Henry Padovani

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Henry Padovani
Henry Padovani - live at Hyde Park 2008
Basic information
Birth name: Henry Padovani
Birth date: October 13, 1952
Origin: Bastia, Corsica, France
Occupation(s): Musician
Associated acts: The Police, Wayne County & The Electric Chairs, The Flying Padovanis
Official website: http://www.henrypadovani.com/

Henry Padovani was the original guitarist for The Police, in 1977. He would then go on to perform with a number of other artists including Wayne County & The Electric Chairs and his own group, The Flying Padovanis, before becoming part of IRS Records International Division in the 1980s.


Henry Padovani was born 1952-10-13 in in Bastia, Haute-Corse. He grew up in Algeria and Corsica before moving to London in 1976.

The 1970s

Once in London, Padovani became active in the punk scene and first met Stewart Copeland at the Roxy Club, who invited him to join his newly-forming band, The Police. Later they would be joined by Sting, completing the band. They would record The Police's first single featuring "Fall Out"/"Nothing Achieving."

Between July and August of 1977, The Police performed live as a four-piece band with the addition of Andy Summers. Sting then told Henry That The Police wanted to carry on without him.

"They sent you as he messenger to tell me that the group is finished?" He lifted his head and looked me in the eye: "Yeah" " You know what? it's OK. No worries, Sting it was in the cards" " I'm so sorry. Stewart and I, we love you" "I know" " You saved my life! I'll never forget that" "Stop. Anyway, I saved mine at the same time" There, it was done. Sting felt better and so did I ~ Henry Padovani "The Secret Police Man"

Henry remained active at the center of the punk scene and was even voted "Ligger of the Year" by City Limits magazine.

"Henry was our connection to the scene. He had this engaging personality and indefatigable stamina. He would be the last man standing in any bar in London." - Stewart Copeland

After leaving The Police, from November 1977 through July 1979 Padovani was picked up by and played guitar with Wayne County & The Electric Chairs, a much more successful band than The Police at the time. Henry would co-write most of their second album with Wayne. The band split up in July 1979, after which he recorded "J Attends Les Marines" as The Electric Chairs (without Wayne County) with the remaining members John Johnson and Val Haller. They would change their name to Mystere V's/Mystere Five's.

The 1980s

In 1980 Henry formed The Flying Padovanis with Chris Musto on the drums. As guest players they would have Lol Coxhill on Sax, Val Haller on synth, and James Eller on bass. They recorded "Western Pasta"/Vas Plus Haut" for Demon Records. Paul Slack would then become the third member of The Flying Padovanis.

In early 1980 Henry also was a member of The Subterraneans with Henry Chris Musto, Glen Matlock (of the Sex Pistols) and critic Nick Kent from The New Musical Express magazine. Nick, however, disappeared the day before their first gig - which should have happened around February / March 1980 at London's Screen On The Hill!

The Flying Padovanis' first gig was in April 1981 (NME April 25, 1981 mentions that it happened "last week"). Lol Coxhill played sax - the UK Subs were there, as were Department S. If this was the Moonlight Club gig mentioned in Henry's book, then Stewart and Miles Copeland were also there. The band split up in 1982 and for the rest of that year and through 1983, Padovani worked on various musical projects.

Then it was on to the Samourai: Pete Farndon (ex bass from The Pretenders), Topper (from The Clash), Mickey Gallagher (a session keyboardist with The Clash) and Steve Allen. But in 1983 Pete Farndon died of a drug overdose. Henry was not going to let this happen with Topper and sent him to rehab. After rehab, Henry brought Topper to Corsica to spend some time with his famil. But his drug addiction proved to be a terrible habit to break and the band split up.

In 1984, Miles Copeland asked Henry to join IRS Records, where he would become head of their international division. The IRS record label launched many noteworthy new wave groups including REM, The Cramps, Lords of the New Church, The Bangles, The Go-Gos, Timbuk 3, The Alarm, Doctor And The Medics, The Fleshtones, Wall Of Voodoo, Stan Ridgway, Concrete Blonde and many others. Henry moved to Paris in April of that year to begin his new job. His ten years with IRS saw him living in Paris from 1984-1986, London from 1986-1989, Amsterdam from 1989-1992 and again in Paris from 1992-1994.

The 1990s

In 1993, IRS Records was slowly absorbed by EMI. Henry worked with Miles in publishing for a while, in that year creating "The Songwriters Retreat" at Château Marouatte along with Miles and Daniel Graeff. At the retreat, they would put songwriters into groups to try making songs together. People that have attended the retreat included Cher, Brian Adams, Jools Holland, Jeff Beck, Stewart Copeland, Chris Difford, Kevin Savigar, and Zucchero.

