Title: My week: Trevor Horn, record producer
Author: Trevor Horn
Source: telegraph.co.uk
Publish date: 01/11/2004

Original publication

Inside the day-to-day life of Britain’s cultural movers and shakers


I’m organising a show for the Prince’s Trust at Wembley Arena in November, featuring a lot of the artists I’ve worked with over 25 years in the music business.

We’ve got some great acts - Buggles, Belle and Sebastian, Yes, Pet Shop Boys, Grace Jones, Seal - but it’s a full-time occupation getting them to work together.

After lunch, cooked by Marco, our studio chef, I met up with Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who’ll be playing together for the first time in 20 years. I was reminded of how much I always liked their Scouse sense of humour.


In the morning, my wife, Jill, and I did an OK! magazine photo-shoot at Hook End, our residential studio in Oxfordshire. We live in St John’s Wood in north-west London, but I love spending time at Hook End because it’s right in the countryside. It was exactly how you’d imagine an OK! shoot to be - they put me in a pair of blue jeans and a white shirt, sitting on the bed and big smiles everywhere. I think Jill hated it more than I did.


We went on a recce to Wembley Arena. There are only just enough dressing rooms for the acts, so working out where to put everyone is a real logistical puzzle. I’ve told them to put me in the toilets if it gets tight. In the evening, I rehearsed with the Frankies. I had a go at singing Two Tribes, which was a laugh. They said, "You’ve always wanted to do that, haven’t you?" I said, "Yeah, of course I have!"


The day began with a big technical meeting at my Notting Hill studio. I really wanted the show to feature explosions – I like those things that shoot out fairy-dust – but I was told "no pyrotechnics".

I love our bit of Notting Hill, it reminds me of New York in a strange sort of way. It’s changed a lot over the 20 years we’ve been here: until about 1990 it was a no-go zone for traffic wardens, so you could park wherever you wanted. Then crack cocaine came down on the area like a ton of bricks and altered the whole atmosphere.


I always get in early on a Friday because I want to get everything done by about 6.30. I put up a great big noticeboard with a list of artists and the songs they’re going to play, trying to work out which order they should go on stage. I work like a dog during the week, but on Friday evening I’ll go home and have a traditional Jewish Sabbath dinner with my wife and daughters. From then until Sunday we don’t think or talk about work at all.