Editors Note: Starting with issue #43, the Horse's Mouth column is now posted two parts, about two weeks apart.
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John Pottage: Great night in Edinburgh. Loved Mick and Andy. Singles out Andy on Truth. The great thing with Andy is there's no ego involved. If he feels the solo - as is - is right - he won't change it. True class. Then you get vintage Ralpher on the end. Best of both worlds. Did I know that James Caan turned down the role of McMurphy in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' to do 'Rollerball'? No, I didn't. Thanks, John.
John D.(Leeds): 'Great evening. Great band.'
Nigel Pattison: 'Leeds fantastic; York on fire.'
Rick Graves: No particular venue stands out. Wembley Stadium was pretty special. Especially now it's no longer there.
Stu Junior: Glasgow and Edinburgh - both shows great but got to the front at Edinburgh.
Graham Walker: Glad your friend liked it. Ava Maria, Rest in Peace, Rock 'n' Roll Queen, Once Bitten, Twisted Steel, I Wish I Was Your Mother, Knees of My Heart, 23A Swan Hill, Irene Wilde, The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing but the Truth, Rollerball, Roll Away the Stone, bit of Saturday gigs, Dudes, Dead Man Walking medley, Just Another Night, Memphis, Standin' In My Light, Picasso, Cleveland Rocks (His mate writes for a paper).
Del: Andy Starnes (49) R.I.P.
Ali O'Brien was in Leicester then came to Leeds. 'What a difference a venue makes.' As to Torquay; don't know yet.
Dean Roecker: Phil Holbrook has photos of Euro 2004 tour and he says they're great. My trousers are doing great. Full of salt but nothing that can't be dry-cleaned out. Having an 'H' outfit made. For Christ's sake don't. Will this ever leave me?
Bill Steffen: Will I catch any of the Euro football? Of course.
Phil Taylor: Preston. Sound perfect - band tight - well, awesome. 'Twisted Steel' exceptional. To see us perform was amazing!! Ta.
Neil M. Leeds was brilliant. 'Band seemed to enjoy it as much as we did.'
Ashley: Watching DVD in preparation for the Astoria. What happened to potential BBC project 'Rant' show? Don't know!
Dawn Preston: Leeds 'excellent evening'. Dawn's favourite - 'Knees of My Heart'.
Stale Tonning: I can't get the band I want for this time period. I do, however, want to play next year. I think they jumped the gun a bit. Sorry, I want to play Scandinavia, but it has to be done right - and it will be.
Andy Caren: Glasgow, beautiful.
Graham: Leeds, fantastic.
David Mac: Loved London. Astoria - great. Do 'Ships'.
Arild Iden: I hope to do Scandi in late May or early June next year.
Mike Thompson: Loved London gig. 'You were on fire'. Mike's a detective at Scotland Yard. Says I can go round for cappuccino some time!! When my Dad was a copper it was a mug of tea! 'Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady' was for real. Most of my stuff is. It's mostly to do with lack of self esteem, isn't it. Hell of a subject. Saw a bit of it myself, unfortunately. Still! Soldier on!
Steve K. - The day after the Astoria - still gobsmacked. Friday night was special - says I'm getting better. 'The buzz in the pub after the show was amazing!'
Paul Wilson: 'Manchester perfect' (he must have been at the front). Andy Keating (our excellent sound technician) threw his hands up; the sound was impossible. 'Leeds 101%' Paul's euphoric! There's 5 or 6 messages. Get off the sauce boyo. I'll spare you further comment.
Ian Margan: 'London excellent and what a thrill to see Brian May!' 'Rollerball' is on the Oslo DVD and CD.
Stu Mckenzie (Snr.) Back in Saudi Arabia. Glasgow, great, Edinburgh, fantastic. Take care of yourself Stu.
Janey Todd: I don't sleep with my socks on. What's war good for? Business. Will I see Dylan this time round? Don't know. Was I ever a veggie - no. Do I remember my dreams? Once in a while.
