Holly Johnson isn’t one of these pop stars who takes up art as some kind of pretentious hobby. “Nick Rhodes? His stuff was laughable, to he honest. Mine’s quite good”. Talking to him it becomes obvious that it’s a major part of his life. “I’ve just done a series of religious paintings actually. I painted myself a guardian angel to put above my bed and I’ve painted Marilyn Monroe as Mary Magdalene. I’m very mean with my paintings. I’ve only given two away—
HOLLY GOES SHOPPING
“It’s definitely my favourite past-time, although I don’t do it as much as I used to. Shopping is a bit of a crime really. When you first start earning money you do it a lot and then you do it so much that you can’t really afford to do it anymore. I still can’t go to the King’s Road on a Saturday without buying something special.”
Are you good at making decisions or are you an um and ahrer?
“I’m a terrible um and ahrer. I’ve missed fabulous things through indecision. I was at an art exhibition once and I was offered a great deal on these two paintings. So, I thought ‘if they’re so cheap maybe they’re not very good’. So I went away to think about it for five minutes and didn’t I bump into bloody Bob Geldof who chewed my ear off for half an hour. I went back and they’d gone. Bloody Bob Geldof!”
HOLLY PLAYS POP
“I love pop music because it communicates to the most people. Snobs say it’s the lowest common denominator don’t they? I think those people are missing out. Their lives are enriched by serious music. But, you know, I make serious music, it’s serious pop. Is there more value in a Kylie number one or a Morrissey B-side? A Kylie number one certainly communicates to more people. But, I know what I prefer. It’s quite a dilemma really.”
“An irresistible sound… the latest sound. Pop’s life magnified. It’s Coca-Cola, Pepsi. It’s an alternative reality that’s much more interesting than the real thing.”
HOLLY WATCHES TELEVISION
“Last night I was crying over an Australian mini-series, it was terribly tragic. In my house the TV goes on at about six and stays on for the rest of the night whether yon watch it or not. I don’t watch Saturday night TV ‘cause I’m not really a fan of game shows. I watch them in America because they’re so over the top and sicko. Here, the prizes are so insulting.
Is it worth kissing Leslie Crowther for?
“Nothing’s worth kissing Leslie Crowther for.”
Who is your favourite ‘Brookside’ character?
“Rod and Tracy’s gran—
HOLLY TAKES HIS DOG FOR A WALK
What’s your dog called?
“Funky. He’s a really nice dog. He doesn’t care whether I’m hip this week or not. He’s a poodle. I didn’t know he was a poodle ‘till bought him. He doesn’t look like a poodle ‘cause we don’t clip him with that ridiculous haircut poodles have. Poodles are the most intelligent dogs, and they don’t moult, which is handy.”
HOLLY BECOMES A SUPERSTAR
“I don’t really think of myself as a famous person. Sometimes I play the role, but it’s not like ‘clear the room, I’m entering’. I think I was very famous during the court case. That was a terrible glare. It’s been like two years of profuse ulceration. The News Of The World camping on the doorstep isn’t very pleasant. But I won’t really get that again now, unless I’m involved in some sort of sex scandal—
Do you feel as if you’re being watched all the time?
“Sometimes I feel self-conscious, but only on the days where you’d feel self-concious anyway. The last time I was mobbed was by this posse of German tourists while I was looking at second hand jeans. I fled I’m afraid, smiled politely and fled.
“People always seem incredibly surprise when they see me. They seem quite shocked that I should be walking along the street with a Tesco carrier bag,” he pauses for thought. “Well… a Plaza Foods bag.”