|Height:||173 cm (5' 9'')|
|Birth Day:||April 6, 1965|
|Height:||173 cm (5' 9'')|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
After graduating from high school in 1983, Thompson studied at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in anthropology. Thompson shared a room with another roommate for a semester before moving in with future Pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. The two shared an interest in rock music, and Santiago introduced Thompson to 1970s punk and the music of David Bowie; they began to jam together. It was at this time that Thompson discovered The Cars, a band he described as "very influential on me and the Pixies."
Thompson has drawn influence from a number of musical genres. As a teenager, he mostly listened to 1960s folk and religious music, including the Christian singer-songwriter Larry Norman. For playing on his junior high baseball team, he was given Leon Russell's 1970 debut album, which he says influenced some of his vocalizing. Later in high school and in college, he discovered punk music (Black Flag), along with bands from other genres, such as the new wave band The Cars and the obscure Angst. While in Boston in 1984, before starting the Pixies, he listened to Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade, The Spotlight Kid by Captain Beefheart, and I'm Sick of You, an Iggy Pop bootleg. Thompson was also greatly influenced by the Beatles self-titled 1968 release with regards to the experimental nature of his compositions.
Soon after returning to Massachusetts, Thompson dropped out of college, and moved to Boston with Santiago. He spent 1985 working in a warehouse, "managing buttons on teddy bears," composing songs on his acoustic guitar, and writing lyrics on the subway. In January 1986, Thompson formed the Pixies with Santiago. Bassist Kim Deal was recruited a week later via a classified advertisement placed in a Boston paper, which requested a bassist "into Hüsker Dü and Peter, Paul and Mary." Drummer David Lovering was later hired on recommendation from Deal's husband.
In 1987, the Pixies released an 18-track demo tape, commonly referred to as The Purple Tape. Thompson's father assisted the band financially, lending $1,000 in order to record the demo tape; Thompson later said that his father "wasn't around for a lot of my younger years, so I think he was doing his best to make up for lost time." The Purple Tape led to a recording contract with the English independent record label 4AD. For the release of the mini album Come On Pilgrim, Thompson adopted the alias "Black Francis", a name inspired by his father: "he had been saving that name in case he had another son."
In 1988, the Pixies recorded their debut album Surfer Rosa. Thompson wrote and sang on all the tracks, with the exception of the single "Gigantic," which was co-written and sung by Deal. To support the album, the band undertook a European tour, during which Thompson met Eric Drew Feldman, a later collaborator on Pixies and solo albums. Doolittle, with Thompson-penned songs such as "Debaser" and "Monkey Gone To Heaven," was released the following year to widespread critical acclaim. However, by this time, tensions between Thompson and Deal, combined with exhaustion, led the band to announce a hiatus. Thompson has an aversion to flying, and spent this time driving across America with his girlfriend, Jean Walsh (whom he had met in the band's early days), performing solo shows in order to raise funds to buy furniture for his new Los Angeles apartment.
The band reconvened in 1990, and recorded two further albums: 1990's Bossanova and 1991's Trompe le Monde; the latter was Thompson's first collaboration with Feldman. The later Pixies albums were characterized by Thompson's increasing influence on the band's output, as well as a focus on science fiction themes, including aliens and UFOs. These themes would continue to be explored throughout his early solo work. Trompe le Monde includes the song "U-Mass," which was written about the university he attended as a youth, and due to the keyboard part played by Feldman, signified a move away from the band's alternative rock sound. Although Deal had contributed on the songs "Gigantic" (from Surfer Rosa) and "Silver" (from Doolittle), from Bossanova on, Thompson wrote all the band's original material. This contributed to the increasing tension between him and Deal, and the Pixies broke up in 1992; this was not publicly announced until early 1993.
While the Pixies' 1991 album Trompe le Monde was being recorded, Thompson had discussions with the album's producer, Gil Norton, about a possible solo record. He told Norton he was keen to record again, even though he had no new material; as a result, the two decided on a cover album. However, by the time Thompson visited a recording studio again in 1992, he had "plenty of tunes and musical scraps."
