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Well that wasn't such a bad August - in fact, the best in my memory. Today is rather gloomy - rainy - English. A good day for a Horse's Mouth.
Bryan from San Diego would like to hear 'Britania' or 'American Music' on tour.
David Evans has the only HM T-shirt in Tasmania - which he wears with pride! Several people asked him where he got it, so you never know.
Jeffrey: '29 years ago we lost 'the King.' RIP and, Old Records Never Die.'
Owen Kelly says I'm a one off!
Actually, Trudi's printed your emails for me in a pastel red this time around. New, and excitingly different!
Bill Martino went to see Chris Isaak (under duress) and really liked it. You just never know.
Mark Okino: 'Do covers make you feel you've lost control of your work?' On the contrary (and I am contrary) when people cover your stuff it is a sign of respect for what you've done. I may not like the said cover, but I'm always chuffed to see how other people interpret the work; and yes, the royalties you mentioned do come in handy.
Dave Drew: David wants me to jump in a limo (they're very overrated) and nip down to Bartinis Bar in Babylon, Long Island to do a couple of numbers on open mike night. You never know.
Rob Allen just saw Ray Davies (excellent). 'You've been solo for many moons - do you ever miss the process of writing with a band (warts and all)? Actually, 'Shrunken heads' is more of a band collaboration. I did it with the Rant band and AY co-produced. I am a band guy - never felt easy as a solo artist. But then again, I like the final say.
Briani: 'UK tour?' May 2007.
Steve K: 'Just heard the Astoria is close to being sold to developers to build falts and shops for 2012 Olympics.' That's a shame. The crew there were great. I guess it's prime real estate. Progress!!
Vern Michaels lost touch in the 80's (fair enough) recently heard 'Death of A Nation' and is at this very moment purchasing 'Rant'.
Gary (Glasgow): Nope, not me.
Eric Hemphill: Actually, Eric, I am an extremely shy individual. You've got to make a living and needs must be filled. Might as well have a go at what you like.
Maximillian Hunter was told I expired some years ago and has just found out that I didn't. Just happened upon the site. TOUR!!
Ed: 'See Todd fronting the Cars - have you been approached to front other bands?' Yup - but not recently.
Mark Davis: Thanks for the heads up.
Laurent: (i) How do you describe the world today in one word? Stupid. (ii) Which religion or philosophy do you believe in? We don't know. (iii) Do you have children? Yes, Steve, Tracie and Jesse - and they're all great!
Chris Mcvilly: Any chance of Australia/Tasmania? Actually, a chap I know wanted me to appear on his bill in Sydney, but had a conflict in schedule.
Gary writes of 'God (Take 1)' on AAAB album. Feels it's more relevant today than ever. I agree.
Dick Botte: 'Any chance of a new studio album with Ralpher?' Can't get the bugger out of bed.
Thamas Bryngelsson: How much of your gigs do you record out of your sound desk? Quite a few, but they never sound quite right to me.
Vince: Nice one!
Willie fi Glasgow: 'Any news on 'Shrunken Heads'? Ongoing, Willie, ongoing.
Kevin Avery: Sorry, but this has long gone from my memory, Kevin.
Larry Woodside: I've noted what you wrote. Good luck with the new gig. Larry's been hired by error.com and will be doing a radio show from 9-12 weekdays (Pacific time).
James Ball: 'How's the album coming? Is there a problem finding a label? Is it frustrating? 'Shrunken Heads' - this year or next?' It was always my intention to get it out in February/March 2007 and then tour it. Things are moving along nicely and that's all I'm willing to say. There's more to it than just getting a label. A lot more. And it is frustrating, and it does take time - but that's how it goes if you want to give the record a decent shot.
Graham Knowles: 'When you're at home - what do you do on a normal day?' The old grass is greener syndrome. Everybody's the same, Graham. We all do the same stuff. I do nothing, if I can get away with it. This can freak a lot of people out, but I'm happy doing nothing.
Shawn: Not bad, but not quite good enough!!
Vyt Iskeliunas: 'Play the Cape Cod Melody Tent' They haven't asked.
Robert Lochrie: 'When are you coming back to Glesga?' Och soon.
Rooster says 'Women's Intuition' would indeed fit the Stones.
Jeffrey: 'Is MTH going to reunite?' Jeffrey!! You should know better by now.!
Shelley: 'On this MTH album there was a song about animals and how we're abusing the world'. Anybody know what Shelley's on about? Shelley says it has a picture of me and my (beautiful) hair on it. Don't know.
Carl: 'You don't do anything from 'Dirty Laundry' - Do 'Red Letter Day'. Actually, I like that song ; I forgot it was on DL. The wife loves it; she'll be on me now to do it. Thanks a lot!
Peter Olson: Not only do I not live in Taftville - I've never heard of it.
Roger B: No, I haven't collaborated with Todd in recent years. There was talk of it last summer but then Todd went off with the Cars.
Matt Nojonen: For some reason I'm not reading at the moment. I should be, but I'm not in the mood. What changed my mind about baseball? Buying the best team; - now Chelsea have done it in England. Ruins everything.
Craig Russell: Any plans for Cleveland? Any tour I do will always include Cleveland and other areas in Ohio if I'm wanted.
John (Northampton) Hello, John! If not there, we'll be in the vicinity.
Bucks Burnett: Not your most shining hour! However, like the title of the song mentioned in your second email. Good one.
