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Horse’s Mouth

May 11, 2022

Horse's Mouth (Issue #233, May 2022)

The Horse’s Mouth
May 9, 2022

Spring is here – I think …

Otto Greenleaf says WMMR interviewed Mike Campbell. “Good interview. Mike said he loved the music you added to the song ‘Dirty Job’ and he can’t wait to meet you personally.” It was my pleasure, and it will be great to meet him.

Phil Baxter would like to see a decent picture of the Maltese Cross to use at his Dad’s funeral. “He wasn’t religious in the conventional sense (just as well), but he was a huge fan of Mott and styled himself on a younger version of yourself (I see). Can’t find shots that are decent on the internet. Thanks for the memories.” Sorry for your loss.

G. Mick Smith, PHD: “Like many super fans your lyrics are the soundtrack to our lives. In a forth coming novel I wrote, ‘Burning America’ I’d like permission to quote from ‘Soap ‘n’ Water’; ‘You Nearly Did Me In’ and ‘Purgatory’. Is there someone I should contact about this?” Probably me – you have permission.

Kellianne Connell: Wow – what a mess! Glad you’re on the mend! Genetics -so random and unfair to say the least. Hang it, girl! Tell Billy ‘Win It All’ is one of my favourites, too. I shall try to keep impacting!

Thomas Crolly: “What do you know about Traffic and ‘Low Spark of High Heeled Boys’? I read a story it was about Mott??” I actually asked Steve about it and he just smiled, but according to Jim Capaldi (who I believe wrote the lyric) it was definitely not. There you go.

Philip Tremayne: “Me, an avid fan and historian of the first MTH incarnation, I was fascinated by the two volumes of ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Sweepstakes’ and I’ve also just re-read ‘Diary’ – epic. I followed the band throughout Europe in the UK. What was it about Fairfield Hall, Croydon?” There was a pub (The Greyhound) opposite the Fairfield Halls which held quite a lot of people in its backroom 600 – 800. Fairfield Hall was bigger and a lot of famous people had played there. We probably played the Greyhound 3 or 4 times, and it was always packed to the rafters. Soon came the day when an offer came in for Fairfield Hall! Not only were we excited, but all the fans at the pub were too! So, we all crossed the road into the ‘big time’ together.

Michael Mortimer: “I’m a big fan of yours from Australia and was wondering if there were any plans to tour here in the future or will I have to travel to see you play live?” I’d like to come and I’m aware that there’s a few people who would like to see us over there – we’ll see.

Tamara: Re: ‘Stranded in Reality’. I just liked the title a lot – not so keen on the song; – it’s ok. There’s a lot of stuff to choose from, so some always get left at the start post. That a good age for a dog.

Dru: “Did Mick perform well on the ‘Rolling Thunder Review’? Was the ensemble a good fit for him?” It was different for him, and that’s why he did it. I only saw one show and he was having a good time. When everybody got paid at the end of the tour – they gave him a bill! Typical.

David Gilbert came across a rather flattering written portrait of me in the ‘Romance’ section on the Somerset County Library System!! It goes on a bit – kinda like a blurb – too long for here – but thanks David for sharing.

Jason Rubin: “What was Guy Stevens like in real life. How instrumental was he in helping Mott develop?” Guy named the band – formed the band – told us we were better than the Beatles or the Stones. Screamed at me re: Dylan etc. etc. etc. I think if Guy could have played or sung he wouldn’t have needed any of us. We were his vehicle, and we were absolutely fine with that. You had to love him, but he was a piece of work. He didn’t suit normal people – they didn’t get him – nor did he get them.

Tom Doeing: Are the lyrics from true experience during ‘Drivin’ Sister’ about the 8-track machine playing Half Moon Bay – was that a built in track or a portable player?” I remember being in a van in California and Mick Ralphs said ‘look’ and there was a sign ‘Half Moon Bay’. I didn’t know the place existed – I had made the whole thing up. I guess somebody put it on in the van. I also remember hearing ‘Half Moon Bay’ in the Village in NYC (that was a big deal for me). It was playing on a Walkman that was hanging on a bike. Yes!

Pat Beirne: “What were your first impressions on meeting Mott? What do you think their first impressions of you?” They had a flat on lower Sloane Street in London. It was a basement and I’m walking down the steps and Buff walks straight past me – nothing. I go inside the flat – nothing. Then Stan (who I was replacing) came over and it all started from there. They were very cliquey – I was the outsider; it took a while.

Jeffrey: The same to you, sir!

John: “No upcoming live shows? If/when you perform live -is it ‘got a job to do and make some money’ or ‘I can’t wait – gonna have a fun night.'” Well, it’s kinda difficult at the moment – what with one thing or another – covid – finishing up the business end of things. Obviously, you need to make a living, but what I miss most is the camaraderie. I’m hearing it’s like a morgue backstage these days. Insurance companies won’t insure shows. It’s a bit dodgy for all concerned. I’m practicing!!!

Dru: I was recently part of a focus group where I was required to listen to snippets of 615 songs and rate them. Great White’s version of ‘Once Bitten Twice Shy’ came up and I thought, I hope Ian got paid for that snippet.” By the second. I wish they wouldn’t do these ‘best of’ lists. It’s all opinions and most people don’t know – or have a limited idea – of what they are talking about. There should be no lists! Listless!!

