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Horse’s Mouth

January 20, 2021

Horse's Mouth (Issue #217, January 2021)

The Horse’s Mouth
January 5, 2021

Sittin’ in the basement – taking time off from what I’m usually doing …

Bob Boyle: No idea what’s gonna happen. Up to management, really.

Patrick Cairns: ‘I was watching a clip of Gary Oldman on Graham Norton mentioning that because he has been in America so long, he needed a dialect coach to play an Englishman in a film. Do you find living in the US for so long has had a similar effect on you?’ I seem to be the same as I’ve always been. Occasionally I ‘sing’ American if it suits the song.

Fred Burkhardt: ‘Is new music being created during the quarantine?’ Yup.

Phil Holmes: ‘Since you live near Dennis Dunaway, have you ever recorded with him or done a gig with him or any of the old Alice Cooper band?’ We’ve piled about a bit and had a couple of dinners with Dennis and Cindy, but we haven’t recorded or gigged. I like Dennis – he’s different.

Jeffrey: Everything’s fine here. Trudi had a generator installed. So far – so good.

Peter Jordan: Re: ‘Fingers Crossed’ – Just tryin’ to get in his head.

Shon Adkins: Thanks.

Stonefly: No, I never did meet Sonny Bono – wish I had. No idea what he thought of our version of ‘Laugh at Me’.

Glenn Metsch-Ampel: Thanks, but I’m fine at the moment.

Rolf wants us in Norway when everything’s back to normal.

John Lipnick loves ‘Overnight Angels’. What’s the matter with you? As for the most ‘Hooplesque’ solo album goes – I’d say the first one.

Brian McCauley: We don’t do that on this site – period. I’m so sorry about your loss and I hope you’re bearing up. Hang in!

George Saadi: Yeah, Blue got the gig with the Bee Gees – he not only got the gig, but also co-wrote some of their stuff. Must have made a fortune! He was great in Mott.

Tim: ‘What amps do you use these days?’ I don’t – I go direct. There are two other guitarists in the Rant Band and that would be too busy – so I stick to acoustic. Boshie and James use Fender Deluxe reissues.

Robert Dolcini: ‘Why is your music not available on sheet music? It seems only 5 of your classics are available.’ They are probably the only 5 that were ‘hits’.

Philly Bob: ‘How did you go about signing all those books?’ I just kept at it. Took a few hours – beats the hell out of roofing! The Stranded Box Set took longer – 2,500 – that hurt!

Oooer Wullie: Wishing us all a Happy Christmas and New Year. A lot of you – in fact most of you are sending holiday wishes and it is appreciated. Having said that – we gave it a miss this year – zoom and phone only. I figure we’ve hid away this long – might as well keep going till it’s sorted. It’s boring, but healthier.

Roland: I guess we’re all getting up there; sorry for your loss. A lot of people leaving at this time. Just gotta hang in.

Andy Smith: ‘ I’ve been speaking to a mate who, like myself, was at the Milton Keynes Bowl show some decades back. We know that Lizzy filmed/recorded their set. Was yours captured? I honestly think it was one of the best shows you ever played.’ Hey Andy – how goes it? Milton Keynes – unfortunately, not recorded to my knowledge. I remember Phil Lynott baby sat Jess so that Trudi could watch a few numbers. Lovely chap. I remember leaving and heading to the car with Trudi and Jess and we got mobbed! I was genuinely astonished. I thought those days were long gone! It wasn’t scary, but it was a bit of a shock.

Vance Larson: ‘Any truth to the rumor you considered singing for Uriah Heep when John Lawton left?’ I think this has come up before. They needed a singer and Ken Hensley sent me albums with the songs he wanted me to sing on. The singer’s name wasn’t John Lawton – it was the original singer – Byron. No disrespect to the chaps, but it was a different neck of the woods.

Matt Giarrizzo: Will I retire when all this is over? Not if I can help it.

Andrew Dow: Actually, I like Reg. Great music and he’s always been extremely nice on the rare occasions that we’ve met. So there!

Michael Conroy: Re: Cleveland Indians name change. There is a movement afoot to change the name to the Cleveland Rockers – but there are other movements afoot too! Of course, it would be an honor, but I think it ranks around 6th on the list, so I’m not holding my breath on this one. As to the throwing out of the first pitch – I’d need around 3 months in a gym to be ready for that!

Mat Davis watched us when he was 18 now his 18 year old son watches us. Thank you, Ian and Matt – our privilege!

Bruce: I love Tom Waits comparison – thank you!

Mike Costanzo: This is the third time in this column that I’m offering my condolences … What can I say, Mike. Stay strong and hang in.

Matt Parrish – Cheers.

Nicholas Malcolm: I’ll check that out – thanks.

David Riske: It was originally written as ‘Cleveland Rocks’. There was a reason it was written for Cleveland. (I like the back end of ‘England Rocks’ by the way.)

Michael Wolf: I’ve performed ever since I was 17 so I’m ok with a year or two off. I did have an evening out with John Anderson once – starting at the Marquee Club and winding up at the Speakeasy, but I still don’t have a clue what ‘Yes’ was about. I once got a lift from up North to London with a ‘Yes’ fan and he played me all their stuff. Sounded like beginnings and endings with not much in between. They were obviously great players – I just didn’t know what they were playing.

