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Well I just got back from England a couple of days ago. I was there for a fortnight and before that I was I Oslo, so sorry if I'm late in getting to the old H.M.. Here goes.
Glenn Williams: Now in Japan and says 'Rant' summed up all he felt when leaving. He's been telling his friends for years but they don't get it. Mentions Dave Dufort. I remember Dave. Miller, Dave and I had a little band at one time. I think we rehearsed at his Mum's house. Miller said Dave wasn't too impressed at first, but got into it eventually.
Andrew Field asks how do I sign my cheques? I.H.P. of course. Going to Oslo. Says when doing a DVD why not do two. One for music and one with interviews. Already done, old chap. On the subject of Ronno, why wasn't he on 'All American Alien Boy'? The way it worked out was that Mick would have been paid more than me to do that album and I wasn't having it. Why did I follow I.H. with 'All American Alien Boy'? Because I felt like it. Mick would go now and again during the twenty odd years we worked together. This was because I was a slow writer and he'd have interesting things on offer. Sometimes, the timing was off. I'd be ready, but he'd be already committed to somebody else. YUI Orta was late Mick. I'd class Mick as before Dylan and after Dylan. He liked Strats and Teles after Dylan. Became more organic as they say. I did the rap at the end of Dudes for fun. Yes, I think Ronno did get full credit for his work with Bowie - artistically. Tony did help at the end. A lot of people did. My favourite Ronno solo? 'Sweet Dreams'. By the way, Ronno always said 'All American Alien Boy' was his favourite album of mine.
Tim Hands saw a Maltese Cross guitar at Two Five Music in London. Was it mine? (They say it is.) I don't know without looking at it. The one I held up at the Astoria in London was NOT the original one. Now I'm thinking - was it a con?
Mel Mounsey: Why was 'Rant' £14 in Newcastle and £9.99 in Sunderland. Haven't got a clue. Maybe the rent was higher. Who knows?
Kermit Holiday asks am I comfortable being called a legend! Well - with me - I'm either a legend or you've never heard of me! Who cares.
Nora: I see Ricky's playing for the BoSox! Don't count this guy out. He doesn't have a brain he has a baseball field inside his head. I don't know, year in year out, buy the best team blah, blah, blah. I'm going off it.
John Sadden: A novel. Well, yes, John - but when I'm old.
Todd LaBrie says he had a problem getting 'Rant' in NYC. Well, it's sold more in NY than anywhere else so they must be somewhere. Why did I do the Village Underground - it being so small. Well, you have to remember I'd just done Irving Plaza, a gig on Long Island and another in New Jersey all within a short time period. And the promoter made me an offer that was hard to refuse. The band was still around so we popped it in there. I enjoyed it very much and would do it again. All you had to do was get a Village Voice. It was advertised in there. But I appreciate your appreciation. Luck with the band. That's a big house you got there kid.
Leb: Hope the birth was a happy occasion. Congrats.
Gino: Two new fans at the V.U. One 19 and the other 22 - excellent!
Bill Smith: The guest at Mulcahy's was Robbie Alter - a great guitarist and pianist - I've worked with over the years. Robbie lives in Florida.
Steve Council: Will we play Syracuse, NY. I don't know Steve, but with eight kids you won't have the time anyway. I use a couple of Rainsong acoustics and a couple of '56 Les Paul Juniors for electric - courtesy of my mate, Rick, at Guitar Hangar (.com).
Dan Baker: Yes, it's a shame that the 'industry' is our mortal enemy, isn't it? You'd think we'd be on the same side - but noooo. Actually, it is vastly populated these days by total idiots, so I can't even get upset about it. In the old days, they ripped you off with style - now it's just boring. David Werner - I don't know.
Bill Steffen: I know you meant burning CDs to get them to people who couldn't get them otherwise. But I'm sitting here looking at some arousal selling videos of Philadelphia at $60 a pop! It's the old story. Somebody always messes up. That's why they have to have rules. There wouldn't be any need for rules if people didn't continually mess up.
Larry Loud: You rant more than 'Rant'!!
OEL: Kim Larsen rings a bell, albeit a vague one. Good luck to the lad.