Marty G: “Listening to ‘Pearl ‘n’ Roy’ reminded me of a question I’ve had for many years. Was it ‘Amateurs, amateurs, bullshit calamiters’ – a direct response to Karen Carpenter who I remember said a few unkind things about the state of rock in England and singled Mott out as a bunch of amateurs or something of the sort.” Nah, she did us a favour – we got national press out of that and were delighted!!! I liked her voice -smoky. See, it’s all opinions.

Steve Bove: Is it time for an OVERNIGHT ANGELS reunion? See opinions.

Tripp: “Love the collaboration of ‘Dirty Work’ with Mike Campbell. Is this a taste of what’s to come on your new release? What’s your connection with Mike and how does something like this come to fruition. Also, did it seem as fun during the first take compared to working on it to the final take?” He’s a great guitarist and writer and it was a ‘my people contacted his people’ situation. You’ll see. I actually did only three takes with Andy York – that was it. I’m happy they liked it.

Steven L Smith: “Of all the wonderful (blush) songs you have written – for some weird reason I keep drifting back to ‘Dead Man Walking’. What was the inspiration?” The ‘inspiration’ was a bum note. I hit a wrong note on the piano – and that became the basis of the piano track. This man has good opinions.

George Krieger: “You co-wrote a nifty song with Blue Oyster Cult (‘Goin’ Through the Motions’). Did you ever record it yourself?” Nah – that was something that Eric and I put together in his basement.

Steve Goodman: My 2 fave all-time rock bands (+ Beatles) are MTH and FREE. Did your groups ever play gigs together and hang out?” MTH started out supporting bands like ‘Free’ and ‘King Crimson’. It was scary to say the least and we often felt like packing it in. It was the roadies who saved us. Their roadies would say – ‘Don’t give up lads – you’ve got something’. And we had.

Scott Bowers: I think I signed 2500 pictures! At first, I thought I’d sign each one of them slightly differently – bad idea. Just wound up signing them until they became unidentifiable scrawl.

Nanci: “29 years since we lost our ‘Spider with the platinum Hair’. The joy he brought with his music – and pretty easy on the eyes, too – especially in his tights. Little Lord Fauntleroy comparison – perfect.”

Stonefly: “Ever experimented on a Moog synthesizer? I recently acquired one – having fun with sounds and loops.” Yeah – I’ve got one. I asked Andy if we needed it in the studio. Apparently, no longer!

Peter Palmisano: Biding my time.

John Dalton: “How big of a role do your emotions play in fueling the song writing process? Do you sometimes cast them aside and write in a more rigid and structured manner?” Most of the time it just comes into my head – maybe I’ve been rolling it around semi-consciously. You look – you see – you read – you google! Sometimes it’s just an inkling – in the air you have to catch. Feels important to me. You can’t really put your finger on writing – it either comes or it doesn’t.

Emma & Clair: Sorry to hear about this ladies.

Andy: “So Melanie Safka had one of those sad stories – her manager sold her rights without telling her. She only found out after he died. Did you ever meet Johnny Cash?” Nah, but Andy and I toured with Dave Roe – JC’s bass player for 14 years.

Rolly Hough: “Is there a song you’ve wanted to cover, but never got around to it as you had enough originals?” Yup – that can happen. There were two song I wanted to cover on the up and coming albums but then I was so bored I wrote 20 of my own.

Kirk Loveland: “Stumbled across a great site that listed all your concerts (which I can no longer find).” Me Too!! (Justin says:

Steve Hynds: “The Horse’s Mouth – such a joy – long may it continue!” Tell that to my wife!

Francis L: 1. “Don’t you think Joe Biden is wide awake?” Don’t know – I’m not there. 2. “Putin?” Sad. “I miss Bowie – glad you’re still here.”

Alan in Portlandia: Says Lennon had great mike technique – and I do too. Try telling that to our illustrious U.S. sound engineer, Paul Bevan. He’s always moaning that I don’t stay on mike. I can’t help it – if you’re going for higher notes you back off instinctively – just in case you don’t make it. At least I do. “Dutters” our UK chap thinks it’s ok. So, I’m undecided!

Danny G: “Keep on – keeping on – always!” I’m tryin’.

Dru: “I sure would like to hear what ‘I Need your Love’ sounds like in your head.” Wow – nice one!

Jeffrey: On Bowie talking about ‘Dudes’.

Mark F: ” ‘Ghosts'(The hair stood up on the back of my neck) (good line-ed). What are you and Mrs. H afraid of?” Trudi hates bugs and I’m not good with heights (the back of my knees cave).

Will K: “What’s your opinion of Supertramp? Did you ever meet the band or see them in person?” I was on a Ringo tour with Roger and he was effin’ great. Talented, lovely man – always felt he had a touch of nobility within.

Seth Purvin: Do you think Kate Bush should have gotten into the R & R Hall of Fame? Just what is that?

Bob Boyle thinks Johnny Depp should portray Dr. John in a film bio. “Have you met Mack Rabeneck?” No.

Kevin Carver: Enjoyed Rock Palast show (Germany 1980). We did, too.

Tim Hewtson thinks songs are things that spirits throw over the wall and people like me catch them. I like that – a pretty good analogy. That’s kinda what it’s like. Mmmmmmmm Sussed!!!!!

And that’s it for now. Be patient – it’s coming along just fine.

The Horse’s Mouth x

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