Here is a sample from my new book on DEREK AND CLIVE, an excerpt of an interview I did with producer Hugh Pagdham, who engineered DEREK AND CLIVE'S last album, AD NAUSEAM.
Hugh Padgham is one of the world's most successful and well known record producers. The winner of four Grammys, he has recorded - either as producer or engineer - massively successful records for such artists as Paul McCartney, The Police, Phil Collins and Peter Gabriel. You name it, he's done it. He's spent time with true legends, rubbed shoulders with A listers of the music business. What interests me most though, in all his fruitful career, rather perversely I know, is the fact he was the engineer on the third Derek and Clive LP, Ad Nauseam. One morning in August of 2017, Hugh let me ask him some questions on the blower all about working for the vile twosome, and he shared tales of his various misadventures in the sleazy universe of Derek and Clive.
How did you get involved in recording the Ad Nauseam album?
Well, Derek and Clive were signed to Virgin and I was just a member of staff that happened to be put on to the job, you know. They asked if I wanted to do it and I said yes, because I was a big fan of Peter Cook, and Dudley as well. I had obviously already heard the original Derek and Clive (Live) album... well it was a bootleg even before it came out on record. It was one of those things which went around the recording studios. So yeah, that's how I ended up doing it.
Do you remember first meeting Peter and Dudley at all?
Yeah, the start of the session, either on the day or maybe the day before actually. But I had never met either of them before that.
So given you were a fan and admirer, what was it like meeting them for the first time?
Well it was great, because I kind of hero worshipped Peter, desperately, but obviously working in studios and working with a lot of famous people, I wasn't overawed. But I was definitely impressed, I have to say, because I just thought... I mean I knew Peter's other work from when I was really young, probably when I was about seven of eight watching That Was the Week That Was, you know, because my parents used to watch it. And Not Only... But Also as well... Private Eye. So you know, he was just a genius wasn't he?
Oh definitely, yes!
So I was very happy to be doing that session.
What was the atmosphere like between Pete and Dud in the studio, if you remember the first session at all?
Well, I have to say, it was quite tense a lot of the time. Because it seemed to me that Dudley had just started to, or was about to have this big success in America with his films, and I kind of feel that he was dragged back, you know, either by Richard Branson, or by Peter, or by both. It wasn't like he really didn't want to be there, but I think if you listen to the album or look at the film, Peter is always leading the conversation and Dudley is just kind of joining in. See what I mean? It's not like... well, maybe it was always that way, but I think Peter had written all the sketches, so Dud just ad-libbed along with it.
So it felt tense then?
Yeah. I mean it was perfectly fine, but Peter had recently been let out of a drying out clinic. I can't remember if it was three or four days we were in the studio, but half way through the first day - I think we started late afternoon until the evening - he started, well I think he realised very quickly that he had to have a drink. So maybe any thought of doing the thing sober - well not sober - but I don't think he could be the character without having a drink in him. So the drink arrived, you know.
Did any of that material shock you at the time? Do you remember thinking 'Jesus!' Did you feel uncomfortable?
(Laughs) Well we had heard the other albums, Live and Come Again, the first that was the bootleg with Jayne Mansfield and all that. So if I am honest, there was some of Ad Nauseam that I thought was funny, but how many times can you say cunt? That sort of thing... I thought some of it was a bit sort of.. not as good as Peter's normal stuff. He was just F ing it and C ing it for the sake of it sometimes.
Maybe a bit desperate?
Yeah, a bit desperate. And then some of it was funny, you know.
To read the rest, and info about the albums, film and legacy of Derek and Clive, get the book here: