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Horse’s Mouth

February 15, 2021

Horse's Mouth (Issue #218, February 2021)

The Horse’s Mouth
February 5, 2021

Hey – how’s it going? Not the most fun we’ve ever had.

Bill C: What do I think of ‘When My Mind’s Gone’? Well, I remember doing it – the big room at Olympic – just Phally and me. Guy went into hysterics and that made us happy – no lyric. Just did it.

Dan Pelletier: An enthusiast! Not everybody who makes music wants to be ‘in the business’; most people do it as a hobby. It was my hobby at first. It’s great to play something or learn something in times like these.

Jj: ‘Did you ever meet Ian Hunter the actor?’ Nope.

Hal: Re: Mike Garson’s Bowie show. ‘How did you do the performance? Where were you. Was the music done first etc.’ Mike sent the tracks and a mate of mine with a studio (Rick Tedesco), remixed so I could hear the drums louder. Speakers one end of the room – me the other. We got that done and then I went back to Rick’s and he filmed me against a black background. I was ‘hologrammed’ onto the stage. Mike Garson worked his ass off – 15 hours a day. A lot to do!!

Matt Parish: ‘And ‘Dudes’ is killer, as usual!’ Actually, I only sang two songs. ‘Dudes’ and ‘Dandy’ – but I was pretty much exhausted. Usually, the bands around and you work your way up. This was from sedentary to full on. Imaginary adrenaline!

Francis L: ‘How quickly did ‘Dandy’ come to you?’ 2 or 3 days. ‘Did you enjoy the show?’ It’s not ones ideal way of doing a gig, but under the circumstances it was the next best thing. ‘How are you feeling these days?’ Bored – same as you!

Hal: ‘Just finished watching the Bowie Celebration and you were absolutely awesome. Both songs came across so well. I was watching the chat board for the show and it lit up when you were on. People were mesmerized and blown away by your performance.’

Dru: ‘Did you enjoy filming ‘All of The Good Ones Are Taken’? Looks like you had a good attitude on it!’ Yes, it was different and fun. It’s so weird though – you do hours upon hours upon hours of filming and it winds up at a few minutes. Just kind of flashes by.

Scruffysteve: ‘3 moments in my life that really affected me; hearing Little Richard sing ‘Tutti Frutti’ for the first time, hearing Jerry Lee’s ‘Great Balls of Fire’ and seeing MTH doing ‘Dudes’ on Top of the Pops. These three instances changed my life forever.’ Me too.

Terry: Who are your favourite drummers? Same as with guitar players – guys that play for the song and not for themselves. I like Charlie Watts. I like the angularity of Tony Thompson; Levon Helm and Steve Holley ain’t bad either!!

The Stromquist family: Do you think rock will ever rise again? Probably not. Music’s really a time and a place – we’re not in the digital ear. I think of Rock like Jazz – Swing – Blues – they all have their place in history and there will always be survivors.

Glenn Karant: I’m doing it, Glenn – I’m doing it! Overview.

Kate Harrison: Nah – you’ve got me mixed up with someone else.

Edward Malone: Send it to: JJM P.O. Box 245, Bridgewater, CT 06752

Bryan C: ‘Any great memories of playing in Macon, GA?’ Mott played the Atlanta Pop Festival. The driver lost his way from the airport to the site. Boy, did we see Georgia!

Mike Costanza: Pete Watts was the clothes fashionista. Pete loved all that stuff and a lot of people copied him. ‘Did you save any of that stuff?’ Nah. I’ve got stuff, but not from that far back.

Matt Parrish – on about Mike Garson gig again. ‘Totally memorable three hours. Great covers – some really groundbreaking stuff done seamlessly….’

Peter Jordan: Jesse Malin knows my stuff. He may have heard ‘Ghosts’. It’s up to him.

Bradley Ross: You lovely!! Thanks, Bradley, makes it all worthwhile.

Joseph Jackson: Get better soon, mate. Be safe.

Steve Rager: ‘Now that Leslie West has sadly passed, what can you tell us about playing with him during the ‘Secret Sessions’?’ I played with Leslie West (and produced him once). First of all – what an amazing player. He liked it slow, melodic, and heavy – just like Ralpher. Great singer – ‘Mississippi Queen’ – one of my all time favourite songs. Off stage – as Corky would say – ‘a character.’ He wasn’t on ‘Secret Sessions’ – that was Ronno. [Justin adds: Leslie did do some guitar overdubs, but they were done after the initial recording sessions.]

Iain Dandy: Enjoyed the Bowie gig.

Neil McCormack: Go for it!

John Dalton: Doesn’t sound like us – especially at the moment.

Anthony is on about Gordon Lightfoot. Sorry, no interaction with him.

