Publication: Steve Henry's Jesus Jones Page
By: David Brazier

Note: Craig Leon's official web site can be found here.

Back in June 1989, I interviewed Craig Leon at Townhouse Studios, London, England. I had taken along a bunch of early Blondie singles and albums. I started the meeting by handing Craig a list of suspected early songs that I thought may have been committed to tape...

[Craig Leon] Some of these may have had different titles. They used to play a lot of covers, and we did rehearsals a lot for the album but none of these are supposed to be on record that I know of... everybody would play 'Sunday Morning' and 'Venus de Milo' is a Television cover, but I don't think they'd ever mean to record that. They're all covers mostly.

[David Brazier] Well I was trying to figure what may be in the vaults

OK I'll tell you what there is. There was a live at CBGBs set that we did for Atlantic...

Oh you mean this ? [2 LP 'Live at CBGBs']

What the hell is that ? Oh, that's bullshit what came out ! You see what happened was, all the bands had got signed in between the time it was recorded and when it came out, and so the bands couldn't go on Atlantic. But you know that Television was recorded, Blondie and Talking Heads and all these other people as well, and it was all good stuff and this was the junk that was left over. So Hilly Kristal just threw all these bands together, but there was a couple of sets from Blondie so there's a whole load of stuff live. See I liked Sam The Sham & the Pharaohs at the time so they did a bunch of those in that live set that's on tape 'Ju Ju hand' and a couple of things like that and probably some of these other things. Some of it was taped, different things in rehearsals. We did some Herman's Hermits shit too, 'Can't You Hear my Heartbeat' or something like that. They had a rehearsal loft across the street from CBGBs; where people died in the doorway and stuff, it was a very rough place! It was on the Bowery. We were rehearsing 'Sex Offender' for about two weeks 'cause that song was really highly structured, and when they'd rehearsed that they would sit around and do covers all the time.

So Blondie got signed ?

To Private Stock. They got signed originally because Ritchie Gottehrer, Marty Thau and I were sitting in the CBGB's truck and Debbie came up and said 'I want to make a record …and I don't want to be on this stupid compilation record!' [Read Hilly Kristal's version of events > here <]. Ritchie said she looked good and Marty said 'Yeah let's go ahead' and so we did. We were a company together called 'Instant records'.

Right, cause at that point weren't they on the verge of splitting ?

Well everybody thought they were the worst band in New York but most of the bands in New York sucked - they didn't. It's a question of what values you have.

Although your credited as co-producer on that first record, I'd heard you had more of your hands in there than Richard.

Oh Certainly on most of the original stuff. Richard's a really great producer, he's the first guy that ever gave me a I'm not going to say too much in this regard!

He gets credited a lot for it

Well he gets credited a lot for it, because if you look at the original Private Stock singles, they're co-produced by Richard Gottehrer and Craig Leon. Somehow mysteriously when it went over to Chrysalis, it's produced by Richard Gottehrer in big letters and Craig Leon at the bottom with a little star on it with the credits, but it's still there. Needless to say I have enough other credits that I really haven't bothered about it. That's just one of about 50 albums that I really like that I've done. There's no credits for me on the second album although a lot of that stuff was recorded at the same time.

Plastic Letters was still under the Instant Record company

Yeah right, because at that time I'd split from Instant. I split during the middle of recording… I guess it was the middle of the first album, although most of it was already done. You see a lot of it was rehearsals from Bell Sound that were transferred over. Bell Sound was this great old studio, up on 54th Street in New York, where they did all the old Four Seasons and Shangri-Las records, and it was going out of business. So we'd go up there and rehearse at a very low rate, because we'd just pay the night watchman $6 an hour or something instead of whatever the studio cost and he just let us in, because they were going broke and he wasn't getting his salary. So we'd go record Blondie there, Richard Hell - The Blank Generation, Hilly Kristal solo singles, Dead Boys, a bunch of junk like that 'cause it didn't cost us anything to do it. So while we were there tapes were going all the time. I don't know whoever ended up with that but we did a lot of pre-production there.

So those tapes are around somewhere ?

