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Horse’s Mouth

December 17, 2021

Horse's Mouth (Issue #228, December 2021)

The Horse’s Mouth

Getting a bit nippy out there!

Dru: “I saw footage of the Genesis show and Phil’s in really bad shape. Someone who cares about him should pull the plug!” Easier said than done – passion is a powerful thing.

David Newton: 1) With your affiliation with Andy York, were you ever offered a slot on a John Mellencamp tour? No. 2) When you write on guitar, do you ever use alternate open tunings? I like Open G.

John White: Never did encounter Nick in the early Island days. I always remember lots of Elton John acetates lying around the office. He was the keyboardist with Bluesology.

Michael Dube: “Any comment to the Jim Steinman fans – who also luv Ian Hunter – about Jim’s passing.” Jim was totally committed. He had vision and was hugely successful. I met a few times – lovely chap.

Freddy Miller: You can hear cello in a lot of guitarists’ playing. Cello is a gorgeous instrument. As for fishing – I’ve tried it – bored silly!!

Dave Griffiths MBE: No idea if it was considered – probably not.

John Dalton: Do you recall when MTH performed a live cover of ‘Ohio’ by Neil Young? Did the political and cultural importance of that song resonate with Mott during that time period?” I’m sure it did. The song is great in its simplicity and Mick’s voice suited the vocal as he sang high back then (as did NY). I’ve actually written a song recently with that song in mind.

Bryan Paterson: “Favourite songwriters and vocalists are yourself and Tim Finn from Split Enz. Like you, Tim is something special. Your views?” Well – I guess – thanks!

Alec Henry: “Besides guitar, what instrument could Ronno play? Did he play on ‘Sea Diver’?” Mick played piano but I believe he started out on violin. He didn’t play on ‘Sea Diver’ but wrote the arrangement (on a fag packet).

Jeffrey gives a heads up about a video of ‘Little Bit of Soul’ by Music Explosion and says, “At least lead singer, Jamie Lyons, didn’t have a problem with ‘Silver Needles’“.

Bob: “I’ve noted this before, but once again you have denied setting foot in Indianapolis after ‘…Another Night”. As longtime MTH/IH nut of the Indiana division, I surely was not the only one who saw you and Ronson at the Vogue in Broad Ripple Indianapolis Dec 1988. Please tell me I didn’t just imagine it.” Dunno – maybe we were – I just don’t remember. I’ve got nothing against Indianapolis – it’s just the ‘poiis’ bit.

Butler: “Does your driver’s license state ‘Ian Hunter’ or ‘Ian Hunter Patterson’? According to Wikipedia, “Ian Hunter’ is your stage name – do you use both names?” Hunter is my middle name.

Tony S: “Are you OK?” I’m writing this, aren’t I !

Bryan C: ”Were you ever a fan of the band Nazareth or did you ever tour with them? Been listening to some of their stuff lately. Also been listening to ‘Dirty Laundry’ – such a great album and sounds like it was a blast to make!” That’s actually true – it was a lot of fun in the making. I think we played with Nazareth; obviously, we knew of them. They’re Scottish so they must be good.

Dave: “Photographer, Mick Rock, died. Any thoughts?” Mick was mainly Bowie’s photographer – although we did a couple of sessions with him was back when. Great, great photographer and fun to be with. I will miss Mick.

Phil Holmes: “Hello sir! Did you sing ‘I borrowed a gypsy Guild’ during ‘One of the Boys’ on the MTH live….because that’s what you were playing at the time of recording ?”I think I say, “I borrowed Gypsy’s Gibson just to show them.”

Ed: “Overnight Angels is an amazing album that is sadly ignored. Would it be cool to revisit it on stage?” Nan.

Constance: ”So shocked and saddened to hear of Mick Rock’s passing. Besides being the preeminent photographer of so many of rock and roll’s iconic images, he was also a very kind and droll person, having talked to him several times at City Winery NYC shows. What a legend. His images focused and distilled his subjects at their very best. Are there any fave Mick Rock photos of yours?” There’s one where he’s got me looking sideways from way back. It’s just very sad.

Dave Robinson: On the Ronson influence on Bowie. Some say Bowie; some say Ronson. I say 50-50.

Bob Boyle: “My deepest heartfelt condolences Mick Rock has departed from us. May his loved ones find peace in his memory.”

Joe D: “I know you’ve played with Ringo. Have you ever met any of the other Fab 4?” I had a pee next. To George in the Speakeasy one night but we never spoke!

Dave Britz: “Any chance they’ll be a live release of Mott ’74?” Dunno, possible. “Any idea when to expect the new album? Sometime next year. “Any release date on a new single?” Not yet. “Can’t wait.” I assure you it’s worth waiting for.

