The girls Frankie left behind
They are the sexy dancing girls who Frankie Goes To Hollywood left behind them. Two sisters who today scrape a living as waitresses.
Then called The Leather Pets, beautiful leather-clad Julie and Marie Muscatelli were a major part of the Frankies act.
Wherever the group went the girls went too, dancing on stage with the band.
But only weeks before Relax became a million pound hit, the girls were ditched.
And while the Frankies fly all round the world and languish in luxury apartments, the girls are resigned to the tough life on a harsh Liverpool housing estate.
They haven’t seen a penny for the groups staggering success.
The Leather Pets shocked TV viewers when they appeared with the band on The Tube, wearing revealing kinky clothes and brandishing whips.
But the girls dreams of fame and money ended with an abrupt phone call.
Blonde Julie, 21, explains: “The band had been summoned to London and we were to follow. But suddenly band member Mark O’Toole rang and told us not to bother. And bang! We were out.”
A spokesman for the record company added: “The Leather Pets were not included in the deal.”
The Frankies became millionaires and the girls were left with nothing but a stream of obscene phone calls from fans.
Marie, 26, says: “The group may have forgotten us, but the fans obviously haven’t. Even now we get regular dirty phone calls.
“They call us slags and mutter obscenities. They upset our mum dreadfully.“
The girls met Paul Rutherford one night in Liverpool’s gay club Jodies.
Julie says: “Paul was fascinated by my leather clothes and my whip. He told me he had a collection of his own.”
Two days later they played their, first gig together in Sefton Park. Paul gave Julie his own favourite whip while another group member, Peter “Ped” Gill, volunteered the chains.
“I was amazed when I saw Paul’s and Holly’s stage costumes. They wore pants with no bottoms and tiny G-strings. They were such exhibitionists,” says Julie.
“They even wore the same over-the-top gear when we went dancing in night clubs.
“Paul frightened me at first because he looked so menacing, but I soon grew to love him. Everyone in the band adored him.
“But we always got the impression Holly Johnson thought he was better than the rest of us, and never joined in on the laughs.”
Marie says: “When we were dead broke on tour and couldn’t afford hotels. I’d always cuddle up to Paul under a blanket in the back of the van.
“Later on when we stayed in hotels, the lads would amuse themselves by pulling their trousers down and sticking their bare bottoms out of the window at passers-by.
“Ped was the most childish. He had a disgusting, vulgar sense of humour, but you couldn’t help but laugh.
“He’d always be buying tricks and jokes. He put whoopee cushions under other passengers when we travelled on trains.”
The band collected their share of female groupies —
Julie says: “It was widely known that Paul was courting, so they left him alone.”
Paul quickly became the girls’ protector, warning off any admirers who became too amorous.
“I remember one gig being really scarey,” says Marie. “This bloke in the audience grabbed hold of my leg and wouldn’t let go. He looked dead wimpy with a pair of big glasses, but he had a tight grip on me.
“When Paul saw what was going on, he whizzed over to me, took my whip, and whipped the blokes’ glasses off. The expression on his face was so funny.”
The Leather Pets’ first impression of Ped was a memorable one. He was sporting a Dennis The Menace T-shirt, stuffing his face with a burger, and swigging a bottle of wine.
“Uggh! What a horrible sight. Who is this animal, we thought,” says Marie, shuddering at the recollection.
“But he was really quite harmless,” says Julie.
“It was Holly I never liked. He was always so scathing about us. He annoyed a lot of people and there’s plenty round here who don’t consider him any sort of friend today.”
“Holly wouldn’t even say hello when we last saw the band. I wouldn’t care if I never saw him again.“Continue »