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Polnapop – La Poupee qui fait non x 6

One of the reasons I decided to do this blog was because as an English fan of French music I find I have very few people to talk to about my record and memorabilia collection; whilst quite a few people may have heard of Serge Gainsbourg, all they seem to know about him is the Whitney Houston story or, worse still, they have this idea that he was some kind of sex dwarf (even though he wasn’t short!).  It pains me greatly to hear what people think they know about him – they’re always wrong – and Joann Sfar’s film Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) did not exactly help in that respect.  But I’ll get onto that some other time, because this first post is not actually about Gainsbourg; it’s about Michel Polnareff.  And if British people know very little about Gainsbourg, then unfortunately they know even less about Polnareff.  Well, there’s good news because I know loads about him and I can get it off my chest here.

Polnareff is still around and (supposedly) recording today, but for me the music he made in the 60s and 70s is the best of all.  So we’ll start at the beginning when Michel Polnareff was only 21 years old and he released his first EP La poupée qui fait non in May 1966.  I am using a number of sources of information for this article (see the end of this article for details) and you may well notice that some of the information – coming from Polnareff himself – contradicts other information; what can I say?  Polnamyth or Polnamythomane maybe?

La poupée qui fait non / Chère Véronique / Beatnik / Ballade pour toi (Ce que je cherche est en toi)

(Disc’AZ EP 1024, May 1966)

Polna poupee001

Back in May 1965 Polnareff was living the beatnik life, homeless, often starving (he claims that he once went 13 days and nights without eating a thing), and generally slumming it on the streets of Montmartre busking with his guitar or playing piano at La Crémaillère or the Clan d’Estaing to earn some money.

During this period he met an English girl called Sue who spoke with a lisp (I don’t know why that’s important, but Polnareff mentioned it so I am mentioning it too!).  She was hanging out at Montmartre with her mother, listening to Polnareff and his friends playing their music – she told him that if he should ever go to London, he should stay with them.  He took Sue at her word and later that year went to London, staying for five months (according to Polnaréflexion) or one month (according to Polnareff par Polnareff), even though, as he put it, he found her apartment “sordid, not clean”.  But beggars can’t be choosers, I guess.

Whilst in London he visited Soho, Kings Road, and Carnaby Street, and tried his hand at selling some of his compositions to publishers in Denmark Street.  Polnareff says he went door-to-door introducing himself and his music:  “Voilà, I’m French, I write, I sing… …I must have seemed strange with my way of insisting on my talent and the big career that was waiting for me.”  But nothing doing…  One of the companies who turned him down was Southern, apparently.

Then in November 1965 Polnareff was presented with a chance to earn himself a recording career when he entered a talent competition at La Locomotive – the first prize was a contract with Barclay.    The finals took place on 12 February 1966 and, yes, Polnareff won – in one version of the story, Polnareff says it was with his versions of Peggy Sue and That’ll Be The Day (Polnareff par Polnareff) and in another he says it was with one of his own compositions called Second Hand Girl (Salut Les Copains, No 69, April 1968).  But did Polnareff want the prize?  No, he said he didn’t want to be a singer and he was only singing for his own amusement.  What?!!

The plot thickens on this one as Polnareff says in Polnaréflexion that he refused the prize and so it went to a singer called Alan Shelley who came second place; in Polnareff par Polnareff he says that he refused the prize and offered it to his friend Cyril Azzam who came in second place; elsewhere in Polnareff Le Roi des Fourmis Christian Eudeline quotes Jacques Mercier (Dynastie Crisis) who was there, as rhythm guitarist of les Rockers (the band who were accompanying the acts in the competition) – he said that Alan Shelley, who came second, took the prize in the end and that Polnareff was already recording his first single but had not told anyone else about it at the time.  In Salut Les Copains (No 69, April 1968) Polnareff indicates that it was a few months after turning down the Barclay contract that he was picked up by Éditions SEMI when a representative of theirs heard him singing on the streets.  But this is just not possible…

Given that the final of the competition took place on 12 February 1966 and that by early March Polnareff was in London recording with Jean Bouchety, I’d say Jacques Mercier’s version of events could well be right.  But how did this other contract and arrangements for the recording come about?

