Frank Sidebottom - C or D ?

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Never got his particular joke, but still, sad times.

Background Zombie (CharlieNo4), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:13 (nine years ago) link


display-name aesthete (snoball), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:22 (nine years ago) link

you know he's dead
he's really dead

zappi, Monday, 21 June 2010 16:23 (nine years ago) link

There's something really sad and a bit eerie and seeing people's final tweets from like 19 hours before their death. Looks like he was still planning to attend gigs. Very sad.

Vulvuzela (Matt DC), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:29 (nine years ago) link

Very sad.

fit and working again, Monday, 21 June 2010 16:43 (nine years ago) link

Obligatory 'Let's get Frank to number one' Facebook group.

James Mitchell, Monday, 21 June 2010 16:48 (nine years ago) link

Damn, what a shocker. Amazing how he could make a career out of one joke last for 25 years, though was rather fond of his version of Anarchy in the UK back in the day.

State Attorney Foxhart Cubycheck (Billy Dods), Monday, 21 June 2010 16:52 (nine years ago) link

very fucking sad about this.... so many great reworkings of classic songs.

Feel lucky to have seen him live a few times - good clean fun!... I still have the t-shirt he sold me about 20 years ago..

RIP Frank...

Deluxe Merseybeat Wig (Jack Battery-Pack), Monday, 21 June 2010 17:03 (nine years ago) link

Mods please updated with an RIP..

Right now, Frank is 2nd in the Twitter trend list... crazy...

Deluxe Merseybeat Wig (Jack Battery-Pack), Monday, 21 June 2010 17:11 (nine years ago) link


James Mitchell, Monday, 21 June 2010 17:36 (nine years ago) link

No wonder that second album took so long:

James Mitchell, Monday, 21 June 2010 20:31 (nine years ago) link

christ, RIP dude

Mark Ronson: "Led Zeppelin were responsible for hip-hop" (acoleuthic), Monday, 21 June 2010 21:49 (nine years ago) link

RIP. I bought his computer game back in the day, a music biz simulation thingy for the Spectrum.

anatol_merklich, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 09:42 (nine years ago) link

There is no truth in the scurrilous rumour that Chris Sievey was Frank Sidebottom. I interviewed the pair of them on the phone for my ‘North Will Rise Again’ oral history of Manchester book and after about an hour of brilliant stuff from Chris I asked him about Frank figuring he must know something about the nasally comic genius.
The phone went click.
A few minutes later the phone rang and oddly it was Frank on the phone coincidentally ringing to sort out an interview.
Nice obit by John Robb:

James Mitchell, Tuesday, 22 June 2010 09:44 (nine years ago) link

The comic genius behind Mancunian legend Frank Sidebottom is facing a pauper's funeral after dying virtually penniless.

Chris Sievey, whose alter-ego became a comedy icon thanks to his over-sized papier-mache head, had no assets and little money in the bank, his family have revealed.

Chris leaves sons Stirling, 31, and Harry, 18, and daughter Asher, 30. Stirling said the family have been in discussion with hospital bereavement officers and a funeral director.

He said: "My father has not left any money behind and we are struggling to try and sort his funeral out. He spent money as it came in and was always a man for the moment. He never planned ahead. We have spoken to a funeral director and the sort of figures that they are talking about are too high."

James Mitchell, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 08:03 (nine years ago) link

Did a gig with Frank almost 4 years ago to the day. It was a 2006 world cup gig with England v Trinidad on a big screen followed by a the bands, followed by Frank. Chris and his manager/promoter had driven down from Manc in a van with his keyboards, Frank's heads/costumes and a mountain of wholesaler's boxes of crisps and cheese puffs which they continually served out to fans watching the game in the bar of the Bull & Gate. Out of costume, he was a small, retiring figure who sat nervously on his own. As Frank, even though everyone knew all the material backwards, he was warm, larger-than-life and v.v funny. RIP

Dr.C, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 08:56 (nine years ago) link

even though everyone knew all the material backwards

I think a major part of Franks appeal was that fact that the audience participated and was part of the show..

Deluxe Merseybeat Wig (Jack Battery-Pack), Wednesday, 23 June 2010 11:23 (nine years ago) link

you can help pay for Franks funeral expenses here

zappi, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:01 (nine years ago) link

it would appear that frank is well regarded as they've raised more than enough already, about £6k in a few hours

(but don't let that stop you)

koogs, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:51 (nine years ago) link

(oops, extraneous ""s, was going to try and explain why jon ronson is involved, but i'm not sure myself 8)

koogs, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 12:52 (nine years ago) link

JRonson is another of Chris Sievey's past associates, along with Caroline Aherne, etc.

Mark G, Wednesday, 23 June 2010 17:50 (nine years ago) link

two weeks pass...

Guess Who's Been On Match Of The Day? is currently at number 46 on the pop charts.

James Mitchell, Wednesday, 7 July 2010 21:52 (nine years ago) link


Mark G, Thursday, 8 July 2010 07:10 (nine years ago) link

Think it's higher than that now.

