People acting like shits in the studio shouldn’t really count, though, unless — as in Phil Spector’s case — actual loaded firearms come into play.
Guy Stevens threw ladders and chairs around during the London Calling sessions, and ruined an expensive piano by pouring booze on the keys.
Another important factor in Strummer’s vocal delivery was the often physical intervention of producer Guy Stevens. “Guy was a very unusual record producer,” recalls Price. “He believed that the record producer’s job was to maximize the emotion and feeling that an artist revealed on mic in the studio when doing the song. And Guy did this by what I call `direct injection’ — he would challenge the artist verbally and physically, tackle him and bring him to the ground and punch him and stuff, in order to get more emotion out of him when he performed. Funnily enough, this worked better on some people than others. It worked very well with Joe, actually.” (…)
“This was when Maurice learned that London Calling was going to be a double LP,” recalls Price. “A bit of a brawl ensued that ended up with a rather tired and emotional Guy Stevens lying in the driveway in front of Maurice’s limo so that he couldn’t leave – for quite a long period of time. I remember that, at the time, this did not appear to me to achieve much at all, but thinking about it a little bit more over the years, I think it was probably quite a contribution in influencing CBS to allow The Clash to do what they wanted – to in fact give ’em enough rope. It’s another example of Guy Stevens’ `direct injection’ method, and I think it made a big difference.
The technical effort that goes into such sessions makes my female brain hurt. I’m surprised there’s never been a mass murder.
Meeting Guy Stevens as a kid: