From Douglas Adams’ introductory essay, “Where do you get all your ideas from?”, July 1985:
Though it was now ten years since Sergeant Pepper had revolutionised the way that people in the rock world thought about sound production, it seemed to me, listening to radio comedy at the time, that we still hadn’t progressed much beyond Door Slam A, Door Slam B, Footsteps On a Gravel Path and the odd Comic Boing. This wasn’t so much lack of imagination, as a perfectly reasonable worry that an overindulgence in sound effects easily creates irritating mish mash which detracts from a strong script and fails to disguise a weak one. Also it took time, which, it was felt, could be better used making more programmes.
However, long-standing rules are meant to be broken, and I wanted Hitch-Hiker’s to sound like a rock album. I wanted the voices and the effects and the music to be so seamlessly orchestrated as to create a coherent picture of a whole other world—and I said this and many similar sorts of things and waved my hands around a lot, while people nodded patiently and said, “Yes, Douglas, but what’s it actually about?”
We never did clear that one up, of course, but I think we can fairly claim to have made some good noises. In fact recording these shows was some of the best and most nerve-racking fun I’ve ever had. Were we doing something extraordinary, or were we simply going mad? It was mostly very hard to tell.
This pattern is the Babel Fish entry from Douglas Adams’ ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, inspired by Rod Lord’s animations for the 1981 BBC television adaptation. (via Babel Fish cross stitch pattern Hitchhiker’s by RandomlyGenerated)
The Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture is held each year in honour of Save the Rhino founder patron Douglas Adams, who was a dedicated spokesperson for conservation right up until his death in 2001 at the age of 49. The 13th Douglas Adams Memorial Lecture will be presented by the New York Times best-selling author Neil Gaiman.
Just ordered my copy!