George Peckham - then and now
George Peckham is a lacquer-cutting and mastering engineer. His career includes work on The Beatles, Genesis and Led Zeppelin catalogue. Better known as 'Porky', as in 'A Porky Prime Cut', which is written in the dead wax / lead-out grooves of records from the 70's and onward that was pressed in the UK.
"It was a nickname I got in Liverpool during the '60s, cos of all the old slagbags I used to chase and the ale I put away. I was brought up in and around Liverpool and up to the Sixties I played with pals trying to learn guitar and to form a group."
He worked for The Beatles when they opened the Apple studio in 1968.
"The problem the lads were having was, they found they'd record something in the studio and it would sound completely different, really weak. So I said they should do an acetate on vinyl and log the information then transfer the spec when they cut the master."
Obviously impressed by this rather technical-sounding jargon, The Beatles offered Peckham the position of chief Apple cutter and Porky was born.
"Before you make the final positive," adds Peckham, "you have to put a matrix number in the middle, because as far as the factory is concerned it's just another disc. Then I sneak on the old 'Porky Prime Cut'..."
Originally, 'Porky' was a reference for the pressing plant should they need to contact the cutter.
"That was the main reason I wrote Porky on The Beatles' records but I was scared to put any weird stuff on their records because their fans were that crazy about them that they'd read something into it."
Later, these signatures varied and often contained cryptic messages. Some examples of signatures are:
•Porky Prime Cut
•A Porky Prime Cut
•A Porky ‘Oh yes’ Prime cut
•A Porky Prime Er-Er-Er Goldfish I Think
•A Porky Prime sniff sniff cut
•A Porky Prime Tango
•A Portland Porky Prime Cut
•A Lively Porky Prime Cut
•A Porky Prime Cut F' Da Lads
•A'Nudder Porky Prime Cut
•Yes A'Nudder Porky Prime Cut
•Ray's Got A Big Willy
Some of the messages include:
‘Ooh George, You’re Such A Dark Horse Luv George’
‘ONOTHIMAGEN YERRITIZ LA!’
‘Learning How To Love You’, ‘PECKO’
Found on various George Harrison Apple releases
'A Bunch of Stiffs'
Stiff Records Compilation
'Taking no prisoners'
Archie Brown and The Young Bucks
'Porky Likes To Pokey With Okey Cokey'
'Happy Xmas To All My Readers, Porky'
'A Very Happy Xmas To All My Readers - Porky / And A Happy New Year Ho Ho Ho'
Greg Lake - I Believe In Father Christmas
In 1978 he joined the Portland Studios team to work for Chas Chandler on his Barn productions. Nowadays, George has retired from the music industry.
For more information click here: The George Peckham Story
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