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Title: Holly hangs on
Source: NME
Publish date: February 13, 1988

Holly hangs on

HOLLY JOHNSON will have to wait until at least the end of the week to find out if he is free to pursue a solo career.

A High Court judge last Friday reserved judgement on an attempt by ZTT Records to prevent Johnson from leaving the company.

During the three-week hearing, which ended on Friday, the court heard how the Frankie musicians didn’t play on the big hits ‘Relax’ and ‘Two Tribes’, and it was also revealed that Johnson was still claiming dole when the songs were at the top of the charts.

Giving evidence during the last days of the hearing, Johnson said he became alienated from the rest of the band while trying “not to be dragged into a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle”.

He told the rest of the group and the record company that he would only work during the day because he was determined to lead a normal life despite the pressures of fame.

He denied that his attitude led to higher recording costs by prolonging sessions in the studio.

Further problems arose when the band were on tour, particularly with Johnson’s friendship with his “personal manager” Wolfgang Kuhle, Mr Justice Whitford heard.

Johnson said Kuhle was forced to travel alone by train during the tour because there was not enough room for him on the group coach. Johnson added that when he tried to put down guidelines for the band on tour he was “physically assaulted” by guitarist Mark O’Toole.

There were no more assaults, he told the court, but he believed the band tried to disturb him by banging on his hotel door later in the tour, wearing Ku Klux Klan masks.

Johnson added that he earned £980,000 from Frankie records, but said he had yet to receive all the money.

Asked by the judge why he wanted to leave ZTT and make a solo album, he said: “I am just not happy working with them under the conditions of their contract. I do not really get on with them as people and I do not think they have respect for me.