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Horse’s Mouth

September 9, 2021

Horse's Mouth (Issue #225, September 2021)

The Horse’s Mouth
September 3, 2021

Bit wet round here …

Daniel Morgan is asking about British gigs. Up in the air at the moment.

John Dalton: I thought Cliff Richard was going to be great when he first came out – ‘Move It’ – great single – Hank Marvin!!! Sadly, it was all downhill from there, rock wise. Cliff and Tommy Stele went showbiz.

Michael Depaoli: 1) Yes, Fred Heller had his offices in Dobbs Ferry. 2) My Father’s Place – ‘Balls to the walls’.

John Frawley: ‘First line of REM’s ‘Man on the Moon’ is ‘Mott the Hoople and the game of life’. Any idea on the meaning of it? You’ll have to ask Michael Stipe. Mott the Hoople had the spirit; will that do?

Jeffrey advising me to dodge hurricanes. Actually, we were out and about but got home ok.

David Gilbert: ‘Have you heard the Wood Floors version of ‘3,000 miles From Here’?’ Nope.

Michael Wolf: 1) ‘I know streaming services rip you off – is that true of Sirius also? Have heard quite a lot of your solo stuff lately on Deep Tracks.’ Dunno – Trudi looks after that side of things. Changing world. 2) Have the composing juices been flowing through the pandemic?’ Yep.

Bruce Bergmann: Interesting – send him my kindest regards – please.

Ooour Wullie: Cheers, Wullie!!

Dru: ‘Why was Bill Price so great?’ Brilliant engineer – you didn’t really need a producer with Bill. He just got it. We’d drive him nuts with the faders – we weren’t easy, but Bill was amazing. You were thinking of something, and he got there before you. Saved our bacon more than once.

John McMillan: Watching ‘Bad Girls’ – season 3 – and they let ‘Through the Looking Glass’ play for 2 minutes. Still a classic ’74 song. Do you get paid?’ Yes – I hope so!

Les Hutchinson: ‘Any way to get ‘YUI ORTA’ on Spotify?’ No idea.

Martin Gerrard: ‘Have you ever changed lines in songs over the years?’ Yup. What was ok in the 70’s in not ok now – and I’m ok with that.

Danny: Either they get it, or they don’t.

Dave Ings: Thank you, Sir!!

William White: Thought you’d be off it by now!

Joseph Merlie: ‘Got a good Philly story?’ I remember playing the Spectrum – and we went down ok. We’d played well and were busy after the show congratulating ourselves. We were noticing a certain quietness amongst the crew! We eventually found out that the front sound had been off for the entire set!

Mike Bunyard: I can’t remember – probably.

Phil Fortin: ‘Ever thought of doing a cd of songs that others have done that you admire?’ Not really, don’t see the point.

Pat Beirne: ‘Will you ever retire?’ I really don’t know. It’s really nice that people don’t want me to (including the wife!).

Jeffrey Stanke: ‘9 August 21 – ‘Once a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star – always a Rock ‘n’ Roll Star’. Dunno what this means- so I just put it in verbatim.

Tom Gillam: No idea – too far back.

Brian G: ‘What was the inspiration behind ‘It Aint Easy When You Fall’ and ‘Shades Off’? Mick Ralphs was the subject of the song – and the song had a long fade. I’d sent ‘Shades’ to a publisher and had just got a rejection note back, so I thought I’d pop it on there instead.

Greg Watson: Haven’t seen Slickie in a long time! We made that album and toured it. Then he was off with Bowie and Lennon – not bad for a Staten Island lad!!!

Bob Crawford: ‘Next record on vinyl to please us older chaps who prefer it.’ Well, that’s not down to me, but we shall discuss it as we’ve been lucky with vinyl as of late.

Patrick Hannigan: ‘Which came first ‘Cleveland Rocks’? or ‘England Rocks’?’ I originally wrote the song as ‘Cleveland Rocks’. My favourite San Francisco gig would be the original Fillmore West. – the other one’s ok too.

Greg Goodwin: ‘Lyrics or music first when writing?’ It comes in all shapes and forms. Some mornings, I get up with it in my head – can be a phrase – can be a riff. I’ve gotten up at 4 am and gone down to get it on tape. You think you’ll remember it – but you don’t.

Ken Lucas: Actually, I more or less do the same thing. (tinnitus).

Jim Baxter: Computer trolls!

Hunter Tremayne: It’s not that kind of different. It’s a different kind of different!

Peter Jordan: Way back when – Shrewsbury was dull, drab and boring so I moved to Northampton which at that time was full of music and life. Shrewsbury’s been lucky with their local councils – it’s really up and good looking these days!

Eric Dodd: ‘Dogs’ did support us – in the UK I believe.

Jim D: Andy dealings with ‘Deep Purple’? or Neil Young?’ Actually, I started my songwriting career at Francis, Day and Hunter – a publishing company – and Roger Glover was another staff writer there. I’ve met Ian Gillian and sadly missed John Lord – both excellent chaps! I jammed with Mr. Blackmore at the Speakeasy (London) one night in the late ’70’s. Never met Neil Young.

Stonefly: I wore my fingers out trying to do Leon’s track on Bonnie ‘n’ Delaney’s ‘In the Ghetto’ (1st album). Amazing player.

Fat Wally: I was rather partial to mandrax back in the day, but people abused it- so it got banned. Anything good – people abuse – it’s annoying.

Alcie: ‘Ever watch ‘Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore’? Yeah – when it first came out.

Seth: ‘How long does it take to pick a set list for a tour?’ 10 minutes. ‘What does ‘expect something different’ mean?’ Expect something different! ‘Why did you give up on the blog – it was spectacular.’ It wasn’t really ‘a ‘blog’ – just something that I wanted to write about.

