The Guy who influenced Roger Eagle
Guy Stevens was the DJ at the Mod SCENE Club in London he was also the instigator of the Chuck Berry Appreciation Society, and influenced the UK releases that Pye International put out by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley , Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf and many others on the Chess label. He was instrumental in bringing Chuck Berry to the UK for his first tour. As the SCENE DJ, Guy played Blues, R&B, some pop chart stuff, Ska and Blue Beat, and Surf sounds.
Chris Blackwell who had made Millie (My Boy Lollipop) into a star and was releasing SKA and Blue Beat to shops around London from the back of his Mini, hired Guy Stevens to run the UK Sue Label in April 1964. Guy had already been in touch with Sue records owner Juggy Murray in the USA to obtain imports to play at the SCENE.
Guy also imported lots of other Blues Soul R&B etc 45’s from the USA including many Stax tracks.
Note the piles of hollow centre 45’s stacked up alongside him in the photograph [above].
The first hit for the Sue label was its first release "Mockingbird" by Inez and Charlie Foxx in December 1963.
Guy began to re-release tracks from other labels too, building up a great selection of releases that are mostly rare and sought after by today’s collectors. In 64’ Sue released their first compilation LP and this was a big hit on the Mod scene, to be a Mod you needed to have this LP tucked under your arm as a badge of office!
Roger Eagle knew Guy Stevens and shared his interest in black American music. When Roger moved up North to work at the Kellogs Corn Flakes factory in Trafford Park Manchester his records went with him. By September of 1963 he had got a part time night job at the newly opened Twisted Wheel Club; soon to be a major outlet for Rogers music and of course also a showcase for all things on the Sue label!
Notable Sue releases were Billy Preston’s ‘Billy’s Bag’ and the fantastic Harlem Shuffle by Bob And Earl which became one of the apocryphal sounds of Manchester soul clubs, lots more followed and with some getting into the pop charts like Roy ‘C’s ‘Shotgun Wedding’ (ISLAND LABEL) and one of the last Sue release "Girls are out to get you" by the Fascinations became equally an apocryphal sound in 1968 having been only available previously on a few import copies at the Wheel and Blue Note clubs in Manchester.
Guy was put in prison in 1966: being caught in possession of drugs, he was also reputed to be a bit of an alcoholic and suffered severe depression on learning, when released from prison, that his entire record collection had been stolen. Guy went on to produce recordings for Mott the Hoople and notably for the Clash album London Calling. Tragically Guy died in 1981 from a mistaken intake of prescribed drugs and alcohol.