Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Cover Me Impressed: 'Clevor Trever'

Ian Dury's 'New Boots and Panties!!' was a big one for me. My first exposure to Dury was "Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll" and "What a Waste" on my favorite soundtrack ever, 'That Summer!" From that album, I became obsessed with all of the acts on Stiff. I have a vivid memory of spinning 'New Boots' for a friend after school in what I thought was an empty house. Well, for those of you who know the album, recall that "Plaistow Patricia" begins with Dury's best profanity-filled tirade. Well, it was just about the funniest thing this 14 year old from the sticks had ever heard, and I lifted the needle over and over just to play that one line. My friend seemed shocked... for some reason. Then I saw him. It was my father, and he was shooting daggers with his eyes. I knew I was about to be humiliated in front of a peer. Then, something odd occurred. My father exhaled and said, simply, "You better not let your mother hear that." He walked out with the sound of Davey Payne's spastic sax blaring from the family stereo. It was the first time I remember thinking Dad might be cool.

Dury originally wrote "Clevor Trever" thinking he would give it to Stiff mate Wreckless Eric, but he just liked it too much to give it away. In 2001, not only did Wreckless Eric finally get his chance to record it, but Dury's legendary band, the Blockheads, backed him up. The song appeared on 'Brand New Boots and Panties: A Tribute to Ian Dury.' Greats like Paul McCartney, Madness and Billy Bragg each gave renditions that are pretty true to Dury's 1977 work. Now that's respect.

I own a Japanese edition of 'New Boots' that includes an in-depth interview Dury did with Vinyl Mogul. He breaks down the album song by song. If you have a couple of minutes, you might enjoy his thoughts on "Clevor Trever."

Ian Dury - Clevor Trever (mp3)
Wreckless Eric - Clevor Trever (mp3)

Bonus: Ian Dury Talks About Clevor Trevor (mp3)

1 comment:

jc said...

That's a priceless story. I don't think too many dads would have reacted the same way.

It's that way where we think we are the generation that invented sex, swearing and inventing ingenious ways to get away with or cover-up appalling behaviour. Our folks were every bit as a bad....albeit they probably had less opportunities to indulge.