According to Polnareff’s school friend Gérard Woog, he introduced Polnareff to Lucien Morisse who was CEO at Disc’AZ and Programme Director at Europe 1.  Woog also worked as a talent scout for Rolf Marbot of Éditions SEMI (Société d’édition Musicale Internationale), which represented the entire Peer-Southern catalogue in France.  Woog convinced Polnareff to sign a contract with them, although apparently Polnareff wasn’t keen on the idea.

In Polnaréflexion Polnareff says that “a spectator” at one of his busking sessions at Sacré-Cœur asked him: “Don’t you want to record a single?” He says this “spectator” introduced him to Rolf Marbot and although Rolf Marbot was not too interested in what he heard, his female colleagues were absolutely thrilled.  In Polnareff par Polnareff the spectator is named as Woog and Rolf Marbot’s female colleagues are named as Huguette Ferly, Christiane Landrieux and the lyricist Vline Buggy; Polnareff says they were convinced he would become “a phenomenon”.

Huguette Ferly, who was the Artistic Director for Éditions SEMI, then introduced Polnareff to Jean Bouchety.  Bouchety was an arranger / producer who had played with the likes of Django Reinhardt in the 1940s and went on to arrange and produce for acts ranging from les Chausettes Noires, to Vince Taylor, and Jacqueline Taïeb of 7 heures du matin fame.  I also understand he may have been responsible for some of the music used in Prisoner Cell Block H – if so, you bloody ripper, Mr Bouchety!

Jean Bouchety (left, sitting) and Michel Polnareff (right, dozing on settee)

Bouchety was then working as an arranger for Barclay – the company that offered Polnareff a contract when he won the competition at La Locomotive – and Ferly asked him if he would consider working with Polnareff on his first single, which was to be La poupée qui fait non. 

Polnareff went to see Bouchety a few times and they recorded demos so Bouchety could work on the arrangements and lyricists could be brought in to work on the texts.  In Polnaculte Franck Gérald, who was roped in to write the lyrics for La poupée qui fait non, recalled meeting Polnareff at the time and noticing that he looked to be suffering from malnutrition, with bad teeth and skin so see-through that the veins were very prominent.

But despite being given this opportunity to make something of himself and to build a career in music, Polnareff seemed to be making demands over and above those usually indulged in as yet unproven talents.  Polnareff claimed that he insisted he would only record in England; in Polnaréflexion he says he told Rolf Marbot: “I’m not interested in singing in France.  In any case, I won’t stay here.  France is not ready for my music.  Listen, no, I’m sorry… I really prefer to go and work in England or America…”  But in Christian Eudeline’s Polnareff Le Roi des Fourmis (ECLIPSE Editions, 1997) Bouchety says he was in the habit of recording in London and so arrangements were made for the recording to take place there.  Polnareff had to meet Bouchety in London as he couldn’t bear to fly and so he travelled alone by boat.

The EP was recorded in March 1966 in the basement at Southern Music Studios on Denmark Street.  Polnareff didn’t play any instruments on the tracks.  Bouchety, not realising that Polnareff was a gifted and classically trained musician, wrote the sheet music for the tracks and called in Big Jim Sullivan to play rhythm guitar; Jimmy Page to play lead guitar; Reg Guest to play piano; and Bobby Graham to play the drums.  Although Bouchety couldn’t recall who else participated with the recordings, Polnareff says that John Paul Jones played the bass guitar.  Recording took one week, recording the music for the 4 tracks in one session; the vocals in another session; and the mixing took place in the final session.

But elsewhere Polnareff mentions in Salut Les Copains (no 69) that he had his guitar with him in the studio :  “I was scared to death but I knew what I wanted.  I had bought myself a twelve-string Hagstrom guitar, and I was very intimidated by the idea of playing in the company of experienced studio musicians like Big Jim Sullivan and Larry (sic) Page.  But it didn’t stop me from insisting on a [distorted] bass sound for the recording of La poupée qui fait non; from asking Big Jim Sullivan to play with his nails hitting all the notes; and asking Larry (sic) Page not to plug in his electric guitar.  Ah!  Let me tell you as well that all that took place in a studio 3 metres by 5 metres that was usually used for preparing Donovan’s demos and for his rehearsals.”

But if Rolf Marbot was ever annoyed by Polnareff’s supposed demands – recording only in London; his insistence that he be put up in “the biggest suite in the finest hotel” – then he wouldn’t have stayed annoyed for long as La poupée was a massive hit immediately, being played several times a day on all the radio stations in France and selling 200,000 copies in just two months.

