On a whim I scanned for new channels on the telly and out of nowhere, amongst all the adult channels and teasers for G.O.L.D. and Sky Sports, popped Channel M. Channel M is the local station for Manchester which I had assumed to be defunct. I talked about this last year in my obituary for Frank Sidebottom, and by now I would have though Channel M had slipped of the planet. But here it is alive and well (but probably still working with skeleton staff and not producing any new content). First thing I did was forwarded the listings to late night and joy of joys there it is: 01:00 – 02:00 Frank Sidebottom’s Testcard. I don’t have any way of recording and preserving this, not even a video, but something has to be done.
On a related Sidie note I’m considering writing a book about him. He has such a huge wealth of art, illustration and other media that it needs to be compiled into and exhaustive glossy book Taschen-style (the best art books in the world bar none. Forget about Phaidon; their pictures are too small and they just lack a certain sparkle). There must also be an unlimited amount of anecdotes about his bizarre life, and some jokey pop-psychology about a mind that lives his public life as a cartoon character in a papier mache head. It’d be a massive project collecting images, interviewing family, friends and fans, compiling it all together and trying to get the bloody thing published. But someone has got to do it and I volunteer myself.
I’ve already started a bit of casual compiling and collecting but it’s not yet snowballed into serious obsession. Christmas treated me well with Frank Sidebottom prezzies: Frank’s Fantastic Shed Show DVD from my kindly in-laws and Frank’s Fantastic Show Biz Box Set CDs + DVD from my parents (thanks everyone!). I don’t imagine my future Frank glossy hardback will be a massive seller, but if Taschen are involved it will do well and be an amazing lovingly produced work of art. It’ll help me pay the rent, and ensure that the Frank Sidebottom statue in Timperley goes ahead without a hitch.
If you want a Frank statue in Timperley (and why wouldn’t you!?) please go to the Frank Sidebottom Statue appeal page (and maybe even donate some money) or the facebook group. My contributions to the Frankophilia! exhibition of fan art will be auctioned off at a later date to help raise the £60,000(!) needed. Not sure when this will be happening but I’ll keep you all posted about the details, etc. And now it’s time for sleep, you know it is...