The Dodgy Prodigy
Story by Nik Fish
Originally published in issue 9 of ‘Cyclic Defrost’ a photocopy zine in May 1999. All rights belong to Cyclic Defrost.
It’s an amusing story as I’ve looked into this claim and have found a closet full of controversy which sees Australia as possibly having a minor role in formulating the ‘image’ that ‘The Prodigy’ (group/band) have today.
I’m relying on memory here, so my dates might be a little out… In 1992, Brett O’Meara put together a party called ‘Prodigy’, it drew 800 people to an empty warehouse in Ultimo, the police closed it down at 5am (I know this to be fact as I was on the mike saying so…). Brett went on to do another rave and another; up to about 7. I played at all of these parties and was the only DJ to do so. You could say I followed these events closely. I recall that each party had a theme, and a good theme at that, ‘Prodigy 3: The Trilogy’ —the theme was ‘We will make it snow’ and they did, using industrial snow-makers. ‘Prodigy 4 -Outdoor’, in came 2 semis with a wall of speakers, set up on each side of an outdoor stage, ‘Prodigy 5 – The beehive’, transforming a huge aircraft hanger into the honeycomb on the inside of a beehive and so on.
Prodigy 4 - 1993 (Photo coutesy of Brett Patterson)
After the third ‘Prodigy’ party, a Sydney promoter/DJ—Matt G, put on a club night at Zoom (now NV Nightclub) featuring a small, underground group from the UK called ‘The Prodigy’. It’s alleged that Matt G liked the look of Brett’s ‘Prodigy’ logo and ‘borrowed’ it to use on his flyer (ie: The logo that was created especially for the parties was apparently copied by Matt G for his party). When the group ‘The Prodigy’ returned to the UK, they released an album called ‘Experience’ and the logo they used was none other than the one from Matt’s party (borrowed from Brett’s party). (See below for Matt G's explanation of the logo)
Fast forward to last week…The Prodigy’s (group) UK company— ‘Concord’ contacted Brett in a letter which was a whopping 1/2 a page long and told him (in short) not to use their logos. Brett replied to them (with a 5 page letter) that they should contact the company that handles copyright stuff for logos etc (I think their called Anda or something?) as he was the owner of the logo that he has used ever since ‘Prodigy 3′, PRIOR to the release of the ‘Experience’ LP, furthermore, he registered the name ‘Prodigy Dance’ and ‘Prodigy—The Trilogy’, while the group simply registered ‘The Prodigy’.
Brett’s logo is different to the groups anyway, with some letters being in uppercase font and even things like the ‘G’ in Brett’s logo is extended across the bottom while the groups isn’t. To wrap, if you’d like to check who actually designed Brett’s logo, which has apparently since been modified and used by the group in the UK, then contact a guy called Alex Polo at Argo Design in Darlinghurst, he designed it first…and by the way, he’s Abel’s brother …
And yes, the party is still on and so are all the original logos
The Rave (6 Feb 1993) The Band (28 Sep 1992)
REPLY FROM MATT G
Promoter of the Prodigy Band's 1994 tour
When I initially designed the flyer for the night, we used The Prodigy (the band's) logo, as used by them since the release of 'Charly' their first single on 12th August 1991 and on their first album 'Experience' released on 28th September 1992. This was the logo the band used on all their artwork between 1991 and early 1994.
This incidentally was the same logo used by Prodigy (the promoters) for their Prodigy 3 party which occurred on 6th February 1993. Our contract with the band specified that we had to pass all artwork via their management for approval which we did. The management company came back to us and informed us that they were going to be using a new 'wrap around effect' logo in the future and requested we change the artwork to use this new logo.
We changed the artwork as requested and produced the flyer that eventually went to print and is shown on the Sydney Rave History site.
The new wraparound logo was used by the band on their 'Music for The Jilted Generation' album which was released on July 4th 1994 (the tour coincided with this album release). Hope this clears up any confusion!
The flyer for the Prodigy's (The Band) gig at Zoom nightclub 10 June 1994