This book proclaims itself to be History, Humour, and
Hell-raising from the Hash House Harriers. Published this year (ISBN
0-957-83321-0) by Captions of Industry in Australia, Hare of the Dog was
written by Stu ‘The Colonel’ Lloyd, author of the “Hardship Posting”
series of non-heavyweight books.
Having never been a ‘hasher’ but knowing quite a few who
do partake, I was interested enough to pick up the book to see if it would tell
me why these people are part of some ‘semi-secret’ society, which on the
surface appears to be a cross between the Masons and the Vatican Council. After
all, why would seemingly rational people jog through the jungle for some hours
and then sit on a block of ice for light relief of their fellow runners? Is
this an act of penitence or just misguided faith? Would this book explain why
the devotees all suffer from echolalia, that strange affliction where every
word gets repeated repeated? On On being a suitable example.
From the outset, the book added more questions than answers.
For some reason, the word “run” was spelled as “r*n” and “runner”
as “r*nner” - all with no explanation that I could find within its 454
pages. For a group that describes itself as “drinkers with a r*nning
problem” there had to be a reason for the “r*n”. I finally think I found
the answer and that is simply that the * key is above the “u” key on the
keyboard and the typist m*st have had fat fingers. There can be no other
explanation, b*t I am s*re some hasher somewhere will p*t me right or forever
leave me wondering.
The book does cover some of the history of the movement and
its spread throughout the world. There are some attempts at showing regional
differences, but no real explanation as to why this is so. The American cells
tend to be more into nudity, it seems. Why? This book won’t tell you either.
Some of the explanations of the nicknames given to the members of the corps are
mildly amusing, but again it seems that most are “in” jokes only.
The review copy was provided by Bookazine and is available
at all major booksellers, with an RRP of 495 baht. The back cover has a side
bar which says “Special Hasher’s Edition: Short words and lots of
pictures.” I can now see why that would appeal. Since the members of the cult
seem to spend most of their waking hours dr*nk, or attempting to get that way,
or indulging in sex*al *nions, or attempting to get that way, there would be
little time or brain cells left for learning big words of more than five
I am sure that the book will be attractive to those already inculcated
(sorry, I’ve used a big word with no pictorial explanations) but I must
honestly say I found it repetitive and really a bit sad that it seems that for
many r*nners, the Hash represents the pinnacle of life’s achievements. B*y it
if you’re a hasher, b*t otherwise leave it on the shelf.
by Mott the Dog
***** 5 Stars Rating
With seven days to record their debut album, producer/mentor
Guy Stevens deemed a song a day to keep up with his idea of a schedule. The flaw
to this, of course, was that the band didn’t have any of their own songs to
record, so they just jammed on songs they knew. All five members of the band
were huge fans of Ray Davies and the Kinks. Their first number one single was
“You Really Got Me” (a song often credited as giving heavy metal its guitar
sound). So after a brief run through the tapes were switched on to lay a backing
track down. The original take was frenzied nonsense some ten minutes long
getting faster and faster until total chaos prevailed. If you think the Van
Helen version of this from their debut album was heavy, have a listen to this
little baby; it clearly takes the top of your head off. When vocals were
attempted Guy Stevens and equally mad studio engineer Andy John’s deemed them
totally unnecessary, chopped off the final 6 minutes of the studio jam and used
this as a stunning instrumental opening track for Mott the Hoople’s debut
Next day, day two, and they needed track two. After much
debate Doug Sahm’s “At The Crossroads” was chosen because it had a cool
title, had never been released in England, was a great song, but mostly because
the band were afraid of what Guy Stevens would do if they didn’t come up with
something by the end of the day. Surprisingly the result was remarkable, very
vibrant with the boys leaving the indelible Mott the Hoople stamp on it.
Day three saw track three, a song Ian Hunter sung at his
first audition with the band, Sonny Bono’s “Laugh at Me”, done much slower
than the original. From the tone of Ian Hunter’s voice you can tell that when
he sings “I don’t care if you laugh at me” this is a line he really means.
Day four and track four was needed. By this time, obviously,
the boys were full of confidence and Ian Hunter came up with an original song
called “If The World Saluted You”. It was really very much in Bob Dylan
vein, being a thinly disguised re-write of “The times they are a-changing”.
However, with the new title “Back Sliding Fearlessly”, it gave you the sound
of the band and Hunter’s lyrical imagery blending beautifully.
That evening Stevens took Mick Ralphs aside and told him that
as lead guitarist with the band he should go home and write a guitar driven Rock
‘n’ Roll anthem to record for day 5.
I’m not making this up. The very next day Ralphs walked
into the studio and taught the rest his new song “Rock ‘n’ Roll Queen”,
which was played at every Mott the Hoople concert over the next five years.
(Anybody who has ever heard this song blasted out at Tahitian Queen’s Rock
‘n’ Roll Happy Hour on Friday will verify this is an all time riff laden
Day six and seven were taken up with Mott the Hoople’s
first epic, opening with Ralphs lead guitar jam “Rabbit, Foot, and Toby
Time” and leading into “Half Moon Bay”, which laid down the template for
the Mott the Hoople sound; Hunter’s rasping vocals; Ralphs soaring guitar,
Allen’s atmospheric organ; and the rock solid rhythm section of Watts and
The album closes with “Wrath and Roll”. The final two
minutes of “You Really Got Me” jam, bringing the album to a frantic
For a debut album, “Mott the Hoople” ranks amongst the
best, extraordinary, considering it was recorded under such circumstances.
Sounding as fresh now as it did thirty three years ago.
Ian Hunter - piano, lead vocals
Mick Ralphs - lead guitar, vocals
Verden Allen - organ
Overend Watts - bass guitar
Buffin - drums
1. You Really Got Me
2. At The Crossroads
3. Laugh At Me
4. Backsliding Fearlessly
5. Rock And Roll Queen
6. Rabbit Foot And Toby Time
7. Half Moon Bay
8. Wrath And Wroll
To contact Mott the Dog email: [email protected]