In Polnaréflexion, Polnareff declares it was a worldwide success.  Not quite – even though Polnareff recorded the track in English as No, No, No, No, No, I’m afraid to say that it did nothing to light up the charts here.  Copies of the single in English are so scarce that it took me about 15 years to get hold of a copy (thanks to my lovely boyfriend who somehow tracked it down for me when I told him it was on my “most wanted” list).

One of the complaints I’ve had about my record collection is that it is essentially the same records over and over again with little variety; I don’t see what is wrong with that myself though.  Yes, I do have 6 copies of La poupée qui fait non on vinyl but they’re all different – here are the other 5 versions I have:

Italian language versions of La poupée qui fait non / Beatnik (Disc’AZ, J 35102X45)

Spanish issue of La poupée qui fait non EP, with Spanish titles but sung in French (Hispavox, HAZ 277-16)

German language versions of La poupée qui fait non / Beatnik (Disc’AZ, HT 300 019)

Dutch issue of La poupée qui fait non / Beatnik, sung in French (Palette, PB 40 261)

English language versions of La poupée qui fait non / Beatnik (Disques Vogue, VRS 7013)

But for those who have never listened to Polnareff before, what are the songs like?  And why would anyone want 6 copies of this rather fine single / EP?  Well, can I just pass on some advice first of all that you should get the vinyl EP or the vinyl version of the first Polnareff LP rather than any of the remastered CD versions, which have been “tidied” up, as the original versions are far superior; especially when it comes to the more garagey type tracks like Time Will Tell, which features on Polnareff’s third EP so won’t be discussed just yet…

Anyway, here’s a little bit of information about the tracks on the La poupée EP:

La poupée qui fait non:  A folk-pop song about an unrequited love; a girl who only says no to Polnareff and hasn’t yet learnt how to say yes!  He finds her very pretty and dreams about her but she doesn’t even listen to him or look at him, she just says no.  One of many songs where Polnareff complains about a girl not loving or wanting him.  The lyrics for this one were written by Franck Gérald, who worked as an in-house writer for Rolf Marbot’s SEMI.  Gérald says that in his demo version, Polnareff did not have any real lyrics and just sang sounds and English words like “you yeah”, which Gérald turned into la poupée (the doll), and “no, no, no, no, no”, which he turned into qui fait non (who shakes her head, or says no).  But in an interview in Mademoiselle age tendre (no 42)Polnareff said that the inspiration for the title to the song came from an incident that occurred in London – the story going something like this: he was in an antiques shop in London and he saw a very beautiful girl.  When she came in the shop he had been looking at a jointed doll made of jade.  As he was thinking about what he might say to the beautiful girl to get to see her again, he looked at the doll and its head appeared to move in a gesture that said ‘no’.  When he turned around the beautiful girl had gone and he never saw her again.   Franck Gérald also recalls the doll shop story in Polnaculte and says that it’s “totally false”!

Chère Véronique:  A pop song sung in the style of Buddy Holly or Adam Faith, with a sound similar to Trini Lopez’s If I Had a Hammer.  Another of Polnareff’s “poor me, she doesn’t love me” songs.  This one takes the form of a letter to an unrequited love called Véronique.  He tells her that he doesn’t want her to laugh when she reads what he has to say, but he dare not say it.  In fact he really doesn’t dare to say it because by the end of the song he has ripped up and burnt the letter so she will now never get to read it; she doesn’t get to hear about his love for her and how at night-time in his dreams he is able to touch her fingers, her loose hair and her blueberry eyes, but that the reality of the morning snatches her away from him.  In the letter he tells her how he spends the summer watching her from the branches of a tree; that he dreams of hearing her singing his song (an indication that the words are written for someone who is himself a singer); that the very next day he is having to go away to forget about her.  The irony of him singing that she will never get to read his letter is that presumably “Véronique” will get to hear this song and will know he loves her anyway.  So was this song autobiographical at all?  Erm, let’s hope not as Véronique is the name of the white hamster that sits on his shoulder on the cover of the EP.  Unless of course Véronique the hamster had a namesake, of course?  The lyrics for this one were written by a certain Vline Buggy.  Vline Buggy was in a fact a songwriting duo, comprising Evelyne (Vline) Konyn Koger and Liliane (Buggy) Konyn Koger.  But when Vline died in 1962, Buggy decided to continue writing under the name Vline Buggy, so these lyrics were actually written by Liliane Konyn Koger.  This track wasn’t included on Polnareff’s first album.

