Martin Fry felt “guilty” about getting diagnosed with cancer during his band’s heyday
The ABC frontman found out he had Hodgkin lymphoma in 1986, aged 27, “terrifying” but believes the experience has made him “a lot more positive” now.
The 63-year-old singer told the Mirror: “I felt guilty, like I’d let a lot of people down. And it was terrifying.
“But I can’t really have those regrets. People who come to see me today know that’s where I get my energy from, appreciating every moment. Because of it, I’m a lot more positive today about life and what you can achieve.”
Martin – who shot to fame in the band along with Mark White, Stephen Singleton and David Palmer in the 80s – attributes coming back to the band to a waiter who gushed over him during a meeting with record executives after they were sceptical of his ability to return.
He said: “I felt like a racehorse – they just wanted to look at my teeth really, I was just an investment to them. I was a bit emaciated.
“Then this waiter came over and he was shaking, and asked for my autograph. And I could see the guys looking and saying, ‘Well, he’s still got it. He looks s*** but that guy wants his autograph’. I want to thank that guy.”
The New Romantic rocker admitted that he began his career as an “arrogant young idiot” and called fame “one of the most surreal experiences”.
He said: “You’ve got to imagine going through that portal. You’re signing on in Sheffield, then jumping on the bus and going to Top Of The Pops.
“You go in as this arrogant young idiot who thinks they can change the world and you come out as a pop star. It was one the most surreal experiences.”
Now, Martin – who is married to Julie with whom he has twins Louis and Nancy, now 31 – performs under the ABC name without the other members and loves his “80s legend status”.
He said: “I’m 63 and I get to go out to a field in Leeds or Sunderland, with Adam Ant, Howard Jones or Heaven 17.
“You step out there and there are 20,000 people singing the words of ‘All Of My Heart’ back at me.”
“I’m thinking, ‘People aren’t normally interested in old fellas like me, so it’s a real privilege to still be performing’.
“It’s nice being an 80s legend, like an elder statesman of pop.”