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Horse’s Mouth

September 13, 2022

Horse's Mouth (Issue #237, September 2022)

The Horse’s Mouth
September 7, 2022

It’s that time of the month!!

Oooer Wullie reckons ‘No Wheels to Ride’ would be a cert for the next Eurovision song contest – in Glasgow!!

Mike Costanza: “Reading a book about ELO and the author compared ELO’s ‘Ma Ma Ma Belle’ – which came out in 1973 to ‘Jerkin Crocus’. I gave both a fresh listen, but didn’t find any resemblance. Still, ‘Ma Ma Ma Belle’ was an early hit for ELO, so I guess you can take the comparison as a compliment.”

Sari: “How are you”. I’m ok; how are you?

Any chance of a ‘single’ or preview song being released soon off the new album?” They’ve already chosen three singles to preview. Watch this space.

Kmei: “Favorite Mott the Hoople album?” Oh – go on then – Mott. “Biggest influence?” Leon Russell, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bob Dylan, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Fats Domino etc. etc.

Gary Smith: “Did any other bands try to poach/head hunt you or any of the other chaps?” During Mott – no – although Paul Rogers and Ralpher teamed up. Paul didn’t ‘poach’ Mick – it just happened naturally.

Matt Parish: We had a place on the south coast of England for a few years. The summers there were a nice alternative to the rest of the year in Manhattan.

Habiba: “As a late teen myself, I’d like to ask you how do you feel about new generations discovering and appreciating your music?” It’s extremely fulfilling to know your work has lasting quality. Keep ’em coming!

Bob Boyle: Exciting times!

Michael Wolf: ” Have you ever popped into a pub and joined in with the band playing that night?” A couple of times.

Keith Storey – on reading Dave Hill’s autobiography – “Then we saw Mott the Hoople at the Wolverhampton Civic. We were a little bit gobsmacked honestly. We didn’t normally all go out together to watch a band, but we went to that and they looked great. They had this slightly hippy thing going where they had their trousers tucked into knee-length boots, which was unusual because mostly back then it was flares down over your shoes. I picked up in that and then developed it a bit further. I had a pair of boots that laced right up to the top. It wasn’t just the look though; they sounded great. They had this really powerful bass drum sound – I think it was miked up to come through the PA, which was new to us. Overall, they had this very thick, strong sound which really impressed us.”

Tripp: The first of a two album set comes out in November – no time set for a tour as yet – working on it.

Peter Jordan: Yeah, ’23a was quite a surprise – we do it a lot live – it’s become a stalwart!! As far as the set goes, I think we like ’em all at that particular time. If somebody says – nah – for a particular reason, then we do something else. It’s never been a problem.

Fred Jardin: How can you afford four background singers? We never could!! Say hello – stop messing with ‘Roll Away’!! (Only kidding.)

Scott: “Sorry – a lot from me this month – what do you think of Playing for Change?” Dunno.

Bill Kershaw: “Saw you at the City Winery when you were 79 (ah the good old days!). Great show – me and my brother enjoyed it. Would like to see you again.” We’ll see.

Tom McGary: “Do you still get nervous when new stuff comes out?” Well – you’re always hoping for a shot. Difficult though marketing being what it is. I’m just happy to still be engaged after all of these years.

Jim Frawley: “I was chatting with someone on a site called NY Rocks about your cover songs and he said they are not really covers because you make them your own. I thought he was spot on. Care for comment how you do this?” Well, ‘Dudes’ would be the classic example. Mick Ralphs found that fabulous intro and I added a rap at the end. Pete ‘n’ Buff took care of the rhythm section and Phally’s great organ – it all added up to something special. In other songs we covered, we just played them our way. We loved them and tried to make them our own.

Jane: “Will you sing ‘Nightingale’ if you tour again? I love that song – especially your version.” Yeah, my Mum loved that song – that’s the reason I did it – it just lives and breathes London. However, you really need strings – real ones!

Christer Johansson: “When do we get info on the new album? And are there two coming out – but not simultaneously?” It’s up to Sun Records – I’m told the first release is November 11th. Watch this space, the website and social media.

“I’ve read that you’re not too pleased with ‘Foxy, Foxy’ What is it you don’t like?” It wasn’t the Spector thing – that’s what we were trying to achieve. I wrote it for Ronnie Spector – but the songs ok up to a certain point then it goes off track. It’s ok, but I didn’t complete it properly – probably didn’t have the time. We were very busy.