Polnareff and his pet hamster Véronique

Beatnik:  This is a song about “a long-haired tramp” who travels around with his twelve-string guitar (a Hagstrom like Polnareff’s? Probably…), singing come what may and looking for friendship, freedom and food.  The music has a kind of 60’s Manchester sound, a bit Hollies-like.  This is the “beatnik” as hero; even if he’s ready to faint from hunger he will still share his bread with a dog.  And “beatnik” as romantic; despite giving off the impression of being wild, a girl will still manage to capture his heart and he will sing endlessly for her because life is sweet when love calls to you.  At least this time he’s not bemoaning the fact that a girl doesn’t love him, I guess!  Again, this is another supposedly autobiographical track, with Polnareff seen as the beatnik character who was starving on the streets and singing to keep things together.  The lyrics were written by Franck Thomas, who was asked to write a text for “a beatnik” who was recording for Rolf Marbot.  Thomas had co-written Syvie Vartan’s 2’35 de bonheur and went on to co-write France Gall’s Bébé requin.  Interestingly, despite what Polnareff says about only wanting to record in England, in Polnaculte Franck Thomas says that although the music for this track was recorded in London, they went to Studio de la Gaieté near Bobino where Polnareff recorded his vocals.  Thomas says that he and Lucien Morisse were present and they were amazed at Polnareff’s talent; the soundman, someone called Roche, declared Polnareff a genius.  As with Chère Véronique, Beatnik was not one of the tracks included on the album.

Ballade de toi (Ce que je cherche est en toi): A folk ballad, with lyrics written by Anne Kopelman. This is a beautiful, sad little song about a relationship which has ended.  It’s about how short life is and how long it takes someone to find you and to realise that what they are looking for is you.  And then despite taking so long to arrive at this point, they so quickly decide to move on, by which time you have begun to realise that what you are looking for is them.  It has a very sad feel to it and lovely lyrics.  Heartbreakingly lovely.

All in all, an excellent EP and even more so when you realise that it was Polnareff’s first experience of recording his own music and singing in a studio setting; and what a special voice he has!

– – 0 – –

The English language version of La poupée has lyrics written by Geoff Stephens, presumably the same one who discovered and managed Donovan and co-wrote The Lights of Cincinnati with Tony Macaulay for Scott Walker; I like to think so.  Anyway, this seems to be a fairly faithful translation other than the acknowledgement he gets as a friend and brother in this version, in comparison with the total indifference he’s met with in the French original:

No no no no no

I give her my love
She says no, no, no, no
I give her my heart
She says no, no, no, no

Cos you’re only a friend to me
Only a brother to me

She’s a pretty little doll
Who says no, no, no, no
Just a little doll
And she knows I love her so

If I ask her to walk with me
She shakes her head at me

She’s a pretty little doll
Who says no, no, no, no
All the night time through
She says no, no, no, no

If I ask her to walk with me
Why can’t she ever say oui?

She says you’re only a friend to me
Only a brother to me

She’s a pretty little doll
Who says no, no, no, no
All the night time through
She says no, no, no, no

If I ask her to walk with me
I know she’ll never say oui

The English language version of Beatnik, with lyrics apparently written by Polnareff as no one else is credited (but I somehow doubt that he wrote them), is a much more pessimistic view of the beatnik life than the French language version.  Whilst the French beatnik would share his bread with a dog even if he was fit to faint himself, the English version gets into trouble with the police for stealing meat for dying dogs; the English beatnik’s mother died when he was “justalittlebaby” (Polnareff has to rush over the words in this verse just to make them fit in!) and his middle name is Lonely, but in the French version “all men are brothers” and he takes friendship with him when he travels the world.