Hans Noordam says 'We Gotta Get Out of Here' was a hit in Holland. Never knew that. Went to the Astoria show - effing great. Yes, these will be.
Tel: 'Leeds was fantastic as usual. Next year' As Tracie says, 'ooooh-go on then!'
Kim Westerlund: I wasn't here when you sent this although we did get the message through our webmaster and were looking out for you so I'm assuming you didn't come to Bilbao or Barcelona. I was expecting you and we will sit down at some point. Kindest regards to your Mum from me and Tru.
David Colwill: Poughkeepsie and the Stone Pony (seems like years ago). Yes, it is true. The statement regarding Ronnie Montrose isn't. We talked about it but Pete was adamant that the guy had to be British so we canned the idea.
Dave Pilkington: Astoria fantastic. Do the Apollo. I dunno. I kind of like the Astoria. I like the Dominion but Brian's got that fully booked.
Derek Warren saw 8 gigs. 'Each one a winner.' I did enjoy it - I got tired with the traveling at times, but that's part of it.
Bobby Balloch: 'What more can one ask in one day - Larssons two goals - and an I.H. concert in Glasgow - there is a God after all!
Mark Hughes' five-year-old sends the following message: 'Happy Birthday Ian. From Alexandra Hughes: Thank you, Alex!
Graham Stark: 'Exceptional U.K. Tour' Took work mates one (21)- thought I was awesome. Other one (30's) said he knew I was good but didn't realize I was that good. If you had a band like mine - you'd probably be good too. Graham says - on the one hand he wants to keep promoting me to people but on the other had he doesn't - I know what you mean, but get over it.
Renee says Astoria was remarkable. Tracie and her band phenomenal and the Rant Band fantastic. Hopes I keep them together for a long time to come. Well, that's harder than it sounds, Renee. They're great players and so, of course, they're busy players. I'll do my best and so will they.
Richard Wilson; Liverpool was brilliant.
Franjo was in Belgium last night and wishes he was my Mother! He then wants to know all about Ralpher's gear - which I don't know much about. Try his web site. I know he's a fanatic about equipment.
Martin Lapham: Bristol Rocks!
David Parry saw Preston - bought 'Rant' loves 'Dead Man Walkin''.
Steve Baratta: 'Chicago - come back', I liked the Park West. That's a well-run gig.
Alistair: Glasgow was great. Sorry, I decided to give Euro tour a rest until next year. Well, I have to write and there's other stuff going on over here that I can't talk about yet. Plus, the window was difficult band wise.
Hope Campbell: It's a tricky old thing, biology.
There's a lot of Happy Birthdays here that I'm deliberately avoiding, but thanks to all of you who took the time.
Peter Jordan really enjoyed Leeds. Andy on top form. Rock 'n' Roll Queen stand out track. How much does a gig take out of me? You don't actually feel it on a gig - you feel it afterwards. And then it's not the gig that get you - it's the traveling and shall we say - the Bon Homme.
Daniel in Zurich hasn't got a clue what Moot the Hoople means. Mott the Hoople was a band I was in. The title came from a book written by Willard Manus. Hey - he's new.
Peejay: 'Astoria absolutely 'effin brilliant - I swear you get better as time goes by.' I'm a late bloomer. Didn't play 'Bastard'. Well, there' another 30 minutes right there.
Scheps (Paris): 'Ian came on 4th of June with special forces. He played two hours and was in great health. The show we saw we could hear 'The Truth' with raw energy. The man got thinner (blush) and he seemed to be ten year less (blush, blush). We also saw Mick Ralphs and his interventions are wonderful. It's the first time I saw him and he has that sound. He dedicated Brain Capers! We came out of the gig (my wife, my daughter and my brother) the heads on the stars.' Well, thank you Scheps. glad you all enjoyed it.
