50 facts about Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Read-In-The-Bath Productions (an offshoot of Fun Unlimited) brings you 50 facts about Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Most of them daft—
- Paul Rutherford’s ambition is to play “Pleasure Dome” live on the moon.
- Mark, Nasher and Ped live together on the fifth floor of an Edwardian mansion block in London’s Maida Vale.
- Nasher used to be an electrician.
- Mark used to be a carpenter.
- Ped used to be a wood machinist but he was made redundant.
- Holly once described “Two Tribes” as an “Allegory between interglobal and personal relations”. (?)
- Jed O’Toole, Mark’s brother, who taught Mark and Nasher to play the guitar, left the group six months before “Relax” got to Number One. He was asked to rejoin as part of their touring band when they went to America recently.
- The name Frankie Goes To Hollywood was stolen from an old American movie magazine headline about Frank Sinatra’s move from Las Vegas to Los Angeles—
it was chosen by a friend, Ambrose, from strange Liverpool cult group Pink Military.
- By the time of their first performance (at Liverpool Pickwick’s), they had written just three songs—
“Love’s Got A Gun” (which became “Wish You Were Here”), “Relax” and “Two Tribes”. (The last two are now the 5th and 10th biggest-selling singles in UK chart history.)
- In the summer of 1982, when they headlined at the Liverpool open air festival Larks In The Park, Holly came on stage with a large square cut out of the bum of his leather trousers.
- When Mike Read banned “Relax” Holly’s Dad organised a petition—
he got 2,000 signatures. Mike Read does the voiceover for Frankie’s current TV ad.
- Holly’s first name is really William—
but Holly is his middle name.
- Mark and Nasher are cousins.
- Paul once said: “I’m not cuddly all the time…”
- Mark and Nasher were given models of themselves made out of mops from a girl friend.
- Mark O’Toole’s hobby is building model cars.
- Frankie played their first London gig in a cage suspended above the dancefloor at Cha Cha’s.
- (cont.) The support act was a bloke in a leopard skin toga who put skewers through his face and arms.
- Frankie once recorded a version of T. Rex’s glamrock classic “Get It On” for John Peel’s Radio 1 show, though it has never been available on record.
- Holly’s first band was a trendy Liverpool group called Big In Japan whose songs had cheerful titles like “Suicide A Go-Go”.
- While in Big In Japan, he began doing duets with Jayne, their singer, under the name of The Sausages From Mars. Julian Cope (later in the Teardrop Explodes) and Pete Wylie (later in Wah!) used to liven up their performances by abusing them from the audience.
- Before Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Holly released two solo singles. One of these, “Yankee Rose”, he sung on a Liverpool children’s TV program sitting on a rocking horse.
- Paul was once enrolled at the St. Helens College Of Art. He used to make clothes—
including a skirt for Holly.
- Paul has rings through his nipples and an ace of hearts tattoed on his left arm.
- Holly’s family live just round the corner from the Beatles’ “Penny Lane”.
- Holly used to be a choirboy—
he liked dressing up in cassocks.
- Holly used to have his social security number written on the side of his head.
- In 1977, Paul was in a group called The Spitfire Boys with Pete (Wah!) Wylie.
- People used to write to The Liverpool Echo asking: “Who’s this Martian walking round town?” They were referring to Holly Johnson.
- Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s live act used to include two risqué dancers, The Leatherpets and, later, a drag queen called Mark Time.
- Holly and Paul once dressed up as Christmas trees.
- Frankle’s record label, Zang Tuum Tumb, got its name from a manifesto by an Italian futurist, Marinetti, called Zang Tumb Tuum.
- Just before his Judy Garland phase (when he used to walk round singing ‘Rock-a-bye your baby with a Dixie melody’), Holly was well into David Bowie, though he reckons that his red hair made him look more like David Bowie’s then-wife, Angie.
- Holly’s nickname at school was ‘Joyful Johnson’.
- Holly was born in Khartoum in the Sudan.
- Holly’s first crush was on his infant teacher Miss Schofield—
because of “those really woolly jumpers and fab perfume”.
- Holly’s favourite drink is Kalua and milk.
- The previous version of Frankie Goes to Hollywood were called first The Dancing Girls, then The Sons Of Egypt.
- When Holly was a kid he wanted to be a ventriloquist, then an archaeologist.
- When he was young, Mark always preferred Blue Peter to Magpie.
- Ped grins whenever he’s on Top Of The Pops because he’s always been drunk.
- In October 1982 Arista records paid £1,500 for Frankie to record demos and cheap videos of “Relax” and “Two Tribes”. They didn’t like them….
- Janice Long was at Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s first gig.
- Ped’s got a lump on his lip—
he crashed his bike when he was distracted by the sight of a girl with a really short skirt.
- Nasher likes a really horrible old heavy metal group called Black Sabbath.
- Mark O’Toole reckons that his three main role models are Bugs Bunny (“good sense of humour”), Indiana Jones (“a hero”), and Beethoven (“he writes good pop tunes”).
- Holly’s favourite painters are Duncan Grant, Picasso, Matisse, Andy Warhol and Michelangelo.
- Ped’s father works in double-glazing.
- Paul Rutherford used to share a flat with Pete Burns of Dead Or Alive.
- Holly has a plastic sailor sitting on the stairs in his flat: “a cheap little rubbishy thing but I love it”.
- When Frankie dressed up as Russians for “Two Tribes”, Paul said: “I felt like I was wearing my mother’s cat”.