Beatnik (English version)

His hair falls over his eyes
He gets up before sunrise
He’s 17 years, 17 years
They just don’t care
The world belongs to him
The world belongs to him

His mother died when he was just a little baby
His middle name is lonely
Lonely, lonely
They just don’t care
The world belongs to him
The world belongs to him

He gets some bread in his bag
A bottle of wine and a flag
People laugh at him, laugh at him
But they just don’t care
The world belongs to him
The world belongs to him

He ???
But he would fight and die for what he thinks to be true
They laugh at him, laugh at him
But they just don’t care
The world belongs to him
The world belongs to him

The police looked for him, he stole some meat
For a dying dog who had nothing to eat
They looked for him, they looked for him
But they just don’t care
The world belongs to him
The world belongs to him

His hair falls over his eyes
He gets up before sunrise
He’s 17 years, 17 years
They just don’t care
The world belongs to him
The world belongs to him

The world belongs to him (to fade)

If anyone can tell what the missing text is in this version of Beatnik, please let me know as I listened to it several times and just could not make sense of it.

– – 0 – –

Polnareff appeared on TV to perform and promote La poupée qui fait non on the following shows (and probably more):

Vient de paraître, 07.05.66, directed by Janine Guyon

Vient de paraitre 5Vient de paraitre 7Vient de paraitre 11Vient de paraitre 12Vient de paraitre 16Vient de paraitre 17Vient de paraitre 18Vient de paraitre 19

Têtes de bois et tendres années, 25.05.66, directed by André Teisseire

Tete de bois 51Tete de bois 52Tete de bois 53Tete de bois 54Tete de bois 56Tete de bois 58

Discorama, 30.05.66, directed by Raoul Sangla

Discorama May 66 4Discorama May 66 6Discorama May 66 8Discorama May 66 12Discorama May 66 14Discorama May 66 15Discorama May 66 17Discorama May 66 19

Douce France, 16.06.66, directed by François Chatel

Douce France June 66 19Douce France June 66 20Douce France June 66 22Douce France June 66 23Douce France June 66 25Douce France June 66 27Douce France June 66 30

Douches écossaises, 04.07.66, directed by Jean-Christophe Averty

Douches ecossaises 55Douches ecossaises 56Douches ecossaises 57Douches ecossaises 59Douches ecossaises 60

Jeunesse oblige, 16.07.66, directed by Denise Billon

Bienvenue chez Guy Béart, 18.11.66, directed by Raoul Sangla

Michel Polnareff Bienvenue 11Michel Polnareff Bienvenue 12Michel Polnareff Bienvenue 13Michel Polnareff Bienvenue 16Michel Polnareff Bienvenue 18Michel Polnareff Bienvenue 19

There was also an appearance on German TV (show unknown) where Polnareff sang half of the song in German and the other half in French:

And an appearance singing the track in Italian on a show apparently called Chez vous:

La poupée qui fait non – an absolute classic comprising just 3 chords!

The next Polnapop update will be on the subject of the Love Me, Please Love Me EP, but please be patient as I have other heroes to write about on here too…

Postscript August 2013:  Of course I keep accumulating records as I find them, so really this article needs to be renamed as I have more than 6 different copies of La poupée qui fait non now.  Here are a couple more I have added to the collection:

Polna poupee002

Love Me, Please Love Me / La poupée qui fait non 7″ disc AZ, Germany, HT 300022 (note the mis-spelling of poupée)

Polna poupee003

Love Me, Please Love Me / La poupée qui fait non 7″ Metronome, Germany, reissue 1974, M 25.620

Postscript February 2014:  I was recently given a copy of a German pop music magazine called Bravo from 21 November 1966 (number 48) and it includes the lyrics to Meine puppe sagt non, here they are for your sing-along pleasure:

Polna Poupee lyrics001No, the scan’s not wonky – it’s the layout of the page!

Also, it seems I now have all the TV shows mentioned in this article except Jeunesse Oblige – if anyone has this and can sell me a copy or trade a copy, please get in touch via the blog.  Ta!

Information sources:  (i) POLNAREFF Le Roi des Fourmis, Christian Eudeline (ECLIPSE Editions, 1997); (ii) Polnaréflexion, Michel Polnareff en collaboration avec Jean-Michel Desjeunes (Éditions Stock, 1974); (iii) Polnareff par Polnareff, avec la collaboration de Philippe Manœuvre (Éditions Grasset & Fasquelle, 2004); (iv) Polnaculte, Benoît Cachin (Éditions de Tournon, 2007); (v) Salut Les Copains (No 69, April 1968); (vi) Mademoiselle age tendre (No 42, April 1968), article Michel Polnareff – mes “âme câlines” et moi, p78.

