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Horse’s Mouth

February 10, 2022

Horse's Mouth (Issue #230, February 2022)

The Horse’s Mouth
February 4, 2022

A dismal February day in CT.

KMei: “Favorite Mott ballad?” The Ballad of. “Favorite Mott Rocker?” Memphis. “Favorite Mott Lineup” All of ’em – for different reasons. “Favorite Mott performance?” No idea. “Saw Mott on Broadway – incredible!!!” Thanks.

John Dalton: “‘Pearl ‘n’ Roy’ scathing profile of economic and social disparities that existed in England in the early 70’s. Being that you’re not overtly political the song was a cry for change and represented social commentary. Have these issues changed for the better in your homeland since that time? Are you optimistic about the future? BTW – it’s a great song and I’m fairly certain it helped shape the lyrics and sound of the Clash.” Dunno – it was pretty innocent back then compared with today. Pretty bad at the moment what with one thing or another – but it’s always something! Pity, there’s a lot of great people around, but you only hear about the ‘extroverts’!

Andy Allison reminds us that his good friend (and lifelong Hoople/Hunter fan) – Jan Reeves – will be celebrating a significant birthday on February 27th! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAN!! BTW – one of your pictures is framed in our front room.

Doug Smith on my meeting Doc Neeson (The Angels) backstage at Great Gilderlseeves.

Jeffrey: Neither have I.

Yvonne Carmean: “Doesn’t tinnitus make you want to make you scream?” Well, they’re making pretty good hearing aids these days and that softens the blow. Plus – you get used to it.

James Davis flew to Capistrano, CA (the furthest he’s traveled for a how). He chatted with Boschie afterwards (says he was quite a character). Great show – treasures the memory. Cheers.

Malcolm Lay: “Ever been offered Glastonbury?” Twice.

Mike Costanzo: “Any thoughts on people selling their catalogs?” I’ve resisted so far because it’s kind of like selling your life away. Problem is, if you don’t sell – you don’t get a look in license/sync wise because these big companies will monopolize the business.

Les Vineyard: “You are always talked about as lead singer of MTH or as a solo artist, but since you always have a band, do you think of yourself as a solo artist?” I don’t ever think about it. I just write songs and sing them – and I love the camaraderie of being with a band.

Peter’s two teenage daughters love my stuff; Peter plays it while skiing (it’s all downhill). Say hello to John – I got him into Tough Darts – excellent drummer.

Bob Boyle: I remember doing a charity thing for John Varvatos. The place was packed, so they parked a caravan out back for the artists. Ronnie climbed in shouting, “He did it! He did it! He did!” Funny, lady – incredible voice. R.I.P. Ronnie Spector.

TS: “I’ve heard a bit of a rumor that you’re up and coming album may have ‘special guests’ on it. Given what I read on the internet, there’s a chance this is total nonsense, but I thought I’d ask. Also, I’ve been reading a book about the development of the electric guitar that speaks to the scarcity of Gibsons and Fenders in the UK in the late sixties. Just curious as to whether that was something that had an effect on what you all chose to play back in the. Early days of MTH.?” More like the 50’s. England was mainly ‘Hofner’ guitars in the 50’s and early 60’s. The first Fender I ever saw (and there were 6 of them) – was Buddy Holly at De Montford Hall in Leicester (which we later played at). I was a bass player early on – Burns was the UK bass of choice for a lot of people. As for the ‘special guests’ – wait and see.

Paul Stepto: “Do you recall a gig Mott played for John Peel’s Top Gear show when you supported Fairport Convention?” Richard Thompson mention in his autobiography that at this gig Fairport noticed how effective Mott’s stage craft was at getting an audience reaction. For a short while afterwards they copied your moves, but then decided it wasn’t how they wanted to perform.” We never thought about it or talked about it – we just did it. It was us – it wasn’t acting.

Robert Hart: Noted – remind me again after the release of the record.

Jeffrey: Thank you!

Jim McConnell: “Longing for any Hunter gig in this crazy covid world. Been listening to some of the reunion concerts and would love Ian, Luther, Morgan, Verden onstage in 2022. Surely God is listening. Can this be arranged, Ian?” Dunno – we’ll just have to wait this out.

William B: “What was it like when you first stepped onto a stage with MTH?” That would be at the ‘Bat Caverna’ in Italy. We were sent there to rehearse – and died a death!!!
Later on though, and still to this day, I always get the chills when the ‘Jupiter Suite’ comes up before we go on. Pete’s idea – and a wonderful idea it was.

Frank Cino: Yeah, Steve called me once to co-write, but he thought I was living in the UK and I was in NY at that time so it never came off.

Seth: There are 20 and it’s 20 out of 20 – not 16.

Mikey Oll: “Just reading a book by Ian Clayton called ‘Bringing It All Back Home’ – he worked on a Yorkshire TV show and says he interviewed you and you answered every question either ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Do you remember that? (He wasn’t criticizing, he thought it amusing).” Well, the questions couldn’t have been up to much.

Anthony Caminiti: “Did you ever run into John Waite in your time at Chrysalis?” John visited me in CT once. Nice guy.

