Title: Hollywood babble
Author: Barry McIlheney
Source: Melody Maker
Publish date: 6 April 1985
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD: And Suddenly There Came A Bang!
ZTTetc 34pp £1.95
IT is, of course, the greatest story every told. Three ferocious hetero Scallies and two outrageously gay Liverpool lads who released a single, had it banned, watched it crawl its way to number one, and then went on to take the world by storm in the space of just three months. Now that a decent period of time has passed and the bubble is clearly set to burst, it is only natural and right that the good people at the ZTT building should decide to release this book, have it banned, and generally giggle all the way to the increasingly overworked bank.
It should really go without saying that this is like no other pop book ever published, being as distinct in form and content as the band whose post activities and present thoughts it attempts to chronicle. And just 34 pages! Smaller surely than the average Nik Kershaw tour programme and only about 100 times more interesting, “Bang!” consists basically of a series of interviews with the band conducted by those two great comedians, Paul Morley and David Frost.
This collection of confetti and confession is interspersed with classic pieces of Morleyspeak, those wonderfully compelling little passages that manage to mention Cilia Black, Coca-Cola and Fred Astaire in the one breath. Occasionally, however, the great man comes dangerously close to going on the defensive and giving us all the serious Frankie world-view when what we really want is just loads more crudity and nonsense.
Peppered in between this vast pile of marvellous verbal diarrhoea are some truly lovely pix, most notably that of a bare-chested Rutherford and one of Nasher which finally places him somewhere between a third division footballer and a down market Stuart Adamson. And the quotes, oh those brilliant quotes which will warm the hearts of anyone who ever pulled an FGTH teeshirt out of the blue and over their head! Surprisingly enough, it’s the three lads who make the most fascinating subject matter, with Nasher even being provoked into talking about Art, while both Ped and O’Toole are clearly not as stupid as they try so hard to look.
And in the end, it’s that perfect dichotomy within the happy family that leaves such a nice taste in the mouth, as O’Toole gives us a staggering list of alternative names for a penis while dancer of the year Rutherford casually remarks that his favourite TV clip of all time is the men’s swimming finals at the Olympic Games.
Somewhere buried deep in there is the reason behind Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s all-embracing success over the last 12 months and in highlighting that and in its very own sense of vital trivia, “Bang” performs its role of a latter-day Beatles wig much better than we could have hoped far in even our wildest dreams.
I await the movie with my tongue well out and my trousers somewhere round my knees.