Brian S. went to a record show and saw 'Live in '97' (never heard of it). Couldn't hear the music - crowd too loud. Says they sell for a fortune on eBay. There's more to life than making money - especially off someone else's back - isn't there?
Rick Van Dyke: I was never 'saved', Rick. I was a working class lad who saw it for what it was - and still do.
Jim Stotts: You know Jim, there's all sorts of musicians, stars, celebs out there and some are bright - some dim. Me, I write songs and I sing them. All this stuff you're saying is true, but I don't have the time or the inclination. That's where the wife comes in!!!! And Justin too!
Bob Bernardo partied with MTH and Joe Walsh in Memphis in '72! Hence the song 'All the Way From Memphis'. We raided Elvis's place later that same night. Bring the Oslo show to California. We shall see. By the way, I'm doing an in store in LA in March at Amoeba. It's the biggest indy store in the world. Doing it in conjunction with the Borders competition winner who's out there. Lou Reed wrote 'Sweet Jane'.
Andrew Field (again): I met Andy York through Steve Holley. I thought G.E. Smith was stepping up to solo at this gig on 'Once Bitten' but out of the darkness leapt this kid and wiped the floor with it. Later that same day I heard him play a Bruce Dickinson rocker with just bass and drums and I said to Steve that's the guy I'd been looking for years. How does the relationship work? Musically. Who's Jorden? (Just kidding). Americans can't understand my accent, because I'm BRITISH dear boy.
Kerry: Hope you enjoyed Oslo. 'Knees of My Heart' will not be forgotten live. We just had so much stuff to wade through.
Scott Dasson says he didn't like A.A.A.B. at first, but now it's his favourite. Well, Scott, there in lies the problem! Loves 'Rant' too (of course).
Mike Costanzo asks why doesn't Columbia (Sony) reissue 'All of the Good Ones Are Taken'? It is on hold for some reason, but it is being reissued in England shortly. I don't know about the States. If I was a record exec, I'd check eBay and reissue accordingly - but I'm not.
Bill Nygren: Best album in years ('Rant') - just got it. I saw the review in the Village Voice. 10 months late - but great.
Lee Ritter removed himself from the mailing list. Please disregard and reinstate him. Well, I think a good hazing is called for here.
Marty G: Y'know Marty, you don't choose teams; teams choose you. You need pitching!
Steve Baratta: Offers 'Allo - Allo - Allo Oslo' or 'Norwegian Rock'. My favourite was 'I did it Norway' but it's too early to say. Was Dave Clark Five an influence? Yeah, an example of what NOT to do. Keep Mike Smith out of this - he was good! Sell CDs on the web site? Too busy.
Bjarne Borek: When am I coming to Denmark? When Danish promoters stop offering me joke money.
Kevin: Saw Nils Lofgren in Belfast. Crowd went mad. Good for Nils. Mott were big fans of Grin. I don't know when I'll be there. When a Belfast promoter rings Emma Banks (my UK agent from the Helter Skelter Agency in London). We are trying to organize a tour in May for the UK. And who knows, there might be a surprise guest with us. Nothing firm yet. Keep watching the news pages for updates.
Barry: Just the in store in LA in March.
John Powell writes many happy things about 'Rant'. Thanks, John.
Martin Kielty: All I know with Alex Harvey was that we got on really well together. I remember meeting members of his family at the Glasgow Apollo (including his brother). Alex was for real and extremely passionate. People didn't choose him as a friend. He chose them. He was a ranter too!! The last time I saw him was at the Mayflower in New York and he was wandering round the world looking for pipe music. 'The Pipes - The Pipes' he lectured me and I nodded appreciatively as I didn't wanna be smacked!
Steve Parsons: Do a 'Pin Ups' type of album of all the rockers I'd love to do. I like that, but who's paying?
Noli Quiambao from the Phillippines can't get the albums. Well, Noli, get on the old computer and try Amazon. com or eBay.
Gert Pedersen: Denmark: I'll do it when I come to Denmark.
Eric Jones from Wales had his vinyl replace by CDs (by his wife) and now hears my art sans crackles. Says 'Rant' quickly became his favourite. Well, thanks Eric.
