ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Ex-Frankie Goes to Hollywoods Brian ‘Nasher Nash reveals all in his new autobiography

Brian ‘Nasher Nash tells Jade Wright what life in Frankie Goes to Hollywood was really like

IT was the supergroup that was doomed to fail. In 1986, Frankie Goes to Hollywood were working on their second album, Liverpool, and the cracks were beginning to show in the band.

After a row with singer Holly Johnson, the rest of the band contacted Simon Le Bon to ask if hed be their new singer.

“I would be the perfect singer for Frankie Goes to Hollywood,” Simon responded.

But he stayed with Duran Duran and so the band approached Pete Wylie, who was tied up doing his own album. Holly stayed with the group, and Liverpool was released with its original line-up.

The story is revealed in Nasher Says Relax, Liverpool guitarist Brian “Nasher” Nashs autobiography, which is out this week.

“The only book written from ‘inside the band was Hollys A Bone In My Flute and Hollys perspective on that period was probably very different from my own and probably the other guys in the band,” explains Brian.

From life as an electrician to topping the UK singles chart for five consecutive weeks with Relax, despite it being famously banned on air by DJ Mike Read, the book tells how Frankie Goes to Hollywood became only the second act in the history of the UK charts to reach number one with their first three singles (the first being Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1964), playing everywhere from tiny clubs to big international festivals, rubbing shoulders with global superstars and some highly colourful characters.

“My favourite bit of writing was when I described a phone call to a sex line that was made during the recording of the Liverpool album,” laughs Brian. “Mark, Ped and I wired the phone to record the conversation and had several sets of headphones so everyone could listen in. The idea of doing it was to record it and spin some bits in over a track a la Pink Floyd. The recording disappeared sometime after we returned from Holland. I believe it is the ultimate lost Frankie track. I was crying with laughter recalling the conversations.”

Brian says the writing process was straightforward.

“I went to stay in my friends hotel in Jersey during the closed season. Having no distractions meant all I had to do was get out of bed and start writing. The most difficult part was editing it to fit on 400 pages.

“It was a really enjoyable experience.

When I was in Jersey I was a 10 minute walk from the beautiful St Brelades beach and I had a stroll every day, followed by a trip to the shops for my dinner which was cooked on an oven that was bigger than my kitchen.

“Given the opportunity to write another I would definitely do it. I dont know what the subject matter would be though.”

Thankfully he had plenty of source material to draw upon.

“During the 80s I had a year planner that fitted in my Filofax (it was the 80s!) and I had the period from 85-89 covered by those so seeing place names would trigger memories of events,” he explains. “I had some tour itineraries for the three tours we did and a couple of scrapbooks with newspaper cuttings in. The amount of information available at your fingertips though is incredible so to have the internet as a resource made the chronology and fact checking pretty easy.”

Brian also had plenty of help from friends to piece together the finer details.

“While I was writing it I interviewed a few people to help me dust off my memory banks and a good friend, Terry Reed, transcribed the interviews for me,” he says. “She was a huge Frankie fan so I sent her the full version before I submitted it to the publishers and she enjoyed it.” Writing down your life story can be a good way to take stock and learn about oneself. Is there anything that writing the book clarified?

“The only thing I learned about myself is that I hate the US version of spellchecker even if it is supposed to be correcting English as opposed to US English,” laughs Brian.

Though there have been difficult times for the band, the book manages to deal with the acrimony of their break up without becoming bitter.

“I feel life is too short for regrets or negativity,” says Brian. “Sure there are things I would have done differently but my life so far has been an amazing trip and changing something along the road can influence the path you take further along the journey.

“I feel incredibly lucky and very blessed to have experienced things that people can only dream of.

“ Im not sure if writing a book is the new rock n roll but I guess, like music, it is a lot easier to do now than it was in the past so who knows, maybe my book will inspire others to pick up the pen, or the laptop.”

Nasher Says Relax, RRP £9.99 Only £6.99 on, 0845 143 0001. For tickets for An Evening with Nasher on November 28 at Liverpool One Bridewell by Waterstones visit their Bold Street store or call 0151-708 6861.