Henry Padovani is a musician, better known for being
the founder member and first guitarist in The Police
with Sting and Stewart Copeland...
Born October 13th 1952 in Bastia, Corsica
1963 His uncle Mathieu gives him his first guitar
2010 Road movie 'Rock'n'roll... Of Corse!' selected at Cannes Film Festival!! Tour of Australia, New Zealand, Singapour...
release of 'I Love Today'
1976 Saw the Flamin Groovies at Aix en Provence University. December, leaves to England. The idea was to spend 2 weeks... will stay 7 years
2014-2015 More solo dates in Spain, Brasil, France, Italy, England...
More recording in london for solo album. Finishing production of Les Blondes album in Nice
1978 Joins Wayne County and the Electric Chairs and records 2 albums with them
1982 Brief spell with
Kim Wilde for a european promotion tour
1984 Joins IRS records. A 10 years adventure with REM, the Gogos, Fine Young Cannibals, the Lords, Fleshtones, Cramps, Wall of Voodoo, etc etc. Will end up Vice President
2000 Well deserved sabbatical. Starts writing a book, records film music and works on solo album
2007 Starts shooting road movie, The Flying Padovanis reform and go to Japan Fuji Rock Festival, September, on stage at Stade de France, with The Police
2011 Jury on X Factor France, starts recording a solo album in London with Mark St John
1968 Lapsus, first band in Salon de Provence high school
1977 Starts The Police with Sting and Stewart Copeland. Andy Summers joins in the summer for Mont de Marsan Festival. Leaves end of year
1980 Will do 2 singles
with Mystery Vs
The Flying Padovanis,
the Kings of Rock instrumental are born
with Chris Musto and
1983 New band, Samourai, with Topper and Pete Fardon. Pete dies in April
1994 for the next 6 years, manages Zucchero and goes on to sell 15 millions albums
2006 Release of the album 'A croire que c'était pour la vie' and the book 'Secret Police Man'. 'Ici Najac, à vous la Terre' selected at Cannes Film Festival
2012-2013 More solo dates in Japan, France, England. Produces PEYOTE first album with Ronnie Lane mobile. Starts producing Les Blondes album in Horsham
2016 November 12th
re opening Le Bataclan
with Sting on ' next to you'
2016 September 21st
2017-2018 Fly Like A Song
2018 More dates more dates.. everywhere..
2019 Autumn. Studio with Phil May and Dick Taylor of the Pretty things for an acoustic album.
2019 October : Move house all the way back to Corsica
2020 February more dates in France, and back in the studio with Phil and Dick.
2020 March, beginning of the confinment due to COVID.
Henry Padovani - The Intriguing Corsican...
Henry Padovani is a unique experience...
Musician, Broadcaster, Writer, TV Presenter, Promoter and Songwriter, Lover, Author, modernist and traditionalist, there is truly no-one in rock'n roll quite like him. After a wild youth spent loving, laughing, fighting, singing, playing and drinking Corsica dry, our young hero discovered punk and was on the first boat to London the next day...
In 1976, Henry Padovani hit London, and both of them were never the same! After discovering the girls, the gigs and the music (and the beer!), he formed The Police with Sting & Stewart Copeland - their powerhouse, early London gigs were legendary and they grew a huge following in London's punk club heyday – his English improved too – And the deep bond of friendship, with Sting and Stewart lasts to this day, forged in the blood, sweat and tears of London's mean streets and the hard, long road of gritty, unpaid shows in dirty backstreets around the country…… And then they sacked him!
But, Hey… No problem! - Henry walked straight into the outrageous and hugely successful – “Wayne County and the Electric Chairs” – a major part of the androgynous Glam-rock, proto-punk hangover, playing to packed houses everywhere and creating a huge noise in the press and media. He even gave his old mates a hand and let The Police support the Electric Chairs on a few big shows.