Owen Kelley: Loved Minneapolis. Regards to Joey Molland. Heard about the AMG - thanks anyway.
Stale Tonning: Hope you enjoyed Oslo.
John Corridan: 'Rant' is the best (including MTH stuff!). I'll take that. Saw us in Boston. Says songs have much more energy. Look at the band I've got. Took a while, but it was worth waiting for it. Me and Joey Bouchard's mates and we mess around a bit and have fun with Mr. Dunaway and Mr. Smith on Monday afternoons. Empty Neil's basement fridge. But I'm busy most of the time now.
Dan Baker: Yeah - EastEnders. Dead Man Walkin'. Hardly ever see it. It's what it represents.
Joe Eglash 'The Magic Collection' attributed to Mott the Hoople - is NOT MTH and when we find them we'll sue them. This is K-Tel. They've already been fined £10,000 in England so now they license it to Holland and change the name. Pathetic, these people. Pathetic.
Some emailers regret they could't make it to Oslo. Don't feel bad. It IS a bit of a schlepp, but you are all totally forgiven. I mean, I probably wouldn't have gone - but I was doing it. You know, they put me in the Nobel Peace Prize suite at the Grand Hotel in Oslo. Unbelievable. Chandeliers - the works. The balcony is the most famous balcony in Norway. It's where all the recipients stand after they received their prize. My kids were throwing snowballs off it at people to my undying shame! Anyway, thanks to all at Universal for a great time from me and Andy.
Marcia Orcutt: Oh man, that was a while back. (Got picked up by boat patrol for having a boat with no license). Talk to S.P. rarely. I will endeavor to remember!
Colin Moore: Wants me to say a little about the 'Dudes' album. What can I say? It was done at Trident in London. David produced it - Ronno did the arrangement on 'Sea Diver' (Colin's favourite) for £20. And it was on a cigarette packet - legendary stuff! David and Angie both liked Trudi - a lot. Us chaps in the band listened and learned. In retrospect it was a much heavier album than the one you hear. David's taste running a little lighter than ours - and as the original tape has 'disappeared', Buff cannot go back and remix. There you go.
Jon T. says the Crewe gig was the best gig he ever saw there. Well, thank you, Jon. That was my birthday. I remember the nans at the Indian were bigger than dustbin lids! Do we come back? It's up to the promoters and Emma Banks.
D.C.J. says forget the MTH revival. The band I have now is the best. Steve Holley honorable mention - and justifiably so, I might add. 'You can never recreate the past.'
Georgia Clarke: Ticklepoo monster speaking. Say hi to your Dad for me. Trudi says you were a really cute little one. Hope you got to be a really cute big one.
Craig Peacock: I don't know about I.H. remastered. It's not my department. It's gone Craig. It's done and gone.
Phil T. trying to convince (with limited success!) his teenage family. Don't bother with the spotty buggers, Phil. Either they get it or they don't.
Iain Bickle says his brother in law went to Oslo from Calgary, Alberta, Canada! Jim Fowers - you are worth a mention! I don't know if you did meet me, Jim, but you probably didn't as backstage was small and full of interviewers, TV Norway, and a load of us musicians. I did come out front for a few minutes. I just hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
Steve H. asks were any Mott singles written specifically as singles? Was there 'pressure' to write singles? You bet there was. 'Dudes' gave us the lift, but then what? A nervy nine-month period before 'Honaloochie Boogie'. This little song was really important as David was no longer there so if it stiffed, there would be a chorus of 'They can't do it without Bowie.' Fortunately, it was a hit, though not as big as 'Dudes'. 'All The Way From Memphis' was to me, an album track and I didn't want them to release it, but it became a much bigger hit. I then wrote 'Roll Away the Stone' which was saved for the 'Hoople' album as CBS knew it was a hit. That was a deliberate single. 'Golden Age' also went top 20, but that was more of an album track. 'Foxy Foxy' was me experimenting with the Phil Spector sound (something everybody wanted to do at the time). Single? I'm not sure if we had that in mind - probably did. 'Saturday Gigs' was the end. It only got to 35 or something and that was it. In hindsight, 'Saturday Gigs' should have been a huge hit. That kind of broke the camels back. Ralpher was long gone and it seemed we'd run our course. Two other trifles - I still haven't got a clue what 'Honaloochie Boogie' was about; and 'Roll Away The Stone' sold over three times as many singles as 'Dudes'.
