Tags

,

Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos: Day 347
Sat, Dec 29, 2012

“Midnight to Stevens”
The Clash

1982

“♫ Guy
you’ve finished
the booze/ and
we’ve run out
of speed/ but
the wild side
of life/ is the
one that we
need
♫”

In the immortal words of Guy Stevens, producer of Mott The Hopple and most famously The Clash’s London Calling, “There are only two Phil Spector’s in the world and I’m one of them.” The Clash are indebted to Stevens’s wild eccentric production style that made Strummer’s band international sensations with London Calling. Speaking of being eccentrically Spector-esque in the recording studio, Joe Strummer explained when he said, “[Guy] invented some new ones for us. Like pouring beer into the piano to make it sound better.”

As a Joe Strummer fan, many of you may be asking why is Guy Stevens so essential to the mythology of The Clash, Mick Jones described the moment when Stevens won the hearts of The Clash when he said, “Guy Stevens once lay down in front of the head of CBS Records’ Rolls Royce. When Maurice Oberstein [head of CBS Records] came to Wessex Studios and listened to a few tracks, he liked it, right—but he didn’t say how brilliant it was and so Guy went, “Right. I’ll lay in front of your Rolls Royce and you have to say how brilliant the record is first before I’m getting out of the way of the car.” In the end, Obie, in frustration, said, “OK, it’s brilliant;” and Guy said, “OK, I’ll let you go now.””

Stevens’s willingness to literally risking life and limb for his beloved Clash, was so endearing to Strummer that during the Combat Rock sessions at The People’s Hall in London, Joe penned this touching ode to The Clash’s former mentor and producer Guy Stevens. “Midnight to Stevens” was Joe’s tribute that rocks with riff layered eloquence that’s matched in Strummer’s gritty lyrical realism reflecting Stevens’s uncompromising lifestyle that became Guy’s unfortunate downfall. ‘

The Stones may have had Jimmy Miller as their Sticky Fingers production guru on but The Clash couldn’t have created London Calling without the crazy genius of one Guy Stevens. Honor the passionate dedication to one of The Clash’s most ardent supporters, immortalized with Joe Strummer’s touching tribute— we urge you to toast Guy Stevens tonight as you drink up the glorious melodies of The Clash’s “Midnight to Stevens.”

Advertisements