From the Bible to rock
His parents wanted him to be a priest, instead Paddy McAIoon chose music
Paddy McAloon, founder and singer of Prefab Sprout, might have become a priest. In fact, as soon as the little Paddy had completed elementary school in the hometown of Durham, his parents sent him to a seminary. “The years spent in the seminary are the most vivid memory of my adolescence. We studied, but we also had plenty of free time.” At the age of 17, however, Paddy decided to leave college,” To be honest, I hadn’t realized I liked girls a lot, and I really didn’t feel like making the vow of chastity.”
So Paddy enrolled in literature at the University of Newcastle, but he had already put together a band. “I did it to keep my parents happy, they were disappointed that they wouldn’t have a priest for a son, so I was studying a lot and I helped my father at the gas station. But I already knew that my future would be in music.
Paddy, with his younger brother Martin, then began to compose his first songs. “Our first 45, which we published at our own expense, was titled” Lions In My Own Garden Exit Someone”; of which the initials form the name of Limoges, in France, where my girlfriend at the time had gone to study.”
In 1984 CBS published the first Prefab Sprout LP, “Swoon”. “We got excellent reviews,” recalls Paddy, “but we sold very few copies. Yet I was sure that sooner or later we would be successful.”
Which arrived on time after a year, with the second LP, “Steve McQueen”. “Everyone asks me why we named the record after an actor. The reason: “I liked the sound of the name, and that’s it!”
This choice caused some trouble to Prefab Sprout; for although they had asked for and received permission to use that title from the widow of the actor American, the other heirs of McQueen filed a lawsuit against the record label, which was forced when the record was released in the United States to change the title to “Two Wheels Good”.
“It’s a reference to the photograph on the cover: the “two good wheels” are those of the motorcycle that appears there. However, what matters is the music contained in the grooves of the record, and that’s certainly good quality!”