Ed Behringer: “Do you ever attend horse racing? I thought I saw you at a NY racing venue once.” My Dad was big on horse racing (and not overly successful!). He would sometimes take me to the races as a kid (the car would be quiet all the way home). When he and my Mum came over here, we did go to Belmont race track.

George Miller: Trying to figure out where we’re gonna play and I don’t know at the moment.

Danny: Thanks.

Mike Mitrovic is frustrated reading this column because sometimes I don’t include the questions. Sometimes the questions are self-evident and sometimes they are personal.

Scott Johnson: “I was with strings and accessories division of Gibson back in the day and you were playing these brown Gibson Goldtone Amps. I remember the Queen’s Jeweler making the Gibson Logo – lol! How long did you use those amps and do you still have them?” They not only did the Gibson Logo – they also put my name on one set (there were two sets). They were given to me on the Ringo tour around 2001. Still got them.

Gary Brogden: “How did you feel when 10,000 of Mott’s debut were mispressed with no ”Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen’, and ‘Road to Birmingham’ instead?” Well, Mick wrote ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen’ and I wrote ‘Road to Birmingham’ – so my thoughts were mixed!!

Robbie Rist: “Saturday Gigs is a song that absolutely buries me in melancholy to this day. Does (or did) it ever have the same resonance for you? Writers don’t always feel their material the same way as their listeners.” It was fine at the time. This was me telling the band and me that it was the end. I felt it when we got back together again much more.

Dave Crisfield: R.I.P. Julian.

Hunter Tremayne: There’s one I’ve just written for the second album coming – I like lyrically a lot. It took a couple of months telling me what it was about so I had to hang in there and wait until its fog cleared.

Michael Heaton: ‘Strings Attached’ is one of the great live albums – love your singing on this. Any chance of a vinyl release in the UK?” No idea. That was done by a Norwegian label and the the boss man retired. Andy York and I had a great time on that one.

Doug from Ste. Gen, MO: “I went to an art festival here wearing MTH’74 shirt that I bought at the Chicago 2019 show and was pleased with the glowing comments that came my way. However, one guy came up to me and screamed, ‘Mott the Hoople! Peter Frampton was their guitarist! Look it up!’. I figured he was wrong (right!) trashed – beer was only $3,50 – or you’ve been hiding a huge secret from us.”

Martyn Sheard: “I have just looked at the video of Jim Steinman’s house in CT. Did you ever visit (No) or would you consider buying lol (No). I did, however go to Meatloaf’s house in T and he gave me a chandelier!

Lance Worsley: “Old Hunter fanboy from 1977 – first time writing. When will there be new, remastered, high quality vinyl/digital versions of your solo albums?” Not until the legal side of things is worked out.

Matt Nojonan: “You may have answered this question before – sorry to repeat – have you ever thought of working with Bob Dylan?” The actual question is would Bob Dylan ever think of working with me!!

Tim Livingstone: “Favourite Stones album?” Hell – there’s been so many – I can’t single one out.

Dale Smejkal: “Always been a big Beach Boy fan – ever meet any of them? What do you think of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys music?” Different neck of the woods but – epic – brilliant – the list goes on!

Rick Goward: Yeah – my wife does the eye rolling too!!

Borut Miaka: “Who is your favourite non MTH guitarist, pianist, drummer, bass player, band?” Wait and see.

Jim D: “Monty Python – you a fan?” Course!

Jim Zemba: Bless your heart!

Bob V: Picture taking is always dodgy at gigs – but if you’re there and I’m there – we’re on!

Rich Michi: I remember Ann Arbor – good gig – did it twice.

Dru: “Are you still a Nirvana fan?” Oh, yes.

Rick Graves: “How many guitars have you owned in your lifetime?” I’m not that kind of person! I really haven’t got a clue. My first guitar was an acoustic my Uncle Jack gave me much to his brother’s (my Dad’s) consternation. My Dad wouldn’t have it in the house, so it resided in our shed complete with earthen floor. It had no truss rod so the strings were ½ inch from the fret board. My second guitar was a Yamaha bought from a chap at Sentinell (Rolls Royce now). He’d been in the army in Japan and brought it back with him. Couldn’t play it so he sold it to me for 9 pounds. It was beautiful – the real thing!

David Jordan: “Jimi Hendrix opened for the Monkees. If he would have opened for the Rollers it would be big news – Jimmy being well dead and all – but I get it – Monkees = Bay City Rollers.” You can’t win ’em all!

