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Horse’s Mouth

May 24, 2021

Horse's Mouth (Issue #221, May 2021)

May 10, 2021

Hi Y’all

Isn’t it great! CNN and FOX bringing us all together!

Lynne Brown: Never did Leonard Cohen’s ‘Halleluiah’.

Jeffrey says Hank Williams did a song called ‘Weatherman’ and I should listen to it – but I’m not.

Matt Nojonen is fond of ‘River of Tears.’

Tracey Palmer: Sorry, Tracey. R.I.P Terry.

Danny: Cheers.

Miguel Gallego: ‘What’s your favourite pawn shop guitar find?’ That would be the original Maltese Cross ($75) bought in San Francisco.
What do you look for in a guitar?’ Sound.

Curt: ‘Angeline sounds beautiful. Who was she?’ You’re going back aways, but sadly, I think she was a figment.

Garry Whittaker: Cheers.

Kevin Aasgaard is on about the night John Lennon and I bumped into Devo. I don’t remember it but – there you go.

M. Lanzarotta: I only met Thin Lizzy once on a gig in Milton Keynes. Phil baby sat so Trudi could watch a couple of numbers. Nice guys.

Wes Beech: I wish we could have done more with Ronno in Mott, but personalities collided; something I never foresaw as I was getting on OK with them all at that time. I worked with Mick for many years after, and he continually surprised me. I sometimes wish I’d let him do more, but he would never come forward unless asked. Mick was pretty shy – deep thinker – but daft at the same time! I could. Go on about Mick but it would take too long!

Mark Kuhar: Ronson broke a string. Typical!! (Mark’s on about the IH Band live at the Agora in 1979.)

Scott Spencer: ‘If you could commission anyone to paint your portrait – who would you choose?’ I am not worthy.

Karen: Karen didn’t smoke pot when we played at William Patterson college in New Jersey, but she says she got soooo high. ‘it was a marvelous feeling.’ Goodho!

Barry: No problem.

Vic Pyle: Still getting off on my first album. Great. It holds up pretty well.

Les Vineyard: ‘If Little Richard (or any hero of yours) had a Horse’s Mouth, is there any question you would ask them?’ Not really. I know pretty much everything about the guys I grew up with.

Jeffrey: On Mount Fuji. It’s pretty amazing. First you see a lot of hills then the hills get bigger – and then – all of a sudden, this mammoth disappearing into the clouds. We have Ross Halfin to thank for our trip to Mount Fiji – he came to Japan with us and took the picture.

Tamara Guo: ‘Waking up the neighbors with IH/MTH this Sunday morning. Heard Trudi makes a mean Shepherd’s Pie (that she does). I’ve used Keef’s Mum’s recipe with my own embellishments for years.’ Can’t beat Shepherd’s Pie (done properly).

Eddy Pearce: ‘Analog or Digital recording desk?’ Analog (for depth) digital (for convenience). Your choice!

Joe d: ‘Any plans for Jesse singing on some more of your songs? Your two voices are killer on ‘Tell Me What You Want’.’ Jess isn’t bothered. He plays music with his mates and has a pretty demanding job.

Dru: ‘The UK version of ‘Rant’ opening with ‘Rip Off’ and closing with ‘Still Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ makes much more sense in the running order.’
I KNOW!! Andy York is still pissed off about this (as am I). My fault – I let them do it.

McCormack: I remember getting together with Michael Schenker at one point (our wives and kids were mates). I’ve seen Michael live and I think he’s amazing as a guitar player. He’s extremely melodic (something not seen that often in his neck of the woods). Our tastes probably differ, but he’s a brilliant player.

Nathan’ I’ve always left the level of sound – to the sound techs. Over the years we’ve probably had a few dodgy ones! Obviously, not nowadays, as thing are much more sophisticated. Some rooms can be difficult – too quiet to some ears – to loud for others. You’re basically relying on outside help – and money plays a part in it too. Many ties we used the house guys who never heard of us back then. Sorry about that! (I have tinnitus, so you may be right!).

Indiana: ‘I have Pioneer headphones that I got in ’71 and still use. Do you have any old stuff?’ I’ve still got a Pioneer turntable and tuner amp!

Stefan Harary: How lovely!! We’ll figure a visit out one of these days.

Jimmy Davis: ‘My fav songwriters are Al Stewart, Ian Anderson and yourself – all Brits of Scottish background.’ Eclectic!

Fred Burkhardt: ‘Hope you’re healthy. Yesterday, Jim Steinman – rock writer and producer passed away. Did you ever work or perform with Jim? I dusted off my vinyl to hear his songs.’ I remember meeting Jim in an office at Columbia Records – we were both having a song ‘heard’ by a chap at the label. (I won’t mention his name.). Jim went in first with ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’ and was told it was not a hit. I went in with ‘All of the Good Ones Are Taken’ – ‘a hit’ said the genius! I once asked Jim how things were with Meatloaf. About 45 minutes later I found myself slowly back out the door! Great songwriter. Condolences to his friends and family.

