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Horse’s Mouth

June 12, 2021

Horse's Mouth (Issue #222, June 2021)

The Horse’s Mouth
June 7, 2021

Henceforth all ‘Happy Birthdays’ will become HB’s.

Had a fun day and evening. I heard from everybody and their mothers. Got smashed! Well, three glasses – (sad, isn’t it!). What can one do.

Anthony Troman: Don’t quite get the question. Originally, Mott did ‘Golden Age’. The ‘Welcome to the Club’ version was done later with Mick Ronson and that band. ‘Why was it left off the original release?’ I don’t get it.

Dru: ‘ Billy was still singing high back then – he later lowered his voice and that worked much better. Der (guitarist) was great. Still it did the business, and they were all nice guys. I’d have liked Bill Price
to engineer the whole thing but he was busy elsewhere.

Peter Jordan: ‘After living in the North with soft water, I moved to the midlands where the water is hard. It’s wrecking my skin – did you ever have problems – touring, time zones etc.?’ Never an issue.

Neil McCormack: Are you sure about this? As far as I recall, Pete’s life was fine early on. His Dad was a college lecturer and his Mum was a cameo painter – very nice people.

Jeff ihde: ‘Short Back ‘n’ Sides’ was recorded at an awkward time. We were short of material and there was the usual corporate stuff. We let Mick Jones take over – we were empty. Mick did great under the circumstances.

David b Wadsworth: I met Marc Bolan a few times.

Randy S: We didn’t cancel, the promoter cancelled because he was extremely worried about the Kim Jong Un situation at the time.

Allison Burgers: ‘How about a Horse’s Mouth fan poll – top three Mott/Hunter/Rant – favorite songs?’ S’OK with me.

Irina: ‘Who played guitar on ‘Look Before You Leap’? Was it Robbie Alter? Irina likes ‘Foxy, Foxy’ – coulda been better – goes on a bit.

Will Dockery: ‘Don’t think I ever read your thoughts on Jack Kerouac?’ Loved ‘On the Road’ – loved it! Wasn’t so fond of his other stuff.

Dru: ‘The thing about Ed Ward was that he loved music. That’s not always the case with critics.’ Never criticize a critic!

Marty G says he’s just noticed background singers repeating ‘Mott the Hoople’ at the end of ‘Laugh At Me’.’ Could be.

Donald Mease: Has anything paranormal happened to you? Yes, something did happen once at Pete Watts house and once on the Ringo Tour – but who knows, could have been anything. Sometimes you can fool yourself.

Wayne Deacon: opened. ‘In ’74 I saw you in Knoxville, TN. – REO opened. Did you get to know the guys in the band?’ Don’t remember. I’m sure pleasantries were exchanged, but nothing more.

Tom Andrews wants us in Houston. We’ll see.

Donald Mease: ‘Mick tuned Lou Reed’s guitar ‘properly’ – and Lou went off on him.’ Well, Lou was a bit testy at times.

Scott S: ‘Ever cross paths with the lates, great, Ian McLagan over the years?’ I remember being down at SXSW and we went and saw Ian play – great, as usual. We then had to do a show somewhere, but I went back to Ian’s club after that – just in time to see him automatically loading this massive organ up into the back of a tailor made truck – nobody with him – had it totally sorted. I asked him if he needed help, but, fortunately – he didn’t.

Janey: There’s actually no real cure for tinnitus. Universities are working on it, but there are ways to reduce it and manage it.

Dave Drew: Cheers, Dave

James Geary on Roy Wood: ‘See My Baby Jive’ is a classic. Great pop writer – that’s good pop, not bad.

Ooor Wullie has had his jabs. Good on yah! It’s a plague for Christ sake. Nothing political – a plague. Get your jabs!!!

Mike Wood: If your Dad was the kid, I think he was – he was one of those students who didn’t have to study much. He was a naturally clever kid. I remember thinking – I wish I could be so casually clever as he is. Give him my very best.

Richie C: ‘Listening to your first solo album a lot. Really appreciate Mick’s playing. He’s on fire in every solo – it’s almost like his restrained playing with Bowie had built up over the years and came flooding out on your songs. Of course Mick was a huge factor in Bowie’s sound, but I always felt Bowie never let him really shine on his records. I think his playing with you is a match made in heaven. Still a beautiful and powerful record to this day.’

Jeffrey: Happy Mother’s Day, Trudi!!! Trudi thanks you much, Jeff.

Pat Malboeuf: ‘Apart from ‘Lounge Lizard’ how much of the first solo album was written while you were writing with Mott in mind (if any)? None. In fact, most of it was written jus t before or when we were actually doing it. ‘I Get So Excited’ was last minute. I might have had ‘3,000 miles From Here’ and I was in the middle of ‘Once Bitten’ when we went into the studio. ‘Boy’ was longer – Mick shortened it.