Bill: “Long time fan – first saw the Hunter/Ronson Band in 1975 at the Ford Auditorium in Detroit. Was just listening to Jeff Tweedy with Wilco and was wondering if you have any unusual guest appearances on the new album?” Wait and see.

Barry: “Saw you and Mick – front row – in Asbury Park in 1980. Then on the Pier series in NYC with Robbie Alter. When and why did Todd tour with you on guitar around that same time. I missed those shows.” Todd asked me to do a tour in support of John Anderson’s campaign.

Robert Berner: “You had me at ‘Hello, hello, Ello, ello’.” It was long before that, Robert.

Tom Flynn: “Interesting article on 1972’s ‘Dudes’ album on on 1-18-22. Hope you are well and looking forward to the new release.

David Shasha: How about ‘When the World Was Round’?

Mark F: “You’ve written 20 new ones, is the next release going to be a double cd? Can we expect to be able to purchase it in 2022?” Right now, I don’t have an answer to that. When I do, you’ll be the first to know.

Tim Kearns: Did you have your records stolen? I remember meeting fans in the car park at that gig. One of them was either Australian or a New Zealander and he’d come a long way – and in gratitude some dodgy UK’er had nicked all his albums. OK – so you’re my official No 1 New Zealand fan!

Alan in Portlandia: “Now days it’s easy to fix anything in a recording which is maybe the reason there is no great music, although good music is being released. That being said, in the days of linear recording on tape, did you prefer to do punch ins, if possible, and piece a performance together or do an entire track over, either vocals or guitar?” Well, you went for the complete track – if that didn’t work, you’d do 3 or 4 and piece them together. It was always better to get it in the first or second take – after that – it became work. You’d lose sight of the lyric.

Jason: “Massey Hall in Toronto just reopened after extensive restoration. You played there with Mott in 1973 and ’74. Any memories of the place?” I remember they put me in the presidential suite for a bunch of promo – not to sleep there – just for the afternoon for the press!

Matt Parish – Thanks, Matt – with you all the way (my wife makes me!)

Mark Kuhar: Happy coincidence.

Dru: “Do you think Carl Perkins may be a bit overlooked?” Yes, I do. I don’t think it bothered him though. He seemed to be the quieter, more modest type – not really a limelight sort of chap.

Steve Rager: “Any recordings/videos of MTH with Mick Ronson on tour?” That was in Europe – nothing I know of – it would have surfaced by now.

Tony V on Darrell Bath – a great one off! ‘Never Trust A Blonde’ – one of my favourites and typical Darrell.

Rick Graves: “A friend of mine was substitute teaching the other day and needed a couple of students to help him. What were their names? One was Ian and the other Hunter! Hope you and Trudi are well and safe.” Thank you, Rick – we’re good.

Scott: “Have you ever met Noddy Holder from Slade?” I sat down with Noddy one time and he said, “You know, it was your lot that gave us the feeling that we should form a band and go for it. (They’d all been in the front row of a show in Wolverhampton Civic.) I thanked him for the compliment and then he said, “We thought if you lot could do it – anybody could!”

James B: “You’re an amazing songwriter (blush) and don’t need any help composing – but do people submit songs to you that you’d like to record? You know, some people write, but don’t perform.” Not that I can recall; I like other people’s stuff though.

Laurent Corsyn: On the new record – there’s a lot of waiting involved and I’m in waiting mode.

Nanci: Re: pandemic: Well, you always react to what’s going on around you – that said, I’ll try not to make it worse!! Nothing on there to do with covid – it’s on 24 hours a day anyway!!

Douglas Moss: I was returning a favor.

Erik Huth: 1) drums are out. 2) Dan borrows stuff I have in England when he tours over there – saves paying and aggravation at airports.

Gust De Woomer: “It’s Saturday evening, Ian Hunter is all alone at home. He pours himself a glass of whiskey and goes to cd rack. What music does he play to relax?” Ian Hunter is not alone – he doesn’t pour himself a whiskey and he doesn’t listen to cd’s!!

Bobby C: “Reflections on 1979?” Hunter- Ronson – good times.

Stonefly: ‘Once Bitten’ was written on a primitive drum machine. There were seven buttons you could press on this thing – so I pressed them all – waltz – quickstep etc. If you listen closely – it’s on the record. Dennis Elliott’s playing the drums – but it’s there if you listen for it.

Mike Flanagan: “On side two of the live album, after the talking part of Sweet Angeline there is a distortion that sounds like loss of earth. Expertly, and on the beat, you sang ‘that must’ve been God’. Was it ever determined what the glitch was?” No idea.

Jeffrey: The wife and I were both out chopping ice. Driveway’s 1/8 of a mile – fun. I was out there for two hours – and that’s after the plow came through.

Chris: Well, that was embarrassingly lovely!! Thank you!

William B: “What was it like meeting Freddie?” I know a couple of Freddies – I assume you mean the famous one. Intelligence!! That whole band – intelligence.

OK – that’s enough for now.

Stay safe ‘n’ wait!

The Horse’s Mouth

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