ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Errrp bleurggh, burp, burp, burp..!

Roughly translated that is an interview with the Three Lads. The musical muscle in FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD dont want to talk about their new single, their new album or how much money theyve got. They just want to burp into the rm microphone. Does this make them rock n roll rebels or one giant pain in the neck?

So there I was, sat in a Chinese restaurant in Kensington, with all hell breaking loose in the form of the three lads from Frankie…

Ped: ‘Ear that? Three lads! ‘All of Fame!

Yes anyway, as I was saying, there I was with the three lads attempting to conduct an Interview…

Mark: Shit

And getting…

Ped: Errrrp bleurgherrp!

Yes, thank you Ped. Nothing but four letter words and unbelievably ear-splitting belches recorded for posterity.

Mark: Ask a decent question!

Ped: Errgh. Erp. Errgh!

As you will no doubt gather, a new Frankle Goes To Hollywood single called ‘Rage Hard is about to split the airwaves. It is the first from the band in over a year and the reason for this debacle. Therere a thousand and one questions you could ask, and unfortunately, because Im quite a long way down the interview schedule, theyve already been asked them and are getting fed up with ‘Did you want to get rid of Holly?, ‘Have you all fallen out?, ‘Are you all millionaires, ‘Whats the new album like type questions.

Theyre also most definitely not into doing interviews, and on the way to the restaurant, Mark and Ped disappear for what seems like forever into a computer hardware shop. Ped, you see, has a new computer and seems far more interested in his new programme and the whole Peking duck he manages to scoff along with Mark, than settling down to some serious conversation. Oh that and shit, of course.

Nasher is the quieter of the three and I have the suspicion that had I interviewed the old dears separately, I might have got more sense out of them. But as it was, they got stuck into the shit groove and every question I asked was greeted in the same manner.

Lets talk about the new album…

P: Were shit. Everyone is shit.

Why are you in the business, then?

M: ‘Cos were shit.

N: Copraphilia is in for ‘86…

I was going to say, youve got an unnatural fascination with what comes out of your backsides.

P: Worrabout piss? Snot? Puke…

Um lads, the new album?

P: Its shit!

M: Its like ‘Breaking Glass.

P: And worrisit?

M: Its shit.

P: The 12 inch?? (All together) Shit! The singles shit. Every track is shit. The covers shit. Everyone who worked on it is a shithead… it should do well!

Im not getting very far with you lot, am I?

M: Its ‘cos youre shit…

Gee thanks, fellas. Ill sleep easier tonight knowing that. So do I qualify for a shit in the handbag, then? (Legend has it, that one poor lass managed to so upset the lads that they defecated in her handbag when she left the room for five minutes.)

P: Who knows? The shitll know. Thats because she was being really ‘orrible…

M: Ask a decent question!

Whats a decent question, Mark?

M: I doan no. Im not the interviewer.

But you seem to be interrogating me…

M: Im not interrogating anybody. Im just askin you a question. The interview with a difference, thats all.


Thanks, Ped

N: Har! Har!

M: Arent ya gonna ask us like, what colour socks we wear then or anytin like that?

Erm, how about the new album? Id say you were getting more into the rocky side of stuff.

P: Nah, were not into this ‘the new albums a bit ‘eavier than the last one. Everyone says that…

N: We ‘ate Led Zeppelin as well, ‘cos everybody else likes ‘em. Like the Cult got ‘Led Zeppelin 3' and went weird, didnt they? Were about fookin 10 light years aead of everyone.

M: Behind ya.

P: Well, yous saying, yeah, the new albums a bit ‘eavier than the last one and were dead weirdo and its Zeppelin and were dead ‘eavy. Bollocks n all that.

M: Were into Venoml

N: Trash metal. Its the only thing. Its Venom and Metallica and if its under 150 beats a minute, were not interested!

By this time, the meal has arrived and, while I gamely ride out the anti-vegetarian taunts and forgo my usual gallon of Pernod for pints of lager, Im wondering why on earth they bothered turning up. OK, lads, why do you bother giving interviews if you dont like doing them?

P: Whaa?

M: Why do we bother? ‘Cos its a laugh.

Hmm, not for me.

P: We ‘ave to or we wouldnt get our views across on life.

OK then, whatre your views on…

P: You just fookin ask us…

Thatchers South African policies?

M: Its shit.

N: Shes a shit.

Oh dear, this really isnt getting the baby bathed, is it? Youre not very fond of the press, are you?

P: No ones arsed.

M: Occupational hazard, innit?

Well, you got yourselves into the job in the first place…

P: We do it, were not complainin. Youre the one whos saying that. We couldnt be arsed and weve only just gorrup, but well be alright in a minute.

N: Well, people try and handle yer with kid gloves, dont they?

M: No, theyve never tried to handle us with kid gloves and stuff like that. Interviews n all that, its just a laugh. Its not like, er, I couldnt take an interview seriously like fookin Mick Jagger does.

