AMAZINGLY FRANK INTERVIEW WITH ONE TIME BOYBAND MEMBER, PHIL FROM BIG FUN.
Source: HATE MAGAZINE
"BIG FUN DID BONGS WITH SINITTA"
That’s what Phil Creswick, formerly of early 90’s boyband Big Fun told us when we spoke to him about being part of the gayest band ever!
Phil was 22 when he was having big fun with fellow bandmates Mark and Jason. You’ll remember their biggest hit, the cover of Blame It On The Boogie, with its balls-not-dropped vocals and gay dance routine. We got in touch with Phil, now 38, after spotting an ad for his painting business in Boyz mag. He was happy to spill the goss on Big Fun and what he’s been doing since.
How did Big Fun actually start?
"OK, no one has ever heard this story! I answered an ad in a gay mag. It was from a record producer wanting to meet a young man, so I thought, ‘that’s a road into the music industry!’. Terrible isn’t it? I replied and it was Ian Levine. He was a DJ at Heaven and wrote the track ‘Hi-Nrg’. But he was really big, really fat. And he became a little obsessed with me in a way. He took me to Ralph Lauren and bought me loads of clothes, took me to dinner a few times"
Great! But did you have to let him fuck you up the ass?
"I didn’t have to anything with him, thank god. And he paid for a gym membership. He was managing a gay band called Seventh Avenue at the time. The boys just fronted it. Never sang on the records. Ian got rid of the original line-up and I asked to audition for the new band. I met Jason there. There were two other boys in the band called Steve and Mark and we went on tour. We recorded a cover of ‘The Love I Lost’ although it wasn’t us singing. Steve left and we didn’t like Mark, and my boyfriend, also called Mark, had a great voice. He used to drive us on tour, and we wanted him in the band. So we got rid of the other Mark by telling him we were disbanding!"
We like your style! What next?
"At that point Jason went to the Covent Garden Sauna, slept with a lawyer who happened to know the head of Jive Records, who was looking for a male Bananarama. They came to see a Seventh Avenue show in Scotland and signed us. We started doing the Hitman & her tour with Pete Waterman and then went to Japan with him, Mandy Smith and Hazell Dean. It was then that Ian Levine found out we signed to Jive. He called us up and had a go at us. Mark just told him to ‘Fucking shut up you big fat cow!’. I just used Ian really. In my day there wasn’t any Pop Idol, you had to sleep with people to get into the music industry".
So who came up with the name Big Fun?
"Our single ‘I Feel The Earth Move’ was coming out and we still didn’t have a name. The Inner City track, Good Life, was out about then and it had the line, ‘We’re having big fun, and the party’s just begun’, so we just nicked it".
What was the biggest fun you had in Big Fun?
"Well, when you’re a male band and you’re touring gay clubs in America, every club you go to the owner wants to show you a good time, so there’s cocaine, everything and limousines. You’d come off stage and basically you got the pick of all the guys in the crowd. And on the Hitman & her tour, Sinitta had to be given her own tour bus cos her and her dancers were known to do naughty things, smoking pot and stuff. We got on so well with her. A few nights into the tour we ended up in a Holiday Inn on the M4 and I did my first bong with Sinitta and ended up passing out in her toilet. I used to blow dry her hair for her before she went on stage. Simon Cowell was managing and shagging her at the time, he came on tour with us. He was really nice and friendly. Definitely NOT a homo".
So were you still dating Mark?
"No. It was very hard throughout Big Fun. We were together for about four years and it’s very hard when you’re on the straight tours, in separate bedrooms and you’re meant to be in the closet, when it’s so fucking obvious that we were queer. And you are told in press interviews to say you are straight because you have a straight following. We had girls camping outside our door! It is awful having to pretend to be something you’re not. You go along with it, it’s a money making machine".
So, did you make any money out of the band?
"The only people that made cash out of Big Fun were the producers and record company. I just got a statement from Jive saying we still owe them £249, 000! You don’t get any guidance when it comes to money. You pay for everything. Every flight, hotel, bodyguard. We got £35, 000 in advance for the album, that’s between the three of us and before tax. Pete Waterman said we were only allowed to write the b-sides. You don’t get royalties for them. You can make up to £3000 on live appearances and we made a bit from them. We sold about a million units. The album went Gold in five countries and in Spain, we had three songs in the Top 10 at once. We couldn’t go anywhere without a police guard".
Did you sleep with any other famous people?
"No. But I did get to see George Michael’s willy! When Elton John got to number one with ‘Sacrifice’, we were taken to L’Escargot cos Jason was shagging John Reid, Elton’s manager. Everyone got really pissed and George Michael started sucking on helium balloons and started going ‘let’s all sing like Big Fun!’. Mark got really upset. George went to the loo and I followed him in just so I could take a look at his Greek willy’.
What was it like?
"Hairy, really hairy. And I got a flash of Jason Donovan’s".
Did you hate anyone?
"We toured with Kylie and Jason, and they were lovely, but The Reynolds Girls were horrible. HORRIBLE. Vile. Not very nice at all. And we did this show in Europe with Jimmy Sommerville and he shouted at us in the corridor ‘Why don’t you come out of the closet you faggots!’. Mark was like, ‘Fuck off Mr. Potato Head!’."
Were you on drugs all the time?
"The day before we did a major photoshoot we were up all night taking acid with these two rappers called the She Rockers. One of them freaked out and thought she could see spiders so we had to calm her down and so we didn’t sleep at all. We got picked up at 7 a.m. and we were wired. On the ‘Can’t Shake The Feeling’ single cover we’ve all got sunglasses on cos we were so fucking tired and our pupils were huge".
What happened next?
"We got signed by a new manager and went to New York. The Bee Gees wrote five songs for us, one was a good ballad, but nothing great. But the manager didn’t know what to do with us and then Jive dropped us. Mark and I had split up and I’d had enough of it anyway. I stayed in NYC for two years and got a job in a restaurant. I had the best time. I could be totally anonymous".
So what do you do now?
"I do interiors and paint effects. I’m so much happier now, I like an easy life. I still write as well. I had two tracks on the Olsen Twins last album and I’ve done albums with Vince Clarke from Erasure".
What about the other boys?
"Jason works at Global Record Management and has just signed Geri. I wrote a track that’s perfect for her and took it to him in his swanky Soho office. He just turned around and said, ‘Hmm, needs a bit of work’. And I spoke to Mark just yesterday".
Would you do a reunion?
"We’ve been asked loads!. I’d do it cos I’ve no shame, but the others don’t want to, they’ve got their careers now. But I think it would be a giggle… and I have aged the best! I got a call a month ago about a TV show for a pop reunion where they’d follow you around for a week practising and then you’d have to perform at the end. They really wanted us - we were like their first choice and I was like ‘Why the fuck was Big Fun your first choice!?".