My haven, Holly Johnson: The lead singer of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, 61, in the garden of his home in Fulham
- Holly Johnson shares items of significance in the garden of his home in Fulham
- Singer, 61, treasures the six-string Epiphone Bard guitar given by his father
- Also cherishes a 1970s Mickey Mouse phone bought when he moved to London
Singer Holly Johnson, 61, (pictured) shared items of personal significance in the garden of his home in Fulham
I do everything at this table in my garden – eat, work and paint. There’s one chair for me and one for my partner Wolfgang – we’ve been together since 1984, just after Frankie Goes To Hollywood found fame.
This painting I did was inspired by English artist Christopher Wood – who came from Liverpool like me (he died very young but he knew Picasso) – and also by Mary Fedden, who I knew. They are two of my favourite British painters.
2. STRUMMER BOY
I have a few guitars, but this six-string Epiphone Bard is the one my father gave me. I thought it must have fallen off the back of a lorry, but he actually bought it! He’d seen it in the shop window as he passed by driving his taxi.
It was a surprise as he hadn’t been overly encouraging about my music. Until then I’d been playing away on a really bad guitar that I’d managed to buy with cigarette coupons.
3. ALADDIN AWE
I was inspired by Marc Bolan and David Bowie, and Bowie’s 1973 Aladdin Sane album had such a strong visual impact on me. I first saw it when I read in the NME that it was being held back because of the special silver ink used in printing the cover.
A friend and I bought it the day it came out, in a record store in Liverpool. Back then, you could go into a booth and they’d play it for you. We then bought tickets to see Bowie at the Liverpool Empire – our first proper concert. We had missed school to buy the tickets!
Holly said he was heartbroken when he lost Funky (pictured), his white poodle
4. MY NEW BEST FRIEND
God knows what our dog Punky is really. Battersea Dogs Home described him as a four-year-old Pomchi (a Pomeranian-Chihuahua cross). Someone had bought him online, but their Chihuahua didn’t like him, so after one day they gave him up.
We only got him a few weeks ago and he’s still getting used to us, but he’s wonderful. I was scared to get another dog because I was heartbroken when I lost Funky, my white poodle, and I didn’t want to go through that again.
5. DIAL M FOR MICKEY
There was one of these 1970s Mickey Mouse telephones (the backpack is the handset) in a shop window around the corner from where I lived in my teenage years. I would see it daily when I got the single-decker cream and green bus to school from Penny Lane bus terminus. I had always wanted one, and one found me eventually when I moved to London.
6. FANS’ FAVOURITE
I do have an Ivor Novello award for the best contemporary song (for Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s single Two Tribes in 1984), which is a rather lovely sculpture.
But this plastic one means more to me – it’s a Radio 1 Listeners’ Award for the song Relax, which was voted for by the public despite the fact they couldn’t hear it on Radio 1, as they had banned it for a few months in 1984. It feels more important because it’s a ‘by the people, for the people’ sort of thing.
As told to Chrissy Iley. The soundtrack to Everybody’s Talking About Jamie – out now on Amazon Prime – includes Holly’s track with Richard E Grant, This Was Me.