Glenn R. writes - his autobiography - thanks, Glenn!
Bill Althaus: Bought one of my personal guitars at Sotheby's and would Iike it signed. How do you know it was mine, Bill? (Not saying that it's not, just how do you KNOW?)
Mike Brideweser: Why didn't I do more videos? Cost too much. However, Oslo DVD and Ringo DVD should keep you happy. Likes 'Rant' and asks what's next. Probably the Oslo show I just did. Scheduled for the fall or maybe early next year. I asked them and they said, 'When it's ready.'
Rich West: How did Jaco get the gig? Jaco was staying at Bobby Columby's house and then moved into mine. He asked to do the album. What am I going to say, no? Who's idea was the solo? MINE! How did he come up with the solo? As I remember it, we waited for a while before recording 'Alien Boy' as he was putting it together. I think he tinkered with it a little after the fact was well.
Robert asks when am I touring the UK and Scotland. I don't know what the dates are yet, but Emma Banks is trying to put something together for May.
Phillip asks when's the next UK tour DVD and CD? The UK in May (if sorted out by EB), DVD and CD of Oslo later this year or early next.
John Feiden: Irving Plaza 'dynamite'; 'Rant' great. Yes, Ringo did talk about Keith and his son. A very nice man is Ringo. Glad you enjoyed the book.
Stu McKenzie: Took his son to Oslo for passing his mock GCE's. Well Stu - the heat's off now - watch don't let the marks start slipping!
Anthony says 'Rant' is 'sheer enjoyment to listen to'. Had to put that one in.
Bobby Bobbing: Noted - we will be in touch.
Mike Gebhardt: I will pass on the info.
Greg Holloway says I've developed a speech defect! I pronounce some of my 'r's' as 'w' - what gives? It's not often I'm totally gobsmacked Greg, but this one of them. What do I know? Go back and check? Who knows.
Edward Shirley: What's my home telephone number? Who knows?
Jim Frauel says the Rochester show was phenomenal (now I know how to spell it). Says my band is better than MTH and that 'Rant' is the best so far, but 'Picasso' is his favourite.
Danny Finnell: If I go out in public and don't want to be recognized, do I take the glasses off? Well, actually in the old days I did that and moussed my hair back (not the prettiest of sights). No, I don't bother. People are OK to me. They're usually nice about it.
Dave Wood: Members of the Clash, Joe and Mick, cite the old influence thing. I thought the Clash were great. Each one totally different. All legit in their own way. Do I still keep in touch? Well, I never did know Joe Strummer well, but I knew Mick quite well and if I see him we bounce the ball a bit.
Oystein: Well, you were there and we were too. Hope you enjoyed it. Will MTH ever reform? Not that again, Oystein - you should know better by now.
Paul G: Is 'Still Love Rock 'n' Roll' Kettering Granada in Northamptonshire? The song's about a night I spent watching Little Richard and Sam Cooke at Kettering Granada. I lived in Northampton at the time.
Claire Luft: Best thing to do is send it here Claire, as I don't have time for anything else. There's always a way of putting things.
Eli: Come to a gig and I'll throw one at you!
Charles Shepherd loved Beverley. I remember that one. Actually bought 'Dodger' after seeing me at Alexis Korner's Memorial Concert. And I thought all them old bluesers hated me.
And now we come to post-Oslo.
Leif G. Holand: Good concert in Oslo, but everybody wanted one last song. Well, that's as good a reason as any Lief.
Andrew Field: Oslo was a gas! Says Leeds was hard to beat two or three years ago, but we pulled it off. Yorky was stunning (as usual -ed.). Funny watching the orchestra's response to my songs. They were great. The oldest was 31; the youngest was 20 and we all got on great. Don't forget anybody on this one - they were all great.
