I AM OCCASIONALLY asked by a curious reader about the name of the site. It’s one that seemed like a good idea at the time, but I feel stuck with it now.
Porky Prime Cuts was named after I read something about the etchings in thousands of records made by the production plant of the same name.
Porky Prime Cuts was the brainchild of George Peckham, a record engineer from Blackburn in Lancashire. The inscriptions on the barely-legible run-out grooves were generally tongue-in-elbow, and some inscriptions referred to him as Pecko or Pecko Duck.
One of his substantial accolades was on 1973’s The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief double album. The first disk was as normal, but the Pythons wanted something a little different for the second disk, so Porky The First came up with a cunning plan that meant that different material would be played depending on exactly where the stylus was put down. Mind-boggling.
To aid me here, go and fetch a record, a single might be best. Now, that bit just outside the inner circle where the record ‘plays out’ is the run-out groove, or lead-out groove. Hold it up to a light and you should see some barely-legible inscriptions, some matrix numbers or something that may refer to the engineer.
Only a record nerd like myself could ever take the least bit of punitive interest in such etchings.
Beside the humdrum technical stuff there were scribblings by the artists themselves, or at least ones you would presume had the approval of the talent. They would sometimes be just be a birthday greeting (thinking The Primitives here) but could often have witty or caustic comments – the Smiths were especially adept at the former, or messages that were somewhat oblique or plain cryptic, scribbled in the knowledge certain people would be alerted to them, and that most buyers wouldn’t even make the effort to try to find such a message.
Looking at Joy Division’s Love Will Tear Us Apart you wonder if Ian Curtis was revealing something, in the weeks before his death. The A side message is “Don’t disillusion me”, flip over and you can read “I’ve only got record shops left”.
In a totally vinyl geeky way here’s some inscriptions on some of my own 7” singles. Alas, in doing this, it reveals to the whole wide world that I own a record by Goth stars The Mission.
The Bodines, Paradise:
A This is the start
B Of cleaning up the charts
David Bowie, Boys Keep Swinging:
A Your bicameral mind
B Mind your bicameral
Bis, Starbright boy:
A Disco is legal today
B Charity shop hip hop
Bradford, In Liverpool:
“Late result, Bradford gain promotion”.
The Darling Buds, Shame On You:
“Such a darling”
The Darling Buds, It’s All Up To You:
A Do your ears stick out?
B Then pick em back
Easterhouse, Whistling In The Dark:
“Now take the Next Step” [reference to the Marxist paper they were aligned to]
Fatal Microbes, Violence Grows:
A Fatal Microbes live on
Gene, Haunted By You:
A Truth, rest your head
B Spare the corgis
The Hammers, I Hate Dead Pop Stars:
A Don’t forget your orange, Michael
B Kurt, you should of used a blank
Huggy Bear, Her Jazz:
A Kathy Acker Bilk
Lush, Sweetness and Light:
Cool, fresh milk float
Morrissey, Interesting Drug:
A Escape from Valium
B Return to Valium
Morrissey, Piccadilly Palare:
A George Elliot knew
Morrissey, Our Frank:
Free Reg, free Ron
The Mission, Stay With Me:
A For the pure in spirit and the tarnished flesh
B Tony, I think you suck very well
Primal Scream, Rocks:
A Free Peter Packet
B Make my funk a screamin funk
The Primitives, Way Behind Me:
B I’ve got a rainbow in my trousers
The Poison Girls, Are You Happy Now?:
A Well are you?
B Such is the nature of shitpiles
Redskins, Keep On Keepin’ On:
A There’s no point in having a revolution ….
B We shoot the bastards afterwards [their presumed mistake]
Redskins, The Power Is Yours:
A If all you ever deal in are sweet nothings …
B …. sweet nothing’s all you’ll get
The Smiths, Ask:
A Are you Loathsome tonight?
B Tomb it may concern
The Smiths, Sheila Take A Bow:
Cook Bernard Matthews
The Smiths, Shoplifters Of The World Unite:
Alf Ramsey’s Revenge
The Smiths, Panic:
I dreamt about stew last night
The Smiths, I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish:
A “Murder at Wool Hall” (x) starring Sheridan Whiteside
The Smiths, Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
A “The Return of the Submissive Society” (x) starring Sheridan Whiteside
B “The Bizarre Oriental Vibrating Palm Death” (x) starring Sheridan Whiteside
[note, while Sheridan Whiteside was an actor, all these films are fictional]
The Wedding Present, Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?:
B The Only thing you owe the public is a good performance (H.Bogart)
And if you want more, here’s a page with a vast amount more from the worlds of rock and indie ..