Ivar Samset is also on about Jim. Don’t know he ‘assisted’ me on ‘All of the Good Ones Are Taken.’ No idea about this. Jimmy Iovine, Shelley Yackus, Meatloaf and Jim and me – all in the control room- Ronno out in the studio with a tiny amp – the song is 8 minutes long – Mick’s just standing there – what’s he supposed to do – there’s no guide vocal – therefore no plan!!! Sometimes I wonder.

Craig Nevitt: Marc was still ‘T-Rex’ when I first saw him. John Peel saying they were late for the gig because they were ‘climbing trees.’ Afterward, Marc consulted with Guy Stevens at the Speakeasy in London (I was there, too) and Guy said, ‘Get back to what you’re good at’ – and so he did.

Donald Mease: Having a great time – you ‘re ok now. I agree about Noddy.

One of the things that has happened during Covid is that you lovely people have started writing longer and longer emails!! It’s getting’ harder to read ’em let alone answer them!

Here’s Liz K with another one (although she’s always sent long ones). She’s half way through ‘Sweepstakes’ and she’s got no questions. And so it goes. Anyway – things are looking up. I had the jabs too. Painless (in case any pansy’s are worrying). Good on yah, Liz. When Trudi had hers the nurse asked, ‘Are you pregnant?’ Trudi laughed, but the girl said, ‘you never know!’

Freddy Miller: Yeah, Otis Gibson. That was the first time I knew about them.

Mike Bruce: ‘Your music is still vibrant and exciting – does it make you a bit sad that so many journos want to concentrate on the past?’ Well, history can be changed – altered – hyped- the longer something is around – the more valuable it becomes. I get ‘All the Young Dudes’ thrown at me mostly but, hey – it’s aint’ ‘Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep.’ It’s a great song, but you know – check this other stuff out too.

Richard Sinnett: ‘Still enjoying your music since 1972 and it never sounds dated or out of place in today’s world.’ Cheers.

Matt Nojonen: A little over the top, Matt (for me, anyway).

Snit: ‘Do you recall a gig with White Trash in Glassboro, NJ around 1970. We sat around on the grass drinking wine with y’all.’ No, but don’t take offence – it was a long time ago!

George Miller is on about tinnitus. It’s up and down – with the weather.

Gary Parkinson says my lyrics are profound. Glad somebody noticed. I’m in the middle of lyrics now – takes forever!

Robert Rawlings remembering a Hunter/Ronson gig at Hammersmith. ‘When Ronno played the opening notes of ‘Slaughter’ it felt like the roof came off the place.’

Dru: ‘You’ve made better records than the Stones the last 40 years.’ Oh, stop it!

Rob D. on about the chord sequence on ‘Sweet Jane’. This is a sequence nobody else would thing of – only Lou. Lou had the knack of simplicity – with a twist. The hardest music to write is the simplest – the territory’s been gone over son many times. Difficult to play and sing at the same time, although I can do it now after all these years.

Simon Patrick Henshall: ‘First date to the Stadium in Liverpool’. I have a picture of that gig. A wrestling arena. The changing rooms miffed a bit.

Geoff Boswell: ‘I’m one of those people who’ll tell you they’ve followed you for 50 years – so I’m telling you that.’ Geoff wants a ‘voice track’ ID for his radio station. Sorry mate, not my territory.

Carlo Matthews: ‘Any thoughts on Todd Rundgren? Were you guys going to work together? I saw a photo of you two.’ We had a band that toured to support John Anderson many years ago. Great fun. Todd wanted me to do something recently, but Covid reared its head and my tinnitus was playing up.

Neil Broadley: ‘Do you wish you had written ‘All the Young Dudes’?’ Never thought about it, but as you asked – yes!

Connor Riley Peters: ‘The Golden Age of music?’ Dunno, its subjective; it’s got a lot to do with when you grow up.

Rick Graves is enjoying Campbell Devine’s ‘superb’ book.

Manuela Riccio: ‘When did you decide you were going to be a singer?’ It was sort of a pipe dream that eventually became a reality. I wasn’t a singer – I was a bass player and harmony singer. I guess when Mott started.

Antonio Pellegrini: ‘Which member of Queen did you know best?’ Started off knowing them all. Still see Bri now and again and if Roger’s around we catch up.

Laurent Moitrot: (my only French fan) : Half way through Sweepstakes Part II. It seems a best kept secret, but you did a French TV show on the same tour as Rock Palast and the picture was clearer.’ Well, the picture might have been clearer – but the audience wasn’t!

Lily: ‘Ever think of chopping your hair off?’ I did once or twice. Actually, I chopped some off last week. ‘Is it your real hair?’ What’s left of it – yes!

