What’s a Porky Prime Cut?

If you want to make vinyl records now, I think you can do an order on the Internet, download some tracks and then a company in Poland will press and print for you. There can’t be many UK record pressing plants left now despite the resurgence of interest in vinyl.

A Porky Prime Cut is the signature of a guy called George Peckham who worked for many years through the 60s and 70s at the vinyl mastering stage of record production . He started in London cutting lacquers at Apple Records and then went to IBC Studios in Portland Place. Lots of punk bands and record labels had their records mastered by ‘Porky’. In order to identify the lacquer which would be used for pressing, George needed to scratch an ID number in the run out groove, but his trademark was to also scratch in messages and tags like ‘ANOTHER PORKY PRIME CUT’.

Image result for george peckham porky

Unlike many of the established figures in the music industry, George claimed to love punk:

“They were ten very happy years going through the Punk era. I loved it. Everyone was saying “What a load of crap” while I was saying ‘listen to it properly, it’s great, and it’s about time that someone took the piss out of this industry.’ I also said, ‘if you listen they are writing really good songs, just try to listen without any prejudice……I think the excitement that punk brought to the music was perfect timing and just what the Music Industry had needed for a long time and it’ll be remembered for a long time to come.”

Image result for making vinyl records

On some records, Porky wrote messages that have often achieved greater significance than the records themselves.  On the first run of Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model, Porky etched the following:

 “Special pressing No. 003 Ring Moira on 434 3232 for your special prize”.

It’s not clear whether this offer was a total hoax, or whether the first few people who phoned in received a photo (with printed autograph) and a badge with the text “Made In 1955 For 1984”. Another piece of classic Porky work is the four sides of The Clash’s London’s Calling which incited fans to “tear,” “down,” “the,” “walls”

Image result for george peckham porky

But Porky wasn’t always enamoured with punk and new wave. This DIY effort, that had Mark Perry of ATV involved in some way, didn’t quite live up to George Peckham’s standards. In the run out groove on the B side is etched,

“This is the worst record I’ve ever cut”

Image result for the door and the window he feels like a doris

Image result for porky run off groove message

6 thoughts on “What’s a Porky Prime Cut?

  1. I have a greenslade bedside manners are extra LP with a porky prime cut on the run out

  2. I’ve got a fog on the Tyne with Porky etched on one side and Pekie on the other side

  3. I’m pretty sure that George would only have written “This is the worst record I’ve ever cut” if they’d asked him to.

  4. Astonishing! I had no idea Peckham ever indulged in any inner groove criticism! He was always a happy presence on my records with his imprint. I love those quotes from him. I was aware of him from the beginning of my record collecting days, but had never seen any interview quotes from him.

  5. I always used to get him to draw animals.

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