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Horse’s Mouth

August 16, 2022

Horse's Mouth (Issue #236, August 2022)

The Horse’s Mouth

Little bit late; went up to Boston to see the Lepps!!! Hot!!

David Frazer: True, I’m not a Heep fan, but Mick Box is an excellent chap.

Matt Nojonen: Steve Popovich was an amazing character – totally dedicated to music. He was managing me around the Schizophrenic time and you could not love Steve. Totally into music – 100%. When we first met he was head of A&R for Columbia Records. Then Columbia gave him his own label ‘Cleveland International’. He was totally responsible for Meatlaof’s ‘Bat Out of Hell’ success. Without him that record would have disappeared having sold mildly. When I did ‘Short Back ‘n’ Sides’ as a follow up – he didn’t speak to me for a month. I finally rang him up and asked him what he thought of the record. “I f___ing hate it” came the succinct reply!! Steve was the real deal. NOT CORPORATE!!!

Robert Sharpe: His screen name for a newspaper subscription is ‘MottTheHoople’ – and some people still really remember !

Barry: No shortage of offers; we’ll see how it goes. Things should clear up in the next few months.

Dru: Did you ever see Otis Redding? Only on TV.

Tom Willis says I’m right about the football situation. “Lower clubs just don’t have the money.” Difficult – very difficult – not unlike music.

Alan Graham: Nah, don’t write a journal. Writing songs takes up most of my time. I’m not a novelist!! Short ‘n’ sweet!!

Robert Clayton: “What happens after we die?” Dunno – nobody does. “Favourite electric guitar?” The Maltese Cross Joe gave me.

Chris: Too early to say – working on it.

Philip Tremayne: “Do you think that being accessible to your fans demonstrates the following you built up over the years?” Well, I was a fan myself – I just got lucky. I don’t see being remote with fans. Sometimes you have to get things done – it’s your job. As long as they’re genuine and not ‘in business’ – I’m fine with you lot!!

Jjk: I’m adjusting; people are working on it. I’m hearing there may be a better solution in the near future. Don’t believe anything you read on the internet.

Tom Caulfield: Hi Tom – yes, I’ve read the Chris Blackwell book. I was up in Boston and Ross Halfin gave it to me. It’s all pretty much true, although he didn’t really ‘fire’ Mott. Columbia paid a ‘nominal amount’ and we transferred!! I liked Chris; he stuck with us – but it was the wrong label for us.

Dave Parry: “In the Sunday Times Culture Magazine today, Albert David Robinson recommends Ian Hunter/Mott the Hoople for next years Glastonbury . Now I could get cold, et & muddy and queue 40 minutes for a piss to see that. Any remote chance?” I’ve been asked a couple of times, but they are big charity supporters and we don’t live round the corner expense wise.

Danny G: Keep at it! I don’t know what ‘charismatic coolness’ is, but apparently – I have it! Goodho!

Lynne: Yes, Rick let me know. R.I.P Doug Wahlberg- a lovely man.

Matt Bucko: ‘Thanks for the tunes.” You’re welcome; a few more on the way.

Colleen: Hey Ivan! Coleen says you’ve a birthday in Scotland on September 13th coming up. Happy Birthday, Ivan! I.H. xxx

Michael Mills: Re: The High Flight poem. Yes, it’s good. Still have mine somewhere.

Stonefly: “Ever had a chance to hang with Johnny Winter?” Mott opened for Johnny way back when. He had cop lights on his speakers (early version of ‘show biz’). Great player, as was his brother.

Danny G: “Can’t wait for the next record.” It’s on the way.

George Saadi: “I’ve often wondered how one turns down a song from someone like Bowie (I believe he offered MTH ‘Suffragette City’ before ‘Dudes’), and not only doesn’t offend him, but does it tactfully enough that he offers a second choice? Would love to hear the story.” We had good songs – we just didn’t have a great one. ‘Suffragette City’ was OK, but radio was against us at that time. We needed something special. He was cool about it. If anything, he became more interested – he really did love Mott. Angie told me it took him 4 hours to get ready to come to a gig at Guildford Civic. There were flowers and telegrams at every gig – and back then – who could afford them! He was determined – and the rest is history.

Jeffrey: Busy, busy, busy.