P: Oh yeah, like, the new album and yeah, were doing this and were doing that and really be serious about it. Then, when you go out the door, all youre gonna do is shout ‘Bollocks! Id shag ‘er! Shag that! Yeah! Give us a bevvy! Its puttin a big false thing on…

Yes, but dont you think that by acting like this youre reinforcing the myth that youre three brainless louts?

(Ive just come back from the ladies, expecting, at the very least a sock in my prawn with ginger in black bean sauce, and find instead that theyve just spent five minutes burping and saying ‘shit into the tape recorder.)

P: (Indignant) Were not!

N: Dont you think its to everyones advantage that they think were complete dickeads that can be manipulated by everybody?

M: Eat shit!

N: If people think youre really clever n intelligent, they treat you really clever n intelligent and expect you to do clever, intelligent things, so you cant get away with fookin merder, then, can ya?

M: Is that what you think we are? Three louts?


P: Brainless dickeads? If thats what youre thinkin, then thats what we are.

Time to completely change the subject. I turn off the tape for a bit but Mark grabs it and turns it back on. Time too, for the obvious question. Having just interviewed Pete Wylie on the subject, I think we ought to hear your side of the story chaps. Nasher, is it true that your dad came up to Wylie at your wedding and said, ‘Get my son away from those two…

P: Pooves?

N: Nah.

M: Youre after the big scoop ‘ere, arent ya?

N: I wanted to ask Demis Roussos but he wasnt there.

M: I think hes pluggin for a job or sunnint, you auld fella!

N: On vocals, wrinkly ‘ead!

Theres no smoke without fire…

N: Is that what you think about ‘Olly n all that?

P: Yeah, but in ‘Ollys situation we used them firelighters and theyre smokeless!

N: The way that that started, was because he never got on the same plane as us at Montreux, just because he didnt wanna stay in-the ‘otel overnight because he doesnt sit in bars, bevvying, thats why.

P: And we dont go to bed early, so why didnt anyone think were leavin ‘im? But its up to ‘im what he does. No one complains if he wants to go to bed.

And thats how it started?

P: Yeah, and everyone though, ‘Ey, thats a bit weird. ‘Ow come theyre lying on the floor, face down over there pissed and ‘es in bed? Why does everyone give ‘im stick fer that?

N: Just because he never arrived with us and left with us.

The question eventually gets asked that I thought sooner or later was going to be broached, and its the one that every interviewer dreads — the moment when a band ask what you think of them.

P: Do you like us? Musically, that is?

No, but I like ‘Rage Hard because its got a bit of a tune and a bit of dynamic to it.

M: So you think were shit?

I didnt say that.

M: I will, were shit.

So why are you still in the band?

M: ‘Cos I dont wanna leave, ‘cos everything else is shit.

N: Go and join the Smiths, eh?

M: Now thatll be SHIT. The thing is that theyre so trendy they wont take any money for selling records.

Im sure youll find that they want their money like everyone else.

P: So why does everyone give us stick for having money? ‘Cos you earn yer money why does everyone think ‘Oh youre millionaires? Weve earnt our fookin crust for doing this.

N: For what weve got, which is the unknown quantity, weve earnt it.

P: So we dont deserve what we get?

I didnt say that.

P: Its just a joke. Its not our fault if they pay us so much, is it? Were not gonna say no. So, if someone offered you 100 grand, youre gonna say, ‘no ‘cos I dont think Ive earnt it? You wouldnt say no. Youd fookin grab it straight away. Obviously, thats what anyone does.

Then everyone gives you stick ‘cos someones given you a grand for makin records or whatever.

N: The thing is, that nobody knows what weve earnt so ‘ow can they say whether we deserve it or not? Theyve got these ideas in their ‘eads that o weve got loads of fookin money, so if they think we dont deserve it.

P: Weve earned more than weve ever earnt in our lives for doing like, not a nine to five job but its sort of more of a brain-wracking thing than it is physical. But everyone thinks, ‘Oh yeah, they were on ‘TOTP and now theyve got loads of fookin money, so they dont deserve it and theyre all jealous!

N: Weve done a lot more than any other new band ever did. Didnt we? We sold more records than any other band thatd just come up from nowhere. So we do deserve it.

P: You should be thankful ‘cos there wouldve been nuttin in 1984… therefore yousd been out of a job. 1984, there wasnt much goin down and when we came in, although we were really ‘eavy when we first did it, like, at least we fookin made it a bit more lively.

M: ‘Ey, youre getting a bit talkative now lads! Shit!

P: But really it was a load of shit! And now were back to where we were in the first place!

Hmm, maybe in more ways than one. Thankfully, a very big train up to Manchester beckons and the interview is truncated, leaving Ped to ruminate on his new (but second hand) Ferrari, Mark on when hell pass his driving test (he managed to smash a hire car up the first time he went out driving) and Nasher? Well, who knows. Who knows too, what the fate of the Frankies will be — although the single is certainly destined for a top 10 position, at least. Anything more to say lads, before I switch off?


Yes, quite.