Well a lot of 'em I would assume were carried over to Plaza Sound when we started on the record. I don't know if any of the basic tracks were used or not, I really can't remember, although the drum sound at Plaza was really good so probably the Bell stuff wasn't used, but this is a long time ago.

Was Bell Sound anything to do with Bell Records ?

No, Bell Sound was a different thing. Bell Records is a different story altogether. Bell Records is what became Arista. Larry Uttal ran Bell Records. But it's a totally different thing - it's not the old Monkees label. So there's probably loads of stuff laying around but I don't know who has it. Ritchie probably has some. Somebody called me up about wanting the old mono mixes; cause we did mono mixes for the singles and hell if I know where they are.

I've got some of those singles here

Let's see - what is this ? Probably credited to Ritchie - well you can't tell who the hell that's credited to - 'Toshiba EMI' ? [Jap X Offender].

It's a Private Stock issue with the mono mix

You actually have this ? This one here is the one I'm talking about [US X Offender]. Produced by Gottehrer & Leon - they have the right label credit on it for a change ! Let me just show this to somebody. Let's go hear this, I haven't heard this in years. Where can I get a copy of this ?

The picture sleeve ones go for about £50 if you can find them

Really ? I'm gonna copy this one. Home taping is killing music but I deserve a copy of this. [Craig takes us into the studio to hear the record]

It's a mint copy

I'm not gonna hurt it - this is a studio, so is that OK ? If I play it, it wont be mint anymore it'll be VG+ - so I mean I don't know if that's torture! [X Offender plays]

There's one for 'In the Sun' on the other side

Oh there's mono mixes of X Offender, In the Sun, In the Flesh, ... most of the whole first album, and some of the stuff from the second album too... Can someone make me a DAT of this ? Rhino records wanted to use it on a compilation record, I'll just make 'em a DAT of the record ... but we need a good centre piece... Do we have a proper centre unit Michael ?

This is what they did with the Beatles' 'Love Me Do' ... they re-mastered off the '45

Well your copy will be the new master of this new version that they're doing. God these must go for a fortune. Anyway this is wonderful 'cause this guy just called me about this, I don't know what they're doing at Rhino.

What, they're gonna put it out ?

They're putting out a whole bunch of Blondie stuff apparently, some of the stuff you're talking about right here, and they wanted me to find the tapes but I don't know where they are. [X Offender plays again ... full blast] Sure kicks ass out of Transvision Vamp! It's hysterical. We thought this was a really radical record for 1977. Oh it's wonderful, thanks for bringing it.

Were all the mono mixes released ? I've only heard of the two

Some of them, I don't think they were released on any other label

I have a mono/stereo promo of 'In the Flesh'

Yeah, but isn't that just a combined stereo? See what had happened was, by the time the other stuff had come out I'd split up with Ritchie, and I was just starting to do stuff out in California, so a lot of the 'collector attitude' of Instant Records didn't happen anymore. In other words we put out the monos and all the other stuff which I used to do at Sire too. Like on the Ramones' first stuff, now there's tons of alternative mixes on that. A lot of the singles are mono and different stereo mixes ... just on a polarity level ... the bass on one side, the guitar on the other ... which was reversed on some of the other singles.

What did you do on this mix that's different to the album ?

This is the same stuff that's on the album, except this is done like old '60s Shangri-Las with Phil Spector. Very serious compression and overall echo on everything, you know, just all kinds of noise. The album was more like, 'hey we gotta be slick, this is gonna go on the radio. Actually, I think this was done because Marty Thau wanted to run up a few copies of it so he could go down to Bleeker Bob's and sell 'em. Seriously.

And that's the rare record store in New York isn't it?

Yeah right, Bleeker Bob's must have bought about two stacks of them. [X Offender finishes] Oh Boy, so we can do the other side of this too huh ?

Yeah there's two clicks just before the record starts, you'll have to edit them out or something

I think we can handle that. This is actually a better mix than 'X Offender' if I remember correctly.

Yeah, I prefer 'In The Sun'

['In the Sun' plays !] There's The Ventures influence

Yeah they used to do 'Wipe Out' and link into this song live. Rodney Bingenheimer was very much a part of breaking this record wasn't he ?

