Want to hear it straight from the Horse's Mouth? Ask your question here.
A gray and rainy Hunter Towers today as Hurricane Isabel sends us a mild sideswipe. We're fortunately further north.
Kevin (from sunny Belfast) Any U.K. gigs penciled in yet? Not yet, but we'll get onto it within the next couple of months.
Michael Duke: Wants us to come to Wales - and we'll see what we can do.
Ed wants a gig in Cincinnati. Says the power went out last time I was there and we had to cancel. Is that near Wales?
Miller: Bloody hell! Hauled kickin' and screaming into the 21st century! Love to all!!!
John Paul asks what motivates my songwriting? 'On Rant there's nostalgia, anger and love. However, 'Knees of my Heart' contains the line, 'I aint good enough to be one.' Does this suggest an element of self doubt?' Well, I'm not really a musician John, I'm more of a writer. Musicians say I'm a musician and I'm not bad at fixing things if they sound wrong, but really, I don't listen that much (musicians do). Music to me has always been therapy. Obviously, I know enough to get around, but I am by no means a musician in its purist sense. I am a writer.
Jeffrey Stanke: Oded me up on a Dobie Gray song. Well, thank you.
Terje Granum: 'On Resurrection Mary - Stutz Blackhawk - have I go one? No, I haven't but it doesn't half sound good.
Willie - Glasgow - is apparently duetting No Wheels to Ride with me when next in Glasgow. Says he has a black belt in karaoke - so that's how you spell it.
Professor Clemens: Listening to Paul Westerberg's 14 songs. Actually, I just gave clearance to Paul's manager to put his version of 'One of the Boys' out on a DVD soon. I think it's an acoustic version. Andy York is a big Westerberg fan. They weren't valium - they were mandrax. P.C. opines I drive a Range Rover and Trudi drives a Merc. You got the second part right. No, she doesn't work at the UNIS any longer.
Johnny Facer: Hey, John! Thanks for having us. Regards to all. Just call me the Ghost of the Cross Keys.
Peejay's off to see the Stones at the Astoria. 'Which band do you admire musically?' They'll do.
Matt Nojonen: What do I think of the U.S.'s recent development in soccer. Apparently, there's more people kicking balls than swinging bats now. Well, I know I'm bored with baseball; can't watch it anymore. Steinbrenner goes out and buys everything and then wants to win everything. Everybody knows baseball's consistency and consistency - quite frankly, is boring. Soccer's much more alive, although, you get the occasional drab game. No contest in the final analysis. It's a good thing, Matt. Some good U.S. players too. Look at that guy from the Metrostars. He's now the regular 1st team goalie for Man U.!
Mike Costanzo: The wicked laugh on 'Marionette' was Ariel Bender (Luther Grosvenor). How did the song come about? Well, I was beginning to realize that Rock 'n' Roll wasn't all fun - it was a business too, and I was beginning to feel a little squeezed and a little used and a little knackered. I was writing how I was feeling at the time. I also had this urge to pit Little Richard type sax lines against more European severe cellos and violas. This song gave us that opportunity. I think Jeff Lynne was thinking along the same lines. Or if he wasn't, then he soon was!
Steve Horne: Had a reaction upon meeting one of his heroes (moi!) and wonders what my reactions were when meeting my heroes. Well, the Stones seemed rather normal English chaps so that was OK. Dylan was harder, but I didn't blow it (I'm told a lot do). Jerry Lee Lewis was the easiest. I was told so many stories about him I avoided him like the plague. Trust the message never the messenger.
Tony Sindaco: Any chance of me and Ralpher writing together? Well, he lives in England I live here so it's geographically difficult. He hates flying as well, but we'll see. We're both up for it. He's just sent me a song actually, and it's rather spiffy.
Aleks asks when am I coming to LA? A lot of people want us in LA and I'm one of them, so we are taking steps. I'm in the process of a few changes here, which I will divulge at the appropriate time.
Ed Marentette asks if I remember the Ford Auditorium gig in Detroit when I threw my guitar 30 feet and walked off in disgust? Yup - I was being silly, but sound systems use to to get you that way. Here we were - here the crowd was - but in between that - horrible sound (that we were paying good money for). A bad PA ruins a good night. Detroit was one of our favourite cities. I remember the band stayed on. Ralpher took the vocals over and they got a resounding ovation. I came back on for the encore and was deservedly booed for my tantrum. Mea culpa. He says John Eddie was signed by Lost Highway and let go after 90 days! Why bother in the first place?
Kathy (Jeff Stankes wife), but sounds more like Marisa Tomei in 'My Cousin' Vinnie'. Been through some cars in your time girl!
Meanwhile Jeff joins in on the subject of bony asses. Girls don't like it if you're too skinny. I know that Jeff. Girls like asses!!
John Walker: Says I should include 'Dancing on the Moon' in the next live set in order to 'be discovered.' I wasn't there, but Andy York told me the whole story about him and Tommy Morrongiello at the Hammerstein Ballroom back up 'Bob'. Like all of the best things it just happened spontaneously and Andy was still beaming the following day (I'll get told off for writing this!)
Ed says thanks for answering his questions the last few months, however, as my tone was sarcastic to him (and others) the last time out, he's sorry that he bothered me (Rock Star). He says he doesn't need to remind me who buys my music. He won't be from now on. What you're looking for Ed is a kindlier, friendlier, politically correct 'Rock Star'. Good luck.
Steve Curtis is saddened by the delay of the 'Strings Attached' DVD. Well, they just sent me the English version (which I can't play) and it has different artwork to the first Norwegian copy I got, so I'm assuming the artwork has been the hold up. I know Peter's been through a lot of art work. Current release date for Europe is still October 27th with the U.S. early in the New Year. I just hope when you do get it - you like it. Steve says 'Rant' is still distinctly Mottish - the exception being 'Wash Us Away'. Well, I wrote a lot of stuff for Mott so it's always going to be there. I walk the 6 1/2 - a mile of it is far too steep to run. I've never seen anyone run it - although I do see a Kenyan champion walloping round here at a pace that makes us all feel extremely small. Rick Tedesco at guitarhangar.com would be interested in the Ronno guitar strap should you wish to unload. He looks after a lot of Ronson stuff; loaned Mick's guitar to the Hall of Fame.
Dave Griffiths: Glastonbury 2003? Lovely, if they wanted us. How does it work? Agencies offer a list of their acts and they choose who they want. Who apart from R.E.M. and Queen mention MTH in their songs? I really wouldn't know about that, Dave. I can't think of anybody.
Rick Goward: Please play the West Coast (six times). Like I say, we're working on it.
Dave Bennett: Stan and I were the only supporters. I told Stan and he was very keen. Did you ring him?
Bart notices similarities between my career and Warren Zevon's. Have I ever met or worked with him? What do I think of his writing? I've never met or worked with him but thought he was a great writer. Odd and great; sorely and sadly missed.
John de Bono: noted.
Bruce Roscoe has just received the 2 CD (Welcome to the Club) through Amazon.UK and says it's brilliant. He says it would be even better if the liner notes mentioned the date and places of the live concerts. They do however, include comments by me on each song.
Jeffrey Stanke: Sends me the entire lyric to 'All the Young Dudes' hereafter named Todo Los Vatos Jovenes - in Spanish. Actually, I'll keep this - you never know.
Dr. C has to buy anything MTH or IH does, so he attends bootleggers conventions and says there's a lot of our stuff there. 'Why if you're so big in the bootlegging market are you so small in the regular one?' You got me there, Doc.
Brian B wants a gig in Arkansas He can't speak for anybody else in the state, but he'd come. Well, that makes one - got any mates? Is 'Waterlow' on 'Strings Attached'? Oh all right then, - yes.
Kurt Braun: Just discovered Rant. Loves it. Kurt is a stagehand and gives this response to another email. 'Clear channel does not care about Detroit or any other city.' He says, 'We see examples of this in every show we promote. One day, hopefully, they will be put in their place.' thank you - soon to be ex-stage hand Kurt!
Willie (my adopted Scottish manager) is making headway. My name had to be changed slightly to Iain Machunter in order to pander to his lowest managerial whims. We will be selling wee Scotty Dolls with tartan bonnets and shades on the web site at vastly inflated prices. Things are proceeding swimmingly with the new Christmas single (Nae Wheels ti Ride) and the hogmany special. The Corries are off the show as they are claiming 'The Flower of Scotland' as the true National Anthem. They're being replaced by the Proclaimers who will record their own tribute version of 'No Wheels to Ride' with lots of extra shouting. Oh - and I've got to start wearing a kilt to get used to it. I do have my own tartan, actually Willie. We belong(ed) to the McClaren Clan who sported beautiful muted coloured kilts whilst being slaughtered by the McDonalds.
Jeff Fojtik 'Ian Hunter is the greatest. His brilliance unequaled.' I don't normally put this sort of thing in, but I need a little lift after pissing Ed off.
Matt N. asks, 'Where's the industry going over the next 5-10 years?' Same way it's been going over the last twenty. You really never know. It's got to be the web. Music is built on ideas and passion. Corporations trample on these two things. They don't even know they're doing it half the time. The weird thing is when the media do one of their, 'What's wrong with the music biz' type things - they always ask the corporations! While we're on the media - why do boy/girl bands get so much coverage? Follow the money.
Sharon Whitman: Noted
Tim Smith: Is the dependency on technology killing the heart of the music? Do you mean Pro- Tools and all that? Well, everybody makes mistakes with Pro-Tool early on (Never tart up an individual sound before you mix). Pro- Tools is obviously a lot cheaper and also you can carry it around with you to a degree. (So you don't have to actually 'book' and 'go' to a recording studio.) I think you analog some things and you can pro-tool some things. Pro Tools can be - too good. Some things can sound great, but mean nothing. Other things can sound bad, but feel great. The type of band you are comes into play. Who's listening to you - are they audiophiles or Lester Bang maniacs (Just read Lester's book, brings back great times.) OK.
P.S. 'If Jesus got into a fight with Spiderman - who would win?' I don't know - they're still at it.
Dean Roecker wants my trousers!!! You're not having them!! Is there nothing sacred? Wants me to swing him a deal on a guitar too boot! See, no respect. How much?
Glenn 'the Rock' wants to hear the 'rug' story. Well Glenn, this is a tale I cannot bring myself to repeat in this family oriented column. Suffice to say it comes up annually on my Northampton visits and has been hyperbolized out of all proportion - as all good stories are. My good friend Barry (sadly, no longer with us) always proudly wore the mantle of 'liar' as he always said reality was boring. I prefer artistic license, but we were on the same wavelength.
Doc: 'Any special memories of Marc Bolan?' He came into Air II once around the time of my first solo album. Never short of regal confidence he asked to be played something. We played him something and he turned to me quite somberly and said, 'I must admit something Ian - I've always underestimated you.' The song was 'Once Bitten, Twice Shy'. That's the only time we ever spoke.
Dave Crisfield says Daisy got her autograph and is glad I liked the picture. Daisy's 7. The picture hangs on the fridge.
Charles Lofgren: Any chance of a MTH DVD - well, there's always a chance and Buff's doing his movie. There is footage, but no one's gotten it together. You have to be pretty powerful in the industry to be able to do that. It's expensive.
Bera asks if I'm coming to the UK? Well, I'm planning on May next year. In fact, I'm hoping tour to a bit more next year. I always come in May; we just got stuck this year. Everybody's up for it.
Jazzer: Welcome to the site. We'll be up there next year.
Janey Todd says our site comes just before 'Equine Dentistry'! I'll pass the rest onto TM.
Lisa wants to talk to about 'American Music' but the email stops and I don't know what she wants to talk about...
Pete from Manchester - any chance of a MTH reunion? Now there's a novel idea.
Hoppo asks will we do Sheffield. Too early to say, but we'll be in the area.
Paul Limbrick: Do I ever bid on my own stuff on eBay? Never use a computer. No.
Jerry Battersby asks is 'Resurrection Mary' one of the best things I've ever written? It's all in the ear of the beholder, really, isn't it? What do I consider the best? Well, they're all my babies and admittedly there have been runts in the litters, but it's hard to pick out the best. I'm not keen on lists - you see them in Mojo and they can't be fair. The songs come from all periods in my life and I'm sure I thought each one was the best I'd ever written when I finished them. Who knows. You probably know better than me.
Steve Alexander is extremely keen to keep the Hunter/Ronson thing alive and is under the impression there's tons of footage and music somewhere in the vaults just waiting to be released. Well, if there is, I know nothing about it. Everything we did is pretty much out there. People out there may have stuff, but I don't. Mick and I had fabulous times together, but neither of us much cared about the business end of things. I know we should have, but we didn't. So there's the lesson for today chaps! Take care of the business end of things.
John Smith (honestly) 'what's a Junkman'? Well, I never did ask Genya what a junkman was, but I'm assuming it means a bloke who takes the junk away (a garbage man).
Joey Stefko says he loves me and Trudi!
John V: Roslov Szabo did the 'Dudes' cover for CBS Records. Mick Rock is a well-known photographer who is English but lives in New York. Mick is bigger than ever these days.
Bill Timpano asks what time do I go on stage at the Mercury Lounge? (This was a benefit for Alejandro Escovedo, who's not very well). Well, I thought I was going on at Eleven. I actually got on around One. Apologies to those who had to leave but it wasn't in my hands. People said that all the bands were good that night so I'm sure you had a good time.