Tony S: ‘I’ve noticed you don’t have a lot of effects on your voice i.e. reverb/echo these days (compared to MTH). Is this your preference – or the producers?’ We use some stuff – all depends on the song.- I wish I’d put more stuff on my vocals on ‘Alien Boy’. My fault – I produced it.

John G. Frawley: HB (1st one!) – Ta. Mick played Oberheim on an ’81 tour – Robbie Alter played lead. Tommy Mandel had an aneurism – pretty serious – but he came out of it fine. Mark Clark was the bassist (great harmony singer/arranger). The drummer was this very intelligent chap (and annoyingly good looking), Mark Kaufman – who went on to become a pilot.

Danny: OK

Jim Shea: ‘Fan of Mott and the Who. How about doing a double bill?’ I don’t know if Pete’s or my ears could take it!

Rob D: HB – working on it.

John Dalton: I thought Spector worked particularly well with the ‘Ronettes’ and the ‘Righteous Brothers’ (Sonny Bono was his engineer. Never met Phil, but I’ve met Ronnie. Mott experimented with the Spector sound on ‘Foxy Foxy’.

Scott Kettelle: Juniors. ‘BTW – they caught the jerk who threw the bottle at you (actually it was Mick Ralphs). I went to school with him – everybody dissed him that Monday!’ You can’t argue with stupid.

Jeff’s telling me he can’t medically get a the jab. Yeah – its a great shame when you can’t have. Makes it more important for those who can to protect those who can’t.

R.L. Sendra: A lot of songwriters or musicians seem to peak at some point – then play for years after rehashing their halcyon days. The albums, songwriting and musicianship in the past 12 years are exceptional IMHO. ‘Man Overboard’ is a personal favorite among your prodigious wealth of material. It seems unusual to just get better and better in the later years. To what do you attribute this vital outpouring? Rant Band is amazing, thanks for your on-going brilliance, go wild into the sunset, Ian!’ It’s just what I do.

Graeme Rintoul’ ‘What other songs did Bowie offer you?’ 1)
Suffragette City 2) ‘Dudes’ 3) ‘Drive In Saturday’ (long story) – he offered us more, but then heard what we already had and said ‘Let’s go with yours.’ I still don’t know what those songs would have been.

Mike Costanzo: HM unique (antique!) always interesting (ta).
1. ‘How many guitars do you currently own?’ – around 50.
2. ‘How many guitars have you owned in your career?’ Lost count
3. ‘Do you have at least one piano in the house?’ Yes.
4. ‘How did you learn to play piano?’ I didn’t really. I’m a rhythm freak – guitar or piano – it’s the groove.
5. ‘Did you teach any of your kids to play?’ Steve hates my kind of music; Tracie – I guess she learned a bit from me vocally; Jess – I taught him the basic chords and off he went.

Dru: ‘How much influence did Guy Stevens have on ‘London Calling’ sessions?’ It wasn’t easy or conventional, but look what happened.

Timbo: ‘When you’re invited to be on a TV show, do you get the VIP treatment?’ It’s promo

Fred Jardin: Hey Fred – nice to meet you. Regards to the chaps in NTH. It’s ‘driving north’.

Glenn O heard ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother’ on ‘Billions’. I played bass for a short while backing Billy Fury – that would be the reference.

Tom Morrice: ‘Hunter show still on bucket list.’

Matt Parish: Where was this? 1979 – probably NYC. Curious is not enough!

Chris Gouin: I remember wanting to do Detroit and we couldn’t find venue when our agent, Frank Riley, came up with the Ark in Ann Arbor. Great gig – so we went back for more!

Audrey Rosen writes a lovely note to the me and the Rant Band. Thanks, Audrey!

Rich Hyland: Ain’t much fun – is it?

Ron Seksenian: ‘What inspired ‘Crash Street Kids’?’ There was a UK comic which included ‘The Bash Street Kids’ – a take off on that.

Tom Willis: Well, every year the same and now finally down along with Northampton. Shrewsbury survived. Why do I support these teams? Ingrained! You still have to go to Equi’s though – most important!

Lynne: ‘HB – don’t they come quick.’ They sure do.

Joe M.: ‘What was the toughest group you had to open for?’ Very early on that would be ‘Free’ and ‘King Crimson’.

Mark Garcia: I’m not agin Noel songs – one just never came along (so far).

Tim McKenna: ‘Is rock dead or on life support?’ It has its place.

Robert Parkhurst: Paris!

Mark F: HB. I don’t use a teleprompter (as of yet), because that means you’re reading it and not feeling it. Weird thing happened on a Carnegie Hall gig though. I had to do ’19 Nervous Breakdown’ and for some reason, I just couldn’t learn that lyric (and I’m a Stones fan!). I did have to relearn ‘Alice’ and ‘Marionette’ for the MTH’74 tour.

To Stan at the Mall: There you go!

Bob Boyle: Jeff Beck sez: ‘Most important onstage clothing is my shoes – if my feet hurt – there is no music.’ Well, I hope your feet ain’t hurting!

