Douches Ecossaises 4 July 1966

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What a joy it is to watch a well-made and stylish music show – this one is Douches Ecossaises directed by Jean-Christophe Averty who makes great use of early visual effects, which may look a little dated now but which would have been exciting at the time and still look interesting when compared to what they do nowadays; people have little imagination these days. Sigh!

I’m looking at this one because, as ever, it’s got a TV appearance from Michel Polnareff – yet again promoting La poupée qui fait non – and there’s also another favourite of mine in the show:  Zouzou.  

Originally transmitted on 4 July 1966, Michel Polnareff had just turned 22.  He looks really happy in this clip, but before we get to Polnareff here’s the rest of the show in order:

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First up is French actor Christian Marin, who I know from Costa Gavras’ 1965 film Compartiment tueurs.  Here though he is singing a song which appears to be called Pourvu qu’il ne flotte pas au mois d’août, but I’m not really sure about that.  It’s not my cup of tea – very old school, accordeons, silliness etc – but Christian Marin has a great face.

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Next up, scary triplets – Les Jiminis 3 – singing Ah ! Quel malheur d’être petite fille.  Good job their parents had 3 kids because if this song is anything to go by it sounds like they use them for child slave labour, at least they can share the chores (washing, scrubbing, polishing etc) between the three of them.

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I’m not a fan of kiddies or kiddy-pop so this does not appeal to me at all.  The closest I come to liking kiddy pop is that bit in Keith West’s Excerpt from a Teenage Opera when the kids sing the Grocer Jack chorus.  These Jimini kids are way too frightening for me.  Brrr!!!

Quickly moving on:

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This is Albert Santoni singing Mon bateau.  Back to the old school again with this one – accordeons, hand clapping, background cheers, hat tilting, it’s got it all.  It sounds like a rather bad drinking song – maybe they were drunk when they recorded it. Next!

Ah! This is more like it:

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Slightly morbid clip for a song from this singer/songwriter Maurice Dulac, but it’s understandable because the track is called La veuve Sylvie, which translates as Widow Sylvie.  Maurice tells Sylvie she’ll never be his widow because he’s still alive and he’ll never marry here anyway.  Why not?  She’s to-die-for beautiful but she’s already been widowed twice before and Maurice is not going to be her third husband. Or is he…?

Great use of visuals here with the lovely little skellybobs:

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Now for a bit of dancing from Vélérie Camille:

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Very attractive lady but she looks like she’s getting on a bit so it’s all about the hands as far as she’s concerned – she wouldn’t want to put her back out, would she?  Very graceful and looks stylish but I’m not here for the dancing.  Plus she looks like the template for Pete Burns’ cosmetic surgery here:

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What has Françoise Fabian got for me?

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She’s a French actress, who later went on to appear in Buñuel’s Belle de jour and got the part of Maud opposite Jean-Louis Trintignant in Rohmer’s Ma nuit chez Maud.  Lucky!  I like her already.

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She’s a very attractive lady and here she is singing a track that seems to be called Les honneurs de l’amour – I know nothing about this, but what’s new?  It’s not bad actually, sounds like something from a film soundtrack.  It’s okay.

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And here’s Jacques Loussier with a jazzy Bach track and lots of monochrome zig-zagging all over to make my eyes go funny:

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This is good but I prefer The Swingle Singers doing Bach.  I like a bit of Bach, me.

Next up, the fabulous Zouzou. I can’t get enough of Zouzou, she’s one of my absolute favourite French singers, and this is a track written for her by the handsome Mister Jacques Dutronc – Il est parti comme il était venu. 

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Like Françoise Fabian, Zouzou also appeared in a Rohmer film: L’Amour l’après-midi.  I’m not sure why she didn’t make a bigger career out of films because she was very good.  There was talk of drug addictions and a couple of stints in prison during the 90s.  Quite sad, but I think she’s fine these days, which is good news.  Anyway, I can’t recommend Zouzou more – check out her music.  I always say this, but this particular track reminds me of Nico/VU, only better.  I think.

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From one extreme to the other – fancy following a fabulous track like that with Albert Raisner and his harmonica, eh?  O well, sit back and let it play…Douches ecossaises 31Douches ecossaises 32Douches ecossaises 33

Albert is all about the hands as well, so maybe he could join forces with Vélérie Camille and they could do a “all hands on deck” double act?   It couldn’t get any worse. Or could it…?

Douches ecossaises 34What’s this?  It’s Henri Virlogeux (ignore the typo in the TV credits, they have got his name slightly wrong) doing some ridiculous bull fighting sketch.  I will let him off but only because he was in Truffaut’s Les quatre cents coups; in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s stunning unfinished film L’Enfer; and in Balducci’s Trop jolies pour être honnêtes with Jane Birkin, amongst other things.

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You are forgiven for wasting my time, Henri.  Next, here’s Stone – what is she wearing, I wonder?  O no, NOT that horrid black and white suit again!  She certainly got her money’s worth out of that purchase.

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In any case, this is Seul, a French language cover version of Norwegian Wood.  It’s alright but Stone can do better than cover versions.  And she can change out of that suit at the same time.

