No. 222 – Heavy Weather

Maniacal composer Carl Heinz Pilchards-in-Tomato-Sauce Clayderman from the Judge Dredd story The Weather Man (progs 329330 (1983)), written by John Wagner and Alan Grant and drawn by Ron Smith (1924–2019) v French pianist Richard Clayderman (born Philippe Pagès)

Clayderman was a child prodigy at tickling the ivories, accompanying in his youth celebrated French crooners Johnny Hallyday (born Jean-Philippe Léo Smet, 1943–2017) and Michel Sardou, as well as working as a bank clerk to make ends meet, before achieving fame with the song Ballade pour Adeline, composed by Paul de Senneville and Olivier Toussaint in 1976. Pagès’ name was changed to Clayderman (his great-grandmother’s surname) for the release of the single to avoid mispronunciation of his real name by audiences abroad.

Wagner seems to have assumed that Richard Clayderman is German[1], although he may have thrown into the mix a little of mad inventor C. A. Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge, 1885–1955) from Fritz Lang’s (1890–1976) Metropolis (Ufa/Parufamet, 1927) together with a dollop of [Władziu] Valentino Liberace’s (1919–1987) flamboyance.[2]


  1. Certainly sounds German – hell, he even looks German
  2. There is also a contemporaneous Austrian composer named Heinz Karl Gruber, but at this point we’re simply guessing who on earth Wagner had in mind while conjuring up Carl Heinz Clayderman


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