Karl Nicks: “Another song with Ellen Foley!!” She’s definitely got the chops, hasn’t she! She’s still doing it – still great!

Johnny: “Any interesting/favorite songs written under the influence?” Er – this is a family place – so – er. Dunno!

Pete Abrams: “We’ve been life-long fans. Our Dad, Stephen Abrams, passed recently. He came to over 100 shows and now in memory of him, just played “Life” at the Viper Room. I just wanted to say thanks for the memories and music over the years, from the Stables to Berlin and back. Pete & the Abrams family” Sorry for your loss, Pete. Life ‘s too ‘effin’ short. I’m touched you did the song. All the best.

Mark F: “Do you have a bucket list or have you ‘done everything a man can do?” I always remember Brian May saying to me ‘You’ve done enough’ years ago, but it’s what I do. No bucket list, but I’ve had a lot of very nice surprises of late.

Stonefly: My Dad was Scottish – his sister (Nettie) lived in Hamilton. My Mom grabbed me and took me up to Netties when the war broke out – my Dad was off fighting. My Mum was well educated – Nettie wasn’t – so Nettie was going to have to work in a munitions factory – but my Mum could get a decent job with Boots (the Chemist) in Glasgow. So Nettie and her husband Willie ‘adopted’ me for 5/6 years so she didn’t have to go to the factory. I remember having to sit in a bomb shelter a couple of times, but that was about it. After the war we moved back down south.

David Gobe: “Do you take greater pride from pre or post ‘Dudes’ Mott songs? I was hooked by ‘Mott’ and what followed. It’s taken me a while to explore earlier output – which I now prefer.” You may prefer it now, but it was getting us nowhere then. You have to have an occasional hit to survive. (I do like Mad Shadows!)

Largo: First time I saw you at Ford Auditorium (Detroit) I already had all the albums. It was live and man did you leave an impression. You were upset with feedback and you heaved your guitar across the stage and stormed off. The band went into ‘Ready for Love’ – you came back and sat with the back of your chair facing the audience. You placed your elbow on the chair back and as the crowd booed you gave us the finger. Simply the best Rock ‘n’ Roll move ever. I’ve seen you many times since and I hope to see you many more. If not, I’m glad I’m sharing the planet with you!” The PA’s in those days could ruin a gig. I wanted the PA company’s name on the posters. We blew Radio City because of a lousy PA company. Then I get booed! Thankfully, progress has been made!! Now I’m lovely!!

Peter Clendenning: “Oh Great Swami of Oswestry” (love that) I gotta problem – writer’s block – what do you do?” You wait – you wait until you hate yourself and then 0 and only then 0 will something come (if you’re lucky).

Bruce Bergmann – still wants Helsinki on the Hudson.

Twmas: “Did you have any contact with Steve Marriott at all?” Sure – there’s a Mott song – ‘Midnight Lady’ – he’s on it.

Joan and Bill – Cheers x

Jerome – Cheers x

Peter Jordan: Pretty hilly where we are, and, like you say, beautiful.

Francis L: Enjoys ‘Short Back ‘n’ Sides’. “What does OTSVOC stand for?” Dunno.

Seth Purvin: 1) No; 2) Picasso – but I met Dali who invited me to tea; 3) “Looking back would I change anything?” I don’t look back; 4) Did Stevie get it right when she said “Players only love you when they’re playing?” I wouldn’t agree with this. I get the point, but I’ve met some great people over years.’

Steven Carpenter: It’s being thought about.

Neal Andrews says I deserve a Grammy for ‘long term talent’!

John Channing: “Nashville session guitar player Tom Bukovac has put up a YouTube video about the live version of ‘Irene Wilde’ from ‘Welcome to the Club’. He enthuses about Ronno’s brilliant playing and your lyrical greatness on the song and shows the chord sequence of the tune as well. A terrific watch if you get the chance.

Charlie lohr: “Nothing rocks harder than ‘Walkin’ with a Mountain’ from Mott live at Hammersmith; Ariel Bender – amazing!!! ” PLEASE – It’s ‘the great Ariel Bender’. He’ll never forgive you!

So, it’s been a long wait, but it’s coming soon!!

Stay well.

The Bard of Oswestry!!

Ian Hunter
The Horse’s Mouth x

P.S. Just seen the Elvis movie; Austin Butler – 10 out of 10!!!

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