Question: Frank Sidebottom: who was he?
Answer: a uniquely British character, in particular, a Northern character.
A man with:
- a large head
papier-mache fibre-glass head
- a nasal voice
- a Mancunian (Manchester accent)
- a love of Altrincham FC football club (whose shirt he is wearing in this pic)
- a love of singing about “Alty”
He also loved the words “fantastic” and “blimey.”
Here’s a clip from a typical evening’s entertainment with Frankie.
Recognise him now?
I’ve been a fan of his for over thirty years. Yes, me with my postgraduate education, laughing at daft things like that. Blimey!
Here are the fantastic lyrics to his Alty fan song, which I think is as good as You’ll Never Walk Alone…
“On Saturday at five to three
There’s only one place to be –
Down at the Moss Lane football ground
The team come out, the crowd all roar
We come, win, lose, or draw
The only team for me is Altrincham FC
Oh the Robins aren’t Bobbins, says me
So, why the title, F-RAN-KK? Well, it was a quiet Sunday afternoon today. I was chatting to my old classmate, “The Roz,” about my recent visit to the naturist section at Unterbacher See. The Roz is also a Frank Sidebottom fan, being from up the road from Frank’s home town.
Blimey, Ginge! Well done, but I couldn’t bl00dy well do that.
Then we got talking about what would happen if Frank Sidebottom had come with me to the naturist section, the FKK-Bereich. The comedic elements just write themselves…
Imagine the scene…
Frank arrives in his Altrincham FC kit. To quote the late, great man himself:
The shorts are black,
The shirts are red,
An ace combination, as I’ve said…
Our Frank strips out of his Alty strip.
Blimey! They’re all in the nip!
An overzealous parks official comes and tells Frankie S to remove his
papier-mache fibre-glass head in order to be fully stripped off.
But this is my head. It is part of me.
Little Frank joins in with protesting.
The official walks off.
Frank turns to camera and says:
Oh no! They’d better not tell me mum!
Frank decides a bit of music is needed to lighten the mood and entertain the hundreds of Germans in their birthday suits. He gets his organ out. (Phoar!) That is, his Hammond electronic organ. He starts to sing:
“On a Monday at five to three
There is only one place to be –
Down at the Unterbacher See
The clothes come off, we’re in the raw
We come here, and it isn’t a chore
The only place for me is Unterbacher See!
Oh, the Germans aren’t Bobbins, says me…
Then cut away to Frank Sidebottom interviewing some very confused Germans in English.
Is it nice lying in the sun oh natural? Back home in Timperley we never have enough sun to go sunbathing.
Have a frank day, won’t you!