Bish: Great gig at the Astoria - the place rocked. 'Is Your Love In Vain' is a beautiful song Bob Dylan wrote which I've covered from time to time. There's a great I.H. version of this song on an old TV show called, 'Fridays'. [Webmaster gently corrects that although Ian did Fridays, 'Is Your Love In Vain' was Don Kirschner's Rock Concert]
Ray Waters: 'Great shows - great band - pity you have to do better next year.' He's got to be English.
Neil Ivison - Cardiff superb, but then he went to Bristol - effing amazing. 'Strings Attached' - awesome. Your mate who went to the Astoria is correct. More of that later.
Ray: Astoria and Worthen superb. Will we play them next year? Well you never know for sure - like with the Newcastle gig - but yes, if we're all spared as my Dad use to say.
Geoff Bryant: Astoria great (other than no 'Wash Us Away'). Well we revved it up at rehearsal and we also revved up a couple of others too but this set seemed to fall into place. We felt this set was 'quick' which is always a sign of a good set that's two hours long. You're correct about the second point you made. More of that later.
Shug: Glasgow incredible. Favourite track, 'Truth'. What were my highlights? I liked 'Truth' and I enjoyed the 'Dead Man Walkin'' medley. I also thought 'Knees of My Heart' came to the party and 'Irene Wilde' got a new lease on life.
Bern: Have I ever been asked to be on Saturday Night Live? Nope. I think that one's well taken care of.
Gerard Thomas York came to London from Florida to see the Astoria gig. One of the happiest days of his life! Mick Ralphs to boot! Apparently I took off having signed Gerard's autograph and then he saw Luther. To Gerards horror, Luther completely demolished my signature when signing his. Whatta Bloke!
Julien Morris: What a 'shirt shine'? A shirt that's too glossy to be cool.
Dave Griffiths: Bristol best gig he's been to bar none. The band was great, Holley brilliant.
Dave Crisfield took two 17 year olds - best gig they'd ever seen. It's not their fault. It's the corporations not letting them see/hear anything they don't want them to see. Might upset the apple cart. We'll talk about the rest later.
Torbjorn Tenmann: Astoria - very tight. Ralphs couldn't have had much of a chance to rehearse with the band but he pulled it off beautifully. Great evening.
Scott McIntosh: has a band MFU and would like to do something so I'll get Trudi to make a note if it.
John Brian Quinn: Alice and Cookie. Well, thanks for making me cry! There's nothing to say is there? Life and life only.
Francis L. is a chef in Aspen. Managed to get to the Astoria and the first person he met was Luther! Luther's escapades are legendary, and from what I'm told he was having a great time. You never know with Bender. He was probably telling everybody how great he was and how lousy I was. Great You also say you managed to stand backstage whilst we were on and off for encores. You say you felt like you were intruding. Oh - I see- Luther got you back. Typical! Well, we were still busy! Glad you liked it and don't believe what you read in the papers - all the time. Sorry about the schlepp but you seemed to think it worthwhile.
John Clark says thanks for meeting Willie. Willie (thank God) turned out to be a charming chap and it was my pleasure. As for the turning on of Christmas lights in Shrewsbury thing, I believe it was one councilor who put it forward - all the rest have to agree - so I suppose it's on. My eldest son, Steve, just asked me would I do it and I said I would. Watch this space ... Hamilton lights in 2006 - I didn't know they had any. We were in Equis - Peacock Cross - as usual - Great food.
Pat says he was playing a dive on Bleecker Street called Mill's Pub for tips. Him, his guitar and his tip can and an audience of about 10-12. All of a sudden this guy carrying a guitar case is standing in front of him and taking a bass out. Taken aback, Pat said, 'Who are you?' He replied 'Jaco Pastorious'. Pat then said 'which I.H. record did you play on?' He answered matter of factly, then proceeded to play this amazing version of 'America the Beautiful' just using his left hand. God bless Jaco. Nice one Pat. (That was 1986)
Graham Stark: 'Keep Ralpher with you - keep Andy York with you - in fact, keep everybody.' I'll try.
