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Horse’s Mouth

January 18, 2022

Horse's Mouth (Issue #229, January 2022)

The Horse’s Mouth
January 9, 2022

Hello playmates!! 2022 (easier to remember)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year shall henceforth be known as MC and HNY – saves on ink.

Jamie Meyers: I’ve heard the Monkees version a couple of time – it’s ok by me.

Wesley Beech: “Saw your show at the Felt Forum at MSG. It was life altering and propelled me on a career in music. I heard David Bowie was there. Was there any talk of him joining you on stage for ‘Dudes’? Still probably the best concert I ever saw! Thank you for all the great music.” Dunno – I remember being in New York with David and hanging, but whether that was the time you’re on about is another question. He did get up with us for ‘Dudes’ in Philly.

Kevin Quinn: Re: ‘Old Records Never Die/John Lennon. I wrote the song with Elvis in mind and we were recording it the night that Lennon was shot. We were at the Power Station which isn’t that far away from the Dakota. I was the only one that didn’t know that it had happened – the band kept it from me till the track was finished. I couldn’t understand why the atmosphere was so lousy. I remember going out onto the street and people running by, ‘it isn’t true! It isn’t true!’ – TV crews. Chao created by an idiot – who now wants out.

Matt Marish: “Have you seen ‘Get Back’ (Peter Jackson)? I’ve watch it 3 times already – a great way to spend ‘a day in the life’.” We haven’t got the Disney Channel – I’ll see it eventually.

Dru: “Since the Horse’s Mouth in April 2000 – what’s the longest amount of time you’ve gone without a column?” Dunno.

Fred Burkhardt: A fellow Bill Burr fanatic!

Bob Boyle: “I’m starting to wonder if Todd Rundgren wrote any Monkees songs while under contract to Screen Gems during his time with ‘The Nazz’. An up and coming artist could write material for their record company and execs would deliver the song to another artist under their management.” It’s not uncommon, and as long as the writer is credited and gets royalties. In the old days people like Elvis would do deals with writers – well the Colonel did – if you want a song on an Elvis record – Elvis (or the colonel) – gets at least half!!

Matt Giarrizzo: “Do you think you’ll be touring anytime soon?” (Who knows with Covid.) “Love the song ‘Bastard’ – what’s it about?” It was more a vehicle for Ronson’s guitar work than anything else.

Craig Murray: “OK – enough slackin – let’s get a tour going! Bring it!”
I can assure you my hands have not been idle.

James b: So, with space travel becoming available to us ordinary folk (ordinary billionaires is what I think you mean) – would you consider taking a ride?” 50 miles up? I know what the planet looks like 50 mile up in space – no way!!

Phil T: Thanks, Phil.

Matt Parish: Another one about ‘Get Back’.

Mike Constanzo: “Do you have any memorable recollections of working with Mick Rock?” Mick was on our side. One time I was doing an interview with some music paper – around the time of AAAB and the guy was going, ‘how did you get these famous people on your record – did you ask them yourself?’ Mick, who was the photographer on the session said, ‘Ian asks nobody – they ask him!’. This wasn’t particularly true, but like I said – Mick was on our side. As far as the album cover for ‘Dudes’ goes, I found Columbia Records pretty awful.

Larry Woodside: Thanks, Larry – same to you and yours.

John A: “I always see comparisons between Steve Harley and yourself. Would you agree? I’m not that familiar with Steve, so I can’t comment. He rang me once – many years ago to co-write, but he didn’t realize I was based in the U.S. – so nothing came of it.

Jeffrey: “R.I.P. John – Central Park ‘n’ West ” (Amen).

Tom Mcgarry: “Have you ever written a song in anger, then regretted it later?” Who hasn’t!!

Jeffrey: Same to you and yours.

Chuck: Never met Jeff Lynne; strange but true.

Gretchen Anne Walden: “Do you find the older you get the harder it gets to write new lyrics and songs?” I’ve never found it easy – but early on it was easier because I wasn’t revisiting anything. There’s only so many subjects out there. Romance is ok in your early years but it starts sounding slightly sillier in your 70’s and 80’s. Gone also is the angry young man aspect. Having said that, I’ve just written 20 new ones, so something always seems to crop up.

Rab: Darrell was a one trick pony. Brilliant at what he did – in his area. Ronno, however, could add to anything. I loved ’em both. Great fun to work with.

SB: “Is ‘Overnight Angels’ getting re-mastered?” Dunno.

Les Gustafson: “Tried to see MTH at a pub in Barnet but couldn’t get in, so it was at a place called Sisters Club on the corner of Seven Sisters Rd, North London – one week Jon Hiseman’s Colosseum, next week MTH in 1970. First Chord of opener ‘Ohio’, I think, all these kids got up and started jumping about. Did they follow you around?” Yup. It got bigger and bigger; we had quite an army – including Mick Jones and co.

John Dalton: “Any interactions with David Byrne?” Never met David, but have seen Tina and Chris when we’ve gigged in their area.

Rick Graves cataloged my Indianapolis appearances – quite a few, apparently! Thanks, Rick – all is forgiven!!

Danny G: “Harder to write – a rock song or a ballad?” A good rocker. There’s a few coming up!

John Frawley: No idea.

Scott Aurisch: I’m a slow writer, and I don’t write when I’m touring, so I’ve always been at a disadvantage in the way the industry’s run. What do you want – quality or quantity – the industry doesn’t give a flyin’ fuck – that’s why I hover!! If a Christmas song came along, naturally I’m fine with that, but so far – nothing!