Yeah Rodney's a big fan. He still plays it. This is the type of music Rodney loves. I mean like, last year I did a band called the Primitives and Rodney broke that in America too. Same kind of stuff, American surf pop. This sounds so small in retrospect, but we thought they were real large sounding at the time! You should hear this band Jesus Jones, who are easily the loudest band in history, and this sounds like nothing compared to that.

So were a lot of people suprised when this came out compared to what they had seen live ?

Oh yeah. Well because the band was pretty sloppy live to say the least! ['In the Sun' finishes] Let me just label this up so I don't get confused and put it onto the Jesus Jones record that I'm doing now - that would be interesting. I hope you can find some of that old stuff, those old tapes. I had them but I got divorced and I just left them in the place where I was, years and years ago. But I had all that 'Live at CBGBs' stuff, mono mixes and all the Talking Heads stuff too.

I think a lot of people would like to hear all that

Really ? It's kind of like trainspotting though because it's stuff that never came out, you know what I mean ? We were talking about that before you arrived. I've now completely reversed my theory about collecting. I used to collect all kinds of records and do all of that. I think if you wanna put it out ... fine. If it's not released, it's not released for a reason. Having found a lot of Beatles out-takes over the years ... they mostly stink. If you like this Blondie then you should really collect Ronettes records!

Wasn't Hal Blaine was one of Clem's biggest influences ?

Yeah, Hal's one of his favourite drummers.

Blondie must have done something like 'Be my Baby' ?

No no no we wouldn't do any Spector stuff. The idea was to try and do something better than Phil Spector. Why copy your overt influences you know ? I don't think they did any of his stuff ... maybe 'Da Doo Ron Ron'.

Well they had met him in Los Angeles. Rodney brought him down so nothing transpired from that ?

Ha Ha no. I got some weird phone calls. Nothing really happened

What happened, he didn't ...?

I don't know, he was probably pissed off or something, you know like 'hey you've ripped off my sound!' Actually you can't really sample his stuff, it's too dense. Anyway, like I said I do like X Offender, it's not my favourite record I ever did. Some of my favourite records are not known at all.

What other stuff have you done ?

Well before Blondie I did the Ramones first album, Richard Hell and Suicide. Ok that's old stuff. I did a couple of Moon Martin things out in LA, Rodney Kral ...Country singer, Guy Clarke, Sir Douglas Quintet that's all country stuff. Bangles first album out there, Berlin's first stuff ... then ... tons more stuff in America, I'm at a loss to say what all those things are but there's about 50 albums worth of stuff . Some of it's good like the Roches ... good folk girls on Warner Brothers, Mercedes ...

So you've been over in Britain for some time ?

Yeah, I came over 'cause Cassell Webb and I got a record deal over here to do our own stuff on Virgin, and so we do esoteric records to say the least. Nothing like Blondie, although I guess the Primitives were like Blondie.

You produced them too ?

I did that last album, part of it, I'm not doing them now. I'm doing Jesus Jones now. I just did half the new Fall album, Adrian Sherwood's doing the other half, Cold Cut's doing one track, and I did the Adult Net record.

Is that finished now ?

Yeah, I brought Clem over to play drums on it in fact.

Is that the first time you'd worked with him since '76 ?

Yeah, well we'd seen each other over the years but never had an oportunity to work with each other, 'cause I was doing different kind of music. He's got a very specific style and then he came over and started working with the Eurythmics. But if you want a California surf pop record, then this Adult Net album is great.

I've only heard 'Take Me'

That single is not indicative of the album. 'Waking Up in the Sun' which is a redone version of her old single on Beggars. That's brilliant, it's more of a Brian Wilson record than the Phil Spector garbage. There's a track called 'Sad' that I had Van Dyke Parks arrange, really very Beach Boys ... mid period ... surf's up consciousness. That's sort of reminicent of the spirit of the old Blondie stuff but not a copy of it ... not like your Darling Buds or your Primitives. I did the Primitives thing just as a goof.

