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Just Because / 025

Why Chris Blackwell Is A Genius Part 312. This comes from an interview with Mott The Hoople’s Ian Hunter in today’s The New Review magazine (part of the Independent). The passage has been about Mott manager, and later producer of ‘London Calling’, Guy Stevens, and his cavalier attitude to life when they got onto the subject of the band recording in Island Record’s studio.

In early recording sessions with Mott The Hoople the level of criminal damage caused to studios owned by their then-label Island Records, often instigated by their drug-fuelled Svengali, has become legendary.

“When you were in the studio with Guy, he was just frantic. He knew nothing about music. But he did have a propensity to wind you up. He would take you on a flight of fancy; you could feel yourself mentally leaving the building. An hour later, he would go, ‘OK: play.’ And of course you really wanted to play, because you had been listening to this bullshit for an hour. When we were recording ‘Brain Capers’ he arrived in a highwayman’s outfit. And there was a fire in the studio.”

“Who lit it?”

“I don’t know, ” Hunter claims. “But I had to ring (Island Boss) Chris Blackwell. ‘Er, Chris, there has been a bit of a problem in the studio.’ He said, ‘Problem? What kind of problem?’ I told him it had been set on fire. There was a pause. Then he said: ‘Was it really necessary?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ He said: ‘Fair enough.'”

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