|Birth name||Glyn Geoffrey Ellis|
28 October 1945 |
Manchester, Lancashire, England
|Associated acts||The Mindbenders|
Fontana was born in Manchester, Lancashire, and took his stage name from Elvis Presley's drummer, D.J. Fontana. In 1963 he formed his backing group, the Mindbenders, and secured a recording contract, coincidentally, with Fontana Records. He remained under contract to the label after parting with the Mindbenders. He soldiered on alone, using musicians working under the name of the Opposition, notably Frank Renshaw (lead guitar) (born 22 June 1943, Wythenshawe, Manchester); Bernie Burns (drums); Roy "Rossi" Henshall (bass); Rod Gerrard (guitar, ex-Herman's Hermits), and Phil Keane (drums), among others. Sometimes the band was billed as the Mindbenders, sometimes just as the Wayne Fontana Band. Fontana's most successful solo single release was also his last, "Pamela, Pamela", which reached No 11 in the UK Singles Chart early in 1967.
In 2005, he fought off bankruptcy but was arrested after police were called by bailiffs who went to his home in Glossop, Derbyshire. He poured petrol on the bonnet of a baliff's car and set it alight with the bailiff still inside. Fontana was remanded in custody on 25 May 2007. He later appeared at Derby Crown Court dressed as Lady Justice, complete with a sword, scales, crown, cape and dark glasses, and claiming "justice is blind". He dismissed his lawyers. On 10 November 2007 he was sentenced to 11 months for setting fire to the car but was released because he had already served the equivalent of the term, having been held under the Mental Health Act 1983. After his release he settled in Spain.
When the matter was brought to court, it was found that the ticket had never been issued to him and he had returned home to Spain unaware that he had an outstanding ticket. It was also determined, at Wakefield Magistrates' Court, that points had been erroneously added to his licence and these were removed by the court. All outstanding fines were paid as well as pending parking fines and this cleared his record.
Fontana continues to perform, notably in the 2008 Solid Silver Sixties Tour.
Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders
- "Hello Josephine" b/w "Road Runner" - 1963 - UK No. 46 (UK Fontana TF404)
- "For You, For You" b/w "Love Potion No. 9" - 1963 (UK Fontana TF418)
- "Little Darlin'" b/w "Come Dance With Me" - 1964 (UK Fontana TF436)
- "Stop Look and Listen" b/w "Duke of Earl" - 1964 - UK No. 37 (UK Fontana TF451)
- "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" b/w "First Taste of Love" - 1964 - UK No. 5 (UK Fontana TF497)
- "The Game of Love" b/w "Since You've Been Gone" - 1965 - UK No. 2, US No. 1 (UK Fontana TF535/US Fontana F-1503)
- "Game of Love" b/w "One More Time" - 1965 (US Fontana F-1509)
- "It's Just a Little Bit Too Late" b/w "Long Time Comin'"- 1965 - UK No. 20, US No. 45 (UK Fontana TF579/US Fontana F-1514)
- "She Needs Love" b/w "Like I Did" - 1965 - UK No. 32 (UK Fontana TF611/US Fontana F-1524)
Wayne Fontana (solo)
- "It Was Easier to Hurt Her" b/w "You Made Me What I Am Today" - 1965 - UK No. 36 (UK Fontana TF642/US MGM 13456)
- "Come on Home" b/w "My Eyes Break Out in Tears" - 1966 - UK No. 16 (UK Fontana TF684/US MGM 13516)
- "Goodbye Bluebird" b/w "The Sun's So Hot Today" - 1966 - UK No. 49 (UK Fontana TF737)
- "Pamela Pamela" b/w "Something Keeps Calling Me Back" - 1966 - UK No. 11 (UK Fontana TF770/US MGM 13661)
- "24 Sycamore" b/w "From A Boy to a Man" - 1967 (UK Fontana TF827/US MGM 13762) (huge hit in Australia)
- "The Impossible Years" b/w "In My World" - 1967 (UK Fontana TF866) (Australian hit)
- "Gina" b/w "We All Love the Human Race" - 1967 (UK Fontana TF889) (No. 1 in Rio de Janeiro)
- "Storybook Children" b/w "I Need To Love You" - 1968 (UK Fontana TF911)
- "The Words of Bartholomew" b/w "Mind Excursion" - 1968 (UK Fontana TF933)
- "Never An Everyday Thing" b/w "Waiting for a Break in the Clouds" - 1968 (UK Fontana TF976)
- "Dayton Ohio 1903" b/w "Say Goodbye To Yesterday" - 1969 (UK Fontana TF1008/US Metromedia 133)
- "We're Building a Love" b/w "Charlie Cass" - 1969 (UK Fontana TF1054, early pressings)
- "Charlie Cass" b/w "Linda" (UK Fontana TF1054, later pressings) - 1969
- "Together" b/w "One Man Woman" (UK Warner Bros. K 16269) (hit in Australia) - 1973
- "The Last Bus Home" b/w "Give Me Just A Little Bit" - 1976 (UK Polydor 2058 758)
- Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (label has: Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um - It's Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders) - 1964 (UK Fontana TL5230)
- The Game of Love - 1965 (US Fontana MGF 27542 (Mono)/SRF 67542 (Stereo))
- It's Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders - 1965 (UK Fontana TL5257)
- Wayne One - 1966 (UK Fontana TL5351 (Mono)/STL5351 (Stereo))
- Wayne Fontana - 1967 (US MGM E 4459 (Mono)/SE 4459 (Stereo))
- "Pop star Fontana charged with arson | UK news | The Observer". Guardian. 2007-02-04. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- [dead link]
- "Business | The Times". Business.timesonline.co.uk. 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "??". Timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-01-30. (subscription required)
- Steve Bird (10 November 2007). "Paranoid pop star set fire to bailiff’s car in row over congestion charge fine". The Times. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
- "60s star Wayne Fontana handcuffed and arrested as he prepares to take the stage at Palace Theatre - Manchester Evening News". Menmedia.co.uk. 2011-03-11. Retrieved 2014-01-30.