Parish – Looking forward to the Bowie celebration. ‘Mike Garson is a genius.’ We’ve spoken a couple of times and he seems like a great guy.

Malcolm Lay: ‘I was lucky enough to be at the Hammy Odeon gig – 2nd show in 1973 – Queen in support as a 15 year old. How well do you remember that gig with the stage curtain saga and general pandemonium?’ I guess the ‘Odeon’ people had had enough – so they started lowering the safety curtain – big heavy canvas thing. Morgan had the presence of mind (the ever intellect) to move the piano into its descending path. It was the Odeon’s piano, so the curtain magically froze – just above it. We had 3 plinths that went out into the audience. Bender was preening off on the center plinth, so I ducked under the curtain and joined him. We carried on regardless – must have sounded naff, but we didn’t care. We were right in the middle of the spirit of Rock ‘n’ Roll. That’s what I remember. Funny, aint it. You can do all these really great gigs – nothing goes wrong – it’s all great – but you forget them. Do a gig and have a disaster (in one form or another) and you’ve got yourself a forever memory!

Drake Nova: He’s wearing sun glasses because he’s getting on a bit! Never been to Brazil – nor South America. How nice of you to offer. Maybe when all this crap is over. Glad you enjoyed ‘Stranded’.

Hal: I still haven’t had one, but if I ever do – it is you I shall consult! You have a good grapevine. Actually, by the time you read this – you might have already seen the show. I haven’t seen it myself, so I don’t know how it turned out!

Bill MCulloch: Hope to see you in Washington. Thanks for the support.

Andy: We’ll see.

Laurent: ‘Hints about the new album?’ Well, covid is in the way. Mike is working on the business end of things and let’s say I’m happy musically.

Jeffrey – We all have a lot of time on our hands!!! It’s fine.

Fred Burkhardt: Cheers.

John Holcomb: Cheers, John.

Wayne in Vancouver: ‘I remember after buying your first solo album – one of my favorite Toronto bands opening their first set with ‘Once Bitten’. Pretty cool.’

Martyn Sheard: Yeah, Mike wanted ‘Dandy’ – he made a point of us doing that one – and the other – more obvious one. He orchestrated it. I haven’t heard it yet, but I’m told he did a great job. Charlie Sexton on guitar.

Al Johnson: I’ve seen ‘Standin’ in My Light’ performed by Sam Brown and Tom Van Landuyt on U-Tube – have you heard it? It sounds great as a duet.’ Can’t remember – but I love Sam Brown (and her Dad). I’ll check it out.

Mike Vincent: Sorry for your loss. I remember Bilston well. Good gig.

Mike Mckenzie: Thanks, Mick.

Mike Markot: Try the ‘Ian Hunter Appreciation Society’. Regards to the wife.

Jody Denberg: I remember that name! Have a picture visiting the radio station. Give Al our regards and best to you ‘n’ yours.

Lou Perillo: ‘What was the largest crowd Mott ever played to?’ I think it was the Atlanta Pop Festival. I remember driving in and it was miles and miles and miles of cars parked. The limo that met us at the airport had ‘Mott the What?’ on the front side car window.

Antonio Pellegrini: ‘What is the best moment you remember in your career with Mott the Hoople?’ Too many to pick from.

Tolly Vaughn: I know what you mean. Thanks.

Mark Bloomstein: It may look like I’ve got piles and piles of them, but I haven’t. It’s never been easy – it’s probably not easy for anyone. You just keep working at it. It’s my job! It’s what I do.

Danny G – the same to you.

Mark F: ‘How did the gig with Ringo’s All Starrs come about?’ Ringo’s promoter rang me and asked if I’d be interested and I said I would. Then Ringo rang me himself. Lovely chap. ‘Featured songs?’ I remember doing ‘Irene Wilde’ and ‘Cleveland Rocks’. They all had great songs. Sheila E was amazing.

John Dalton: Think we already covered this, John.

Mike Floate: Mike suggests that Bob Boyle search for Man Family Jungle.

Steve: Detroit’s one of them!

TM Lanzaarotta: ‘Santa Monica Civic 1970’s – any memories.’ Nah

Steve Parsons: Well, what with the books and ‘Stranded’ it kind of feels like – that’s it. But I don’t want it to be it!! Campbell is so thorough!! I didn’t know about a lot of the stuff that’s in there, so it’s good for my – but yes – it does feel a tad strange.

Dru: ‘Leslie West was a monster guitarist.’ Couldn’t have said it better myself. Ralpher was a huge fan, as was I.

Rick Goward: No idea on this one, Rick.

Darryl Flack: JJ Music, P.O. Box 245, Bridgewater, CT 06804 – thanks.

Phil Holmes: ‘Do you think ‘Tomorrow and Tonight’ by Kiss was inspired by ‘The Golden Age of Rock and Roll’? ‘ Dunno.

Craig Nevitt: ‘Did you pay any attention to the Mott music after you had left, any thoughts on what came after?’ I didn’t, actually. I got really busy with Ronno and I wasn’t listening to anything other than what we were doing.

