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The Establishment

Hugh (the fuck is?) PadghamHugh Padgham

Hugh has engineered and produced more records than you can shake a stylus at.
Sting, XTC, Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Percy Grimes & The Frinton Horns, Phil Collins and Joan Armatrading are just a selection of the drug-haired, long-crazed layabouts Hugh has whipped into making mit zer finger-twitching, hip-clicking sound. But it was as a beardie of 23 that the saucy H.P. engineered the last Derek & Clive LP "Ad Nauseum", which was also captured on filmy substances as "Derek & Clive Get The Horn".

This is his story. . .

 Peter Cook Presents The Misty Mr. Wisty LP
audio files taken from the wonderful 1965 album.
 Peter Cook Docu
as we were asked to contribute 'ideas' for the Carlton TV "Legends" docu, I thought I'd make it available via the site.

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I'd always been a big fan of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, from the days of Not Only But Also and, later, Behind The Fridge which I was fortunate enough to see.

I remember begging my parents to take me to see it 'cos we didn't live in London and I was only a kid. Just seventeen, if that. We went to a matinee. Top quality show - I was howling with laughter all the way through it. Don't ask me to recall special bits - I can't. I went to see Barry Humphries' show about 6 or 7 years ago. That was bloody hilarious too, but I can't recall any skits or jokes now. So it's useless asking me about something 25 years old.

As you no doubt know the original Derek & Clive tape circulated as a bootleg. One of many such tapes that went around studios and music circles. A famous one was The Troggs Tape - "We need a bit of fairy dust on the bastard!" - but there was also a rude tape of Marianne Faithfull and the Mars Bar. Marianne's on a train talking to somebody and she starts, well, playing with herself, basically. I think it was Marianne Faithful, unless it was somebody pretending to be her. It might have been just the Mars Bar. To me then - I mean, at the time pubic hair had only just started appearing in Playboy - I'd never heard pornography on tape before, so I suppose I was quite shocked. Now, of course, we're all older and hardened to it but even so, young children of today must have a period where they don't know about naughty things. I was rudely awakened to the seedier side of the music biz with the first recording session I ever worked on. It was with Mott The Hoople, and members of The Grease Band - Joe Cocker's old backing group - were there, too. I went into the loo to find two black girls in there, holding two of The Grease Band guys' willies while they were peeing into the urinal. There was quite a lot of debauchery that went on in music then - there still is, now. But a lot more then, before AIDS.

However, back then, Peter singing "I'm a nigger and I've fucked a white chick" was totally out of control and not on. It was so outrageous you couldn't help but laugh - but sometimes you laugh not out of amusement but out of nervousness. But most of that stuff is funny, it's so off the wall no-one else can have thought of that stuff.

What happened with Ad Nauseum was I had just started working for Virgin Records at their Townhouse Studios on the Goldhawk Road. The studio had only been open for a few months. Or a few weeks, even. It might have been a few days. That was one of the first sessions at that studio. I was just told, "You're doing this", being a dogsbody, more or less, but when I found out it was Pete and Dud I thought, "Oh great!"

The sessions would start in the afternoon and we'd go through till around 11 at night. I can't remember exactly now, but I think they recorded for two or three days. Probably just two days. Subsequently, I went to Virgin's other studio, The Manor, near Oxford, with Pete and all the tapes. We were there to edit some 20 hours of tape down to an album's length. Everything they said was caught on tape. Pete and I spent two and a half weeks sifting and editing. Dudley had no part in that process, so his credit as co-producer is a bit 'cosmetic' since all the decisions were Peter's.

If you play the Ad Nauseum album and then watch the Derek & Clive Get The Horn video you'll notice different versions of the same material. "Labels", for instance, has the same premise but they're different versions. That's because they would busk the material, trying it various ways, like a band would experiment with alternative arrangements for a song. You know, honing it, getting it right. If you see them performing "The Horn" on the video, Peter asks me at the end how long they've been going. I reply "About an hour". So both the film and album versions of he Horn are edited differently. This wasn't some contract filler or sloppily "slung together at the last minute" job. Peter and I worked hard in sequencing that sketch, cutting superfluous waffle and rearranging sections to make it play better.

Of the two, Pete was the most prepared with ideas. Apart from the "Durex Handicap Horseracing" thing, nothing was in a finished script form. He had lots of scribbled notes and words on sheets of paper, which would remind him of some comic idea they could ad-lib and extemporise on.

It was very interesting because Dud was just beginning to make his career in Hollywood and Pete was - not jealous, that's not the right word - somehow disapproving in a way. Dud, I think, came from Hollywood back to London the night before we started in the studio. I think they hadn't met before the first day at the Townhouse. Peter, I feel, was very much leading the show; Dudley was hardly contributing much more than an "Oh yeah?" and "Right". In some ways it's really a Peter Cook solo album since 75-80% of the impetus is his. Dudley may have been jet-lagged or just unprepared for the job.

If I'm remembering this right, Peter had not long come out of a drying-out clinic and he was on the wagon. He was sober and pretty straight for the first day, but at the end of the evening he started to crack under the pressure of carrying the whole show. There was minimal effort on Dudley's part. And at the end of the first day or beginning of the second day he had to get some wine, because I guess he felt he had to get pissed to be funny or just relax. I don't recall Dud getting into the drink; his vices were cough linctus and French figs. But whatever kind of internal strife or friction was going on between them, I've never met or worked with anyone as funny as Peter Cook. He was classic. So good.

In the film there's the fake drug bust in the studio. That was Richard Branson's prank. I was informed, but under strict instructions from Richard not to let on. I think Russell Mulcahy, the director, knew as well. My God, Dudley was extremely pissed off! Scared. But Peter was going, "That's the last time I ever do a policeman's ball!" I think Richard got the idea from the first day's session - the filming was done on the second day because, during breaks in recording, Peter would be saying, "Hugh - roll us a joint, will you?" He had a little bit of hash in some aluminium foil, and Richard thought, "Right, I'll get you and your Jazz Woodbines".

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