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I shouldn’t complain, should I?  No, I should not because this is what happens when I complain:  Georgius doing a track called On l’appelait fleur de fortifs.  They may call it that but I call it a blast from the past – the French love their chansons, don’t they?  I would say it seems a bit out of place on the show but it doesn’t really – it’s a free for all here.  I’m just waiting for Polnareff now but in the meantime at least the visuals are good:

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Next up in this Michèle Arnaud produced TV show is, you’ve guessed it, Michèle Arnaud!  Not too shy to give herself a slot on her own shows from time to time.  It’s a wonder her little boy Dominique Walter is not here too but you can’t have it all.  Well, you can because this track, Ballade des oiseaux de croix, was written for Michèle Arnaud by my number one favourite: Serge Gainsbourg.  In that case, sing away, Michèle, sing away!

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Right, the first track from Claude François (yeah, sorry there are two…) is Mais combien de temps – a slowie.  I must admit I quite like this track.  I tend to think of Claude François as an all-singing, all-dancing freak show but I am secretly fascinated with him – especially since I saw the Cloclo film last year.  Who would have known he was such a weirdo?  Hiding a son, running porn magazines, sleeping with countless groupies, all at the same time as portraying himself as a cleaning living family friendly chap. Amazing.  Of course it could be an inaccurate biopic as it was with the Gainsbourg film – spit!  Anyway, here is Cloclo:

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Wow, it’s a Gainsbourg-fest here, with Pourquoi un pyjama? from Régine:

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I love Serge – I love him SO much – but what is this song, eh?  It sounds like it was written for Klaus Nomi but instead has been sung by the Divine looky-likie Régine.  It’s not a good one.  And if asked for an opinion, I would say that even though Régine claims never to wear pyjamas, I could give her 100 reasons why I would rather she wore some. 

To make up for the disappointment here is Claude Bolling with a tiny kitten!

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Bolling was a French jazz pianist and he seemed to work with everyone and recorded loads of film soundtracks – including Vivre la nuit (which Serge was in) and Qui? a fabulous film starring Romy Schneider.   He was a busy guy, here he plays Kitten on the Keys with a little help from a gorgeous kitten, aw!

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And, now, the moment I was waiting for – Michel Polnareff with La poupée qui fait non and some scary ladies in masks who keep shaking their heads at him:Douches ecossaises 53Douches ecossaises 54Douches ecossaises 55Douches ecossaises 56

He looks totally cute here, doesn’t he?  No need to answer – I know I’m right.

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No special effects for Michel, just some quick editing which made it difficult for me to get the screen grabs I wanted, dammit!  Excellent clip though and worth waiting for.

Next up, another Gainsbourg collaborator, Valérie Lagrange – actress, singer and a very interesting and beautiful lady.  She’s appeared in films by Barbet Schroeder and Andrzej Żuławski, you know?  Anyway, this might not be Gainsbourg but it’s fabulous. It’s Le même jour by Francis Lai and Pierre Barouh.  Incredibly catchy, you’ll find, and doesn’t she look wonderful?

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Next, round two for Claude François who claims he has a tiger by the tail – Je tiens un tigre par la queue – he might be better off putting it in his guitar like Dutronc did.  The track’s okay and Cloclo’s dancing is good too, plus there are some good visuals.  This is alright, I suppose, but I preferred the first track.

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Not sure why he looks like he’s about to sneeze in that second photo…

Finally, to close the show with something annoying there’s a sketch from Muller et Ferrière (I guess they’re a comedy double-act, I really don’t know) with Jean-Christophe Averty in the municipal showers.  It’s not my kind of funny.

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But they seem to find it amusing, giving Jean-Christophe Averty the douche écossaise treatment.  O well.

Luckily the closing credits are fabulous so the show doesn’t have to end on a bad note:

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More French music shows soon.

Micky Amline autograph

I’m a big fan of the Swinging Mademoiselles type music so I was rather pleased to find this autograph of French 60s singer Micky Amline unexpectedly at a film fair:

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It’s signed to someone called Marie France and says something along the lines of “Long live the TWIST.  All my friendship [best wishes], Sincerely Micky”

Micky Amline’s real name was Christiane Ameline and she started out as a model before becoming a singer in 1959 with a band called Les Boutons Dorés.  In 1962 she signed to Disques Vogue as a solo artiste and released just a handful of EPs.  Some of you may know a couple of her tracks (Look and Garçon manqué) from the Ultra Chicks compilations.

Bernard Ferraro, lead guitarist with Les Cyclones and also guitarist for Françoise Hardy and Eddy Mitchell, accompanied Micky on guitar.  They later married.  I read somewhere that Bernard left the music industry and became an ornithologist (!) and also that Micky left the music industry after having a nasty car accident.  I don’t really know what happened but I do know that Micky / Christiane now runs a tea room with Bernard: L’Échauguette in Tusson, in the south west of France.  If I ever find myself in Tusson I might pop in to have a nose around!

Barry Ryan is a Man Alive!

