Sadly, I learned today of the death of Chris Sievey, better known as his comical alter-ego Frank Sidebottom, a man with a huge “cartoon” head who lived with his mother in Timperly just south of Manchester and who wanted to be a pop star. For anyone in their thirties (as I am) and who grew up in the UK (as I did) Frank was regular background feature in our lives doing kids’ telly in the ’80s, appearing on radio and TV in the ’90s and touring with his “Oh Blimey Big Band” in the past decade. Sievey was diagnosed with cancer in May of 2010 and, as always, reported this in character on his Frank Sidebottom twitter account. Even though we knew he was ill his death has still come as something of a shock.
There’s also a good reason why I’m mentioning this sad news on this blog: Sievey wrote a couple of games for the ZX Spectrum: The Biz and Flying Train; the latter actually being released as the B-side of one of his singles. Clicking on their names will take you to the appropriate World of Spectrum pages.
In addition to these, he wrote an article as Frank Sidebottom for the ZX Spectrum magazine CRASH in the late ’80s which has been uploaded as scans here and here by @StuAA on Twitter. Those programs probably work as well, be sure to give them a try if your patient and don’t forget Little Frank’s little program at the bottom of page two!
And from the same magazine, here’s an interview with Sievey about his games which includes a rare photograph of the man himself being “interviewed” by his alter-ego.
Goodbye, Frank, we’ll miss you.
Tags: zx spectrum