Keith Nickless: HB – misses the Winery – I hear the new one’s great.

Peter Denham: ‘On September 20th 1972 I attended my first ever gig at City Hall Newcastle to see MTH. The concert was cut short due to ‘technical issues’. Do you remember what those ‘technical issues’ were?’ Buff was totally pissed. Sorry.

William W: Can’t win ’em all.

Hal loves me! Thanks, Hal

Alan in Portlandia: I played bass behind Pete on ‘Born Late ’58’ on all the MTH revival shows.

Hunter Tremayne: ‘HB – mine’s on the 30th – all the best.’ Likes ‘Bow St. Runners’ and ‘Fingers Crossed’. ‘Pirates, coppers – what’s next?’

Fred Burkhardt: You’re welcome.

Nanci: If Ronno wasn’t on stage (or rehearsing) he wouldn’t go near an instrument.

Stonefly: I think we were dafter then that – we just forged on. It wasn’t like ‘success’ – ‘we’re here’!! It felt like we’d been in a herd of cows in a field and all the other cows had left.

Michael Arsenault – Atlantic City, NJ? Not at the moment.

Steve Rager: Re: Overnight Angels – how did the songs go over live?
Earl Slick was in the band – I don’t think they were a problem.

Midge: ‘Saw you at the Glasgow Pavilion. You mentioned Hamilton – why? I grew up there.

Pasquale: Thank you, my Italian friend. ‘Maybe I can hope that there will be an Italian tour in the future?’ What’s going on border wise with Brexit? May make gigging in the EU more difficult. We’ll have to see how it pans out.

Cooper: ‘Has anyone tried to make a screen play of ‘Diary’? If someone tried to do that would you curse them?’ I think it’s impossible.

Thomas Greco: Who’s a clever boy, then?

Jeffkojeffko2: ‘HB – 30 more years!’

Keith Hollinshead: ‘HB – still the guv’nor. New album?’ Started.

Irina: Ta

Shinobu Kokubun: Thank you.

Bjorn Svange: HB

Philip Tremayne saw MTH in Truo at the City Hall in 1971 – a riotous time was had by all!

Gav Black: HB and asks what my favorite Bowie album? ‘Heroes’ ‘Ziggy’? Get them all mixed up. Not much for listening – maybe I should! Gav loves both editions of ‘Sweepstakes’ by Campbell Devine.

Mick McKenzie – HB – forever young!

Hal: HB

Dave Crisfield: HB

Michael Outram and Jeanette (MTH fan club member from 1973!): HB

David Drew: HB

Kevin: HB

John Channing: HB

Shug Laverty: HB

Phil T: HB

Seth Purvin: ‘Ringo Starr – twittered HB to Charlie Watts + you!! (he knocked a couple of years off.’ Ta Seth and Ringo!

Steve Baratta: Enjoyable BD – hi Dora!

Connie VB: HB – Where’s my 50 million year old tooth pick?

Mark Hughes: HB

Gary Walden: Got a book: ‘Lyrical Life’ – buy it. Jesse John Music, P.O.Box 245, Bridgewater, CT 06752o

Igor + Grimelda: Thanks for the recommendation of James’ song. HB

Mike Scerri: HB ‘Would love to hear ‘The Outsider’ live (can’t reach it.).

Kevin from Newcastle: HB – still the Guv’nor.

Bill: 82 too! HB

Trent Gardner: HB – He’s June 3, 1063 – HB to YOU.

Fred and the Hat People: HB Thanks, Fred regards to all the family.

Damien Cavendish: HB

Thomas Brecht: ‘You changed my life! ‘ And you changed mine!

Ian Martin: HB from Scotland!

Craig Murray: ‘What’s your opinion on paid meet ‘n’ greets?’ Well, people get to meet you and you make some money, so I guess it’s ok. I don’t do it, but it’s up to the individuals concerned.

Ray Mackie: HB – the Hudson Valley Winery is gorgeous.

Keith: HB (blush, blush, blush)

Nick: HB. Hope we hear new stuff before too long. Well it’s started but will take a while.

Shari Lee: HB – glad you’re still kicking!

Larry Woodside: Thanks, mate

Tom Doeing: ‘No way you’re 82. ‘ Way.

Your Wullie: ’50 years since I bought my first MTH record.’ Thanks, William. Still saving up for the next one?

Steve Abs: HB – Steve wants an acoustic set – just me and a keyboard. Sounds lonely.

Wally Sploogestahn: West Coast? What now?

Casanova: ‘I recently found out that if you sing the Cure’s ‘Just Like Heaven’ over the music of ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother’ you get a real interesting mix of the songs that fit together perfectly. Wonder if it’s just a coincidence or if Robert Smith was listening to a lot of Mott.’

Wade’s pissed off that I’m not in the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Why?

New One begun – I’m done – I ain’t no marionette!

Love ‘n’ Kisses to all

The Horse’s Mouth xxx

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