Janne Olsson: 'Astoria was a great show. Gets stronger and stronger. Never heard Tracie before - must buy her record now.'
Jim McConnel: So get on with it - new songs - new tours! Oh, if only it were that easy.
John Knight: 'Just back from Barcelona. Awesome - truly wonderful.' Sorry we ran out of T-shirts. Janet Jackson turned up in Santiago for the encores. If I'd have known I would have done 6 instead of 3.
Richard Sims: Wants an equestrian opinion. I for one don't think they should put those nasty things in horse's mouths. It's most uncomfortable for us chaps. Leave us (and the pandas) alone.
Dare O: Astoria storming -especially when the bloke in white came on. When's the next one? Next year as far as I know at the moment.
Louis: Astoria - seeing Ralpher a real treat. Joe Elliott and Brian May - heartwarming. Andy et al not forgotten. Verden didn't turn up. I expected him in Cardiff. She says Verden still has that sound. I know what you mean. Will we do France next year? Too early to say. Paris was great. Montpelier pretty sight on the ground. I liked the guy that ran the Paris gig. Very nice chap. I'd also like to thank Mick Brown for putting my feet in the water so to speak. Loved the South of France and Spain. Never seen it before. Holley went wine berserk.
Dr. Arthur: 'Just got MTH Live two CD set. Awesome. Mott really rocked - especially NY. Great hearing those songs live for the first time. What were those knuckleheads at Sony thinking all these years and why can't Sony U.S. bring these things out? Actually, it was Columbia who did the original 'budgeting' before Sony. For some reason they had the artwork of the props for 'Marionette' on the back of the sleeve, but no 'Marionette' inside. You could say it was our fault, but we were running around a lot in those days. Hey - it's here now!
Katie Pizzano: It's three chords Katie - round and round - three chords! I don't know what key it's in - but that's all it is. C.F. and G. round and round and around.
Dave Ramsaw - Ah, here it is - 'It is with great regret that we confirm that Dovetail Trading Limited, the operator of the Newcastle Opera House, have ceased trading. As such, the Opera House is now closed and all shows are canceled.' How bloody sad. Great venue. We used to break the percentage there and I liked the guy too. So all of you unbelievers here it is in black and white. Now we've got to find another venue or the Opera House has to find a new promoter. This is very sad. Thanks, Dave.
Misja writes: 'It seems like everybody's pissed off with Bowie nowadays. Is it something he has said - or done - or is it just the dame's personality that repels people?' Well, everybody I've talked to said the gigs were great. That all I know.
Jaime Elliott Perkins: Do I remember Richmond, Virginia circa 1974? I'm sorry to say I don't, Jaime. Aint going to make one up. It's nothing personal - it's just the wealth of places I've played. It just blurs then disappears after a while.
Julian Richards says check out www.jjrphotography.com for pics.
Jim: How did I enjoy Edinburgh? As I said, I was knackered after Glasgow. I was impressed by the organization there though. Give my regards to your friend who works there.
Doug Taylor: Just dropped $150 on Mott remastered CDs. You mad fool! Big fan, but disappointed with 'Strings'. Seemed to lack the usual energy. Well, I tell you this Doug, I expounded twice the energy in Oslo. It was totally different and I loved it.
Georgina Shine (14): 'What influenced you to become a brilliant rock star?' To be honest Georgina - I wasn't much good at anything else.
Bela has a few videos we might be interested in of us in concert. I'll pass this onto Trudi.
Jamie + Ian: Astoria and Worthen. Says Worthen was special. How did it compare to the others? The honest answer is I don't know. We did them; we couldn't watch them. I just thought Worthen would be a nice relaxing gig after London and I'm glad it was. Good organization there too.
