale’s on that as well.
The E Streeters were lovely guys – as was Bruce, who I met at the Power Station years later. I like to think ‘Schizophrenic was the reason Bruce started to record at the Power Station. Max, in particular, loved the sound Bob Clearmountain was getting. Good times. (3) ‘Any people that you had the chance to meet that you didn’t and you now wish you had?’ Not really – it’s always a bit of a pisser when somebody tells you ‘x’ was in the audience – but didn’t wait after the show. You don’t know if they like it or they hated it!! Mind you, no one gets into the dressing room for at least a half an hour.

Paul Kennett: Well, the songs are virtually done – it’s how we actually do them and who are we going to go with. Working on it.

Stonefly: Wake up time is the best time for ideas. Always check around.

J.: ‘Thanks for turning me onto Lorraine Ellison – ‘Stay With Me, Baby’ explodes out of the speakers.’ It’s an amazing performance. Everybody should have this record.’

Tall Paul: Don’t remember this one – I don’t have one. Maybe somebody loan it to me?’

Tony Schultz: Nope – never seen him around. He’s not that far away, but I wouldn’t say near.

Edward Pearce: Cheers, Edward.

Mottheads: ‘When you write lyrics do you use the Queens English or the one with the spelling mistakes?’ I don’t consider them mistakes – just my interpretation – I’m think of writing the lyrics for the next album – there’s a lot of ‘aints’.

Ed Marentette: Well, put it this way, I’ve always been a bit up and down, but you’ve got to be realistic. Life is question of alternatives – right?

Phil Holmes: Guild were giving us stuff back then, so I would imagine they were new. I think I was going through Marshalls – we all were except for

Pete. No idea what Luther used. He was fond of Gibson Juniors back then.
Andy Martin: I don’t go looking for songs – they come to me. If one comes along for Buff or Pete = you’ll hear about it!

Drew: ‘Is there a new album soon? I’m also having trouble finding some of your old CD’s.’ Like I said, I’m ready when everything else is sorted out. As for cd’s – try Amazon.

Pete B: A rather good joint.

Dru: ‘When Mick Jones was a young lad did you see the talent in him to be a winner?’ I didn’t even know he had aspirations. He was always a cool dresser. Who knew?

Alan James – keen on ‘3,000 Miles’ and ‘It Aint Easy When You Fall.’ Thanks.

Tim: My eldest cheerfully hates my music! Tracie had a good go on her own. First Jesse gig was probably the Leps. Ringo would be a good choice – you did well.

Pat: Actually, ‘Big Time’ was a bit of a problem. It was supposed to get from A- to B- via an awkward little chord transformation. I was totally lost then. Of course Mick said, ‘Why don’t you do this – and the problem was solved! Bloody genius! I don’t think Mick Taylor suited the Stones. He didn’t have the right personality – he had the chops, but something wasn’t quite right. I never met Jimmy Miller but I did meet Charlie. You’ll know a lot of guitarists you mention here cite Roy Buchanan. I was never one for those silly 100 mile per hour ”solos’.

Tony Day: Nah!

Christer Johansson: (i) How do I view Mott in the Glam ear? Same as the ‘Who’ in the mod ear. Obviously, we weren’t as big as The Who, but you get my drift. (ii) I met Per and Sven through Bjorn Nessjo who’s a major producer in Norway and a friend. They were both great; play with them anytime – Torstein Flakne, too.

David Markham: ‘I followed you across the street with Rono to Licorice Pizza, I’ll never forget it.’ You should have said hello.

Bruce Holmes: Have you heard ‘Cats in Space’>. Can’t say I have.

David Crisfield: I did indeed get #19! Not because I’m lovely – it’s just so good! If ever any of you want a portrait done, Mark Tumber is the chap!

Matt Mojonen: They’re idiots! Matt says your local library offers a service called ‘Kanopy’ – great content and different to Netflix etc.

Craig Keaney: Only know Eric and Amy a few years. We probably met up on the road. We’ve gigged together several times. Yup, Eric’s a one off; extremely funny – with lurking brain! Amy’s great too – I want to do one of her songs.

Pete Jordan: James Mastro has a record ready to go! Group writing can be more interesting at times, but it always gets a bit nasty after a while. I can’t be bothered with the agreements and rearranged memories.

