Where are they now?
Cast your mind back to a simpler time, when “Linford’s lunchbox” was the place where Linford put his butties. Recall a forgotten band from that era. Now address your ruminations to Where Are They Now?, Q, 42 Great Portland Street, London W1N 5AH.
There are fewer more meteoric sagas than that of Liverpool’s Frankie Goes To Hollywood—
“The only way to describe Frankie was like having the keys to the sweet shop for a couple of years,” recalls Nash. “We never came out of it loaded, but I got to do and see lots of things that people my age wouldn’t get the chance to. But during the last tour, everybody knew it would end, as the relationship between Holly and the rest of us was so strained. He didn’t want to be in a band situation anymore. Everybody was fed up with the whole thing.”
To Johnson, the band were always undermined by what he saw as the media’s negative way: “It always attempted to undermine our own contribution to our records, which were some of the finest pop records of the ‘80s, saying that we were a completely manufactured pop group, like The Bay City Rollers.” After the second, much delayed, problematic and frankly lacklustre album Liverpool, the band dissolved, leaving a trail of court litigations, Inland Revenue investigations, personal recriminations and not much in the way of commiserations. Five years after their demise, Claire Nicholls of Bow wonders where are Frankie now?
Holly Johnson (vocals): Became increasingly disenchanted when, on top of the rest of the band wanting Liverpool to be a rock record rather than the pop/dance/rock hybrid of old, Trevor Horn failed to produce Liverpool, as agreed, but then spent a whopping £500,000 (making £840,000 in all) tidying it up.
Brian “Nasher” Nash (guitar): After Johnson and Rutherford left, the remaining three re-formed Frankie with ex-Promise vocalist Grant Boult. Almost signed with Circa but Johnson prevented them using the Frankie name—
Paul Rutherford (vocals): Signed a solo deal with Island-offshoot 4th & Broadway in 1989, releasing a single I Want Your Love (the Chic track) and 1990’s Oh World album but failed to establish a solo career. In 1991, released single That Moon (on Bare Fun label) as Paul Rutherford with Pressure Zone. Has been working in the styling/clothing area for various bands but is also currently working with Bruce Smith from Public Image Ltd. Is on the verge of recording new material for a new album, with a view to capturing a liver, though still very danceable, feel. Robert Owens (ex-Fingers Inc) should be a guest vocalist while famous house producer Larry Heard is also scheduled to make an appearance. Rutherford also appears as part of the cast of two videos, Annie Lennox’s Walking On Breaking Glass and Michael Jackson’s forthcoming Give In To Me.
Peter “Ped” Gill (drums): With the reformed Frankie, “found it all a bit of a shock. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I thought it best to get back into a band, but there was nothing happening, nothing I was enjoying anyway. I did a couple of bits and bobs. There was one I shouldn’t even mention—
Mark O’Toole (bass): Moved to LA, where he wrote and demoed material with keyboard friend, but failed to make anything of it. Returned to live in Liverpool earlier in the year, and is currently attempting to set up another musical enterprise.