ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

A day to remember

Holly Johnson “The day Frankie Goes To Hollywood got to number one”

“I woke about 8 oclock. I was staying with some friends in Stoke Newington in London. I dont sleep very well on Monday nights anymore because we get the new chart position on Tuesday morning.

I rang up Zang Tumb Tuum, our record label—its like a Greek Palace—and they said, youre Number One! I started singing and dancing round the room. I was with me friend Jed. Jed works behind the bar at a club and is just an old friend from Liverpool. Sometimes he cuts my hair.

I didnt have time to eat anything. I had no clothes with me because Id been out to the pub the night before and I was looking a bit scruffy. But I thought, it doesnt matter, Im Number One. I can wear scruffy clothes if I want to!

I ordered a cab and came down to the Columbia Hotel where I had a shower and changed into some new clothes—the clothes I wore on Page 2 of the last Smash Hits. We did that photo session on that day.

Anyway I rushed to the studio and did about five interviews on the telephone while the other members of the band did photo sessions in the other room. And we were preparing to go to Europe the next day. We were really manic with hard work. Then it was over to Covent Garden to do another photo session with a huge buzzard for a German magazine. Theyre really vicious birds and everyone was a bit frightened to do it. You should see those beaks! They also set us in this gothic fantasy scene—a kind of fairy castle. People often ask us to do strange things like that.

Then we were rushed headlong back to Z.T.T. to do some more interviews. Oh, on the way, I did drop into the clothes shop Paul Smith in Covent Garden to get a waistcoat and shirt. Theyre like hunting gear with little pheasants and men with guns. The waistcoats red, the shirts black.

By this time its 7.00 in the evening. Were back in the studio and Im getting really annoyed because weve been working so hard and Island, who distribute our records, hadnt laid on provisions for us. I thought that was really a bad show. I rang them up and was really rude to them. Also Id heard they were celebrating their first Number One in years with champagne! So they rushed over four bottles of champagne and lots of McDonalds. Thats why Ive got such a mean expression on my face in that Smash Hits picture. Im starving to death.

I did get time to ring me Mum and Dad then. They were really pleased that wed knocked Paul McCartney off the Number One spot.

(cont.)
Me Dad drives a cab and me Mum works as a nurse in a childrens heart clinic.

After the photo session I staggered to the London Apprentice pub in the East End for a quiet drink where I met my friend Jed again. I said, lad Im exhausted, lets go home. So we did and started to chat and after that went to sleep.

The next day we went to Europe and there were lots of photographers at the airport. It was exactly like that—being a Hollywood star. But all that slowly died off. When youre in that position, the record company tends to overwork you to keep themselves in a job. Youre pounced upon. Its good fun but very hard work.

Because the record was banned I thought the glory had been stolen slightly because we werent able to do Top Of The Pops. So I was glad we went to Europe. Doing Top Of The Pops is part of the enjoyment of being Number One. Mike Read? I thought, thank-you Mike Read.”