He collaborated with Feldman to record new material; they began by trimming down the number of covers to one, The Beach Boys' "Hang On to Your Ego". Feldman became the album's producer, and played keyboard and bass guitar on several songs, with Santiago featuring on lead guitar and Nick Vincent on drums. Francis recorded the album during the hiatus and breakup of the Pixies in late 1992 and early 1993. He then adopted the stage name "Frank Black" (inverting his old persona "Black Francis") and released the results as Frank Black in March 1993. Frank Black was characterized by a focus on UFOs and science fiction, although he explored other subjects, such as in "I Heard Ramona Sing", a song about the Ramones. The album was similar in style, both musically and lyrically, to the Pixies' albums Bossanova and Trompe le Monde. Feldman later said that the first record connected his solo career with Trompe le Monde, "but at the same time it is an island, like nothing else he [Black] did."
Both Frank Black and Teenager of the Year were critically well received, although they enjoyed limited commercial success. In 1995, Thompson left his long-time labels 4AD and Elektra. In 1996, he released The Cult of Ray on Rick Rubin's American Recordings; the album marked a turn away from the elaborate production of his first solo works and was recorded primarily live with few overdubs. His band for this album featured sole Teenager holdover Lyle Workman on lead guitar, along with bassist David McCaffrey and Scott Boutier on drums. Though the album was neither critically nor commercially successful, its stripped-down approach would increasingly define Thompson's working methods for the next several years.
Thompson dubbed his new band "Frank Black and the Catholics," and recorded their eponymous first album in 1997. Recorded live-to-two-track initially as merely a demo, he was so pleased with the results that he decided to release the sessions with no further production. The album was delayed for over a year by conflicts at American, both internal and over its production, and was ultimately released in late 1998 by SpinArt Records in the US. Since leaving American, Black has avoided long-term contracts with labels, and has maintained ownership of his album masters, licensing each album individually for release.
Workman left the Catholics in 1998 to pursue session and sideman work; Rich Gilbert was added to the band to replace him. Frank Black and the Catholics released Pistolero in 1999 and Dog in the Sand in 2001. Dog in the Sand added Dave Philips on pedal steel guitar and lead guitar, and Santiago and Feldman began making occasional appearances with the group live and on record.
By this time, while dismissing the possibility of a Pixies reunion, Thompson had begun to incorporate an increasing number of the band's songs into Catholics concerts, as well as including Santiago in his solo work again. Black and the Catholics continued to release records; two separate albums, Black Letter Days and Devil's Workshop, were released simultaneously in 2002. Devil's Workshop included the song "Velvety" (sample (help·info)), a version of the Pixies song "Velvety Instrumental Version" (written by Black as a teenager) with lyrics. The song was one of the first signs that he had acknowledged his past work with the Pixies in his solo output. A sixth album with the Catholics, Show Me Your Tears, was released in 2003. Show Me Your Tears' title and many of the songs in it were inspired by Thompson's recent divorce and entry into therapy.
In late 2003, following long-standing rumors, an official announcement was made that the Pixies were rehearsing for a reunion tour. The band played publicly for the first time in 12 years in April 2004, and went on to tour extensively throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe in the same year. They also recorded one of Deal's compositions, "Bam Thwok," which was released on the iTunes Music Store. Frank Black Francis, a double album bridging the gap between his two personas, was released to coincide with the Pixies reunion tour. The first disc consisted of solo demos of Pixies songs recorded the day before The Purple Tape was recorded, and the second contained studio collaborations, again of Pixies songs, with Two Pale Boys.
Also in 2004, Thompson began to collaborate with a group of Nashville session musicians, including Steve Cropper, Spooner Oldham, Reggie Young, and Anton Fig, as well as producer Jon Tiven. In July 2005, the collective released Honeycomb under the Frank Black name, to generally favorable reviews. Entertainment Weekly described the album as "spare, graceful, [and] in the pocket," while Billboard noted it as "One of [Thompson's] finest hours." A second volume of Nashville sessions, a double album entitled Fast Man Raider Man, was released in June 2006. Thompson appeared at a concert by Christian rock pioneer Larry Norman in June 2005 in Salem, Oregon. Norman and Thompson performed a duet on "Watch What You're Doing," which later appeared on Norman's album, Live at The Elsinore.
