Today’s offering is Frankie Goes to Hollywood. When Relax came out back in 1984 my ears pricked up and I was instantly hooked on their sound. I had birthday money and pocket money saved up in my room and when their first album came out I went to Woolworths and bought it, it is a gatefold album and it is still in pristine condition and one of my many prized pieces of vinyl. I have the 12″ of Relax, and again it is a prized record and again in pristine condition.
However, even though Relax was their first single, I thought we would go for their second which is Two Tribes.
One fact that not many people know is that FGTH’s first three singles hit number one in the UK, the only other band that did that was also from Liverpool, they were Gerry and the Pacemakers back in 1963.
If you ever want to know about the band then my suggested reading is “Nasher Says Relax” by Brian Nash. A very interesting read telling what really went on and dispelling the idea that they made lots of money.
Ther are many songs that have meaning for me, but I have chosen two for you today.
Back in 1992, I started going to the gay scene in Liverpool and to a club called Reflections, sadly it is no longer there as it was outdone by one of the “superclubs” called Garlands. Back in 1992 I got myself an apartment and was living in Liverpool, and had a pen friend from LA called Rocko who was staying with me for a few months, we decided that we would venture to the scene in Liverpool for the first time. Together we went into a bar called “Reflections” and it seemed like a piano bar, quite quiet for a Friday night in a big vibrant city. Rocko decided to go and find a toilet, and on his return, open mouthed with glee written all over his face he said: “Oh my god, I have found a whole new world, come on!” I followed him with a little excitement and a touch of trepidation down a longs staircase with music emitting from the depths. We got to the bottom and he turned to me and said “Ready?”, I nodded, and as he opened the doors to the club, I was engulfed in lights dry ice smoke and an atmosphere I will never forget. The song that started playing when we went in was my first choice. It was such a memorable time in my life, I even remember what I was wearing which was a pair of denim dungarees, a white v neck tee shirt, red tartan Dr Martin boots with green laces, and a black bomber jacket. I had the time of my life and went to Reflections many times. When it closed down I, like the rest of the scene ended up in Garlands, which was and still is a great club, and I ended up a podium dancer there, but that’s another story.
Dr. Alban – It’s My Life
My second pick for today is a song that brings back many memories from my club days. I had moved up north to a seaside town, and as well as my day job I used to work in the towns largest night clubs and ran the champagne lounge, so with that I had many many famous guests, but one of my guests was Edwin Starr. Now, at the time I was, and still am, to be honest, a fan of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and they had done a cover of War by Edwin, and it was one of many favourite songs at the time. When Edwin was a guest, I asked him if he would perform War for me, and he duly did, it was one of many highlights in my life, and I have fond memories of that night.