ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Frankie goes to No.1

The Frankie Goes To Hollywood story as told through No.1. Remember where you read it first!

On October 29, 1983, a half page advert appeared in No.1. “Frankie Goes To Hollywood Have Come,” it said. While everyone elses eyes were on E.T, a new and more powerful little fellow had arrived.

A month later Frankie appeared for the first time, in person, in No.1. “Hooray For Hollywood,” we gaily cried as Mr Holly Johnson told us why he liked Culture Club and Doris Day.

By Christmas the rest of the country was starting to catch on. ‘Relax moved up the charts, Mike Read moved heaven and earth to stop it. And by the end of January Frankie Goes To Holywood had completed a double that was to be repeated often over the next year or so…

Frankie were both No.1 in the charts and No.1 on the cover.

In fact through ‘84/85 Frankie would spend 14 weeks at No.1 and seven weeks on the cover of No.1 (nothing like living up to your name, eh?).

So as a tribute to possibly the most important alliance since David Bowie and Bing Crosby, No.1 presents Frankie — ripped, relaxed and rippling from the pages of your favourite pop magazine. In our words and theirs…


Nov 5, 1983. The ad.

“This nineteen inches makes Wham seem like Pinky and Perky, makes Big Country seem like a back garden in St Helens, makes Style Council seem like the last line of a Barbara Cartland novel.”

Nov 26. The first interview with Holly.

“Culture Club write the best crafted pop tunes around, they perk you up, dont they?

“I saw Georges face on the cover of Ritz… winking at me. I went, ‘Alright there, George lad! How does it feel?”.

Jan 21, 1984. Frankies first No.1 cover and an interview with the lads in Liverpool.

Nash: “Paul and Holly would rather hang out in the Armadillo Tea Rooms where everyone sits around going ‘Oh Andy Warhol, yah, pretending its London.”

Mark: “Frankie is about sex and having a good time at somebody elses expense.”

And Holly: “My job is to manipulate sensationalism. We want front pages.”

And on the ban: “We dont think its shocking. It depends on your attitude and your age.”

March 24. Paul Rutherford in No.1s Modern Love feature, on Frankies gay image.

“We didnt want people going to the bar or the toilet halfway through the set. It was the clothes that we personally liked.

“A lot of the fuss about ‘Relax was because of the way we were marketed. I dont think we were particularly happy with some of it. It made us out to be a bit narrow.”

April 21. Holly previews the bang to come.

“The album will be the record of 1984. I believe this is our time, were on a wave. ‘Two Tribes pisses all over ‘Relax.

“Frankies message for 1984 is have a good time, every minute of the day. Ill have to go now, I left a pan of scouse on the stove.”

Nash: “My attitude is Ive done it once with ‘Relax, so if ‘Two Tribes isnt a hit it wont kill me. Only Gerry And The Pacemakers ever their their first three consecutive singles get to No.1…”

And then of course No.1 had a little break due to an industrial dispute. Just before that ‘Two Tribes went to No.1. And it was still there when No.1 came back. Heres what the lads had to say about their reign at the top…

Aug 4. “Its dead borin being at No.1,” Ped lies. “Theyve told us to do ‘War on TOTP this time. Sod that.”

Paul Rutherford: “If I had a fiver for every interview Ive done, Id have ooh, lots of money…”

Ped: “If I ‘ad a fiver for every interview Id done Id have nuthin.”

Holly: “Every time I see someone in one of those T-shirts I think… whoa! thats another 27½p in the coffers.

“Its very summer of 1984, which pleases me. Weve put our mark on it, like Roxy Music did in 1973.”

Nov 24. Frankie Hits America, naturally with No.1s Max ‘Relax Bell.

Holly (to the American audience): “Now, what do Frankie say again?”

Dec 1. Holly: “I love New York and I hate it. New York is ‘Hello I love you, give me some work. Everyone wants a dollar — it reeks of capitalism.

“The only time were alone (in America) is in the back of a limo or I just before a gig… were coping with each other, were riding the storm, but I must say Im homesick.

“Im having a good time but I wanna go home.”

Ped: “Tell No.1 that the lads are the heaviest band in the world.”

Trevor Horn sets the record straight: “People have said Im a Hitler in the studio, that the album was all my work. Thats complete rubbish. I wouldnt tell anyone my trade secrets but honestly felt like getting the press in at one stage and playing them the bands demos and mixes just so they could see how wrong those criticisms were.

“A lot of the talk I put down to industry or press jealousy of Paul Morley.”

Paul Rutherford: “We did a press reception in Montreal and this ugly fat guy said: ‘Ive just got one question for you and that is, do you think youre doing us a favour talking to us?, and Holly said, ‘Yeah, we are, so get out! The next day he was on the radio yelling Frankie Go Home!”