James Mitchell, Thursday, 8 July 2010 07:25 (nine years ago) link

Go Frank!

Mark G, Thursday, 8 July 2010 07:36 (nine years ago) link

There's a celebration of him tonight, somewhere in Manchester. Don't know the details though.

djh, Thursday, 8 July 2010 12:40 (nine years ago) link

number 22 or something now. i've bought it.

Humbert Humberto Suazo (jim in glasgow), Thursday, 8 July 2010 15:38 (nine years ago) link

"Because of the sheer amount of love and goodwill, the family have also
agreed to host another seperate send-off for Frank Sidebottom which will be
held at Castlefield Arena on 8th July between 7:00pm and 10:00pm. The event
is totally free and will feature the likes of Badly Drawn Boy, Charlie
Chuck and others. More details can be found at "

koogs, Thursday, 8 July 2010 16:03 (nine years ago) link

Charlie Chuck!

Ned Trifle II, Thursday, 8 July 2010 16:10 (nine years ago) link

three months pass...

A+ final paragraph

StanM, Wednesday, 3 November 2010 17:01 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Frank Sidebottom inspires Michael Fassbender film
Fassbender (l) will wear a false head in the film similar to that worn by Frank Sidebottom (r)

Michael Fassbender is to star in a film partially inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the eccentric comedy character renowned for his over-sized, papier-mache head.

Frank, a Film4 collaboration with the Irish Film Board, tells of a musician who joins a band led by Fassbender's mysterious title character.

The film is written by journalist and author Jon Ronson with Peter Straughan.

Mark G, Monday, 10 September 2012 14:53 (seven years ago) link

four months pass...

So, is Clara meant to represent Paula?

Mark G, Thursday, 10 January 2013 14:21 (six years ago) link

three months pass...

Kickstarter for Sidebottom documentary:

emil.y, Wednesday, 1 May 2013 17:42 (six years ago) link

ten months pass...

So...nothing whatsoever to do with Frank Sidebottom or Chris Seivey then?

everything, Thursday, 6 March 2014 20:23 (five years ago) link

A quirky band takes a road trip across America to take a shot at their one chance at fame. There's a movie I want to see.

everything, Thursday, 6 March 2014 20:41 (five years ago) link

yowch that looks dreadful. weird how they've pitched it as a high-octane action comedy with buff hollywood star in the lead role, words like HILARIOUS and ABSURD in a jolly yellow font flashing up on screen to signpost that the 'jokes' are actually jokes. then there's this clip which takes more of a twee sub-spike jonze equally-irritating tack:

either way ronson has gotta be having sleepless nights about how rotten this is looking like turning out

NI, Thursday, 6 March 2014 20:56 (five years ago) link

I like that it's a 'different' Frank.

It remains to be seen if it's a good movie though.

Mark G, Thursday, 6 March 2014 23:58 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

What I've read so far, this seems to be allegorical, hugely, to Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, around the time of "Trout Mask Replica"...

Mark G, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 10:53 (five years ago) link

I loved it, but it's 100% NOT a high-octane action comedy with buff hollywood star in the lead role, words like HILARIOUS and ABSURD in a jolly yellow font flashing up on screen and they don't actually position it that way at all. Blame the people who cut the trailers there.

That said, it's not about Frank Sidebottom, except in the abstract - it's about outsider musicians in general, and cult fame, and the thin line between a certain type of precious genius and mental illness. It's darker than I expected, but there are lots of gags. I feel like its ideal audience is people who find something haunting and beautiful in The Shaggs, not just something to laugh at. Daniel Johnston's story is definitely conjured as well. The music (I didn't recognize the name and can't remember it) is more-than-credible post-punk that doesn't sound anything like Sidebottom's plinky tunes. It's almost more like MX-80 or Pere Ubu or something.

I haven't read any reviews, so don't know what people have disliked who disliked it, but I could see some people being irritated by the running device of the lead character constantly Twittering (I personally cringe when I hear anyone in the world say "hashtag *something*" out loud).

It should get, and deserves, a cult following.

Walter Galt, Wednesday, 23 April 2014 15:11 (five years ago) link

watching the trailer with the sound off it does look QUITE bad

conrad, Wednesday, 23 April 2014 15:28 (five years ago) link

I haven't read any reviews, so don't know what people have disliked who disliked it, but I could see some people being irritated by the running device of the lead character constantly Twittering

yes this was absolutely awful. As well as the whole SXSW trip.

I enjoyed it on a superficial level but I'm not even a fan and I found the complete divorce from the actual Frank Sidebottom story puzzling and quite off-putting. He was such an authentically strange English eccentric (and 80s/90s artifact) that the modernisation and Americanisation felt a bit cheap and wrong. It seemed like a rather self-conscious attempt to make Sidebottom cool, which he obviously never was

Number None, Wednesday, 23 April 2014 17:57 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

The Jon Ronson "Frank" book, smallest (content) book ever, sets out and explains the why/what of the film, but it's mostly about the (real) Frank, and Jon being in his band and that.