Thompson continued to tour with the Pixies through 2005 and 2006. Though the Catholics were effectively defunct, they released two separate albums of B-sides and rarities, Snake Oil and One More Road for the Hit, on iTunes, with an eye towards a future CD release. Thompson was also working on more new solo material with Feldman in the first part of 2006, some of which they performed live. In the fall of 2006, Thompson began his first solo tour since 2003, taking Feldman, Billy Block, and Duane Jarvis along as his backing band. In October 2006, Thompson announced plans for the Pixies to start rehearsing and recording a new album in January 2007, but it is believed that no recording took place because of the reluctance of another member of the Pixies to commit to the project. In December 2006, he released the compilation Christmass album; a collection of new studio tracks, hotel room sessions, and live acoustic recordings from a solo tour the previous summer.
A Frank Black "best of" compilation, Frank Black 93-03, was released in June 2007. Concurrently with that release, Thompson undertook a European tour with a new band, featuring Salem's Guards of Metropolis members Jason Carter and Charles Normal, as well as bassist Ding Archer. For this tour, Thompson eschewed his usual rhythm guitar role and performed solely as a frontman and singer. In September 2007, a new album entitled Bluefinger was released under his former stage name of Black Francis. For this album, he was inspired by the life and works of Herman Brood, a Dutch musician and artist. He also released a new "mini-album" entitled Svn Fngrs as Black Francis in March 2008.
In February 2008, Thompson was taken away by the Irish police in Dublin, Ireland, after staging an impromptu "precore" acoustic solo gig at St. Stephen's Green. He was later released and performed that night in Vicar Street as planned. However, a similar event planned for London was prevented by police and had to be re-arranged for a small indoor venue.
In 2008, Black produced Art Brut's third album, Art Brut vs. Satan, which was released the following year. Black gave several joint interviews with frontman Eddie Argos about the album, and Art Brut supported the Pixies at their 2009 Brixton Academy show. In 2010, Black worked with the group a second time on their album Brilliant! Tragic!.
Thompson currently lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, and is married to Violet Clark, his second wife, with whom he has three children, along with her two children from previous relationships. The couple formerly lived in Eugene, Oregon, where they met. Thompson and Clark currently compose the band Grand Duchy. Their debut album, Petit Fours, was released in February 2009.
Black Francis released NonStopErotik in March 2010 and contributed the song "I Heard Ramona Sing" to the soundtrack for the film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World released in August 2010.
In the fall of 2010 in Nashville, Thompson recorded an album of new songs written and performed with collaborator Reid Paley, as Paley & Francis (Reid Paley & Black Francis). The debut Paley & Francis album (also titled Paley & Francis) was produced by Jon Tiven, and features Reid Paley and Black Francis on guitars and vocals, accompanied by Muscle Shoals legends Spooner Oldham on piano and David Hood on bass. The album was released in October 2011 on Sonic Unyon in North America, and on Cooking Vinyl in the UK & Europe.
Black Francis contributed, in 2011, to the Ray Davies album of collaborations, "See My Friends," with his cover of the Kinks tune "This Is Where I Belong."
Black Francis performed at The Coach House Concert Hall in San Juan Capistrano, California, on March 22, 2013. The Pixies, minus original bassist Kim Deal, reunited for a United States and world tour in 2014 and have subsequently released three additional studio albums: Indie Cindy (2014), Head Carrier (2016) and Beneath the Eyrie (2019).
In 2013, Thompson appeared in a video promoting McSweeney's children's book Lost Sloth.
Currently, Frank Black is 56 years, 7 months and 26 days old. Frank Black will celebrate 57th birthday on a Wednesday 6th of April 2022. Below we countdown to Frank Black upcoming birthday.