John Romano on Jim Steinman – R.I.P.

Will Dockery: ‘The Atlanta Pop Festival was actually in Byron, Georgia – closer to Macon than Atlanta. I became a big fan. Freshman year had started and I’m walking down the hall with my curly hair and sunglasses – as I passed two tall senior girls one said to the other, ‘Hey – that looks like Mott the Hoople!’ I was in like Flynn after that!’ Glad to have been of service!

Christer Johansson: On about ‘Roll Away the Stone’ – melody and production ‘blew me away’. ‘Where did the title come from – the Bible?’ Nope. The title came with the song – some of them come with a title and this was one of them.

Leon Laudenbach: ‘The Artful Dodger’ to my ears was a masterpiece in songwriting. Was that an easy recording to put together? Music wise, did you get input from anyone in particular on the recording of that record?’ The ‘Artful Dodger’ was one of my ‘Norwegian’ albums! I’d been doing nothing for a while after Mick passed and wound up in Trondheim with Bjorn Nessjo – one of Norway’s premier producers. We did some great stuff, but lack of marketing limits the listening base. We did some really good stuff together.

John Campbell: ‘When you write a song and take it to the band, do you tell them how to play it?’ Yes, I give them the general direction of the song – the speed – the basics. Andy York has probably the most say, but the Ranters have been pretty much on it. James comes up with good stuff too. Check out his new single ‘My God’. I love it.

Mark Bloomstein: ‘What is your pet peeve?’ Media that spouts unity, but spends most of the time doing the exact opposite.

Claire likes ‘God Take 1’. I remember the line ‘God said to me ‘Gonna kick your ass’ – and I was off and running. Pays to keep a pad by the bed.

Kevin (Newcastle) – another 50 year fan!

Cody Melville covered ‘Angeline’ on his up ‘n’ coming record and says we can listen on Sound Cloud. Good luck with it, Cody.

Gretchen Anne Walden: ‘Favourite song you have written?’ This comes up a lot and my answer remains the same – they’re all my songs, I don’t have favourites. If I say one all the other get pissed off.

Janey Todd: Thanks.

Stonefly: Never worked with Badfinger, but Tru is a big fan.

Malcolm Lay: ”Crash Street Kids’ should have been a single.’ I just remember being disappointed with the way it came to fruition – I can’t remember why. For me, it didn’t have the desired effect when recorded. It’s ok.

Janey Todd: You don’t have to get permission to cover someone else’s song once it’s already out there. Anybody can do it provided the writer gets the credit and therefore the publishing money. Glad you like the version. You can send your book to me c/o Jesse John Music, P.O. Box 245, Bridgewater, CT 06752.

Daniil Efimov: It was a synth – based on the real thing – which we had – but it didn’t record well. I forgot the instrument. Andy York’s idea.

Paola Mosca: ‘How does it feel singing ‘Dudes’ after all these years?’ Well, it signifies we’re done – back to the dressing room for a glass or two!!!

Martin Dibbs: Bloody hell, Martin. You get around!!

Mike Scerri: Carry on, mate – the more the merrier. ‘Rock Palasst’ is legit.

Bob Boyle: ‘Reading the Kiss bio ‘Behind the Mask’. Paul Stanley admits to lifting ‘Golden Age’ to write a song called, ‘Tomorrow and Tonite’ back in 1977. Is this a concern?’ I heard Kiss liked Mott.

Kevin: Wait and see.

Matt Nojoen: Couldn’t have put it better. Keeping this.

Maria Antonietta Falchi: ‘How did you first meet David Bowie?’
He came to a gig at Guildford Civic with Angie.

Piero Desirello: ‘Main influences?’ Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan.

And so it goes.

Everything seems to be brightening up a bit!! Off I go.

The Horse’s Mouth

Whoops – no I don’t.

Helga Lubbert – I think it was Clarence.

Tony Schultz: Dipping into volume 1 of Sweepstakes. Fan for 40 years.

Matt Lanzarotta: ‘Did you know Rory Gallagher? What was he like?’ I toured Ireland in the ’60’s with Freddie Fingers Lee – Rory was in ‘Taste’ then. Lovely bloke; quiet, shy – and brilliant.

Twmas: ‘Did you ever meet Deke Leonard of Man?’ Yup. Who, when asked about his singing on a particular track (by Bill Price) said, ‘I look upon a vocal – as a vocal.’ (strong Welsh accent needed here).

Gaz Stoker: I think AAAB good for lyrics, but overall, I tend to work hard with words.

Dru: ‘Everybody talks about the Mott/Queen tour, but what about the Free/Mott tour?’ We did open for Free. In Newcastle we thought we’d done ok, but then we heard this roar when Free went on.

Will Dockery on ‘Gold’: As I’ve said before – the tapes for ‘Overnight Angels’ had so much on them you could practically see through them. That was that time. Spilt milk – innit!

And that’s really it.

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