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The facts on Frankie

YOU would have to have been asleep for all of 1984 to have missed the impact that Frankie Goes To Hollywood have made this year.

Their single, Relax, was banned, but went straight to Number One, as did their next hit, Two Tribes.

Everyone claimed to be sick to death of those ‘Frankie Say and ‘Relax T-shirts, but hands up anyone who didnt wear one, at least once, last Summer? If theres one thing Frankie knows about, its publicity.

“Were not just a hype though,” says dance-master Paul Rutherford. “You couldnt get away with that kind of publicity if you werent making excellent records to back it up, could you?”


Most of that publicity has been centred on Holly and Paul, the two front-men and singers with Frankie. But an equally vital part of the group are ‘The Lads, as they call themselves, the three essential backing musicians, Mark, Ped and Nasher.

“We write the music then give it to Holly to go away and get inspired and write the lyrics,” they explain. “It is a bit of a pain people thinking were just the backing band or something.”

The Lads have been over-shadowed not only by the two stars in the band, but by the Frankie image.


Theres no denying that we make good videos, even if they do get banned,” they sigh. “But a lot of that is down to Paul and Holly.

“With the Relax video, which got banned, they went completely over the top, and to be quite honest we were embarrassed by it. They didnt involved us at all.”

Paul Rutherford backs up the story, too.

“I did feel sorry about that,” be admits. “It wasnt fair of me and Holly to impose all out weird idea on The Lads. After all, were a band. Were moving away from that now.”

Does this mean that Frankie are going to calm down and make nice, boring videos in future? Holly doesnt answer — just gives us that famous lop-sided smile… We will have to wait and see!


Holly — real name William Johnson:

Vocalist and lyricist, aged 25. “Ive always been weird,” he admits.

Paul Rutherford:

Vocalist and ‘dance-master. Hollys best friend, and the self-confessed ‘arty member of the band. Aged 25.

Peter ‘Ped Gill:

Groups drummer. Used to have a ‘sensible job as a wood machinist before joining a band. “I wanted to play guitar but my hands were too small, so it was drums instead!” Aged 20.

Mark OToole

Bass player. Nashers cousin, ex-carpenter. Aged 20. His older brother Jed was Frankies original guitarist.

Brian ‘Nasher Nash:

Guitarist, ex-electrician. Aged 25. “I saw Frankie one night and thought they were brilliant,” he remembers. “I was first in the queue when Marks brother Jed left.”


“I wasnt in Frankie at the start, but I was friends with Holly. I went to see them one night and got so excited I just jumped right up on stage with them.”

Paul Rutherford.

“He was always odd. He dyed his hair green once when he was young, and the local paper printed all these letters saying ‘Whos the Martian walking around Liverpool?!”

Pat Johnson (Hollys Mum).

“This is harder work than any other job Ive ever witnessed.”

Holly Johnson.

“Boy George doesnt like us, but hes an idiot.”

Paul Rutherford.

“We want to create a stir, because weve set out to do something really different.”

Mark OToole