Stonefly: I guess going to Germany. Still sort of semi-pro – crazy – 24 hours a day. Loved the camaraderie (still do). Early Mott. Early anything, really. Anything new!

John Campbell: They sent me the video of ‘Cleveland Rocks’ out of the blue. Up until the this they’d used different songs every season. I took one look at the CR video and I knew ‘Cleveland Rocks’ was going to be around for a while. Great video. Thanks, Drew Carey!

Jeffrey – on the new administration. We shall see.

Roland went to see Alejandro Escovedo in Berlin. He did ‘Mother’ and spoke highly of MTH.’ Goodho.

Dan Crean 58: ‘Happy Birthday you old cart. Any plans for flighty when all this crap is over? Your songs are the soundtrack of my life – thanks.’ Well, first of all – it’s not my birthday – and what’s a ‘cart’? If you meant ‘tart’ – I’m not that either!! Too early to say.

James W Vincent: ‘I was sitting on the steps of the City Winery NYC on your 75th. We shook hands – do you remember or not? Nah – I’m. full of memories – can’t get any more in (James loves Ralphs ‘n’ Ronson).

Steve Rager: ‘Has the track listing changed for the next album due to Covid?’ Changes all the time. I’m hot on something – then it cools off. Some stay – some leave. One thing’s for sure – I’m not short of songs.

Matt Parish: Well done!

Greg Becker: ‘Any word on if any of your solo albums are getting remastered and released on 180 gram vinyl? I think you may have been asked about this awhile back. Just wondering?’ There’s been talk.

Terri Taylor: ‘What advice do you have for young, aspiring musicians who want to make their first album?’ Hard one to answer as I don’t know you and everybody is different. Determination and enthusiasm come to mind – and a good lawyer!!

Freddy Miller: You’re not totally off the charts. I just think a little common sense would help.

Graham Stark: As I’ve said (and you’re correct) I was flown in! I thought I looked like a ghost – which isn’t bad considering!

Tim Parsons: ‘One of. the joys of lock down has been reading Campbell’s fantastic volumes and then really listening to each track and understand your music more deeply. Seen you since December 1973. It has been a privilege to share the planet with you.’ That’s a new one! Thanks!

Jeffrey: Yeah, Sylvain – the sensible one. Lovely guy – R.I.P.

Oour: So now we don’t use ‘Wullie’? You’ve reached legendary status! Wullie (or Oour) enjoyed the Bowie show.

Dru: ‘Preaching to the choir – Mick Ralphs is such a tasty player.’ I’d add thoughtful in there, too.

Daniel Costa: ‘Do you, as an artist, allow yourself to be downright gut level with your fans?’ Yup. Always did – and most people I’ve worked with are the same. Ask anybody about Mott or the Rant Band, and you’ll get the same answer. I just think I got lucky, so what’s to be superior about? Obviously, you have to avoid some folk because – they are indeed – in need of avoidance!

Doug in St Genevieve: ‘Got my first shot today.’ Lucky you!

Joan and Bill: We’re all OK, so far. Thanks.

Susan: Poetic license!

Mike Flanagan: Thanks for your faithfulness to the Horse’s Mouth. How did Dale Griffin come to be called Buffin?’ One of Pete Watts’ famous spoonerisms; he was a brilliant spoonerist.’ He said my best effort was ‘Fairy Queen of Motts.’

Pam Staffell: https://www.gofundme.comf/to-get-a-bench-for-michael-on-the-seafront

Matt Nojonen: Brilliant as usual. Why don’t you put these all together and try for a deal (if you haven’t already)?

Manuela Riccio: Ronson’s less remembered than many others.’ Well, who wants to be remembered by people who haven’t got a clue?’ I’d say he’s very well remembered by people who know what they’re talking about.

Richard L. Martin: Ever thought of knockin’ the Mott stuff on the head and doing purely Rant stuff? Well, basically that would piss off some – and we must never do that – must we!

Ashleigh Morrison: Yeah, I remember that. I’m so sorry about your Dad. I fully intend to come back to Glasgow – if Covid and my dodgy ears will allow it. We’ll see, say hi to your Mum.

Greg Golden: Mott headlined the Kennedy Centre and Iggy opened. I remember because at the time nobody understood or ‘got’ Iggy and the chaps. The promoter actually came on stage and ‘removed’ them.

Keith Hollinshed: ‘Any chance of doing ‘Foxy Foxy’?’ Nah. It’s ok for a while, but then it loses it. Not one of my finest hours. I’ll take the blame. I loved the Spector sound; song was secondary.

Antonio Pellegrini: ‘I read that in 1969 you played in Italy at the ‘Batman Cavern Club’ in Riccione. Do you have any memories of that occasion?’ Yes – they hated me!