But back in the day, nothing kept Henry's attention for long, and he wanted his own band so... Enter The Flying Padovanis - with young punk superstars - Chris Musto and Paul Slack making up the trio. The Padovanis were London's cult psych-punk, superstars of choice, with their wild, dark, reverb-drenched, thrash-punk, instrumental music. And they became highly sought after throughout Europe, playing with everyone that could stand on a stage, from Pete Townsend to Kim Wilde, from The Jam to The Pretenders and beyond. Life was good. But was that enough for ...The Intriguing Corsican?
No - I guess not...
All done with performing for a while, in 1984, Henry joined up with Miles Copeland (The Police's manager) to form IRS Records, where they broke REM, The go Go’s, The Fine Young Cannibals, The Cramps, The Lords of The New Church and many, many more. Everything he touched went gold. But, after 10 years he was looking around again.
OK, that was the record company business done with.
Now, what next?
Hey, what about managing the biggest solo act in Europe? In 1994, he became Zucchero's manager, and went on to sell more than 10 million albums during their 5 years together. Henry was responsible for breaking Zucchero in the UK & USA and put him together with the biggest acts in the world, like - Bono, Sinead O’Connor, Sheryl Crow, B. B. King, Buddy Guy and more - this catapulted Zucchero into a whole new, worldwide audience.
So - job done, it was time for our hero to move on to new challenges and so....
Yeah, the film business - that' a new challenge...
So, in 2002 he dusted off his faithful Gibson guitar to write the music for some highly acclaimed French films. And staying with the music programme, this was closely followed by his first solo album "A Croire que c'était Pour la Vie" - created and recorded with a few of the usual suspects - Sting, Stewart Copeland, Manu Katché, Steve Hunter, Glen Matlock, Chris Musto and the rest . The album was released in France and the US, followed by the publication of a critically acclaimed and very successful book of his memoirs "Secret Police Man", published by Flammarion….. Still in print and still selling to this day.
In the same year it was published - 2006 - and now really getting the feel for film music, Henry wrote the soundtrack for the film ‘Ici Najac à Vous la Terre’, a highly acclaimed movie, and an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival 2006.
2007 arrived with a bang, with Henry returning to his musical roots - back on the stage and performing solo in France - 25 years later – alone, just playing and singing in the dark, smoky French clubs of his youth, with just his guitar to accompany him.
But, that dirty, funky, rock n roll, bump n grind was too beguiling and 2007 also saw the old gunslingers strap on the 6 guns one more time and The Flying Padovanis - THE instrumental guitar band of choice - hit the stage again, more than 25 years later…
But 2007 wasn't done with Henry Padovani just yet - in September (and against all the odds), he was back onstage with The Police - kicking down the doors with his oldest allies - Sting, Stewart and Andy - for two blistering nights on stage at the Stade de France in Paris laying down his trademark killer guitar for a powerhouse 'Next To You' in front of 160,000 screaming fans.
In 2008 The Padovanis were back on the road for real, starting with the Paris and London clubs, before hitting the big shows with The Police in Hyde Park in London and on to Japan to headline 3 huge shows at the massive Fuji Rock Festival. That year Henry also started a strong association with his great friend -Mary De Vivo - owner of the famous "Le Reservoir" club and a mainstay of the Paris nightlife and club and celebrity scene. Henry became involved, assisting Mary, in handling the affairs of Brigitte Bardot - a good fit, in so many ways. Henry also became the exclusive French publishing consultant for Cayman Music, the major publisher of Bob Marley's work and sole provider of music for the new Bob Marley bio-pic, being directed by Oliver Stone.
Throughout this period, a major feature film of Henry's life - ‘Rock and Roll …of Corse’ was being produced by Henry and French director Lionel Guedj, loosely based on Henry’s book and featuring interviews with many of his friends - Sting & Stewart Copeland of the Police, Mick Jones & Topper from the Clash, Kim Wilde, Jean Jacques Burnel of the Stranglers, Jeff Beck, The Bangles, The Pretty Things and Flying Padovanis. Tha film is multi-faceted, showing an intimate family reunion in Corsica and featuring live performances from Henry and The Padovani's in Paris, London, Japan, and excerpts from the Police’s Stade de France concert and Henry’s solo tour. It is a great, insightful movie and was (of Corse!) an official selection at the Cannes film Festival 2010.
