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Brad Hardisty: 'Yep Roc artists coming through Birmingham, Alabama all the time - any chance?' Up until recently I was not on the Yep Roc circuit, but I have just moved agencies from Paradise to Frank Rily who seems more in tune with Yep Roc artists and their careers. So we'll see; I would imagine it's more likely than it was before.
John Wesley Young loved the Agora Hills gig. Yeah, I enjoyed that one too.
Steve Parsons was clearing his Mum's loft and found a load of MTH clippings. Says he's bringing them to Brighton Komedia - Trudi would love to have a look - ask for Mick Brown who will direct you to her. I'll pass on the tweedly bits request for the missus. (My sentiments entirely.)
Aslak J. Johnsen: Re: F.I.U. I remember you at Bjorn's place. I haven't got the song here - I think it may have come out (on what CD I'm not sure). I should check with Bjorn at the studio. Nice to hear from you.
Lee in California: 'Red or white? French, Californian or Italian?' Red and French.
Bruce Stein believes 'Soul of America' is top five ever! Says we did an amazing job on 'Shrunken Heads'. Thanks, Bruce.
Ed dug out 'Dirty Laundry' again and asks if I play any of it live? We don't - but it's not because we don't want to. Always seems like other stuff has to be played so it's kind of taken a back seat. One day!
Ami-You've got the wrong person.
Marty G: 'The guy on XM deep tracks calls 'Shrunken Heads' Hunter's best ever. Nice to see the rest of the world catching up (or a bit of it). Was James playing one of your old guitars (from MTH days?' James never has to borrow guitars; he owns a shop full of guitars in Hoboken, New Jersey called 'The Guitar Bar'. The only time he'll use one of mine is during 'Dead Man Walking' when he'll pick up my Rainsong for rhythm. Marty thought the Highline was a great place and the Ranters really rocked it. 'Nice crowd, too!!!' Any chance of another NYC gig before the years end?' We are looking into that.
By the way, just got back from Stockholm. Flew Kennedy to London then London to Stockholm - four hours to the Swedish venue p played to between 6 and 7 thousand Swedish bikers and their families. Then four hours back to Stockholm - Stockholm to London - London to JFK and finally home. Coming back at Heathrow there was a queue of hundreds for connecting flights in terminal three. We ignored it (Trudi's idea) went through immigration and out of the airport and then came straight back in. Worked like a dream and saved two hours of waiting on line. Heathrow is disgusting - way behind the volume of travelers. Airlines keep thanking us for our patience. Don't thank me - I have no choice - just get better. They take too much on and then rely on our 'stiff upper lip' to get away with it. It's actually the airports - they're far worse than the airlines and who do you complain to? Airport management are hidden away somewhere in camouflaged offices! Newark's another one. Plenty of shops and lousy service. Rant over.
Alan Hawthorne: 'It's been a long time since the Horse's Mouth #7. I would have chimed in on 'Rant' but my head wasn't in the right place. Great record - especially 'Wash Us Away' and 'Good Samaritan.' Thoroughly enjoyed 'Strings' especially, 'Waterlow'. Bought 'Shrunken Heads' gave it a 7 at first, but it's growing one me. Was 'Stretch' one take? (the track was, and the vocal - other stuff added). Read the words - revelation ' a few words about 'How's Your House' and I'm done. I live in Port Arthur, Texas where we're still building after Rita. Songs about Hurricanes, however well intentioned, aren't exactly in my heart at the moment. Instead of skipping over that one I discovered another solution - treatment! So, a couple of weeks ago I'm listening and I suddenly get he idea that my brain is my house - the lyric doesn't particularly lend itself to this allegory, but the chorus is wonderful! How's your house = how's it going (exactly). Well not too bad, Ian - think it's going to be alright.'
Brad Ehlert: Missing out on some food here, Brad. Oh, Well, it's always something. 'Get MTH together and record 'Dudes'. Why?
Audra: 'Saw you at the Sayerville, New Jersey gig. I am a NYC Police Officer (since '97) and having been a first responder of 9/11 (I was at your October 2001 Irving Plaza show). Just wanted to thank you for 'Twisted Steel' and your recent political comments on Shrunken Heads'. Your music has helped at difficult times in my life. Karin and I adore you (Blush, blush). Thank You.
Donald Mease: 'How did you like the heat (107) in Vegas? I hated the bloody heat! 'Ever meet Michael Schenker (he does 'Memphis' on his 25th Anniversary CD)?' Yeah, I've met Michael a few times - great musician.
Kevin Hahn: 'Was that your son and Mick Ronson's daughter at the Highline Ballroom in New York City? (Yep, Jess and Lisa). Great way to end a show.'
Paul Herbert: 'Any chance of a gig in Oswestry?' Aaah, town of my birth. Don't know. It's rather up to the local promoters in Oswestry.
Mark Okino saw the Vegas show. 'You seemed quite comfortable on keyboards - or maybe sitting gives your back a rest!' Actually, it wasn't my back - it's a muscle in the front. Mini op tomorrow morning. Album tracks are not allocated to piano and guitar specifically - it's the song that matters. I don't care how many are on guitar or piano - it's whichever ones I prefer that get onto a CD. 'You and Trudi have been married a long time. I don't know anybody in rock who's been married to the same person.' Neither do I, but I'm sure there are. 'Does Trudi ever go on the road with you?' Hardly ever misses. 'Does she like to tour?' Yes.
Phil Bloor: 'Congrats on 'Shrunken Heads' - the muse is with you! Will the song 'Worthing' ever see the light of day?' Probably not - it's pretty daft plus it's skiffle and so out of date - it's probably ahead. Mmmmmmmm.