Connor Riley Peters: ‘Did you ever sit in on any studio sessions with Queen?’ Nope. Buff and I watched them mixing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ at Trident.

Jackie: ‘When was the last time you went back to your hometown – or the UK?’ I was there with Mott ’74 in the spring of 2019. Usually see family around UK tours (we’re all over the place).

Philly Bob: Nah, don’t remember this, but it sounds like we had a great time. I have a lousy memory – you’d be better off asking one of the Ranters.

Jeffrey: Yes, Jeffrey – I know! There was nothing else on TV! As it happens it was fine – 12′. We now have a standby generator – just in case.

Les Vineyard: Usually one song will stick in my head and I go with that until I get stuck, as I don’t’ want to be put off it. This is what’s going on at the moment – a lot of revision – lyrically too. If I’m getting bored – I stop immediately. I prefer a few songs to be around; you can skip to another if nothing’s going on with your current favourite. Mistakes are great. ‘How many have you worked on at one time?’ 15 at the moment.

Leah: We don’t do that here, but: Hey Jim – Happy Birthday!! The sooner we’re outa this crap the better!! Best, Ian Hunter

Mike Costanzo: My first royalty check was quite large and it was a shock – however, we then found out the taxman was taking most of it back. We just sorted some stuff out with the remainder.

Don Hirsch: ‘Are there any female rock singers you’re a fan of? I don’t see you mention any in this column.’ I saw Brenda Lee when she was 15; I loved the Ronnettes, Dusty Springfield and Tina Turner and Mavis Staples. My all time No.1 song is ‘Stay With Me Baby’ by Lorraine Ellison. GaGa is great. I did a television show with Whitney Houston when she was 14 – we’ve got the video. Now I’ll be thinking of more and more – Mahalia – too many.

Matt Nojonen: Get yerself a manager!!

Malcolm Lay: Truth be told – I don’t really like doing festivals. Trouble is – they pay well. Too hit ‘n’ miss – lots of casuals. Nah – but sometimes you have to!

Bob Boyle: (regarding loss) ‘I don’t think there was ever a band other than Mott that ever conveyed such an expression so precisely it definitely makes a person think and feel, every moment is precious.

George Saadi: Got an email from Laphroaig distillery, with its updated loyalty program. Made me smile when I saw they were giving away a chance to win a bottle of Ian Hunter Volume2! First glance, I thought you were involved; reread, realized it was a bottle – not a CD. I’d prefer a CD!’

Jon Griffin: 34 years of royalties- that’ll be Fi-dollars.

Craig Nevitt: Re: ‘Overnight Angels’. Well, the fire didn’t help! Dunno – vocals too high – my fault. Songs a bit fabricated – my fault. Roy squeezed the mixes a little too much – but that was Roy’s thing. He was a massive producer at the time and load of fun to be around, as was Gary Lyons. You can’t win ’em all. I know some people like it so – great.

Maria Antonietta Falchi: ‘Do you remember any anecdotes from when Queen used to open for Mott the Hoople?’ Well, that’s a long time ago. Let’s just say it was like one big band on the road – not two separate bands (as it usually is). Lovely chaps – and Fred was totally larger than life. He could be quiet and unassuming, but boy could he explode into the Merury Mode. Hilarious and of course – naughty!

Darren V: Nobody has plans at the moment, Darren, but if we do get it together you can rest assured New Jersey will be in the picture. After all – James Mastro is the Mayor of Hoboken.

Dru: Cheers!

Rick Graves: ‘Saw an exhibition of John Mellencamp – aside from being a musician he’s quite a serious artist. Have you dabbled?’ I did as a kid, but then words started coming into my head. I can’t say I haven’t thought about it, but I knew a couple of well known artists and I’m so far behind the eight ball it would be a waste of time. I no longer think that way.

Douglas French: Much appreciated. Everything’s on hold at the moment – know more when things ease up a bit.

Kevin (Newcastle) on Volume 1 positive! ‘I’m surprised you had such low self-esteem.’ You didn’t live with my Dad!

Colin Thayer: I liked Dicken. Haven’t heard from him in years. ‘Did you really say he could have been the UK’s Bruce?’ Yup.

Martin Miller: Nothing tinnitus wise is of interest until the final cure – and they’re busy with other stuff at the moment.

Dru: ‘Did you see a lot of local bands when you moved to NYC?’ Yeah – I was out and about. CB’s; ‘Hurrahs’; The Ritz; Tramps. It’s a while back now. I remember Debbie Harry and Blondie; the Ramones; Dead Boys. Saw stuff in the UK too.

Anyway – on that wave of nostalgia!!!

Keep ’em comin’….

The Horse’s Mouth

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