I was sad to read that Frank Sidebottom — or Chris Sievey, his real name — died today. I have vague memories of him being on television when I was very young, and it was a joy to rediscover him when he made his comeback four or five years ago.
He never returned to the heights of his late 1980s zenith, so I have had to make do with YouTube for my fix of Frank Sidebottom. Although I did buy and enjoy ‘ABC&D’, his best of CD.
I had seen that he was diagnosed with cancer recently, and clearly he was in a very bad way. But it didn’t stop him performing and just last week he released a World Cup song, ‘Three Shirts on my Line‘ (“35 years of dirt, just washed out by me mum”).
His former keyboardist, Jon Ronson, wrote a great article about Frank Sidebottom’s career a few years ago. Fascinating reading, and quite sad too.
(If you look carefully in the credits, you’ll see that he is even credited as Frank Sidebottom, not Chris Sievey.)
A Twitter campaign to get Frank Sidebottom to number 1 is gathering steam — @MakeFrank1. I think it would be very apt. Because going by the reaction from people today, while Frank Sidebottom disappeared from view somewhat in recent years, it’s clear that many people loved him.
One of the greatest Frank Sidebottom moments is also one of the greatest Aphex Twin moments!
A fine rendition of my favourite Frank Sidebottom song, ‘The Monopoly Song’, as performed on Channel M’s testcard!
An early TV appearance.
Iain Lee guesting on Frank Sidebottom’s Proper Telly Show (shown in black and white so that you don’t have to turn the colour down), on Channel M a few years ago.