Owen: Yes, I think I did meet Kevin and he didn't have to sneak in this time.
Kenny Mac: 'How many songs on the new album?' It may vary.
Michael Madsen in Hawaii wants sheet music. Something I know nothing about. Hey, we were in Maui - loved the Whales breaching.
Bruce Hirsch: Why no MTV/VH1 or Tube on MTH - 'The live gigs you did melted paint off the walls.' There is talk of it at Sony.
Drew Abel: A lot of people would like this, but I prefer not to. It's too time consuming.
Stacey: 'Just been watching videos of you on youtube.com. 'Life After Death' at the Agora gives me the chills.' I guess they're out there anyway, Bruce.
Mark Nicholson: 'Will Gibbo be on tour in 2007?' Haven't got that far.
Mark Kane: We want to do dates in the U.S. next March and April. Hopefully, Philly will be one of them
Peter Jordan: 'On the subject of covers of IH songs, I think Robbie Williams would suit'. 'Beg a Little Love' as he does sincerity very well!!!'
Ted: Did I ever play with Status Quo? I don't think I ever did but they're really nice people.
Michael: 'We all know the MTH name came from a Willard Manus book. Where did Willard Manus come from?' I don't know, although I think he lives in LA now. Where are you, Willard?
Tony P.: 'Do you think MTH were led by record companies - perhaps Island - and do you think the deals left you out of pocket?' Well, - on the minus side we had a deal with Island that sucked. It was impossible to make money. They managed us - they were our agents - our record company and our publishers - all illegal. We never had legal representation. MTH would make money on their records (strangely enough) but then would lose on the gigs (even stranger). The profit from the one would go against the loss of the other - it's called cross collateralization. In addition, Guy Stevens took half of our royalties - I think we saw three and a half points split between the five of us. We were certainly screwed - but then again - who isn't? On the plus side if Island hadn't taken us on MTH would never have happened. They stuck with us while we learned the ropes and on a personal note they kept me afloat. I was married with two kids. It's hard to say - you have to speculate to accumulate on the one hand - but somebody told me the band Sweet, for example, were very clever with their contracts and their money and it stood them in good stead financially. Tony P. likes 'Strings'.
Steve Baratta says 'Life's like a river' was probably 'Life's a River' from Ronno's 'Heaven and Hull' CD (written by Mick and Sham Morris). Nice lyric, Steve.
Bob Jones: 'Finally saw your reply to my question re: 'Don't Let Go'. I bought the DVD for 'Strings' but not the CD. I'm about to correct the error.'
Wyatt Ford: Ohio!!! We'll be there.
Chris: Brentwood centre in Essex - Mott the Hoople - November 26th! Probably Luther's band; promoters do this.
Karen: C'mon, Mal. You can do it!!!
Bonnie W: New York - March/April '07 I'm thinking.
Kelly Wallace wore a MTH T-shirt to a James Gang concert at the Mizner Park Ampitheatre and caused quite a stir!
John Pottage: Got a feeling that was French.
Mike Pecucci: I don't know, Mike. I don't know the person. I't's in the ear of the receiver. I'll trust your judgment on this one. Hope she gets well soon.
Phil Hinchliffe: One of the guys in the band thinks he co-wrote and you think he didn't. This is a difficult one that always seems to rear its head at the end of an album. I have to say this rarely happened to me, but it's happened to some of my friends over the years. There is only one solution to this and you've already missed it this time around. When the song is in the process of being OK'd for the album - that is when you say - don't forget chaps - I wrote this - words and music. During the course of the recording the band make the song sound better - maybe a better intro - a better ending etc. They don't actually alter the structure of the song - that's what they're there for - to enhance the song. However, if changes are made to the basic structure of the song, thereby changing it for the better, you've got to sit down and talk it out - then and there - before memories start playing tricks. Some bands solve this problem in different ways. The writers get the writers credit but will share the publishing - this can add to the longevity of the band if you're all hot to stay together. I didn't do this. If they were out partying while you were wracking your brains writing then you should get the rewards due. Of course, the writing is where the money is and many great musicians don't write and get fed up about it. Understandably. It all depends on the value you place on this guy. Maybe you work out something where you give him a piece of one song as his contribution - I've done that before. As a matter of fact, I gave MTH the writing and publishing on MTH B-Sides that I wrote (which collect the same amount in royalties as A sides!). If the guy 'arranged' the whole album, then you could give him 'points' as a credited arranger. Hope this all helps.
John Facer: Hey, Johnny! How's life? Hopefully next spring. Say hello to the wife and the chaps should you bump into them.
Lynne: Yup. Tomatoes forever! Same here. Sick of them! Still - better than M+M's.
Paul D.: yes, it was the Greyhound Croyden (opposite the Fairfield). Paul says Captain Sensible (the Damned) was one of the guys who invaded the stage on a regular basis. 'One of the owners went on to become head of Polydor.' I'm not surprised - he always cut a hard deal!
Stale: I've not heard from Bjorn. I've tried ringing him, but the numbers have been changed. Hopefully, May 2007.
Matt from Chicago: A lot of it I hadn't seen. It's a shame the Olympia audience were dead. I just did a French PBS show and the lady doing the interview said they were talking like college professors about the show - very studious and intellectual - and there were we banging away! Johnny Holliday has a lot to answer for! I still haven't seen it all.
Stay tuned for Part 2 ...