Joan: Great to hear the Assembly Rooms at Leamington Spa are open again!! Really an excellent place to play. Don’t have anything on Tax the Heat.

Arthur Temlett: “Another fan in the making – ‘Saturday Gigs’ settles my 3 month old Grandson, Quinn.”

Trace Burroughs: Duly noted.

Griff: As above.

Terry: “Has anyone approached you about a film documentary of your life?” (no!). “Are you a Richard Thompson fan?” (yup).

Scott: “Hi Ian, your music has been a great part of my life. Thanks so much. Scott from down under.” No problem.

Terry G. thinks ‘All American Alien Boy’ still in its time!

Mark F asks if I could go to dinner with any person (living or dead) and ask one question – who would that be and what would the question be? Muhammad Ali and Bob Dylan (I know – it’s two) and the question would be, “Where did you get it?”

John Dalton: Never been to Wimbledon, but I’ve met a few players. Nah, I’m not fan.

Scott: I’m 67 years old and wait like a ten year old for the mailman to read the Horse’s Mouth (with me it was ‘The Beano’).” Man – this is cute!!

Dru: “Thanks for pointing me to Freddie Fingers Lee. Fred had some real spunk!” Fred would have been huge but Jerry Lee Lewis got there first.

Carlo Mathews: I always wanted to work with Leon Russell – Levon Helm – Jeff Beck. I didn’t follow through with Sly and Robbie – I regret that.

Stonefly: Actually, the recent rising use of the ProTools way of recording can be extremely exciting too. In a studio situation, drums and bass get put down first – guitars, keys – rough vocals. Often the band don’t have a clue what the singer’s talking about. With Pro Tools – the vocals can be done first as a guide. This gives the other musicians extra information – the lyric can be important sometimes. Pete Watts use to say, “I didn’t know what you were on about – too busy getting it down.” ‘Once Bitten’ was recorded back to front so Dennis Elliott knew exactly what do when it came to the drum parts. Lately, Andy York and I have sent out stuff and been totally knocked out with what’s come back.

Greg J: Your welcome.

John McMillan: Mott covered ‘Lay Down’ on ‘Wildlife’. You guys did it so well. Have you ever performed it live? Did you ever meet Melanie? What did she think of your version?” Doing ‘Lay Down’ was my idea. I was just mad about it at the time. That’s all I remember.

Dru: “If there ever comes a day when you are unable to maintain your standard on stage will you be the first to know?” Nothing lasts forever.

Darryl Flack: “Dug into ‘Once Bitten’ in the Aussie music charts. “Released 1st September 1975 it entered at 78 and peaked at 29 (nationally). It was in the top 40 for 8 weeks. Peaked at 10 in Melbourne. End of the year charts for all songs that entered the Australian Top 100 in ’75 ‘Once Bitten finished at 29 (compared to ‘Born to Run’ – 39) – you outdid a few heavy hitters!” I did not know this!

Danny: 1) The Elvis visit was me being stupid. 2) Jaco knew more jokes than anyone I’ve ever met.

3) Queen use to watch us every night. OK?

Emily D: Glad to have been of service, Emily!

Malcolm Lay: “50 years since ‘Dudes’ was released. Can you describe how excited you and the band were (particularly, Pete.” Actually, it’s all a bit of a blur. 50 years is an ‘effin long time, but I’m sure it was a huge buzz.

Clare: “Favourite albums for a deserted island.” Stones/Dylan.

Alan in Portlandia: “Maybe Ian Patterson became Ian Hunter in Hamburg – what do you think?” Nah – I think I became Ian Hunter when I met Guy Stevens.

Stargazer: “It’s been a long wait for new material, Dude!” You’re telling me! Record company stuff.

Iacopo: “Good morning, you are a great expert of sound. I have a Kurzweil same sound sp76/88 what is your opinion about this module?” I am not a great expert on sound and I’ve got no knowledge of the module you mention. Kurzweil thou, is a very good make.

Dru (again) 1. Does ‘Thunderbuck Ram’ even come close to capturing the Mott live experience?” If you’re on about the song – yes – it was a big one in the set. Ralpher wrote it.

Dru (again) 2. ‘Thunderbuck Ram’ is fantastic. It sounds like a real team effort (it was).