Then, out of the blue, in 2011 our intriguing hero became a huge TV star in France and the EU, as the charming, rogue, rock n roll Judge in the massive M6 TV production of The X Factor. The whole year was a mass of major TV and radio appearances, celebrity PR shows, Radio and Television around Europe and, the chance to mentor and support new talent – something he has always championed.
Post “X Factor” 2012 saw the start of principal recording on Henry's first major solo, album recording. No heavy friends, no huge electric sound, just a collection of incredible, emotional and beautifully-crafted songs, played and sung by a totally unique artist at the very height of his powers and an indication that The Intriguing Corsican - had finally grown up. He even managed to do shows at Le Zenith with Toto and Supertramp too..... A very busy year!
And now.... well Henry is concentrating on performing and a little TV and Film work. During the last 2 years, our hero has undertaken sell-out solo tours of Italy, Brazil and Japan. He performed as a guest at Le Gibus, on The Pretty Thing's sell-out, 50th Anniversary show in Paris. He has been chosen as the exclusive front-line album producer for the most successful mobile studio in the world - The Ronnie Lane Mobile - owned by his manager - Mark St. John, where he has already produced new act "Peyote" (currently tearing up stages throughout the UK) and for "Marilou et Les Garcons" who performed all the original music for "Cinephiles de Notre Temps" - Laurent Chollet's incredible history of cinema, which was Cannes Festival listed (as usual!) and massively critically acclaimed.
Henry toured Italy again in 2015 and finished his new album in January . He toured in France and the EU later in the year and – just to keep himself busy – Henry has just completed filming a major, new Ford advert for TV (project Ford), which was launched with a major Paris show on March the 24th 2014.
In June, Henry went to play in China, for the first time in his ilfe.
In September 2016, Henry released his solo album ' I LOVE TODAY', to great acclaim. It features a fantastic, exclusive cover art from Jef Aerosol – www.jefaerosol.com - the incredible charismatic, outlaw, street artist in France, who wanted to paint the cover for Henry’s album, which he did…… FANTASTIC !!
On September 21st, the movie about Henry's life, ' Rock'n'Roll... Of Corse!' was released in the cinemas in France, following the avant premiere on the Champs Elysées on the 20th.... The media reaction has just been incredible. Henry went everywhere with the director Lionel Guedj and Stephane Bebert to promote the film and usually playing a mini set on acoustic guitar, and answering miliions of questions about London, Music and 1977 !!
In November, on the 12th, Sting invited Henry to come and join him play on stage at Le Bataclan, in Paris, to re open the famous paris concert hall, after a year of works following the tragic concert on november 13 2015, when the crowd was attacked by terrorists. Sting knew damn well that Henry was supposed to go to this concert with his son, but somehow didn't, at the last minute.
The Flying Padovanis hit the road again in February and did a tour in France. This followed a brief spell for Henry in the Maldives where he played 2 acoustic shows in splendid Shangri La resort.
Henry resumed playing a lot of solo concerts after the Flying Padovanis tour and took his music this time to the Richmond Film Festival in april followed by the Bafici in Argentina where he received the Gold Medal of the town of Buenos Aires from culture minister Angel Malher. He also played several shows , including one at the Boris jazz club. Wonderful!
And, to bring you right up to date, Henry will play over summer more dates, solo in germany or Italy, or with the Flying Padovanis in France. No doubt we ll those guys on the road again in the fall. We ll have to simply make sure the dates do not clash with the dates Henry is planning in Thailand later on in the fall....
Henry Padovani is... The Intriguing Corsican - and this story is still only half way done...
Mark St John