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Subject: Re: H2G2 dramatization on cassette ( 2 of 16 )
Posted by Douglas Adams

OK, now this is complicated, and made all the more so by the slogan "AT LAST, THE FULLY DRAMATIZED AUDIO VERSION OF THE ULTIMATE GUIDE..." which would have been written by someone who didn't know what they were talking about.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.

HHGG *started* as a BBC radio series. It then became books and so on. But because of the background music we had used in the BBC radio series (which came from commercial recordings) BBC enterprises said it was impossible to release cassettes (this was before CDs) of the series.

So I did a deal with another company to completely remake the radio series, this time with specially composed or re-recorded music which we would have the rights to release. That is the recording you own. The odd thing about it is that I made some improvements to the script, the production values were better, and so on and so on, but the whole things was somehow not quite as good. Funny that.

Ten years later the BBC suddenly decided that it could, after all, release the original radio series. So there are now two competing recordings out there. Neither of which is widely available...

There's another wrinkle to this. It turned out that the one piece of music which the BBC couldn't clear was a short passage of Pink Floyd, which was used to set up a Marvin joke in episode Three. The BBC's lawyers had had no luck in dealing with Pink Floyd's lawyers, and they got round it in the end by cutting the lines.

The irony about this is that both David Gilmour and Nick Mason of Pink Floyd are good friends of mine, but none of us had the faintest idea that any of this was going on. (It mightn't have made much difference, as it happens, since the key person in this instance would have been Roger Waters, and that's a whole different issue.)
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