Pat Gorman: Reminding me of the Country Club in Hampstead. Saw me in LA with Ringo. Says I stole the show - well Drew Carey may have had something to do with that.
Anthony Caminiti: How did I hook up with Roy Young? Well it was actually through my mates Iona and Dennis Elliott. Dennis played drums with Roy and had always kept in touch. He was a big hero of mine in the '60s and it was a real honour to work with him. The only English guy who could hit those magic Little Richard run-downs. You do know he was asked to join the Beatles, don't you?
Finn thought Oslo was - beyond brilliant (although his liver is now the size of Australia). Can't stop smiling. What can I say - it was a pleasure. Tracie thought you were lovely! (Finn is a top Norwegian DJ who has his own show on the Norse equivalent of the BBC - and they let him play what he wants. Isn't that old fashioned!) I'll be back.
Stuart McKenzie (the son) thought the gig was great (that's what you get for doing so well with your mock GCE's). Why Oslo? It was a Norwegian Record Company (Universal). 'Twisted Steel' was brill. Didn't do 'Alien Boy' because you need brass. Hopes DVD reflects the atmosphere. So do I, Stuart.
Chris Kelly: Come on Ian, reform Mott. He says 'the whole world' is waiting Well, they'll just have to bloody wait then, won't they. I heard Luther was on the Buzzcocks and they were great with him. I was offered that show but I didn't do it because I was told they take the mickey. Apparently, not with Luther. Nice one.
Live Music Organization: Contact Emma Banks at Helter Skelter Agency in London (tel: 0207-376-8501).
Dave Simpson: Have I ever contemplated a Christmas song? Yes, every year around about Christmas. One hasn't arrived yet. You can't push these things.
Michel loves 'Michael Picasso' Thank you Michel.
Andrew Field thinks 'Your Way' (new song I did in Oslo) is one of the best I've written in yonks. The gap between Dudes and Boogie was me and Ralpher desperately trying to write a follow up. Why do I start concerts on time these days? Well, get back, put the feet up. Watch a bit of tele.
Mike Costanzo: Raving about Campbell Devine's book. There you go, Cam, another satisfied customer in Nashville, Tenn.
Louis Iosub: We all have lives apart from the site. Sometimes it takes awhile. Joe Cerisano is a great New York session singer. Should have gone out with a band years ago. Responsible for some great commercials way back when.
John G.: What's the chances of a double CD from Oslo? That may happen. Estimated release between Autumn '02 and spring '03.
Sad Sycophant - change that name! Loves 'Rant'. Yes, I heard Luther was on the Buzzcocks.
Colin Powell: Had a lovely time in Oslo; can we do one in Tenerife?
Steve: Loves 'Rant'. Looking into possibility of a UK tour in May. More on this later.
Jan Snedeker: Loved Philly - says it was loud, though.
Geoff Bryant asks when will the DVD be available? I asked Bjorn Nessjo (producer) and he says 'When it is ready.' And I have to do what Bjorn tells me.
John Harrison: Who would I like to cover one of my songs? If Bob Dylan covered 'God Take One' my mission would be complete!
Andy: Do we tape live gigs? Yes we do Andy, but we don't sell them. Other people do that.
Peter Kaufman: Yeah, well most of us find out a lot of stuff too late. I'm glad we weren't two of them.
Ray Notley says I finger fart when I play chords. Outrageous! And when he gets his 'time machine' working he goes back to me and Ralpher whacking out 'Driving Sister' at Aylesbury. Well, you never know, Ray, you may not need that time machine.
Clyde Woods: Hopefully, in May this year.
Graeme Turnbull: Recently read an interview with Mick Ralphs saying the best career move he ever made was to leave Mott the Hoople. Wasn't this harsh? No, this wasn't harsh, it was absolutely true. If he stayed with MTH he had to play my hits and listen to me trying to sing his songs (which I couldn't). If he went with Paul Rogers, Paul could sing his songs great and the rest is history. If Mick had had all the hits with Mott the Hoople - perhaps I would have left. If it's a career move you're talking about - Ralpher was right for him.