In May 1994, Padovani met with Italian rock singer Zucchero, and in the next month he became Zucchero's manager (with Miles Copeland III). This job would last him until April 2000. Zucchero would sell over eight million albums all over the world.

In 1997, Henry became manager to I Muvrini as well.

The 2000s

In 2002, Henry wrote about 30 songs, one for the movie "Ici Najac à vous la terre." He later would choose 12 of these songs for the album À croire que c'était pour la vie.

In 2003, Henry provided the music for the film "La vie comme elle va" (Life as it goes), which premiered on Arte (a European culture T.V.channel ).

In 2004, Henry started recording the album, À croire que c'était pour la vie and recruited a large number of his many musician friends for the project. These included Serge Veneruso, Yves Aouizeratte, Manu Katche (drums), Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols (bass), Chris Musto from The Flying Padovanis (drums), and Steve Hunter (guitar). Henry called Stewart Copeland to play drums on the song Welcome Home, and Stewart asked Henry if he has asked Sting to play bass on the track as well. Henry gives his friend Sting a call, and the rest is Police reunion history.

In 2005, Henry finished recording of his album. He also finished writing his autobiography of his music adventures past and present, published under the title Secret Police Man by French publisher Flammarion. He also collaborated on the production of a road movie directed by Jean Henri Meunier illustrating the 15 songs from his album.

In 2006, Henry recorded music for Jean Henri Meunier's new movie "Ici Najac, à vous la terre" (Najac speaking, over to you the Earth). The movie was part of the Cannes film festival. His book "Secret Police Man" was released on 2006-04-25.

In March of 2007, Henry met with Lionel Guedj, a young French film director who proposed to direct a movie based on Henry's book Secret Police Man. Henry readily accepted and Lionel started searching through Henry archives. The title is decided on as Rock 'n' Roll... Of Corse!.

On 2007-09-28 and 2007-09-29, Henry appeared on stage at the Stade de France with The Police for the closing song Next to You in front of 160,000 screaming fans. "Of Course," Lionel Guedj filmed this...

In 2008, The Flying Padovanis played in London clubs. The concert was recorded and a 5 tracks cd was going around, titled: The Flying Padovanis Live At The 100 Club. The recording captured perfectly well the live sound and the atmosphere of The Flying Padovanis. "Of Course" Lionel Guedj filmed all this too. In June, The Flying Padovanis opened for The Police at Hyde Park Lionel Guedj was once again there, "Of Course!".

In 2009, The Flying Padovanis recorded Mancini’s "Peter Gunn", The Shadows' "Apache", Kraftwerk’s "The Model" and "I am Spartacus", and a fast & furious riff for Henry's movie Rock 'n' Roll... Of Corse! Henry also started writing the English translation of "Secret Police Man", with the caring help of Aysen Slack, Paul Slack’s wife. He added three more chapters and the book was ready in October. In November Henry toured Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. There was also a screening "a work in progress" version of Rock 'n' Roll... Of Corse!.

In 2010, Henry began pre-production on his next album. Henry has put aside about 20 songs for the project... "snowed under the music takes over......"

On 2010-05-21 "Rock 'n' Roll... Of Corse!" was presented outside on the beach as part of the Official Selection Of the Cannes Film festival (non competition). The Flying Padovanis performed before the show.

On 2010-10-22 Henry Padovani is selected as one of the judges for the France X factor show to be aired on M6 and RTL-TVI in the spring 2011.

On 2011-02-14 Henry will begin to record his "Un Plugged" solo album. Delayed

On 2011-03-15 the first show of X factor France is aired

On 2011-03-17 Henry begins to record his new acoustic album - I Love Today would be released in 2016.

His movie Rock 'n' Roll... Of Corse! was shown in cinemas in several countries and eventually released on DVD in 2017.


Main article: Discography (Henry Padovani)

Studio albums

Awards, nominations and other notable achievements

1977 Voted "Ligger of the Year" by City Limits magazine

May 2006 musical score for "Ici Najac" Official Selection Of the Cannes Film festival (non competition

On 2010-05-10 "Rock 'n' Roll... Of Corse!" was presented outside on the beach as part of the Official Selection Of the Cannes Film festival (non competition). The Flying Padovanis performed before the show.

See also

You can read all about his life story in his Book The Secret Police Man Order here: http://secretpoliceman.wordpress.com/how-to-order/ .......It's Autographed

External links