I don't like them much

I really don't either now in retrospect, but I can not like some of the records I've worked on. What was happening with Blondie and all that, was they weren't trying to do an exact copy of something from 10 years before, they were trying to do something new using that as a ground work. The only band I've come across in England recently, other than a band that's totally iconoclastic like The Fall which doesn't have any trend at all except their own which is wonderful, that's what all bands should do ... is Jesus Jones. But very few other bands are. Most of all that Darling Buds and stuff is like 'let's try and make a Blondie record all over again' and somebody thinks they're a genius at production by putting a bunch of echo on it, and that isn't what it's about.

There's just so much of that stuff about

Yeah it's crap too ... it really is.

Transvision Vamp what do you think of them ?

They're better than the Darling Buds and all of that. They're more image than anything else. Their songs are basically crap, but she's got a good image.

They like good people though ... Andy Warhol ... New York Dolls ...

I mean all these people are dead! Their heart's in the right place but they're very retrospective. They're not doing anything new. I don't listen to this stuff, but the Primitives stuff I listened to 'cause I did it , but that band didn't want to do anything new, they just wanted to make pop singles for the radio.

That first record did OK, which one did you do ?

Er ... I re-mixed Crash for the American album not Crash ... wait a minute which one was it ... I can't remember the name, this is how much I'm really interested in them! I did four tracks on the album and re-mixed a couple of things and re-mastered the whole thing including Crash. I can't really remember ... there you go ... memorable band. So I've been doing a lot of different stuff, and over here I did Doctor and the Medics 'Spirit in the Sky' and their album. The Pogues, a soundtrack with them for the Sid & Nancy movie. A couple of things with the Go-Betweens. I don't get a lot of publicity I really don't go in for that, I just try to make records. I've had a lot more successful records than Blondie; that didn't sell worth shit in the beginning, although they went on to sell some records! But let's go over some of the Blondie stuff, you want to here more about that I'm sure...

OK, who added the intro to X Offender ?

That was a goof on Ritchie, he's been around a long time...

With Bob Feldman ?

OK now they did a band called the Angels with a song called 'My Boyfriend's Back' and it's just a steal from that on a pre-sampling level. In those days you just stole the riff and had somebody play it. I think Debbie thought it up as a joke on Ritchie. We had a big debate whether it should be X Offender or Sex Offender on the record, and if was Sex Offender radio certainly wouldn't play it so maybe if it's X Offender we'll get it through. I think Marty Thau, who was the marketing genius was the one who thought of that, I don't remember exactly.

With the second single, In the Flesh, you had Ellie Greenwich on the A and B side

I wasn't there for the Ellie Greenwich stuff, I didn't do the vocal overdub sessions. I did the beginning and the end of that album. I think she was brought in to get a different texture on there than all Debbie singing with herself. The guys didn't sing too much except really rough punk kind of oohs and stuff.

Looking at that choice of single it's like Private Stock were trying to pass them off as a 60's nostalgia band.

You've gotta realise that Private Stock was the most commercial, shit label in New York at that time ...which in retrospect is great. You realise Ritchie, Marty and I had a little company and they were signed but nobody would touch that band. I mean it was a thing where we would actually get kicked out of offices saying 'who needs this old crap! we want this modern stuff like the Eagles'. You don't realise, but in the 70's this kind of stuff was the equivalent of trying to get World Domination Enterprises on EMI. So we went everywhere trying to hustle people. Ritchie was using all his old contacts - RCA, Buddah records, 'hey this band's going nowhere, throw it in the garbage!'. Typical reaction to a really great band. So the last resort was to go to this old contact, Larry Uttal who did a lot of stuff in the 50's on the old Bell label. He sold it, it became Arista and then he went on to Private Stock. So Larry gave a minor league budget to go ahead and do this. You see they were not the ideal company for an artistic band but they were the only record company that would put this out. Private Stock had absolutely no concept of what the band was about. What they had was David Soul, Frankie Valli, come-back records ... really horrible bands with long hair from England, like one called 'Natural Gas'. How about that for a band name! It was such a non collectable label that it's probably now really collectible.

Just the Blondie stuff maybe..

Oh, come on, you have to have Natural Gas test pressings! We used to go up there and laugh, Marty and I would go get loads of their records and go trade 'em for stuff down at ST Mark's Place.

So did Private Stock put up the money for the album on the basis of the single we've just heard ?