Graeme Turnbull: Why Roy Thomas Baker as producer for Overnight Angels? I was staying at the Beverly Wiltshire in LA and Roy was in the next room. We had a drink and he was a Mott fan and thought I'd strayed from the original sound. Roy was a huge producer and had loads of hits. He didn't need me - he just wanted to have ago. We got on great as friends and still do. His humour is totally unique. He's done amazing stuff - but it just didn't work with me. We were both disappointed (and the fire didn't help much!) We both went into it for the right reasons, but they don't always come off.
Colin McDonald: Just saw Tracy at Liverpool Cavern. Great performance; like father like son - I mean daughter. Yes! (The son does it over here.)
Tom: How come Mad Shadows is out of print and the other albums on Island/Atlantic are still in print? Haven't got a clue, Tom.
Tom Tulley: Bloody hell. All girls - must be insane. Expect an email.
Mike C.: What did I mumble at the beginning of 'Just Another Night'? I know what it was, but it doesn't translate to paper.
Seth: How does 'Rant' sales compare to 'Artful Dodger'? Way, - way - way ahead.
Bob Clayton: 'Congrats on Oslo; we're proud of you.' That's nice, isn't it? Has anything I did with Leslie West and Corky Laing been released? I don't think so. No plans for a 'Rant' video. VH1 storytellers. By the time they get around to me I'll probably tell them no.
John O'Rourke: Was I one of the writers of 'You' a song Three Dog Night recorded on their '71 album 'Harmony'? Well, I'd have to say probably not, although I remember hanging out with one of them in London around that period. Was it something I said?
Angel: If I get a chance listen to Lou Reed's latest, 'Poe-try'. She loves this, Lou. I'll have to get it.
Paul Klein: Very nice, Paul.
Dave/SF: Noted. I'll pass this on. Thanks.
Paul: No, I haven't yet played in Rancho Cucamonga, but I will be going soon! (This is the guy that won the Borders competition.)
Ian Hunter: His name's Ian Hunter, too. Heard I'm some kind of singer or something. His parents told him. Listen to your Mom and Dad kid. They have taste!
John C. Remember Glasgow. Andy York - fantastic.
Gregory: Loved Chicago (so did I). Loves 'Rant'. Spread the word.
Joan Higson-Smith: 'Rant' is wonderful - asks if there are any plans for Denver. Not yet.
Steve H. says it must be frustrating trying to get recognition for the second time in my career with the reluctance of radio etc. Well, it is and it isn't. To me, it's a challenge and I've always thrived on that. I enjoy the fight. Radio's crap, but I can't worry about stuff I have no control over. As for housing up 'Bastard' I'm not against it, but I can't do it. Somebody else would have to.
Jim McLennon: Did Ronno know he was doing 'Heroes' with Bowie? Yes, he did.
Dean: Will I play 'Foxy, Foxy' again? Nah.
Paul Kennett: 'Silver Needles' was Sid Vicious.
Steve Gerlach: Loves 'Rant'. Saw Chicago. Sings and plays with a band in Chicago. Good luck to the chaps.
Mike Phillips loves 'Rant'. Am I a fan of Brian Wilson? Aren't we all?
Kim Fletcher: What songs are going on the Oslo DVD? Too early to say yet.
Andy Martin: How does the venue we play now in Newcastle compare with the city hall? Well, the one we do now is a gorgeous place and we had some great nights at N.C.H. - so that one's a tie.
Kelly Turner: Kelly is bored so she thought she'd write. Says Al Johnson said it was brilliant and it was, Kelly, it was.
Tommy Mandel: Too busy for the old man now, are we! I'd give you a ring if I knew where you'd be.
Randy Carter: Did Simon Fox ever sit in for Buff on MTH gigs? Not to my knowledge. Did we ever play with Be Bop Deluxe - not to my knowledge. Bill Nelson did Ronno's memorial gig. I think that's the nearest we got. I think I spoke with him at a party after the show and he seemed extremely nice.
Well, that it for now. I've enjoyed our little chat. Like I said, it looks like Britain may be in May, but it's still not booked. So I have to start looking at that now. When we know more we'll say more. I've had a great time over the last 18 months and don't intend to slow down. Keep 'em coming.
The Horse's Mouth