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Neil Francis Tennant:


personal file:

Neil Francis Tennant was born on July 10th 1954 in North Shields, Northumberland.
Around his 17 he plays in a group in Newcastle called Dust: Their most popular song is a preposterous affair he has written called "Can you hear the dawn break?". They are heavily influenced by The Incredible String Band. "We were convinced we would become terribly famous. It was a very kind of stoned seventies but we used to think it was absolutely brilliant at the time".
After completing a degree in history at the Polytechnic of North London in 1975, Neil took a job at Marvel Comics, anglicizing spellings and indicating where over-risque woman needed to be redrawn decently. While there he interviewed comic fan Marc Bolan, who politely pointed out that his tape recorder wasn't working. In 1977 he worked at Macdonald Educational Publishing, later moving to ITV Books. In June 1982, he joined Smash Hits.
On August 19th 1981, Neil and Chris met by chance in an electronics shop on the Kings Road. Realizing they had a common interest in dance music, they began to write together. To begin with they called themselves West End; later they came up with the name Pet Shop Boys, a name derived from some friends who worked in a pet shop in Ealing. "We thought it sounded like an English rap group".

  • Neil's former house
  • Neil's Day in Life

  • photos:


    Favourite Drink:
    'Red wine. Or Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Or water.'

    Favourite Food:
    'Brown rice and vegetables.'

    Favourite color:
    'Dark Blue.'

    Favourite Toy As A Kid:
    'A train set, my cousin's originally, on a green board. It had Potter's Bar station on it, and whenever I pass though Potter's station on the way to Durham I always think of the train set.'

    Favourite Item Of Clothing:
    'I'm arfaid I haven't really got one at the moment.'

    Favourite Word:

    Favourite Journey:
    'When I lived in Rye I used to love the train journey from Ashford to Rye across the marshes on a winter's afternoon.'

    Favourite Animal:
    'My dog.'

    Favourite Smell:

    Favourite Book As A Teenager:
    'The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake. I haven't read them for thirty years but I think I'm going to read again on this tour. I liked the fact that it was its own world-this enormous castle that goes forever; you discover unknown rooms with things happening in them.'

    'New shoes - I love the way they smell. Beautiful eyes - they make me melt. I also find gentleness a turn-on.'

    'Shrinkwrapping. Smelly hotel rooms. People who bend your ear. I'm a bit of an ear-benders magnet.'

    Best And Worst Characteristics:
    'I don't thing one should ever discuss what you regard as your best characteristic. The worst are an endless list. So many, really. Ttetchiness, tactlessness, bossiness, being too full-on all the time, being slightly obsessive. All these things, by the way, have their positive side, I think.'

    First Single Bought:
    "Girl Don't Come' by Sandie Shaw. And what a great record it is.'

    First Album Bought:
    'The Beatles'White Album.'

    First Concert:
    'Jon Hiseman's Colosseum in Newcastle City Hall, autumn 1968. I wouldn't like it now but it was great then. I partculary liked the lights.'

    First Kiss:
    'With Frances MacDonald in the book cupboard at the back of our classroom in St Oswald's primary school in Newcastle when I was about nine. I quite enjoyed it.'

    Most Impressive Scar:
    'I've only got one scar really, less than inch long, below my chin. I imagine I got it as a kind, but I don't know how.'

    Things Which Make You Cry:
    'Emotional music. For instance at Dusty's funeral when they played a tape of 'Goin' Back'. People I know dying makes me cry, particulary if they're young. And innocence hurt, in whatever situation. But, ecpecially these days, I don't think crying is necessarily a sing of sincerity.'

    Ambition As A Child:
    'To be a pop star.'

    taken from NIGHTLIFE tour programme