Weekend Barry Ryan Cover

Isn’t this the most amazing Weekend cover you have ever seen?  This tells the story of when Barry Ryan suffered burns to his face during promotional activities in Germany.  A very strange story, but nonetheless in keeping with Barry Ryan’s particular brand of operatic pop – melodramatic and exciting!

Here’s the full story in case you’ve not read it before:

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To add to this, I thought I’d share the signed promotional card I bought at a flea market in Berlin.  The German lady who sold it to me said “Paul und Barry Ryan – Eloise!”.  Ha ha!

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There’ll be more on Hero Culte about Barry Ryan at a future date.

Postscript:  I recently (August 2013) found this Muziek Parade Dutch photo postcard of Barry Ryan whilst on holiday in Amsterdam so thought I should share it:

Barry Ryan postcard

The Zombies vs The Daleks

I love The Zombies.  I bought this Fabulous magazine today just because they were in it.  It was a bit pricey but, get this, they’re in a photo story with Screaming Lord Sutch, Adrienne Posta and the Daleks!

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There’s also a short interview with The Zombies and a two page colour poster:

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I went to see The Zombies in concert at the Tunnels in Bristol in May 2012 and they were amazingly good.  They seem like lovely chaps too – they sell signed merchandise and you can buy items from just a few pounds.  Whilst I was buying some of the merchandise – a poster and a book about The Zombies – my boyfriend saw Colin Blunstone and asked him to sign my Odessey and Oracle LP for me (Polish issue, original version – but without the fabulous artwork of the UK issue; as it’s one of my favourite albums ever I need to track down an original UK copy at an affordable price some time…):

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It was an amazing set they played.  Here’s the set list etc from the gig:

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And here are some of my photographs – the ones of Colin are a bit too close but I was stood right at the front of a small venue with my Diana F+ camera, which you can’t control too much.  There are a couple of funny ones of Rod Argent progging out on the keyboards – I used the bulb flash for a long exposure to get him shaking his head about:

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My pictures are not that great, I know, but here are some better ones taken on an Olympus Trip 35 by Dave Tinkham of Datapanik Design:

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I would recommend going to see The Zombies in concert when you can.  You can find out more on their official website and on Colin Blunstone’s personal website.

 

My Favourite Stuff: Jean Louis Trintignant autograph

There’s just something about Jean-Louis Trintignant – he’s a fabulously understated actor with a great sense of style and he’s also quite lovely to look at.  I mean, I know he’s not quite what most people would call handsome but he’s very attractive.  And what is more he has managed to make himself a career out of making films where ladies’ clothes fall off whenever he walks in the room – nice work if you can get it!

Anyway, I am very fortunate to have the best boyfriend in the world – he recently bought this autograph for me, and made sure it was not dedicated so I could at least pretend it was signed for me (not so easy to do if it’s signed to another person’s name!).  It comes with an authenticity guarantee so I know it’s genuine.  Also the photograph shows Jean-Louis all moody and good looking.  I would have preferred him in one of his stylish suits but I’m not complaining at all.  He’s looking out of frame where, no doubt, a lady’s clothes were falling off.  Ah! Jean-Louis I love you!

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My Favourite Stuff: Margaret Lee autograph and Hungarian magazine

Back in July 2012 I got to interview the British actress Margaret Lee, who will be well known to those of you who like the director Jess Franco (RIP) or those of you who like Italian movies from the 1960s.  I’m a big fan of Margaret Lee and as she had appeared in many films with the Polish/German actor Klaus Kinski, I asked if she would allow an interview for my Klaus Kinski website Du dumme Sau!   Sadly, since there have been allegations of abuse made by Klaus’ daughter Pola Kinski, the website is no longer active but you can still read the interview here for now. It’s a bit of an exclusive as Margaret Lee is something of a recluse these days, so I was delighted to get the chance to interview her.

Anyway, after the interview Margaret kindly signed an autograph for me on an original 1960s postcard:

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I can’t imagine there are many people who have an autograph from Margaret Lee, especially a dedicated autograph, so I was so pleased to receive it.

I was recently given a copy of a Hungarian magazine which appears to be called Film Színház Musika and has Margaret Lee on the cover.  Unfortunately I don’t speak very much Hungarian (just a few words I have picked up from the many Hungarian films I have watched!) so I can’t really say what the article is about, other than it seems to be an interview with Margaret about her role in the 1969 film House of Pleasure (original title: Frau Wirtin hat auch eine Nichte), which was a West German / Italian / Austrian / Hungarian co-production.  The film was directed by Franz Antel and co-stars included the Giallo favourite Edwige Fenech, Claudio Brook, Karl Michael Vogler, and Heinrich Schweiger.  I haven’t yet got a copy of this film but I will keep an eye out for it at future film fairs.  Anyway, here is the front cover and article for anyone who can understand Hungarian and those who just like looking at the pictures!

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The cover isn’t actually signed, Margaret must have signed a photograph for Film Színház Musika which they used for the cover, as you will note that it is dated 15 November 1968 and the magazine is from 30 November 1968.