Friday, 21 June 2013

Frank Sidebottom... Three Years Gone

frank sidebottom (c) martin unsworth/liverecs

It has come to that time of year again. The horrible realism that the wonderful Chris Sievey is no longer with us. This year has seen a flurry of activity relating to Chris, and his timeless genius creation Frank Sidebottom.
As well as the planned statue which is due to be erected in Timperley village sometime soon (it is currently at the foundry being created), there is the documentary being made by Steve Sullivan who directed the short Magical Timperley Tour film in 2006. You can view this in full below.

The documentary was a massive hit on Kickstarter, raising more than twice the initial target, and I personally would like to thank everybody who got involved and helped out. I was interviewed for the project last December just before the fabulous Frank Night took place at the Night and Day in Manchester. This was a brilliant event, with appearances by punk writer and musician John Robb, actress Maxine Peake and former drummer from The Smiths Mike Joyce. The night was topped off by a set from Chris' old band, The Freshies fronted by his son Harry. It was brilliant to see bassist Rick Sarko and guitarist Barry Spencer rip through the best power pop music ever written. The fact The Freshies never made it to be as big as The Beatles is the biggest tragedy in the world. There has also been a film made based loosely on the Frank legend, simply called Frank, it was written by one time Oh Blimey Big Band (south version) member Jon Ronson, who would go on to be a successful writer and journalist, scoring a massive hit with his book The Men Who Stare At Goats, which was made into a film with George Clooney. Frank stars Prometheus' Michael Fassbender as a mysterious, avant-garde singer in an American rock band, and according to Ronson, is definitely NOT based solely on Mr Sidebottom. The photo (below) of Fassbender in costume may not back that up completely. And the actor's own official website features a picture of the Islington "Stewie's Stencils" graffiti of Frank on the page for "Frank news".
frank michael fassbender
Michael Fassbender as "Frank" in the upcoming film

frank sidebottom (c) martin unsworth/liverecs
Hopefully, as the years go by, instead of mourning a cult musician/comedian, we will be celebrating the rightful iconic status of Chris - his music, and his most famous creation.
As ever, I raise a glass to you Chris, and wish you could be here to share it with me, and the thousands that loved everything you did. Thank You.

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