Dave Hancox: 'Congrats on 'Shrunken Heads.' Writing is crisp and bang on. Saw Detroit - despite problems with the sound (you're not the first one to say this and it won't happen again) the show was great. On 'Shrunken Heads' the song screams for a solo after the angry actress gets her tip - yet it's just piano - same at the end. What gives?' I guess we were bored with guitar solos! It just got done that way. When we came to do it live, I moved to acoustic guitar for some acoustic shows and it worked well that way too. Bit of harp. I like it when songs can be changed around. We never felt it was a big guitar song. I guess soulful was what we were looking for - gospel like.
Bob Kleb: They no longer make the glasses you see me in on stage. They're supposed to be coming out with a new lot in September. They keep changing and it's rather annoying quite frankly!
Eric Taylor: ' 'Read 'em 'n' Weep' - fabulous words - fabulous track. How did you learn the piano?' Dunno. I wrote it a half step down in the key of E. I'm not a reader - I just plink around until everything fits. Then I give it to Andy Burton and he does it properly!
Hot Tub Mike: I travel a lot - I call it s I see it. The danger is they generalize and everybody gets tarred just because of a few oil companies and reconstruction companies. Corporatocracy - more powerful than governments and the U.S. tax payer get the blame - and the bill.
Bucks Burnett: We'll see; we'll see.
Dave Bennett loved the acoustic set in Birmingham. 'Will be at the Bilston show. Thanks for 'Read 'em 'n' Weep' - as a born 'n' bred Shrewsbury boy, the story behind the song becomes more personal.' Think meole brace!
Tom: 'Love new CD. Hope to see show in Glasgow if I can get out of taking the wife and kids on holiday.' Honestly, some people use the feeblest of excuses….
Mike Riley: 'Another great HM - stay Young!' Trying.
Tom Davis: Review of SH in our weekly TV week magazine under CD/DVD. 'MTH frontman loses high pitches cockney whine and gains deeper raspier node blowing that demand attention. Cynicism blends with wisdom, crisp arrangements - economical leads, swirling B3 organ. Not a bum track. 5 out of 5.' Thanks, Tom and thank you Greg Potter who apparently wrote the review. All the reviews have been great. Wish we could get more radio play. Don't get me started!
Irina: Will the Dominion show ever be released? You're right, it was a good one. It was on Youtube, but now has gone. I didn't even know there was footage.
New Yawka: 'If they play 'Central Park' on Letterman, do you get paid?' Yup.
Joachim: Believe everything and nothing!
Paul Rivers: 'Enjoyed the Pigalle and SH has some great tracks. Actually, I wrote your first review on I-tunes (thanks!). Do you sell much through I-tunes ?(not my department.). CD distribution in the UK is a bit patchy - had two copies in HMV Canary Wharf. I bought one and somebody else bought the other but they never restocked. Does this raise your blood pressure? (Nah - I'm use to it. I'll just forward your email to those involved. Thanks for the info.)
Natalie Wickens: Noted. The lad was quite a character and was much missed by us. Is he looking for a gig?!!!
Kalle: Merch is now a major problem in Europe because of weight restrictions at the airports. In fact, this could be the kiss of death for future European tours. European promoters pay the cheapest flights and the cheapest flights stiff you on weight. Excess baggage charges are now making it virtually impossible to tour. A lot of American bands have had enough of airline stupidity. Yes, we are aware of the threats, but a lot of this is scamming and it's short term stupidity and it won't work in the long term. Typical corporate crap. Take advantage of everything. I'll pass your email along. P.S. In this case our tickets said BA but when we got to the airport it was a code share and we were flying out on Iberia. The bill for the excess baggage on that one flight alone was $3,500.
Keith: Glad you enjoyed the show. I have a pulled muscle - it was probably playing me up. Getting it sorted this week.
Bryan McGowan: 'I do a show for a 5,000 watt station on the east end of Long Island - WLNG 92.1 fm on Sundays 4-8. I usually do a show featuring a specific artist. Planning on one with you. I've played cuts from SH (getting great responses for 'Read 'em 'n' Weep' and 'I Am What I Hated' as well as 'Words'. I've been instructing my audience to go to their local record store and ask for your new album and to tell all their friends about you. It will air mid-August. We're a small station - hope this helps!' Of course it helps Bryan. Every little bit helps. Bless your heart.
Karen Rice: Climb backwards.
Gordy Pahlisch: 'I liked it better when the world was round - new record rocks, man.'
Andre den Hartigh: 'Come to Holland; you have a lot of fans here.'
Tom: 'Boston!!!' I'm trying, OK.
Dan Lellek: 'Talking to the University of Montana to get you out this way. Do you have any desire to visit this part of the country as travel does suck?' Your end's fine - it's round here that sucks.
Leon: Not up on it enough to comment.
Ged: Can I get 'Diary' Yes, but I don't know where. I'll ask the wife.
Patty Woltz: Starland was very good. Shame on you lot!!!
Simon: 'Does Ian use solid body Gretch?' Nope. You may be referring to the 'Rant' art work. That was a guitar that just happened to be in the room.
Robert Mathisen: You've obviously decided not to grow up and who can blame you.
Keith Isaacson: 'Live recording from Philly floored me. Time for another 'Welcome to the Club' (not a bad idea). Current faves - 'Soap 'n' Water' (from 'RANT') 'Shrunken heads (overall) 'I Wish I Was Your Mother'.
Alejandro Escovedo came to Hunter Towers for a couple of days on a co-writing visit and he was telling me he does 'Mother' very slowly and sometimes walks through the audience while he sings it and he says it goes down extremely well. Doesn't surprise me with the reverence Al has for music.
Stay tuned for Part 2 ...