Mark G, Saturday, 17 May 2014 23:55 (five years ago) link

probably the best ending to a film i didn't care for much that i've ever seen. the last 15 minutes were amazing especially the song IMO. it will sorta spoil it if you hear the song outside of the film though.

piscesx, Sunday, 18 May 2014 02:27 (five years ago) link

one month passes...

The Mick Middles book is great, by the way.

It's epub only at the moment, but it's due out on paper later in the year.

Mark G, Wednesday, 9 July 2014 07:02 (five years ago) link

I'm really going to have to watch this again. As much as I enjoyed the film, I'm not sure I absorbed the whole thing, especially things like:

turns its gormless narrator/observer into a genuine monster

really? how so?

and I didn't notice anything remarkable about the ending at all?

dive inside water and you will know (dog latin), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:16 (four years ago) link

A good companion to this film though is Moodysson's 'We Are The Best'

dive inside water and you will know (dog latin), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:16 (four years ago) link

Now it's funny/appropriate you mention the Moodyson in context of _Frank_ in that this piece yesterday talks about both through the lens of the tortured artist myth (and a reaction to it in the context of these films):

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:25 (four years ago) link

xpost because he ends up taking over the situation, separating Frank from the rest of the band, passively, to the point where the SXSQ performance is Jon doing his 'nice' songs while Frank stands by and is the focus of attention. And Jon loving it.

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 16:35 (four years ago) link

that article, on frank at least, is self-contradictory and point-missing imo

imago, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:14 (four years ago) link

I liked this movie but with reservations. The music was a let-down tbh (not talking about the final scene here). just this guy who was so into creating this select group of people to surround himself with and to play music with and yet his expression of himself was some ridiculous sub-Doors twaddle. thought that was lamely played for laughs rather than providing some illumination as to who/what Frank was.

everyday sheeple (Michael B), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:43 (four years ago) link

Well, I thought so as well, but the songs on the soundtrack (effectively the 2nd time of hearing) I liked better.

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:54 (four years ago) link

What's the chance of a Beefheart biopic d'ye reckon? Could be a cross between this and that Charles Manson movie, "Helter Skelter"?

Letsby Avenue (Tom D.), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:56 (four years ago) link

Well, now this film exists, I can't see it happening.

Mark G, Tuesday, 9 December 2014 17:59 (four years ago) link

I imagine there would be legal problems too... plus people might not believe it could actually have happened.

Letsby Avenue (Tom D.), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 18:01 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

britishers: 'Frank' is on film4 tonight at 22:40

koogs, Wednesday, 31 August 2016 15:59 (three years ago) link

Britishers: don't bother it's rubbish

ewar woowar (or something), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:35 (three years ago) link

No it isn't.

Mark G, Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:57 (three years ago) link

it looks bobbins

ælərdaɪs (jim in vancouver), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:58 (three years ago) link

it's quite good, great ending

imago, Wednesday, 31 August 2016 19:59 (three years ago) link

trailer does not entice

wan bobolink (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:02 (three years ago) link

don't suppose i'm the target market tho

wan bobolink (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:03 (three years ago) link

Thread idea:

Self-discipline: what are you the target market for?

poor fiddy-less albion (darraghmac), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:36 (three years ago) link

cider, cheese snacks

wan bobolink (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 31 August 2016 20:43 (three years ago) link

four months pass...

This was not a very good movie. Not helped by Domnhall Gleeson being almost inexplicably terrible.

I felt like its treatment of mental illness was completely uneven, and it very much confused what the movie was supposed to be about. The ending is a relief, mostly because you finally get to hear Frank and his band play a whole goddamn song.

El Tomboto, Sunday, 29 January 2017 04:07 (two years ago) link

(Gleeson's been good playing an earnest yet self-serving twit elsewhere, namely Ex Machina, so I can't figure out what happened here other than weak material)

El Tomboto, Sunday, 29 January 2017 04:12 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

The 'Real' Frank Sidebottom docu-movie is finally getting its previews and release and so on!

Mark G, Wednesday, 14 March 2018 19:44 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

A review of the new documentary

The reviewer isn't familiar with Frank and doesn't seem to quite catch what he's all about so maybe the film misses the mark a bit? Still, can't wait to see this.

everything, Saturday, 14 April 2018 00:27 (one year ago) link

eleven months pass...
two weeks pass...


El Tomboto, Sunday, 14 April 2019 13:01 (six months ago) link

Boffins and bobbins in the same sentence but not in the title? :(

StanM, Sunday, 14 April 2019 13:41 (six months ago) link

Gratifying to see the British secret services are good for least one thing.

Do you like 70s hard rock with a guitar hero? (Tom D.), Sunday, 14 April 2019 13:42 (six months ago) link

four months pass...

wasn't sure if 100 mins of a frank sidebottom documentary might become trying but i ended up thoroughly enjoying it.

visiting, Wednesday, 28 August 2019 00:11 (one month ago) link

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