A day to remember
Holly Johnson “The day Frankie Goes To Hollywood got to number one”
“I woke about 8 o’clock. I was staying with some friends in Stoke Newington in London. I don’t sleep very well on Monday nights anymore because we get the new chart position on Tuesday morning.
I rang up Zang Tumb Tuum, our record label—
I didn’t have time to eat anything. I had no clothes with me because I’d been out to the pub the night before and I was looking a bit scruffy. But I thought, it doesn’t matter, I’m Number One. I can wear scruffy clothes if I want to!
I ordered a cab and came down to the Columbia Hotel where I had a shower and changed into some new clothes—
Anyway I rushed to the studio and did about five interviews on the telephone while the other members of the band did photo sessions in the other room. And we were preparing to go to Europe the next day. We were really manic with hard work. Then it was over to Covent Garden to do another photo session with a huge buzzard for a German magazine. They’re really vicious birds and everyone was a bit frightened to do it. You should see those beaks! They also set us in this gothic fantasy scene—
Then we were rushed headlong back to Z.T.T. to do some more interviews. Oh, on the way, I did drop into the clothes shop Paul Smith in Covent Garden to get a waistcoat and shirt. They’re like hunting gear with little pheasants and men with guns. The waistcoat’s red, the shirt’s black.
By this time it’s 7.00 in the evening. We’re back in the studio and I’m getting really annoyed because we’ve been working so hard and Island, who distribute our records, hadn’t laid on provisions for us. I thought that was really a bad show. I rang them up and was really rude to them. Also I’d heard they were celebrating their first Number One in years with champagne! So they rushed over four bottles of champagne and lots of McDonald’s. That’s why I’ve got such a mean expression on my face in that Smash Hits picture. I’m starving to death.
I did get time to ring me Mum and Dad then. They were really pleased that we’d knocked Paul McCartney off the Number One spot.
After the photo session I staggered to the London Apprentice pub in the East End for a quiet drink where I met my friend Jed again. I said, lad I’m exhausted, let’s go home. So we did and started to chat and after that went to sleep.
The next day we went to Europe and there were lots of photographers at the airport. It was exactly like that—
Because the record was banned I thought the glory had been stolen slightly because we weren’t able to do Top Of The Pops. So I was glad we went to Europe. Doing Top Of The Pops is part of the enjoyment of being Number One. Mike Read? I thought, thank-you Mike Read.”