30 questions Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Holly Johnson, Paul Rutherford, “Pedro” Gill, “Gnasher” Nash and Mark O’Toole each played in numerous Liverpool groups before forming Frankie Goes To Hollywood in 1982. An appearance on The Tube the following year brought them to the attention of producer Trevor Horn who signed them to his new Zang Tumb Tuum label. Their first single, “Relax”, took several weeks to record and three months and a BBC ban to get to number one in January ‘84. Since then they’ve maintained a constant presence in the charts with their endless remixes, rejuvenated the rag trade with their sloganeering T-shirts and caused a stink somewhere with just about everything they’ve done. They can talk too…
- Did you have a tough childhood? Oh, incredibly. Doesn’t anyone born in working-class England? And then there’s the brainwashing of an English education and all the power struggles of being a child.
- Are you a sex symbol? I don’t particularly view myself as such—
you’d hove to be pretty arrogant to do so— but we do get letters from people who describe us as their sexual fantasies. But that’s in their heads, isn’t it?
- Favourite actor and actresses? I’ve got quite a few. John Hurt, Sam Shepard, Laurence Olivier, Harrison Ford, Ralph Richardson, Donald Pleasance, Montgomery Clift. Actresses? Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Meryl Streep, Diana Dors, Sophia Loren, Ingrid Bergman, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, I just love them all. My first screen kiss? Let’s say Harrison Ford and Sophia Loren at the same time to keep people guessing.
- Do you watch Brookside? Some friends of mine are in Brookside. I know some of the kids and Petra who was kicked out is a friend of mine. I think it’s getting better all the time.
- Did your Mum sell your story to The Sun? Basically the newspapers rang her up and she answered a few questions and then they went away and actually misquoted her. I wish she had sold the story then it would have been worth her while.
- What makes you cry? The thought of my mother and father having a bad time. That’s worth crying for.
- When did you last speak to your mother? Sunday. I said: “Hello, Mum.” She’d been to Wembley with my Dad to see the match and I called to see if she’d had a good time. I’m going to ring her in a few minutes to see how she is because she worries about me.
- Do you have any nasty habits? Smoking, drinking, gambling, swearing. I don’t chew my fingernails.
- (cont.) I used to chew gum but it gives you indigestion because, when you chew, it generates digestive juices and, because there’s nothing to digest, it gives you acid indigestion. I bet you didn’t know that.
- What have you got in your pockets? A wallet, a lighter, some girl’s phone number and a packet of Benson & Hedges. I’ve only got one left.
- Have you ever committed a crime? Yes. Never been caught, though, I’m too good to get caught. A perfect saint.
- What would you do if you were Prime Minister for a day? I’d make a law that the police could never carry guns. The CID can.
- Have you got a computer? We’ve got one in the flat, a Commodore 64 that we use for the sequencer. We also keep birds’ phone numbers in it as well.
- Who do you model yourself on? Bugs Bunny is one of my main characters—
he’s got a good sense of humour and runs around like a mad hatter all day. Indiana Jones— he’s a hero, isn’t he? Everybody wants to be Indiana Jones. And Beethoven, I think he writes good pop tunes.
- Are you the hunk of the group? What makes you say that? I don’t know, maybe Gnasher is, maybe Ped is. Holly? Em… well, you know… not quite, I don’t think. Gnasher just told me to say yes so I’ll get all the birds. Yes, I suppose I am.
- What do you spend your money on? Drink—
Jack Daniels. We buy some equipment every now and then but we don’t talk about that. It’s getting a bit muso to talk about equipment.
- What would you do if there was a war? If we had four minutes left, I’d stick the eight-minute version of “Two Tribes” on.
- What would you do if you were invisible for a day? I’d go to—
what’s that place where they keep all the money in America?— Fort Knox and take all the money and buy loads of Jack Daniels and then I’d buy all the nuclear warheads and put them in the White House and blow it up.
- Do you go to church? I used to but I stopped when I was about 12 because I decided I was agnostic. I believe in God to an extent but if I did then I wouldn’t be agnostic. I suppose I believe a little bit because so many other people do.
- Did you have school dinners or take sandwiches? I used to eat school dinner. It wasn’t very good but it was better than home-made sandwiches. It did the job.
- Are you in love? Yeah, with my girlfriend who lives in Liverpool. I’m heavily in love. She’s very nice. Tall, blonde, very sophisticated and I’m madly in love with her. Her name’s Lisa and I’ve known her for four years but I don’t think I’ll be getting married until I’m about 25.
- Were you a scally? Yeah, that was me, a true scally. One of those tough guys. I used to drive around on a cycle with curling handle-bars going round to all these gangs and beating them up. But they used to beat me up as well when they got the chance. It used to be quite good fun.
- Who would you like to star in a film with? Joan Collins ‘cause she’s pretty kinky. I think I’d be Tarzan and she’d be Jane.
- Do you support Liverpool or Everton? Everton. I haven’t really got a fave player, I just like the team. I usually don’t get time to go but I watch them on television.
- What’s Trever Horn’s most annoying habit? He gets too wrecked and you can’t talk to him.
- Do you think you’re shocking? No. That answers it, doesn’t it? We’re just very ordinary. I’d say we were honest, not shocking.
- When did your grow your moustache? Oh God, four or five years ago. I just get it trimmed once in a while.
- How did you meet Holly? We met in a taxi coming home from a club in Liverpool. I can’t remember when, it was so long ago. I liked him—
I thought he was funny. Continue »
- (cont.) He made me smile.
- Favourite place in the world? It would be Tokyo but I haven’t been there, so New York. I’ve been twice. I went to New York for five hours last week. I had intended to go for a week but I had to come back because there was a TV show to do. I went away for a break but all I had was five hours driving round in a limo. But when I got used to the fact that I had to go back, I really got into it because it was quite an outrageous thing to do.
- What’s your wildest ambition? To play on the moon. I’d play “Pleasure Dome” live. If I had to, I’d wear a special outfit but, hopefully, the club would be under a bubble and would have air in it.
- Do you get love letters from girls and boys? Only from girls at the moment. I think boys are shy. They’re only really quite young, the girls who write. Nothing sinister. They just want to touch you or talk to you, be photographed with you or get your autograph. Really simple stuff.