Full Name – Neil Francis Tennant
Date of Birth – 10th July 1954
Birthplace – Brunton Park, Northumberland, England
Favorites Music – Indie
Favorites Musical Artists – Elton John and Dusty Springfield
Favorites Drinks – Champagne and white wine
Hobbies – ???
Favorites Clothes – Suits, but no ties!!
Favorites Holiday Destination – ???
Favorites Records (from Literally March 1996) –
John Adams – Shaker Loops Performed By The London Chamber Orchestra
David Clark – Archive One
Tunge Jegende – Lamentation
Various – Drag Addict
Lou Harrison – Suite For Symphonic Strings Performed By The American Composers Orchestra
Before the Pet Shop Boys
The following extracts are taken from an article called “The Pet Shop Boys Story” published in Smash Hits magazine in 1989
Neil Frances Tennant had been born on July 10th 1954 in North Shields into a family that had nothing to do with music or acting or anything like that – his father actually worked in a Swedish rubber company. When he arrived in the world he already had an older sister Susan – he was later joined by two younger brothers, Simon and Phillip.
Neil Tennant’s creative instincts made themselves known early. When he was nine or ten he decided that he’d already lived too long without making a contribution to the nation’s artistic heritage. It was time to write a musical. He roped in a mate of his called Patrician and together they hit upon a title, “The Girl Who Pulled Tails”.
They even wrote a song, the sadly forgotten “Has Anybody Seen My Cat?” (which went “has anybody seen my cat / the one with the long tail?”). Enormous personal acclaim and wealth weren’t immediately theirs, quite possibly because they never actually got round to telling many people about it. “We were going to perform it in her back garden,” remembers Neil, “but I went camping with the scouts instead.”
His primary school years are mainly remarkable for larking about with a girl called Frances Macdonald – “we used to kiss in the book cupboard. We got caught but then I think that was half the point.” Soon, however, he found himself at St Cuthbert’s. The first day wasn’t that much fun.
“I’ve only ever had a bit of a Geordie accent,” he recalls. “Everyone else had really strong ones and they called me ‘posse’. I was a bit upset.”
He might have sounded a bit posh but it soon became clear that he wasn’t going to be a very easy pupil. At home, he remembers, “I was a rebel. I used to argue with my parents a lot”; at school he wasn’t much different. The teachers were clearly quite befuddled – towards the end of his stay the English teacher was forced to comment on Neil’s report: “Neil attends when he chooses and writes what he wishes – on what does he base his claim to superiority?”
Neil also had his own group. They were called Dust and were “very kind of stoned seventies”. Their most famous song was Neil’s own “Can You Hear The Dawn Break?”.
“We were convinced we would become terribly famous,” Neil remembers. Of course nothing of the sort happened. Instead Neil finished school and had to do something else. He decided to go to university to study history and archaeology, then decided instead that he fancied a course in communication studies at London Central Poly. He was rejected for that – he fell
asleep before the interview and so was uselessly dopey – but succeeded in being accepted at the Polytechnic of North London, where he once more decided that history was his vocation.
There he stayed until mid-1975. He considered doing a postgraduate degree (in Imperial and Commonwealth history, fact fans) but instead he applied, and got, a job as British editor of Marvel Comics, who published the unlikely feats and doings of comic characters like Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk, the Fantastic Four, Conan The Barbarian and so on. They were originally made in America – Neil had to make them suitable for a British audience. “I had to anglicize the spelling (i.e. change things like color to color), put bikinis on uncovered breasts. . .
” he recalls.
He stayed there a couple of years, not earning very much money, then got a job at a book publishers called Macdonald Educational. He was to spend the next few years in book publishing being responsible for books on cooking, squash, one called Animals in Action and – most famously – the Dairy Book of Home Management – a book you could buy off your friendly milkman with some cunning combination of money and bottle tops and which contained, Neil remembers, “chapters on gardening, electricity, and, of course, cookery.” It was quite a responsibility – as he was to say later once he’d enter the dizzy world of pop, “I’ve always said that after editing that, which had a huge budget and made millions, a lot of this pop stuff seems easy.”
Already, you see, that pop stuff was on his mind. Throughout all these years he’d carried on writing songs on this piano or guitar at home, occasionally playing them to friends. When synthesizers started being used by lots of pop groups at the beginning of the 1980s he even popped into an electrical shop on the Kings Road near where he lived to get some bits and pieces for his synthesizer. There he got chatting to a bloke called Chris, who, funnily enough, has a story of his own. . .
Quote from Neil at Smash Hits magazine
“I’ll always remember sitting in the bowels of the Chief Hydra, where they had this funny thing called a Television, and on the TV was Top Of The Pops. And I remember watching Cilia Black signing You Are My World and I use to thing how fab she was. I’ve always been a big fan of Cilia of course.”
Hidden Secrets about Neil
This information, based on Western and Chinese astrology and Chinese face reading, was published in an unknown magazine
Neil Tennant. Sun Sign – Cancer. Born in the Chinese year of The Horse In The Clouds.
As a Cancerian born mid-cycle, Neil is hard working sensitive and devious. As a Horse In The Clouds he is also very, very ambitious. He gets things done even if it means bullying Chris, but sometimes he manipulates people just for fun – the cad. It’s hunky dory at the moment but he’d better watch out – Horse In The Clouds people often find things going wrong when they reach their 40s.As a horse,
Neil attracts people easily but finds it hard to trust them. And as a Cancerian, beneath that cool exterior he’s a mass of insecurities and jealousies. He’ll hold back from commitment for as long as he can because when he falls in love he falls hard and it hurts. Coincidentally, here is N. Tennant on love: “Wake Up is about unrequited love, which is a very frustrating thing. It’s like a dream or even a nightmare almost. You wish you weren’t in love with them.
” Sob!Face – A bucket shaped face indicates real highs and lows of fortune and a tendency to be gloomy! Sign of someone who needs praise to feed a large ego and who also holds back in his relationships.
Eyes – Triangular eyes mean that he dislikes people who disagree with him and he can use people for his own ambitious ends. The hollows at the edges of his eyes shows a cynicism about love. (“I love you, you pay my rent.”?)
Nose – Thin nostrils like Napoleon’s show an adventurous spirit. But they can also mean a lonely middle age – another warning that he should value his friends.
Mouth – It’s thick! He has red lips! It’s a well defined triangular shape! He’s passionate! And emotionally changeable!
Ears – They stick out, which indicate a tendency to be mistaken for the FA cup, and a need a need to slog for success. They’re long which shows canniness and the dainty pointed tips show he’s stubborn.
Chin – His chin is flat! Ooo-er, yet another sign that he may have problems later on in life. “Wait until tomorrow and there’s still no guarantee.” Precisely!