Frankie Goes To Hollywood biography
Frankie Goes to Hollywood (FGTH) were a British band popular in the mid-1980s. The group was fronted by Holly Johnson (vocals), with Paul Rutherford (vocals, keyboards), Peter Gill (drums, percussion), Mark O'Toole (bass guitar), and Brian Nash (guitar).
The group's debut single "Relax" was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts and subsequently topped the UK singles chart for five consecutive weeks, going on to enjoy prolonged chart success throughout that year and ultimately becoming the seventh best-selling UK single of all time. It also won the 1985 Brit Award for Best British Single. After the follow-up success of "Two Tribes" and "The Power of Love," FGTH became only the second act in the history of the UK charts to reach number one with their first three singles; the first being fellow Liverpudlians Gerry & the Pacemakers. In 1985, Frankie Goes to Hollywood won the Brit Award for Best British Newcomer, and the band also received Grammy Award and MTV Video Music Award nominations for Best New Artist.
Formationthumb On the B-side to the group's first single, Johnson explained that the group's name derived from a page from The New Yorker magazine, featuring the headline "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" and a picture of Frank Sinatra, although the magazine page Johnson referred to was actually a pop art poster by Guy Peellaert. Allegedly the original group named "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" dates from 1980.
The nucleus of the group emerged from the late 1970s Liverpool punk scene. Lead singer Johnson had played bass with Big in Japan and had also released two solo singles. Local musicians Peter Gill (drums), Jed O'Toole (bass), and Jed's cousin Brian Nash (guitar) initially joined Johnson, calling themselves Sons of Egypt. This line-up secured a number of small local gigs before disbanding
The group was reprised when Johnson joined Mark O'Toole (bass) and Peter "Ped" Gill to form FGTH. During a particularly fluid period of personnel changes, Jed O'Toole joined FGTH on guitar, and a female vocalist, Sonia Mazumder, was also a band member for the first Frankie gig at the Leeds nightclub "The Warehouse," supporting Hambi & The Dance. Paul Rutherford – a member of the headline act who had also sung in seminal Liverpool punk band The Spitfire Boys – apparently got so caught up in Frankie's performance that he effectively replaced Mazumder that very night. The new all-male musical line-up subsequently toured locally with a leather-clad female duo known as "The Leatherpets" and managed to fund promotional videos and demos, despite being eventually turned down by both Arista Records and Phonogram. In October 1982, the group recorded a John Peel Session for BBC Radio 1, comprising the originals "Krisco Kisses," "Two Tribes," "Disneyland," and "The World is My Oyster." Around this time Jed O'Toole left the group, to be replaced by the returning Brian Nash.
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