I think they put up the money for the single first, and then Ritchie hustled them into an album, but it was very low money. Hence we were working at Bell Sound for $6 an hour. I didn't deal in the money that was Ritchie's thing. I was his assistant at Sire and I moved over with him to the new company. I mean Private Stock wouldn't have been anybody's first choice. It would be the equivalent of going to ... what's a horrible label at the moment ... something like Stock Aitkin and Waterman. Private Stock had absolutely no concept of what that band were about, they were like, 'hey there's a girl!, go over there and stand in the corner guys'. It took Chrysalis to actually get that together.

But Chrysalis weren't much better originally

Well record companies had no taste in the 70's.

They still don't now really

They don't in the least but I have to say, that in England right now there's some good stuff happening. I've done two really good bands this year, on major labels. This band Jesus Jones I'm working with now, they're really good ... I'm sorry I'm digressing. I'm much more concerned with what's happening now than what happened then. Let's try and do this over again better you know - kick some ass!

You were telling me on the phone that some of the stuff that ended up on Parallel Lines...

Was rehearsed over at Bell Sound, like Disco Song which was an instrumental that became Heart of Glass. It was a pretty shitty disco record actually. Mike Chapman did a really great job with it. We did an arrangement of it but it didn't have a vocal on. We had a big discussion about not using it because we felt it was too early for a disco beat to be used by a rock band. Then it was like disco stinks you know, even though they were into that and rap really early, before anyone else in the world probably. The Chapman stuff was really homogenised which was what he needed to do to sell millions and millions of records.

I have this Alan Betrock EP here. Did he put that out behind their backs ?

I have no idea. He had that magazine in New York [New York Rocker]. I'm sure he put up the money to do them a demo, then they did the deal with Ritchie. He had a band called The Marbles that I think he believed in more. Yeah those demos were about a year before the CBGBs stuff. They probably made some other tapes too.

You talk about all these New York records, have you ever heard of Edith Massey's single 'Big Girls Don't Cry' ?

Edith Massey, Oh sure.

I've been trying to get hold of that for ages

...Why ?

I've a friend who likes John Waters' films

Oh John Waters, isn't he genius. Gary Valentine's girlfriend, Lisa Purskey was playing in a play called 'Women Behind Bars' with Divine, round the corner from CBGBs and one of the main attractions at CBGBs was going to see Divine as the prison matron in that show. It was wonderful and we used to get in for free cause Lisa was in the cast.

She did gigs with the Dead Boys ?

Yeah, Marty and I wanted to sign Glen (Divine) to Instant Records and got voted down by Ritchie who was the conservative guy. Marty was the guy who did New York Dolls and Suicide and all that. So between Marty and me we were running around wanting to do anything different and Ritchie was kind of like ...I'm normal ... record business ... what do we want Divine for ?

Back to these mono mixes of the first album - was that just a re-working of the original tapes ?

No it wasn't the whole album, but a number of songs from it were done mono when we mixed it, simply because I was wanting to do things mono and loud. There's a different thing you can get in mono obviously that you can't get in stereo. Which is it's much more powerful, much more direct, you can compress the whole thing, you don't have things going from side to side, and you can put all this echo on it ... it sounds great you know. So that's why I did it mainly for myself. Then Marty and I were sitting around and thinking... well if we has about 100 of these we could sell them at Bleeker Bob's, so we had them run up a printing of it. I think we did 'In the Flesh' too. Actually I used to do that because mono carried over the radio better quite honestly, joking aside, and people used to do their single mixes in mono.

They still do that in promos don't they ?

Well it doesn't make any sense any more because even Radio 1 is in stereo now, but in those days you did a special mix cause it sounded better over the radio. All the Ramones' DJ copies have mono mixes. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary, only on our mono mixes I made them be more Phil Spector, in the use of the echo and the weight. Which we still try and do. The Jesus Jones record sounds like that too only more modern.

What were Blondie like in the studio, were they all competing ?

Not in the least. Nobody had any time too fool around. I mean it was like 'OK guys you've got about 10 days to make an album' because there was no money. Although we'd had a lot of rehearsal beforehand.