All (bad) translations into English are my own.  Thanks to Dave for photoshopping the Polnareff on the J’adore picture and for tracking down No no no no no for me after all those years.

About tinynoggin

I love films (anything from exploitation stuff to stylish Eastern European cinema, but I'm not really into blockbusters and modern Hollywood), music (Serge Gainsbourg, Jane Birkin, Michel Polnareff, Left Banke, Francoise Hardy, The Seeds, Love, The Zombies, etc) and books (Kurt Vonnegut, Julian Maclaren-Ross, Michel Houellebecq, Patrick Hamilton, Alan Sillitoe, and more). I take photographs with my Lomography Diana F plus or my Olympus Trip and like making stuff in my spare time.

27 responses to “Polnapop – La Poupee qui fait non x 6

  1. Coyote ⋅

    Wonderful paper. Live performances of this song have great interest too. An amazing cover by Scott Mc Kenzie “No, no, no, no”.

    • Thanks! I didn’t want to go into the covers side of things in the article myself – I know Polnareff is impressed by the covers (Jimi Hendrix; The Birds; Mylene Farmer, etc) – because I wanted people to hear the original and to know Polnareff’s work rather than the versions of others. I think Jacno did a version as well, didn’t he? And Saint Etienne, of course. It’s understandable that everybody would want to cover it though, of course.

      • Coyote ⋅

        Thanks too ! Nobody sings Polnareff better than Polnareff himself. But he recorded creative versions during his shows. Have you ever listen his record “Live at the Roxy” (1995) ? Or 1975 tv show, you might find on youtube ?
        Goodnight (and sorry for my awful english)

      • Your English is good, so don’t worry about that. I hope I’ve done okay with my translations from French! Yes, I’ve got the Live at the Roxy album and is the 1975 show the one that was released on vinyl with a TV set cover? If so, I have that although I’ve not seen the entire TV show. I really need to track down more Polnareff TV stuff… Thanks for visiting the blog and for sending words of encouragement!

  2. France ⋅

    You’re so well-documented…I’m impressed!!! Thx !

  3. Mary ⋅

    I LOVE THIS!!! Thank you so much,my family moved to Geneve in 1967 from the US, I fell in love with Michel Polnareff right away. Such memories….I’ve been back in the States since 1974 and I still listen to the old Polnareff songs.. And remember the best years of my life.. Thanks again.

    • Thanks, Mary! I can’t believe how many people have looked at this post already; maybe it’s because there has not been a lot of substance written about Polnareff in English. I’ve had all the books for some time now and really enjoyed reading them (the autobiographies are hilarious), so I knew I had a lot of information at my fingertips. What with those and some old music magazines from the 60s and 70s, I felt like I’d have enough resources to make a go of it. I’m glad that other people have enjoyed reading it. My French is pretty good but I just wish I was fluent so I could understand it all a bit better than I do! Hope you’ll come and visit the blog again when I get around to covering Love Me, Please Love Me.

      • Coyote ⋅

        Two links for you (and your readers) from this 1975 tv show (not the same as 1981 transparent vinyl) :

      • Thanks, yes, it was the transparent vinyl I meant, which was for a later TV show. I’ve not seen this TV show – I particularly love the version of Le bal des Laze, so thanks ever so for sending it through!

  4. luneatikmars ( Françoise charbois ) ⋅

    I feel very happy! and your blog is beautiful
    I am very proud to be polnareffienne
    welcome among us and
    on the official page of Michel Polnareff
    tyvm Raechel

  5. chitrit ⋅

    super, mais ne pas oublier sa première composition: “je n’ai pas osé”

    • I wouldn’t dare to do that! But was that his first composition? I know that when he was 15 years old or so he wrote some songs called Je m’appelle l’amour; Le vieux char à Bancs; Cette frimousse-là – was Je n’ai pas osé before those? And was this the same song he gave to Dominique Walter (if so presumably many years later)?