Robin Bell: I left Oswestry at the age of 3 months!!

Morris: Guess it was how I felt at the time.

James: That’s about it – long shot though! Hanging in.

Neal A McAvoy: All true – plus she says. ‘not easy – at all’.

Jeffrey: I slept through it. It was bad in certain areas; we definitely got wet – thunder – lightning. The power skipped a few times but came back on.

Robert Sharpe: 1) ‘What motivates you or inspires you to keep writing?’ It’s just what I do. 2) ‘Many people think you have nothing left to prove.’ Well, that would take the fun right out of it.

Tim Livingstone: You’d have more chance of. getting a pair now! Most of the bands we played with before and since Mott have been great. The Kinks could be difficult on the road (or maybe it was their crew).

Andrew Willett: ‘Any chance you’ll tour a new album in the UK next year?’ Ask Boris! Who knows? All I’m saying is I’m happy with what’s going on in my corner.

Mike Scerri: ‘Ever thought of doing the entire ‘Schizophrenic’ album live?’ Nah.

Carlo Mathews: ‘When you write, do you tend toward a certain circle of chords more often than not? What’s the latest thing you’ve learned on either instrument?’ Well, the piano I use at home is a Roland V5, so I can just shift keys whenever I want and play in C. However, this gets boring, so I experiment. I’ve written new stuff on the guitar too – makes a change.

J Scott Strawn likes me and Nick Lowe. Yes, we’ve met a few times – charming fellow.

Dru: You win some, you lose some.

Bruce: ‘Any thought on a book of lyrics?’ Not yet. It would be nice if they picked the right ones.

Bob Boyle: ‘Watched PBS presentation icon: ‘Music Thru The Lens’ photographers that created famous album covers and Mick Rock was interviewed, -think ‘The Hoople’ cover art was shown.’ Yes, Mick’s a talented chap. Never realized the Queen album cover was a Mick job. Brilliant. We always got on and still do.

Martin Homan: Well – that was a mouthful! Glad it seems to be sorting itself out. I don’t go backwards, however – let’s see what you make of the next lot!

Robert Rawlings: No idea about this Robert. (Robert says ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ has elements of Ronno in it.)

David Morgan: ‘Persuade Dennis to publish a book of his photos of you and the band rehearsing, touring and performing. You and the band could add anecdotes. I think it would sell well.’ Dennis?

Alan in Portlandia thinks he’s seen a picture of Guy Stevens in the U.S. at a Queen party. Could it be him?’ Who knows?

Ed O’Neill: ‘How did ‘Lay Down’ come about?’ My idea – just loved the song – the band – not so keen.

Philip Tremayne: ‘What do you most remember about life on the road in the early MTH days? I saw the band in Plymouth in 1969 – what did you do after the gig?’ We drove back to London. Roads are emptier at night. A stop at a café or breakfast at a place in Shepherds Bush – then off to bed (we were all in one car and after a while a van. Stan or Booster driving. So much for glam.

David Drew says his wife’s done a killer version of ‘Too Much’. 

Bob Vondruska: Thank you, Bob. That’s the thing, most people don’t bother with lyrics – they just want to wiggle their arses – which is totally fine – but lyrics aren’t easy – especially when you’ve written a few hundred!

BART: ‘Did you ever meet any of the Stones in your travels?’ Thoughts on Charlie Watts? Losing Charlie will be devastating. He was Mick’s best friend and Keef worshipped him. I’ve met all the Stones at one time or another – and Ian Stewart. I feel for them all – especially his wife of 57 years.

Ooour wullie: (Sassenach version) Right in the middle of a covid mess with his wife after working on the front line at covid treatment centres for two years. It’s a lot worse than he imagined. ‘Wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Looking forward to getting back to normality. Take care – and don’t get this!’ Can’t be too soon, Wullie – c’mon!!

Jack: ‘Your opinion on the Ramones?’ I don’t really have one – that’s NOT negative – I just don’t have one.

Jeffrey: Get a generator!

Scott Taylor: Thanks for coming!

Steve Turner: On Kerouac’s ‘On the Road’ – I just thought it was a great book. ‘Wheel of the Quivering Meat Conception’ was Guy Steven’s title.

Monte P Evans: Boy, that sounds good!

Anders Akerstrom: I’ve always liked Elton John from back in his Bluesology days – and I’ve been in a room with Billy Joel playing an ‘orchestral’ version of ‘Dudes’. Pretty amazing.

Elaine Eaves: We just got heavy rain – no damage. Elaine likes the idea that Steve from Detroit had in the last HM – a tee shirt proclaiming that we heard it on the HM. Mmmmmmmmm

Tony S: ‘Do you have any of your 70’s stage outfits? Nah – not much. They didn’t date well.

Dmitri Pasqualiboski: ‘When Joe Biden recently visited Cleveland and said in an interview: ‘Like the Mott the Hunter song – Cleveland Socks’ – I’m wearing mine!’ Do you think he was told to say that or is it dementia?’ Well, it’s better than sucks! Bit of a wind up? Thought so.

Kidd Carl Cornell: ‘Would it be possible to parody ‘Cleveland Rocks as ‘Duckburg Rocks’? I ask because I would like your permission.’ If it’s for fun – go ahead, but if it’s for commercial use – you would have to get permission from my publishers at SONY ATV.

Mick Crandall: ‘Backsliding Fearlessly’ – the title doesn’t match the lyric. Did Guy Stevens provide the title?’ Can’t recall.

Justin has informed me that Ray Waters has passed away. Condolences to his family and friends. What can I say? – just sorry.

Stay safe.

IH The Horse’s Mouth xxx

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