Did they play very well at that time ?

Compared to what ? They were as good as what you hear on the records ... they were doing it, what can you say ? It depends on your value judgement. The guy across the hall, what's his name ... Eric Clapton. Now if you think he's good, then they stank. If you think they're good then he stinks. In my book they're good. Not that you have to make that kind of judgement but on a muso level no, they were no good at all, they couldn't keep time or any of that. But on a feel and rock 'n' roll and legitimate communication level, they're obviously one of the best bands of that decade, so there you go.

Were you around just prior to that like in 1974/75?

Yeah but I wasn't doing them. In 74/75 I was working for Sire as an A&R guy in New York, I didn't really know them at that point although I new of their existence. There were two bands that I really thought were gonna happen out of New York at that time, and they were the Ramones and Talking Heads. I saw both of them on the same night and brought them in to Sire and I was producing the Ramones album in '75 and '76. Blondie was one of the last bands to get signed out of all that New York stuff.

Didn't the Stilletoes almost get signed to RCA ?

Blondie was almost signed to RCA. Ritchie was almost gonna do a label deal and Blondie was part of it but they didn't want Blondie, you know ...'we don't want this crap' ... little did they know. Maybe the Stilletoes were too.

Blondie was so much more successful over here in 1978

Oh yeah it was a big deal over here wasn't it ? I mean that's why I moved over here. I'd actually given up doing records in America cause it was so boring. I was doing film work out in LA and I wanted to do bands again so I took a trip over here and said have you got any bands, I did this old Blondie stuff & Suicide and they said Oh yeah! Blondie was much more important here than it was in America. America thought of them as trash, sort of in the same category as John Waters was thought of then, like this junk that might be funny, but it wasn't serious. Serious stuff was like Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Rick Wakeman....

It still is over there isn't it ?

Yeah it's all bullshit. You never will win but you might as well try. Blondie is not really thought of as that much in America, over here they're thought of as something.

Have you heard that recent Blondie remix album ?

Oh God yeah I was in the studio here and heard someone playing 'Denis' with the sampled drums and crap on it, like what is this garbage ...

They messed them all up

Record companies don't have any sense of quality usually, its like ...'can we make some money on this - let's do it!'

It just seems such a really bad move with Debbie trying to get her solo career back off the ground

Well with her solo career, they're not doing the smartest things either. They're getting her some of the lamest people in Britain to record with.

What the Thompson Twins ?

I didn't say that.

It's only a few tracks she's done with them isn't it ?

She did some with Eric Thorngren (ET), that might be good.

Mike Chapman's meant to be doing the album

He did a bunch of her stuff but it was never released, they decided it wasn't commercial enough, but they may be doing more yet again.

Well I guess we've covered everything

Yeah if that can help at all, I mean it's as best as I can remember. I can't vouch for total accuracy down to what mic was used or any of that kind of nonsense. It was just real loud, I can remember that. Over their career I've had a lot to do with what they sounded like in the beginning, trying to bring out the old Phil Spector and Shangri-Las sound and all of that. But when I left Instant I had very little to do with them, once they got into that whole Chrysalis disco thing.

So what needs to be done, is you need bands with this kind of attitude in Britain now. That's one of the reasons why I moved here. I was thinking the music scene was so really screwed up that there had to be some form of rebellion somewhere. I've done two totally radical bands this year for major labels. There were no compromises on the Fall record, at least what we did, no interference from the record label, they wanted them to be exactly what they were. Jesus Jones is on EMI, no interference, no trying to temper them or any of that nonsense. That's just two that I know right now that are allowed to do what they want but there's pockets of bands everywhere that are not necessarily indie. So in 12 years time I hope somebody's saying 'God can I get the singles mix of the Jesus Jones record' I hope so!

Yeah, keep 'em this time

Never have kept 'em. I don't have most of the records I've done because I've moved around a lot. I've got a lot of records still ... I've got about ... God I'm down to about 6000 or so at the moment. I used to have a lot more. I don't have all of what I've done. All the '70s stuff is hard to find. I don't have originals of any of that stuff. Then you see these re-issues where it's all really crap, and they use the wrong version of it, they don't get the credits right and all of this stuff. So you should interview Ritchie.