Ian McMaster: Zurich - wonderful concert, great singing, fabulous band. Come to Munich - we'll see.
Paul Clark asks how it feels after a tour? Well, there's the relief that we all made it through without any major disasters. You're pretty tired for a few days, but that more the adrenaline leaving. What do we do to relax after a gig? Less than we use to. What's a day in the life like? Remember your wedding day - with all the attendant snags - worries - keeping everybody happy - avoiding rows. The ceremony itself and then the honeymoon all in one day. That's what it's like - everyday. It can get a bit wearing so you have to look after yourself (try telling that to my lot).
Dale Holland: Did I ever play Qaintways in Chester? Clive territory (he makes us suits). Sure we played there. What were the Shrewsbury venues when I was there? Music Hall (still going), Sabrina Dancing Academy (good for girls) and Morris Ballroom (good for getting your head kicked in.)
David Sasha: Astoria better than ever before.
Richard: Saw Bowie, Isle of Wight, and he's still singing 'Stealing clothes from unlocked cars'. Well, it is a good line.
Richard of Caddington: How did Worthen get the gig? The guy was reputable, he'd had good people before and he rang my agent, Emma Banks at Helter Skelter and offered the right money and got his gig.
Richard Mills: Fair comment re Ronno.
Larry Hymer: Is there a west coast tour? Nope.
Alan Bristow: Leeds great! What happened was some twit put the lights on and started playing the music thinking that was it. It wasn't. Andy York, awesome.
Wullie: In sober form - I'm sure you'll be back to normal next month!
Dirk Faude: 30th Anniversary CD takes him back. 'Ariel doesn't get the recognition he deserves. Who the hell would even want to follow Ralphs. I know you guys had a falling out and I hope time has healed.' Luther and me never fell out ever. You can't fall out with Luther. You escape sometimes from his manic energy, but you can't not love the guy. He does have a successful company. That's all I know. P.S. Dirk says, 'after listening to 'One of the Boys' all day long - Bowie was right - it was a single.'
Andy: 'Do you 'get up' more for a show at the Astoria than you do for one in Bristol?' Well, without going into it in detail - there was a lot going on this time in London so we were a little wired going on, but not normally. We get on great as mates and when the time comes to do it - we do it. (If we can drag Holley out of the bog.)
David Taylor (22) raved at work after the Leeds gig but no one had heard of me. That's their problem, David - not yours.
Charlotte Fox (9) did get to stay and see the show. Excellent! She liked Memphis the best. I bet I know why. She says Tracie was really nice to her as well. 'This was the bestest day I've had.' I'm not sure you can say 'bestest' Charlotte, but we'll get to that later.
Eric Allen found 'The Artful Dodger'. His set and his life are now complete! No, Paradise is no closer to West Coast dates and it's not their fault. If promoters won't book you what can you do? Offers too low.
Hope C.: You're very welcome. Enjoy the holidays!
Dave Donner: Noted, with thanks, Dave.
Colin Taylor: Bristol great. 'What's the first line to Central Park and West?' The Gulf and Western garbage - ain't the prettiest smell.
Jeff Pavlock: 'Just finished listening to 'MTH Live' and I'm effing blown away.' New mixes mind blowing.
George Anderson - Thank you brother.
John Paul (I didn't know he was there) Bristol great. His other (and he says better) half is now a convert. 'Blonde on Blonde'.
Denise: Am I EVER going to come back to the U.S. on tour? Yup. Actually, I'm already here, but not touring for a little while.
Peejay: Right the tour's over! What's next? Watch this site - well, not quite this site- but somewhere on this site. The other bits.
Fingers dropping off. I should charge you lot for the biros expended. The wife's going to kill me when she sees this lot. Thanks for all the fun. I'm still digesting it. It was a ball. Wouldn't have missed it for anything. We'll talk …
P.S. Yes, I did miss a fair few this time. There was so much. Don't take it personally. Try again next time.