      • chitrit ⋅

        Hi , how are you? i don’t know “Je m’appelle l’amour; Le vieux char à Bancs; This frimousse-LA …If is existing a record, say to me , please! To answer you “Je n’ai pas osé” is the sing for Dominique Walter , i think in 65 or 66 just before “La poupée qui fait non”. Merci pour ton blog, Tiny! et Bises de Paris, Serge

      • Hi Serge! The Dominique Walter track was in 1967, but wasn’t Je n’ai pas osé preceded by Mrs Applebee (release wise) anyway? The other compositions I named are mentioned in one of the biographies as being amongst his first – they’re probably not recorded as they were written when he was still at school. If you can find anything that says Je n’ai pas osé was written before La poupée I’d be interested but I’m mainly focused on writing about the singles more than tracks that were never recorded; there’s nothing more frustrating than hearing about a song you are never going to hear! Thanks for visiting the blog, Serge, and feel free to send through interesting information about Polnareff. Raechel x

  6. Pingback: More Klaus Kinski photos | Du dumme Sau – a Kinski Blog

  7. Pingback: Polnapop – Love Me, Please Love Me, Je suis folle de Polnareff «

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  9. patrick vanslambrouck ⋅

    Tout est très intéressant à lire, l’exactitude des données est respectée consciemment!, vraiment! Mais la photo (couleur) avec Polnareff allongé sur la banc ne le montre pas en compagnie de Bouchéty! A rectifier?
    Félicitations pour votre travail – je fais de même pour son ‘magnum opus’ polnareff’s en ce moment…

    • Hi Pat! Excuse me, but as this is an English language blog I will reply in English. Firstly, thanks for visiting the blog and for your kind comments. It’s good to hear from readers. But regarding the photo, I have taken it from Salut Les Copains, no 55, February 1967, pp36-37. It implies that the man in the photo is Bouchety, but you could of course be right and it could be someone else. It says something along the lines of: Whilst Jean Bouchety, his musical arranger, listens to the recording of l’Amour avec toi in German, Michel has a little nap on the black leather settee in the studio. Okay, it doesn’t say Bouchety is the guy sitting on the steps but it’s implied. I tried to find photos of Bouchety but it’s difficult as the image search engines are not very good and you end up finding photos of the artists he worked with instead. If you can find out who it is I would be interested to know though! All the best with your Polnareff’s article – I would love to see it when you’ve finished it so stay in touch and hopefully I will write some more in-depth Polnareff articles soon so keep visiting the site if you’re interested. Thanks!

      • patrick vanslambrouck ⋅

        hallo Tinyoggin
        Easy to find a picture of Bouchéty in ‘Google pictures’ if you want. When you enter his name, you’ll see a few old record sleeves of him – with a baldhead .
        Kind regards,
        pat – from Ostende Belgium
        (PS: the Ostend Casino where polna did his first live gig outside France on 9th July 1966 in ‘avant-programme’ for Claude François see also Eudeline ‘Le roi des fourmis’ p.49. I could find out the whole program:Jean Courtil/Katy David/Régis Barly/Gaston/Les Trovatt/Annie Philippe/Dominique Walter/Polnareff – Claude François) The Clo Clo concert was released later on CD ‘live au Casino d’Ostende – really! For your information: I was not there – too young…
        I had to wait until the summer of 1968 – 2 years later – to see & hear him performing live with a band. I was so impressed by his talent…)

      • Lucky you, Pat! I bet Polnareff put on an excellent concert back in the 60s. When I think of Ostende, I think of Harry Kumel’s film Daughters of Darkness. I really must go back to Ostende one day and visit the places from the film!

  10. steg

    Hello Blogmaster.

    I am unsure (being Italian myself) about the title of the TV show for the Italian version of “La poupée”. I don’t remember anything with that title in those days. The clip is by the way with the current “RAI” logo and something else in colour superimposed. There are various versions of it loaded on You Tube.

    I discovered by accident your blog (mine unfortunately for you is mostly in Italian, although some posts deal with French topics). I guess I will be back (and yes Gainsbourg is among my standard fare of music diet too).


    Steg AT

    • Hallo Steg! Thanks for visiting Hero Culte. I’ll take a look at your blog anyway. I watch enough Italian films to have picked up a few words and phrases – it pays to love cinema from all over the world ;0) I LOVE Serge so will definitely post more on him at some point – come back some time to see what I’ve been up to (mainly, but not only, French pop related). Best wishes raechel

  11. PhiPhi ⋅

    Regarding Jean Bouchéty, few people know that he released his own version of Polnareff’s “Le désert n’est plus en Afrique” two full years before, in the shape of an instrumental titled “Ring Ring Ring” (in late 1968, thus).

    Great by the way.

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