What's in a Name?
Fruupp's unusual name has a story of its own.
The original interpretation. The band-annointed name of a ghost that haunted their rehearsal house in Belfast. The Fruupp File, from Melody Maker (March 9, 1974, p. 34), played up this story: "Fruupp was the nickname the group gave to the ghost of a young female that haunted the house where they did their initial rehearsals. The ghost became their mascot and they adopted her name."*
Setting the record straight. In
a 1973 interview of Steve Houston, Paul Weir of NME Gig Guide (May
26, 1973) wrote: "The name, Steve tells me, was the brainwave of the
band's first bass player who noticed a group of letters on a sheet of Letraset which spelt
'F-R-U-U-P'. Being a man of letters, he added a 'P' to the end to balance it up and
a name was born."**
A member of the original band offered, via e-mail, an even more detailed account of how the name came about: "In this nameless band Vince had moved to lead guitar, the Beast (Ian Best) was still on his left handed bass, Marty "Capone" O'Connor played drums, Miles "Tinhead" McKee was on vocals ... but we didn't have a name. It was indeed the Beast who brought in the letters FRUUP to our local hang out, the Step In. He said it spelt 'Fruupp' but the rest of us insisted it spelt 'Froup'. Just then 'Super' (Terence McKee, the lead guitar for Blues by Five, the predecessor to Fruupp) came in (he was back from the University for the Christmas Holidays) and we asked him what FRUUP spelt and he said 'Froup'. 'No' protested the Beast: 'it's Fruupp'. Well, said Super 'if you want it to be pronounced like that add an extra P'. Thus the name was birthed. Although the ghost story is much more interesting this mundane arrival at the name is the actual way it happened."
* Might the mysterious, ghostlike
lass on the cover of Seven Secrets be lady Fruupp ?
** Paul Charles said it slightly differently in the Future Legends/Seven Secrets CD sleeve notes from 1996: "Oh, and along the way, adopted the name Fruupp. Nicked it from a letraset sheet. Well when I say nicked I probably mean they took the idea and 'developed it'. To be exact they added a 'U' and a 'P' to the original Frup, to make it their own."