Jan: OK

G. Mick Smith, PhD: ‘Which comes first, tour or album?’ Album.

Gary E. Walden: My advice: ‘Get a lawyer’. Best of luck with the book!

Les Gustafson: ‘When was the last time you performed ‘Angel of Eighth Avenue’?’ No idea. ‘Mixed Up Kid’ usually gets an outing if Andy York or Tom Mandell are in the building.

Dru: ‘Was T-Bone Burnette ever a part of your band?’ Nah. Ronno played with him tho.

Drew Cantrell: ‘In the 50th Anniversary edition of Creem magazine they reprint their review of ‘The Hoople’. They were extremely complimentary of ‘The Hoople’ and of the band. Have you seen it yet?’ Haven’t seen it yet. Back then, Lester Bangs was the man. Creem was the magazine – better than anything else – including you know what.

Carlo Mathews: Dunno – ‘Pearl ‘n’ Roy’? ‘Marionette’? It was all as one on that record.

Maria Antonietta Falchi: ‘Ian, what was London like in the early 1970′?’ Brilliant! Beginnings all over the place. More room to park, drive, etc. Not yet numbingly corporatized.

Manuela Riccio: ‘What was a typical MTH recording session like?’ Chaos – there was quietness and there was a lot of hard work done. Misery – exhilaration – we tried them all!

Chris: Well done!

Jeffrey: Happy New Year!

Joseph Schlott: Steve Jones opened on a Hunter/Ronson tour way back – so you’re correct.

Colin Thayer: ‘Your brother, Bob, likes a good moan on social media. Did you have him in mind when you titled ‘Rant’ – has he been out to Connecticut?’ Yeah – Bob’s been here a few times. He actually lived here working for Pfizer. Subtle sense of humor. Don’t know about the social media bit – I’m not on it. Sings better than me, too.

Atilio: They only translated it into French.

Paul: Loves Ray Davies stuff. ‘Real English.’ They were English. A lot of us preferred the U.S. growing up, but they much preferred writing about their home territory. We toured with them early on. Not easy to tour with, but really nice when off the road.

Mike Wagner: ‘Just got my signed copy of RRSS with all the goodies and could not put the book down. It was the 2nd best present my wife ever gave me. The first was the ‘Stranded’ box set.’ Well there’s a good ad! Ta.

Don Houston: ‘Open ‘G’ for ‘One of the Boys’?’ No, actually – it’s ok in regular. ‘Once Bitten’ was open G.

Matt Nojonen: ‘Did you ever listen/ see Dr. Feelgood?’ No – I’d moved by then. I knew they were big.

Nick. Allsop: Too far back. We played a pub (the White Hart) in Northampton and the landlord arranged it. One camera job. Ludicrous!!

TM Lanzarotta: ‘Have you communicated with Huey Lewis about his similar hearing loss?’ Don’t know him.

Mark F: Don’t panic – there’s always something!

Sott Finger: Tokai made me a one off ‘H’ guitar. Rick Tedesco’s got my ‘H’ in his shop. Your guitar was probably a photo op I did to thank them.

Rob Swift: ‘Coming back to Hull to gig’. Who knows?

Steve Engyel: ‘Do make it a point to visit Canada on your next tour when this craziness is done (Toronto specifically).’ We’ll see.

Tom Greff: ‘Any musicians you’d like to work with?’ We’ve done this one before. Leon, Levon – there are tons of them but sadly most of them have passed. On the other hand – there are thousands of great ones out there now that I know nothing about!

Constance Van Beek: Hi Connie – here’s to it – whatever it is!

Conner Riley Peters: ‘What was your mindset when you wrote ‘Bastard’?’
I’m sick of stupid love songs.

James Tripp Pair wishes his questions were as good as my answers! Thank you, James!

Dru: ‘Roughly when did cocaine take over the industry?’ Dunno – you’re asking the wrong man. I didn’t see the point. Very expensive and you could get hooked. Sod that.

Jeffrey: ‘Sorry about Mick Bolton. My condolences and prayers for Carol Ann.’ Me too.

Jack: ‘Not counting home cooking – favorite restaurant/bar/eatin’ place?’ There’s a very good Italian – Della – in Danbury.

Bill Lescohier: ‘I think among what I appreciate the most is your ability to express for me what I am unable to express for myself. I get this from Paul Weller as well. Is there someone who has done that for you?’ Yeah – Dylan.

Mark R. Simpson: ‘Sat along from Brian May at the 2009 MTH shows.’ Nice one,

Hunter Tremayne: ‘I live in Barcelona and on New Year’s Eve we were blasting out songs from our balcony like everyone else and half a dozen blokes from other balconies were shouting out in Spanish ‘What was that song?’. I shouted back ‘All American Alien Boy’.’ Sounds magic – wish I’d been there.

Rob Mend: Waiting for vol. 2 – it’s on the way. I never drank Scotch. I am aware single malt is the only way to go. Sorry to disappoint.

And that is that. Stay safe. We’ve come this far so don’t mess up now.

The Horse’s Mouth

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