FATBOY SLIM Biography - Musicians


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Name: Quentin Leo Cook                                                                           
Born: July 31, 1963 Bromley, Kent, United Kingdom                                               
Fatboy Slim (born Quentin Leo Cook on July 31, 1963, also known as Norman                       
Cook) is an English big beat musician. He stopped using 'Quentin' and began                     
calling himself 'Norman' while a schoolboy, long before he adopted any other                     
Button Badge created by Cook (circa 1979) for his band Disque Attack in which he                 
played drums and for whom he was later lead vocalist.                                           
Norman Cook grew up in Reigate, Surrey, England, and was educated at Reigate                     
Grammar School. He started a punk fanzine titled Peroxide with his neighbour                     
Andrew Thomas and art student Ian McKay (formerly Laidlaw). Contemporary with                   
his publishing activities, he played drums in Disque Attack (a British new-wave-influenced       
rock band) for which he later performed lead vocals. At Reigate College he also                 
met Paul Heaton and, at 18, he went to the Brighton Polytechnic to study a BA in                 
English, Politics and Sociology. Although he had begun DJing some years before,                 
it was at this time that he began to develop his skills on the thriving Brighton                 
club scene. In 1985 he was diverted by a phone call from his old friend, Paul                   
Heaton. Heaton had moved to Hull and had formed a guitar band called The                         
The Housemartins' bassist had just quit on the eve of their first national tour                 
and, although Cook had lost interest in the rock scene and could barely play a                   
musical instrument, he agreed to move to Hull to join them. The band soon had a                 
hit single with "Happy Hour". They also reached number one just before Christmas                 
1986 with a version of "Caravan of Love" originally a hit the year before for                   
Isley Jasper Isley. However, by 1988 they had split up. Heaton and the band's                   
drummer Dave Hemingway went on to form The Beautiful South, while Cook moved                     
back to Brighton to pursue his interest in the style of music he preferred. It                   
was at this time that he first started working with young studio engineer Simon                 
Thornton, with whom he continues to make records. All Cook's records released                   
from that point onwards have involved both of them to varying degrees (Thornton                 
is credited in 2004 as "Executive Producer" for example).                                       
Cook formed Beats International, a loose confederation of studio musicians                       
including vocalists Lindy Layton, Lester Noel, D.J. Baptiste, rapper MC Wildski,                 
and keyboardist Andy Boucher. Their first album, Let Them Eat Bingo, included                   
the number one single, "Dub Be Good to Me". "Dub Be Good To Me" caused a legal                   
dispute revolving around allegations of infringement of copyright through the                   
liberal use of unauthorised samples: the bassline was a note-for-note lift from                 
The Clash's "The Guns Of Brixton" and the song also borrowed heavily from the S.O.S.             
Band's "Just Be Good to Me". The 1991 follow-up album Excursion on the Version,                 
an exploration of dub and reggae rhythms, failed to repeat the success of its                   
Cook then formed Freakpower, with horn player and singer Ashley Slater. The duo                 
released their debut album, Drive Thru Booty, in 1994, which contained the                       
single "Turn On Tune In Cop Out". The cut was picked up by the Levi's company                   
for use in a multimillion-dollar advertisement campaign. Freakpower has also                     
done several other releases under the name Fried Funk Food.                                     
In 1995, Cook enlisted help from producer friends Tim Jeffery and JC Reid to                     
create a solo house music album under the 'Pizzaman' pseudonym. The Pizzamania                   
album spawned 3 UK Top 40 hits in "Trippin' on Sunshine", "Sex on the Streets"                   
and "Happiness". "Happiness" was picked up by the Del Monte Foods corporation                   
for use in a UK fruit juice ad.                                                                 
Cook is also behind a group The Mighty Dub Katz along with Gareth Hansome (akaGMoney),           
Cook's former flatmate and the inventor of the name "Big Beat". Together they                   
started the famous Boutique Nightclub in Brighton, formerly known as the Big                     
Beat Boutique, evidently imitating the Heavenly Social in London. Mighty DubKatz                 
are best known for their dance hit Magic Carpet Ride and numerous remixes of it.