Title: The facts on Frankie
Holly – real name William Johnson:
Vocalist and lyricist, aged 25. “I’ve always been weird,” he admits.
Vocalist and ‘dance-master’. Holly’s best friend, and the self-confessed ‘arty’ member of the band. Aged 25.
Peter ‘Ped’ Gill:
Group’s drummer. Used to have a ‘sensible’ job as a wood machinist before joining a band. “I wanted to play guitar but my hands were too small, so it was drums instead!” Aged 20.
Bass player. Nasher’s cousin, ex-carpenter. Aged 20. His older brother Jed was Frankie’s original guitarist.
Brian ‘Nasher’ Nash:
Guitarist, ex-electrician. Aged 25. “I saw Frankie one night and thought they were brilliant,” he remembers. “I was first in the queue when Mark’s brother Jed left.”
I wasn’t in Frankie at the start, but I was friends with Holly. I went to see them one night and got so excited I just jumped right up on stage with them.
“He was always odd. He dyed his hair green once when he was young, and the local paper printed all these letters saying ‘Who’s the Martian walking around Liverpool?’!”
Pat Johnson (Holly’s Mum).
“This is harder work than any other job I’ve ever witnessed.”
“Boy George doesn’t like us, but he’s an idiot.”
“We want to create a stir, because we’ve set out to do something really different.”
YOU would have to have been asleep for all of 1984 to have missed the impact that Frankie Goes To Hollywood have made this year.
Their single, Relax, was banned, but went straight to Number One, as did their next hit, Two Tribes.
Everyone claimed to be sick to death of those ‘Frankie Say’ and ‘Relax’ T-shirts, but hands up anyone who didn’t wear one, at least once, last Summer? If there’s one thing Frankie knows about, it’s publicity.
“We’re not just a hype though,” says dance-master Paul Rutherford. “You couldn’t get away with that kind of publicity if you weren’t making excellent records to back it up, could you?”
Most of that publicity has been centred on Holly and Paul, the two front-men and singers with Frankie. But an equally vital part of the group are ‘The Lads’, as they call themselves, the three essential backing musicians, Mark, Ped and Nasher.
“We write the music then give it to Holly to go away and get inspired and write the lyrics,” they explain. “It is a bit of a pain people thinking we’re just the backing band or something.”
The Lads have been over-shadowed not only by the two stars in the band, but by the Frankie image.
There’s no denying that we make good videos, even if they do get banned,” they sigh. “But a lot of that is down to Paul and Holly.
“With the Relax video, which got banned, they went completely over the top, and to be quite honest we were embarrassed by it. They didn’t involved us at all.”
Paul Rutherford backs up the story, too.
“I did feel sorry about that,” be admits. “It wasn’t fair of me and Holly to impose all out weird idea on The Lads. After all, we’re a band. We’re moving away from that now.”
Does this mean that Frankie are going to calm down and make nice, boring videos in future? Holly doesn’t answer – just gives us that famous lop-sided smile… We will have to wait and see!