ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Danny Jackson (Omnibus, £4.95)

OR MORE aptly, Frankie Say: Not The Official Frankie Book! Clocking in at a midget 80 pages, evenly divided between dullard prose and variable photos (all of which, naturally, depict the post ZTT Frankies) this is A Slim Volume in many ways.

Mr Jackson has at least researched the history of the Frankies in some detail and is thus informative; he is certainly never boring, perhaps because to be boring in 80 pages would take some colossal feat of monotonous writing. But in every other respect, Frankie Say is a thumnail sketch that shames cuticles everywhere. On such issues as Can-they-play? Are-they-Trevors puppet?, and Do-they-hate-Paul? Jackson simply says he reckson they can, he doesnt think they are, and sometimes they get a tiny bit vexed. He raises an issue like a cleaner raising the corner of a carpet to sweep dirt under it, gingerly and with a view to dropping it again quickly.

The “authorised” Frankie bog is bound to be a scurrilous tale of lies, swearing and moral turpitude, and will thus be about 15 times more entertaining than this tome. One may admire the doggedness of a man who questions the existence of a poster in Liverpools dockland that inspired the groups name and yet does not have the luck to fund page one of Nik Cohn and Guy Peelarts Rock Dreams; but at £4.95, one need not follow him where he chooses to go — I mean, even the 12" singles are better value …

David Quantick