Title: Frankie says… That’s not us!
‘80s icons Frankie Goes To Hollywood are back. Or are they?
A fake Frankie Goes To Hollywood is currently touring America. Calling themselves The New Frankie Goes To Hollywood and performing covers of Frankie hits, they feature Davey Johnson, a vocalist who’s no relation to the group’s original singer, Holly Johnson. In fact, neither Johnson — real name RD Turner — nor the other Alabama-based musicians have any connection with the Liverpudlian group, who scored three consequtive Number 1 singles in 1983-84.
Despite this, their website, www.fgth.homestead.com, is selling new versions of the famous Frankie Says Relax T-shirts for $20.
The real members of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, who split acrimoniously after 1986’s Liverpool album, are upset by the imposters. Holly Johnson and bass player Mark O’Toole, who now lives in Florida, have warned potential venues off the doppelgangers. They have yet to take out the necessary injunction that would prevent the Frankie name being used in such a manner.
"It’s fraud. It’s not right to do that to people’s memories," original guitarist Brian "Nasher" Nash told Q.
However, Richard Lustig, the New Frankie’s agent, believes his charges are perfectly legitimate, maintaining the original band were no more than Holly Johnson and attendant session musicians anyway.
"These guys are a good band," he says. "I’ve had them playing in Singapore on New Year’s Eve in front of 2000 people and across the United States, and plenty of venues have had them back."
Henry Janson, who booked the band for a recent show at Chicago’s Elbo Room, is less convinced.
"The band I believed to have hired and the band that did show up were not the same thing," he says. "They were using the name in a very manipulative way. They definitely gave the impression they were related to the original band. I would never have them here again."