Kenny Mac: I’ve always thought I was just lucky – a lot of people weren’t.

Danny G: “How many takes on vocals?” The quicker, the better.

David Pickles: “Can I have the Maltese Cross guitar?” No.

Mark Eaton: “Why aren’t you in the hall of fame?” Dunno. Trudi says it’s because I’m not a schmoozer.

Stonefly: Any ‘Spinal Tap’ moments that you have experienced on stage that you can share?” I didn’t realize, but my eyes are sometimes closed when singing. Imagine my surprise upon finally opening them to find one lens from the shades missing. Not a pretty sight – image blown!

Mark F: “Do you have any unusual thing in your tour rider?” There must always be two bottles of Champagne (medium range). Not there – we don’t go on. One before, one after (I do share it with the chaps).

Andy: What a lovely story! 1. “Did you know Joe Cocker?” Said hello a couple of times – lovely man. 2. “Is it true all Welsh people can sing?” Not all, but most.

Dru: Not an expert on the subject. Rick Wakeman’s pretty amazing, but so was you know who.

Dan Leblanc: Thanks for all the great music over the years – you’re one of my favourite aritsts of all time (blush). Will you be making a new album in the near future?” We’re 2/3rds through, and it’s very special.

Irina: Same to you, girl!

Mark Hughes: I’m done writing and record wise – other stuff takes longer, but we’ve got plenty of time. The subject matter is varied. I got lucky and had a hot spell. Inspiration coming in from a lot of areas.

Rick Dickson re: ‘Beg A Little Love’. I thought YUI Orta was a good album – slightly slick in the production which, in retrospect, I’d have liked it a little rougher. I liked ‘Women’s Intuition’ too, but unfortunately, I wasn’t in the Rolling Stones!! Mick wasn’t so keen on the production; he was right, as usual.

Jeffrey Boyer: OK, I won’t.

Janet Kaplan: “I noticed someone asked about your touring with John Mellencamp. Do you remember when he opened for you in Detroit and hit his head on his band mate’s guitar and knocked himself out? Everybody was cheering like he was trying to be funny and didn’t understand till they carried him off. I worked at Chrysalis at the time and I was bummed because I was supposed to give John a message from Mitch Ryder and I didn’t get to meet him. Good times!” Don’t remember this one.

Bill McCue: “You had Dennis Elliott play drums on your first solo album, but then he because famous with Foreigner. Was he just a beginner or was he well established when you found him?” Dennis was with a very well respected Jazz outfit called, ‘IF’. My wife, Trudi, was pals with Dennis’ wife, Iona, and we actually wound up living above them in a flat in Wandsworth. We loved Dennis because he was jazz based – he could swing!! Great drummer!

Jeffrey says he voted for me to get into the Hall of Fame and the only person he’s seen more in concert than me is Lou Reed. I’m fine with that, Jeffrey!

Colin Connor is on about the Broadway shows. The first night was a bit scary, but It was a total ball of fun the rest of the way.

Ron P: “Considering the timing of the release of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody (1975) do you think Freddie was influenced by ‘Marionette’? The similarities seem clear to me.” Dunno. I remember asking him what it was about and he said, ‘Oh it’s all a load of bits shoved together, dear.” Typical!

Sara: Thanks, Sara.

Pat Beirne: “Which of your albums are you least satisfied with and why?” ‘All of the Good Ones’ coulda been better; ditto ‘Overnight Angels’.

Philip Tremayne: “Does any unreleased early MTH material exist – either studio or John Peel in concert recordings?” No idea.

Seth: 1. “What kind of piano do you use?” Roland V5. 2. “What’s gonna be the theme of the new record – I’m thinking either how we wrecked the planet or how everybody wants to impose their will on everybody else.” I would say the theme is Rock ‘n’ Roll – in all its areas – not just any particular one. I don’t think ‘morose’ is a good idea at the moment! 3. Getting a new pup and calling Ronson. Would he approve? Dunno – probably.

Wade: “Hello, good Sir. Your main page on the web site has been a little dull of late. You should consider putting out an album soon so the site has something new and great to promote. I’m not sure going on the road is prudent but you could do some on line shows. They seem to work for Todd Rundgren. Last year sucked!!! Cheers!” Good idea.

Jim K: “I play guitar and am curious about key preferences for piano. As a kid I remember trying to learn Memphis and struggling with the fingering as it’s in A flat. Tune down and it’s no issue of course, but I hadn’t thought of that at the time. When writing on piano, are writers generally indifferent to key that are more challenging on guitar?” It’s whatever suits the song. In the case of ‘Memphis’ I liked the ‘hardness’ of that particular key. Do it on the white notes – it’s not ‘Memphis’. Plus, I was experimenting with the black notes at the time as the white ones were pretty much totaled!

Matt Nojonen: “One obscure band no one has heard of?” ‘Chasing Mallory’ – my grandson, Jamie is the drummer – good band. Enderby books duly noted – thanks!

Dru: “Did you enjoy Brinsley Schwartz in the pub?” They were ok.

Bonnie Gilmour: No idea – it’s obviously well early on – the first album? Tape op copy? Forgery? Who knows.

John: “Do you do any vacation/leisure/non business traveling or do you stick close to home? Any chance of bumping into you at the St. Louis Arch (been there), The Alamo (been there) or Mt. Rushmore (haven’t been there). Don’t get around much these days – what with covid etc.

Any way – must fly!!

Be patient!

The Horse’s Mouth

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