Joan ‘n’ Bill: “Any chance of ’23 concerts? Working on it.

Steve S: Saw Mott open for Mahavishnu Orchestra in Providence, RI. Were you label mates? (don’t think so) Seems a bit incongruous, but that’s how a lot of concerts were then.” One of the stupidest combinations we ever did. As you said, that was how it was in those days. Jimi Hendrix opened for the Bay City Rollers!!

Ross Murdock on Burt Bacharach’s work. He was great.

Martin: Red Car Jazz Club was knocked down and turned into flats.

Sam A: I’ve met Bruce a couple of times – real nice guy. Actually, quite a humble guy when you think of what he and the E Streeters have done. Pretty amazing.

Michael Baseman: Which live album are you referring to? I don’t think Ronno changed anything on the Roxy live album. The Mott live album – too far back for my memory.

Will K: Re: Genesis. We’ve said hello way back when. Nice guys.

Camden Barbour: Congrats on your acquisitions!! What makes a great tour or show? Effort.

Stephen Pounder: “Did you ever live in Dundee in Scotland?” No, Peacock Cross, Hamilton 1939 – 1945. Then we moved south – the war was over.

Anthony Charles Caminiti: “Is the area you live in safe?” Relatively. “Have you talked to Andy York lately?” Just got back from Boston with him and the ladies. On the Band, the only one I met was Levon.

Jeff Cross: Sam Fender.

Will K: “Who set fire to the studio? Was it you or Guy Stevens? I don’t sleep, I need answers!” I thought it was a bit daft, myself – but there you go! I’m no rat!

Otto Greenleaf: Danny Loggins (Kenny Loggins brother) signed Mott to CBS (not Columbia) in England – not USA. That’s Dan introducing ‘The Golden Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll”. Nice chap.

Alan Short: There’s been a few.

Alexander Bottino: We lived in Katonah in the late 80’s – lovely village.

Steve: “I’m asking once again – come to Syracuse, NY. We have great venues.” We’ll see!!

Pat Beirne asks my favourite rock journalist – Lester Bangs.

Wayne Hall has everything I’ve ever been on. Do I remember my first purchase of music? I think it was ‘Blue Tango’ (Ronald Chesney – a harmonica player).

Linda Bridges: Yeah, we played the Greyhound a few times. Huge room for a pub. It held around 800 – great place to play before you crossed the road to the Fairfield Halls. That was the big time!!

Jim Mills: “What was the story behind ‘Half Moon Bay’ lyrics?” There was none; total fiction. I remember playing a simple riff I had backwards – that’s how it started and it just developed from there. I think Phally play a big part in that one.

John Swanner: “Have you seen Baz Luhrman’s Elvis movie? Andy thoughts?” No, I haven’t, but I’m hearing it’s really good. Never met him.

Bill Kershaw: We shall see.

Tom McGarry: “Do you still get nervous about how the new stuff will be treated by the press and fans?” Not this time; I’m excited.

Scottyg: Just google up the lyric.

Scott: “Bob Dylan wishes he sang like you (c’mon). What’s your favourite pub close to home?” I have a couple of favourite restaurants – the pubs round here aren’t real pubs.

Craig Nevitt: “Hey you with the glasses etc. Where did that come from?” The Rainbow – London.

Chris: Nobody calls me ‘Dude’ – I never thought of that, and they definitely don’t call me young, either!

IU: “Ever do acid?” No – I have a contrary nature; it wouldn’t have worked.

Dan Carson: We were in the Mayflower Hotel on Central Park – that’s where I wrote the song. I must have just seen Frank somewhere.

All’s well that ends well (not sure what that means).

Anyway, don’t get burnt – it’s stupid.


The Horse’s Mouth xxx

P.S. It’s been brought to my attention that another life long fan has died. It’s always sad to hear this sort of news. This time it’s Julian Turner-Bell who many of you may know from his attendances at my UK shows, or as vocalist for Nott The Hoople, he was also a roadie for a number of bands.

Several of Julian’s friends are putting together a memorial show which is taking place on the 04th Sept in Windsor, details are at:

If you would like to hear it “straight from the Horse’s Mouth”, you can Ask your question here.