James Wesley Young - Keep at it.
Karen is a caterer and yes, we're into Shepherds Pie (a regular on the menu at home). Hasn't seen me personally since a limo ride with Roy Thomas Baker between the Roxy and the Rainbow -that's going back a bit. Lisa and Suzi are fine. Lisa's 26 now (Karen says she remembers Mick tucking her up backstage at a 'Fridays' taping). We must be talking early 80's. Karen loves the HM.
Billy asks, 'Do I ever think Ronno got his due as a guitar player.' Well, to anybody who understood true guitar playing he did get his due and still does. But there's millions out there who think that good guitar playing is flying up and down the fretboard at 100 miles per hour. They don't even know who Mick was (except for Ziggy) and I'm sure that would have suited him just fine.
Krister: Dicken coulda been England's 'Boss' but never seemed to get handled properly. Music coming out of every pore. Dicken lives in Oxfordshire and still comes to see me if I'm playing in the area. Still in a band, as far as I know. It's been a couple of years.
Janey todd: Wishing me luck for the Mercury gig. Thank you, Janey.
Daniel Halferty: Come to Kansas. I remember doing Kansas, actually. Some little club - it was great. We'll try.
Keith Davies: Talking about 'Dead Man Walkin'' All the world's a stage etc. Not invented - just came out of my mouth like somebody put it there. Funny thing, writing. It's about as near to magic as you can get.
Jeff: Enjoyed the Mercury (so did I). Is it true I'm doing my next album with Tammy Faye Starlite? No, but Andy wants to.
Jeff Stanke says I was outside the Merc for a while having a smoke. Well, you can't smoke in Manhattan anywhere else! Dumb. So Jesse was out there with Trudi and me and we talked to a lot of people that night. You got to remember I'm a recluse most of the time so it's great to hang out with people that way.
Pat Jones: Hi, Pat. Said she smiled for two days, but that's worn off and reality bites. She says I have to do a New York date once a month and as we're all getting a little older - how about going on a little earlier?
John Varvatos - 'Great show at the Mercury Lounge. You and the band sound better than ever.' Actually the sound at the Mercury is very good and this guy Mark was doing the sound and he was excellent. Good separation.
Paul Greenaway's daughter (8) wants a copy of 'The Hoople' She also has stuff by The Who, The Beatles, The Stones and The Ramones. 'Just shows that not all kids have been caught up by the crap pumped out by record companies.'
Almightly Bob: Best song - 'Dead Man Walking'.
Rockin Martin: England does seem like 'a goer' next year. May - I'm hoping for. It's not set in stone as yet, but that's what I plan on doing.
Ed Marentette: On the John Eddie/Lost Highway 90-day (contract) spell. Says he's starting to see why I'm so cynical. If you could actually know what goes on in what passes for 'a business' cynical would not be the word that you would choose. Cynical means you accept it and feel bitter about it. I don't accept it - I'm not cynical - I'm bored with it and contemptuous of it, but it doesn't really affect me. There are exceptions - our dealings with Petter at Universal, Norway have been totally honorable (as they should be). We'll see if this ethic winds its way across the North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean where the verdict is still out.
Jim Siatras: Will I be doing anything with Dennis Dunaway and Joe Bouchard? Well, when they get to the final stages I may pop round for a bit and see what's going on. Piddle about with the songs etc.
Doug Johnson remembers 'The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nothin' but the Truth' at the Uptown Theatre in Milwaukee on April 8, 1975. Still has the stub to prove it. The theatre's gone. I outlived it! 'Still a great show and a great memory'. Oh, and then he talks about my photo in Rolling Stone (which was really of David Byron but labeled a rare photo of IH without his glasses). Did anyone ever retract that error? Well, I bloody did.
Hope Campbell says I'm softer and sweeter than I was in the MTH days. Have I noticed this at all? I have. Hope says to keep my trousers.
Nick Malcolm: Are the Red Sox bothering you lately? No!
Bob Barnes said in HM#24 that Rant was to be re-released in the UK on Repetoire Records through Koch/BMG. Trudi checked with Echo and they said no. Bob says check out Amazon.co.uk. Bob works for the company that compiles the UK charts and they are picking up sales on it. Bob was also at the Universal Music Conference last week. Not a mention of either the CD or the DVD. This is what we are continually up against. Thanks for the info - most appreciated.
Denise Duhaime: Toronto calling. I'll try - we'll really try.
Howard Chapman: On Jeopardy once there was an answer about the writer of Ships and the correct question - they said was 'who was Barry Manilow.' Good!