Danny: Just keep at it.

Larry Butti: “Looking forward to your outlook on the world today.”

Andrew Dow: “What had Elton done to vex you so much that you wrote ‘Captain Void’ as a pastiche? “It really wasn’t a piss take; it just came along and we did it. Elton’s a lovely, talented chap! That’s a funny old album.

Kyle Telleson: Tinnitus doesn’t really get better (as you know). There are some pretty good hearing aids out there that mask it.

Rob Peck – on harmonicas – actually, I’m not a great harmonica player. I can blow a melody line now and again (i.e. ‘I Wish I Was Your Mother), but if you want to listen to a great harp player, listen to Little Walter.

Audra Driscoll: “My sister Karin and I have followed you since the mid ‘80’s when we were teenagers. I’ve been a NYC police officer since 1997 and I’ve just put in my retirement papers. I know I’ve thanked you numerous times for ‘Twisted Steel’ – I do hope you know how much it truly means to me as I was a first responder that day, and I know many friends in the PD and FD who passed that day. You have written the soundtrack to my life and I thank you from the bottom o my heart. – PO Audra Driscoll NYPD/PBBN”. The song just came to me and I managed to finish it. That’s nothing compared with what you and your comrades did!! Thank YOU!!

Grimelda Charles: You’re nuts – good nuts – but nuts nevertheless!!

Steven Carpenter: “Any thoughts of touring in ’22?” Too early – on many fronts. A lot of stuff going on. We shall see!

Jerry Ross: Of course there is interest – for MTH’74 as well as for me and the Rand Band – but it’s a difficult time for promoters and bands. With covid things are complicated for everybody.

Al Laufer: “One of the greatest rock and roll nights of my young life was the night you played Milwaukee in August of 1973. What’s the story behind ‘One of the Boys’”. Hey Al, first let me say I’ve always enjoyed playing Milwaukee – genuinely. As for ‘One of the Boys’ – that was just us at the time.

Philip: “Back in the heydays of the 60’s through the 70’s MTH and all other bands gigged relentlessly – putting thousands of miles under their belts to perform to live audiences. What are your thoughts on today’s performers who hope/expect to rocket to fame on the back of a video-type platform. Would you have sacrificed hours on the road to play in front of real fans, or go down a TikTok type-route?” I guess each generation to their own. I wouldn’t have missed the way we did it for all the tea in china. It was mayhem – it was exhausting – and it was exciting. Up till then, life had been rather dull. Now it’s kinda like doctors waiting room – and covid hasn’t helped. There’s really no comparison.

Mark F: Like I said, Milwaukee’s one of my favourites to play. I’m not keen on casinos, but the one we played in Milwaukee (a couple of times) was great. Great room – great crew – great audience.

Colin: Liverpool vs. Shrewsbury!!! FA Cup!!! C’mon Liverpool – put the big guys on the pitch – us little guys need the money!!

Daniel Costa: Nah! But thanks, anyway!

Ooer Wullie: With yet another idea on how to occupy my future!!! Is there no trust!! Wait and see! Not for me the turgidity of yesteryear!!

Keith Nickless: “What’s your view on Christmas songs?” Same as any other time of the year. If they’re good – they’re good!

Bill Steffen: “Nick Lowe has become more of a self-described crooner. Do you feel the same of yourself?” I’m down a semi and I guess I croon upon occasion, but it’s by no means a crooner by trade – as of yet!

Barry: “Have you ever played with fellow Brit and CT resident Andy Powell?” Don’t think so.

Dru: “Would a film crew in the studio like The Beatles had during the ‘Let It Be’ sessions have driven you crazy?” All depends on the crew, really. No, I haven’t seen it yet. I think I’m the only one on the planet that hasn’t see it. Haven’t got Disney.

Carlo Matthews: 1)“What’s your favourite melody from Mott?” ‘Waterlow’; Solo – dunno, ‘Dead Man Walkin’ maybe? 2) “Would you ever consider doing an acoustic live rendition of ‘That Girl is Rock & Roll’?” Why? 3) “Any impressions on Randy Newman (ever met him)?” All good – never met him.

Connor Riley Peters: “How did the Mick Ronson Tribute Concert come about?” Maggie Ronson with help got the whole thing going.

Randy Steinlauf: I’ve forwarded this to my manager.

Thanks for all the Christmas and New Year wishes. Hopefully things will improve – and I think they will.

And a Happy Christmas and New Year to all of you – my staunchest!!!

The Horse’s Mouth

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