Ed P: Just got in-ear monitors today, so Ill be looking into that next.

Miller: I like many authors, can’t name one off the top of my head. Lyrically, I do spend a lot of time on them – some come quickly, some don’t. The antenna has to be up at all times when writing. And don’t wake up with something at 4am and think you’ll remember it – you won’t! I keep thinking I’ve run out then something else turns up.

Alan Sack: ‘Favourite song?’ No – I’m just grateful for all of them

Terry: When I was in my late teens – early twenties – I saw Roy Young on TV – the nearest thing I ever heard to Little Richard. I was a fan of Roy’s for years. He eventually moved to Canada and I met him through Dennis and Iona Elliott. Ultimately, we did some gigs in Canada together. He actually preferred Ray Charles. He was also a snooker champion. Go to his site; you may be surprised.

William White: Thanks for your patronage!

JC Finn: I remember one of our fans flattening Tony Blackburn. Never spoke to the presenter – went to the bar, sometimes! Completely crappy day – but your record usually became a hit off that program.

Kirk: Sorry.

David Gardiner: Don’t think I ever met Huw, although he may have been around Island Records. Favourite footballer – George Best. You mention John Charles – I seem to remember his brother Mel playing for Shrewsbury Town. I know the Thomas Moore story. Thanks for the info.

Alan James: I prefer your version.

Plinio Fernando de Aguiar Filgueira (longest name yet!): ‘Did you write ‘Ships’?’ Yes, I did.

Bob Boyle: I don’t know about ‘spirit guides’ but some people do tend to have aptitudes – whether genetic or otherwise is up for grabs. I know ‘stuff’ comes to me. I know footballers are ‘gifted’ – I feel badly for people who don’t find their ‘thing’ or get fed up and give up.

Paul Krusemann: It’s kinda like Bach’s ‘A’ on a ‘G’ string. Does the arrangement exist – no idea – try googling. It’s in C.

Chris: I wrote ‘Half Moon Bay’ by inadvertently playing another song backwards at the first Mott rehearsal in Islington. It’s basically fictional. No one was more surprised than us when we actually passed the place in California!

Michael: ‘Saw you and your band with Mick Ronson with the Kinks years ago – awesome – reflections on playing Detroit?’ Always loved playing Detroit (genuinely). Detroit and Cleveland are great places for real rock ‘n’ roll.

Matt Parish: ‘Which was the craziest time for you – the 70’s or last week? Just an insane world. ‘I think I liked it better when the world was round.” Yup. At my exalted age you’ve seen a few and been through a few, but this beats them all. Stay safe and cool people.

Ross Murdock: ‘Ever considered a Holiday song?’ Well, as I’ve said before, – if one comes along – I’ll take it. Actually, one has come along but I’ve quite a few songs now, so we’ll see.

David Griffiths MBE: Reading ‘Nasher Says Relax’ by Brian Nash (Frankie Goes to Hollywood). He mentions Pete Oxendale introducing you over a pint of beer in NY in 1984.’ Don’t remember this, but Pete Oxendale’s a real character. It great having real characters in a ban. Hilarious, brainy and annoying. Earl Slick dug him a. grave once – but that’s another story. Brilliant keyboardist. In ‘Frankie’ Pete called himself ‘Qua – Lude. Girls were walking round going ‘Where’s Qua?’

Michelle Lynn: His sounds different to mine – I don’t get migraines at all. Glad you enjoyed the Beacon.

Mike Costanzo: When Verden Allen left the band after ‘Dudes’ it appears there was no hurry to replace him, as evident in the ‘Mott’ LP. I was wondering if it was a bad time to audition anyone because of touring or recording commitments?’ The thinking at the time was, ‘sod it – we’ll carry on as is.’ That’s how I remember it.

John Dalton: Any interactions with Thin Lizzy? I think it was Milton Keynes in the UK. I think they headlined and I was second on the festival bill. Trudi wanted to watch the show (a couple of songs) and Phil offered to baby sit Jesse. And he did! Lovely, talented guy.

Don Lathers: ‘Finished Rock ‘n’ Roll Sweepstakes. Thank you – take care.’ Thank Campbell Devine – he did all the work!

And so to bed …

The Horse’s Mouth

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