Wayne Fontana (born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, 28 October 1945) is an English rock/pop singer, best known for the 1965 hit "Game of Love" with 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.
In March 2011 Fontana was arrested at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, after failing to appear in court in Wakefield, over an unpaid speeding fine.
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 Solid Silver 60s Shows.
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license