What's he been doing since the '70s ?

He's been producing bands... we don't quit. Most producers don't go to an island or anything, they don't earn enough money contrary to popular opinion. He hasn't been doing the same kind of bands that I've been doing. I've been doing the same kinds of bands as Blondie - in their respective years. Ritchie's been doing more mainstream stuff. He did the Go Gos a few years ago that was a good record. I don't know what he's done in England ... I think he did a track on the All About Eve album that's out.. Marty Thau could tell you a few things, except he'd tell you he did everything, typical promo man. Clem is the one that has the most knowledge that I can think of, and he is the one most concerned with projecting the proper musical image of what they were about.

He was over here for about 6 months ?

Well he was doing the Adult Net stuff with me. If you'd talked to me 6 months ago he would have been around every day, but he lives in LA. Nigel Harrison lives in LA he's an A&R man for Capitol records. Frankie's in New York and Jimmy I saw in New York last year. I saw all of them in New York last year, everybody was all together at a Bar for some Dave Stewart party or something.

It was great hearing the single again

Yeah still sounds good doesn't it ? So all those are original pressings ? This one has 'punk' written on it!

That's the Japanese one. They issued one for 'In the Flesh' too but I don't think it was a mono mix

No it probably wouldn't have been because the one who would have seen that the mono mixes got out was me, and I wasn't around at that time. See right at this time we'd split up and then Ritchie went on to do the Robert Gordon, rockabilly stuff. But I tell ya they're not that radically different, 'cause a song like 'In the Flesh' didn't get the 'wall of sound' treatment because it isn't.

Richard really mixed that loads of times didn't he ?

I mixed it ... if you look on the album ...

I'd read it somewhere

You see what had happened was, we started the record, I went off and did a whole bunch of the 'Live at CBGBs ' stuff and Ritchie kept on doing the record. And he had done a bunch of mixes on his own, before I came back ... none of those were used. So yeah, he'd tried to mix it a lot ... but he didn't do it ... that was all mixed at the same time by me, and it's really evident - the whole thing sounds like the same mix! At least the mix credit has stayed on the Chrysalis albums! Glad you got all these Blondie records, sure got more than I have. What's this one ?

That's the French issue, you're on the cover of that one. You're credited on most of the Private Stock singles

Holy shit!... Pathe Marconi EMI, good for them. What else you got there ?

This has a mono of 'In the Flesh' [US promo]

That's just a straight mono it's not a mono mix. Where'd you get this ? Have you played this one ? This maybe yet a different mix than the mono mix you played me.

My ears are not that sensitive, I always thought it was the same

This one's Chrysalis, that'll be Ritchie Gottehrer ... that asshole! This is a British one.

No that's Australian, these are the British one's ...

Is there a mono one of that ? In Britain too ?

There were two different issues [PVT 90 and PVT 105] I don't know what happened with that, it was withdrawn or something

Oh no no, this is the stereo singles mix, this one is the stereo album mix. Oh boy, these are all different you know.

Here's one from Thailand ...

Holy shit! ...with a picture of Bob Marley on it!

He's not even on the record. It's got Blondie and the Ramones on it

Wow, I wish I had a copy of this, I've got two tracks on this! I've gotta show this to my friend ....


Craig Leon started in A&R at Sire records, New York, signing The Ramones, Suicide and others, as well as producing and arranging. In the UK since 1985 his credits include:

The Fall - 'Extricate', 'Shiftwork' and 'Code Selfish' Lp's

Jesus Jones - 'Liquidizer' Lp

The Primitives - 'Lovely' Lp

also : Blondie, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, The Bangles, Berlin, The Pogues, The Men They Couldn't Hang, The Go Betweens, Richard Hell, The Roches, Flesh For Lulu, Dr & The Medics as well as three albums as artist. Recent productions include: Psyched Up Janis (This Way Up/Island Recs), Angel Corpus Cristi (Almo Sounds-US), Eugenius (Atlantic-US), Silver (Giant Recs-US), Mark Owen (RCA).

Copyright © 1996 David Brazier

All rights reserved

Your intrepid maintainer is DzM