Mark OToole: “At the moment I dont know what time it is or what day it is. Like I phoned me ma up and everything sounds dead normal at home, you known theyre watching Corrie and Im on Madison Avenue!”

Dec 15. Ped, on winning No.1 New Act in our Readers Poll:

“Weve won the best new act. That figures. We are. Do we get a prize? I want a gold-plated turd.

“It doesnt bother me that Duran and Wham beat us out in best act overall. These matters are up to the fans. Weve still had a great year. Its been a laff.”

Nash on the end of the US Tour:

“I expected to be knackered but Im not. I think weve handled it quite well for our first major tour. Its better that we can make a few cock-ups-here cos it wont matter so much. Theyre not hardcore fans.”

Ped on Santa:

“He doesnt exist, does he? I saw me mum kiss me auld fella once when he had the red gear on, but it was obviously still the auld fella, cos he was pissed as a rat.”

Peds Xmas joke for No.1:

“Knock knock.”

“Whos there?”

“One up.”

“One up who?”

“Do ya?”

Jan 12, 1985. Mark OToole reacts to Frankie playing Liverpool at Xmas:

“The first gig was great because there was loads of tension and everybody was panicking. The second night was a bit of an anticlimax because wed done it before.

“But tonight was great because there were loads of tricks. The crew stitched us up spraying us with the crazy foam and the silly string. It was brilliant. And musically it was better tonight.”

Mar 2. Paul Rutherfords first cover to himself:

“I think you should always be as honest as possible. I certainly dont want to live a lie… Were never going to be pretentious, because weve got nothing to be pretentious about.

“Morley had the bigger ideas for us. Even before he got to know us he thought, if I can market this band, get people to like them, then Im a happy man. And I think hes done it.

“I think well come back with something thatll make peoples lips curl, feel a bit sick, like, cos I know what were like.

“And I do feel that we should have a change soon. We should become like warrior braves again. And we will do.”

Paul on his role in the band:

“The day they get bored with me and want me to leave, Ill leave, because Im quite a gracious being. But I think they like being around me, and like me being around.”

April 6. Mark OTooles first cover to himself.

Mark on their first British tour:

“Yknow, three weeks ago, none of this was happening. Now all five of us are getting loads of screams. Its very weird.”

April 13. The Mark OToole interview.

“I only every had one job, working as an apprentice carpenter for the Liverpool Corporation… I got sacked because was always havin to take time off to record ‘Relax and do TOTP and things.

“I remember when ‘Relax first got to No.1. We couldnt even go to the party the record company had to celebrate because we were suddenly workin so ‘ard. I thought f***ing hell, its not going to be like this all the time, is it? An it is!

“This woman from a national newspaper asked me recently whats it like being a sex symbol. What can you say to that!

“I dont feel good lookin — nah, yes I do!”

No.1 SAY…

Nov 5, 1983. Mark Cooper reviews a new single called ‘Relax.

“The sound of leather boys at pleasure, Frankies debut single takes the boys town style out of safe hands and into a hard and dangerous night…”


“The record hasnt been banned. It just isnt being played.”

No.1 SAY…

June 9, ‘84. Sunie reviews ‘Two Tribes.

“Its a noisy and rather exhausting melee of HM power, disco fever and Afro beat. Totally unstoppable… I cant wait ‘till they get around to religion.”


Nick Rhodes reviews the Frankie LP.

“I wanted to like the album and I do like some of it — but the garbage that comes with it, in the way of the sleeve, exudes a desperation to be controversial…

“The album begins in a grand orchestral/operatic manner. This is followed by something not dissimilar to Asian elevator music with somebody impersonating sheep.

“‘The Power Of Love… what?

This is a whimpering folkie ballad and possible competition for the next Englebert Humperdinck single. Frankie go for the mums…

“If side two was coupled with side four, minus ‘The Power Of Love, adding ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome, it would have made a considerably better and more pleasurable debut album.”


Debbi Voller reviews it for good measure.

“An ambitious and epic production/presentation which will be hailed as the Ben Hur of the pop charts… It almost sounds too big it fit in your living room.

“Frankly, Frankie, I dont give a damn who deserves more praise for all of this originality — you or Trevor Horn. What does matter is that youve given us a kick up the 80s…”

No.1 SAY…

Sunie reviews ‘The Power Of Love.

“Led Zeppelin do a ballad! Gosh these boys are versatile… 70s kitsch seems to be the flavour of the month, but a pomp rock revival I can live without.”


Paul Bursche reviews ‘Welcome To The Pleasure Dome — the single.

“‘Welcome is in fact saying goodbye. On the B-side may lie the future… Quirky, whimsical, ‘Happy Hi is genunely different. Ill put my head on the chopping block to predict that Frankie wont be a one-year wonder after all.”