Bob Kleb: Understands I played with Jay Ferguson in the '70's. How did those roads cross? I don't know if I played with Jay, but we were friends back then. I used his drummer Curly for awhile. Did I work with Warren Zevon? Nope, but I wish I had.
Jeff S. Somebody does it. $40 a week, why?
Nike Brideweser: Any thought on Warren Zevon? Well, I didn't know him so there's no personal stuff, but I automatically think of Ronno and all his relatives and he was young. But like my mate, Barry said to me just before he popped off, 'You wouldn't believe it - when I go to the hospital there's kids of 7 - 8 - 9 got the same as me. At least we got all these years; some get hardly any.'
David Drew: there's no secret, David. You put your songs on CD or tape them and you send them to labels, to film companies etc. I don't know anybody in A+R on any labels anymore, so I can't give you a name. I would if I could. I believe there are books in places like Borders that list A+R guys. Regard to the wife and kids.
Jim Meade: No, Jim, I'm not that near to you. Next state over, actually.
Dave Griffiths: No luck with that address.
Jan Kell is a bouzouki player and his chaps would like to take some of my songs and convert them into what they're doing with banjo, bodhran, violins, pipes and whistles. It would be an honour, Jan. Let me know when you've got something I can listen to. I think it's great fun to mess with stuff.
Steve's son and his mates play MTH and think they're better than Green Day! Any thoughts on Ray and Dave Davies? Yes, don't put 'em on tour together.
Steve Baratta writes he was surprised that Ronno and I were such Honeymooners fans. After 'Speechless' he figured I wasn't much of a TV watcher (I am). Steve likes the 'Odd couple' and guesses that when Mick and I toured he was the neat one (correct - Mick always moaned about the mess in the bathroom). He says he recently met Jack Klugman and he was a great guy. Plug for Jack. See - how wide reaching and informative we all are! Steve laments the passing of Johnny Cash as I'm sure we all do and praises his acting ability as well as his more obvious talents. He finishes up by saying the Hall of Fame has just listed this year's nominees and me and Mike Smith aren't on it. We'll get over it.
Peter Jordan: 'Andy Warhol supposedly told Lou Reed, 'it's the work that endures'. Do I agree? Well, if you're lucky enough to be behind something that lasts - what could be better. 'Wings' was scheduled for 'YUIORTA' but didn't make it because we were running short of time and the producer said it wasn't a single - so it was left off. I like the BBC version. No, we didn't know Ronno was ill then.
Colin Powell says Tracie's new single - 'superb'. Colin's the one who goes to Thailand to watch the girls dance to 'Ripoff'. Apparently, it's not totally voluntary - Colin has to buy the DJ beer!
Willie: Imagine that!!! I'll start next Tuesday - I'll understand if you can't get the red carpet and security arrangements sorted on time. Incognito's the word, pal.
Rob T: Checking it out.
Bruce Shedden: Yes, Willie Nile is a friend of mine but Willie does Willie stuff and I do my stuff. That's not to say it won't happen. Andy plays with both of us.
Rick Graves 14 year old daughter refers to 'Dead Man Walkin' as 'the greatest song ever'. She'll go far Rick, she'll go
Magge Drew enjoyed the Mercury Lounge.
Bob Barnes yesterday received a copy of the Sony album 'Mojo presents Mott the Hoople'. He says it actually flows very well and comes in a white slip case as opposed to the jewel box. They're very good sleeve notes. Sony Legend's Phil Savill is a fan and where there's a will there's always sales. We do really well with Phil on catalog. I just hope he doesn't move on. Bob also says 'YUIORTA' has been reissued on Lemon Recordings (an unfortunate name) through Cherry Red/Pinnacle. There are two extra tracks and the booklet is actually a single sheet of paper folded into 6. Notes by Nigel Williamson. Both released on Monday, September 22nd. Thanks, Bob.
Richard Gombert writes that back in 2001 his sister gave him 'Rant' -which he didn't know existed. He's going on about it, but all I think is what 'Rant' could have been if radio wasn't so sad. Richard's kids like it too. He says it's a wonderful release. When am I doing another one? The thing is if no one can hear it when you put it out you have got to be the supreme optimist of all time. Man, I wish they'd clean radio up.
Isabel drifted by - a little rain and wind - and now sun and the cursed humidity. All you MTH people have a lot of re-releases coming out and I have a couple of things in the pipeline too. It's been a long hot summer and I wish I was working - plowing a field somewhere!
P.S. Phil Holbrook says HMV in Australia are taking preorders for 'Strings Attached' to be released on October 27. News to me! Where do you get your info from, Phil?