Hero Culte wishes you a very glam Christmas

I’ve not managed to do much posting this year – lots of reasons, but my two-days-a-week book writing project plus having various small press book ideas to work on too is a major factor (why do one project when you can have several on the go at once?!).  Anyway, I just wanted to say happy holidays and to thank everybody who has visited the blog this year – and especially those who send kind words of support from time to time, which helps to keep up the morale.  I’ll try and do more blogging next year but the plan is to try and finish my book (well, the first draft…) for next summer so we shall have to see how I get on.

In the meantime, here is a little Christmas treat for one and all – a great photo I found in an old Generation Game / TV magazine from, I think, 1975 (there’s no date on it!).  My favourite thing about it, of course, Sparks – and it’s got all of ’em in the photo, not just Ron and Russell!  Hope you like this one as much as I do.  All the best for a good year in 2017!!!



Happy 70th birthday to Jane Birkin

Today is sweet Jane B’s 70th birthday! Jane has been keeping a fairly low profile of late but today she is performing in concert with her Gainsbourg Symphonique show in Clermont-Ferrand.  Hero Culte wishes Jane a very, very happy birthday and hopes the concert is wonderful tonight.  Here’s a lovely photo of Jane from my personal collection to celebrate the occasion.


Get The Zombies in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

I’ve written about The Zombies on here before – they’re one of my top bands.  I went to see them last week when they played The Komedia at Bath and they were absolutely wonderful, even better than when we saw them in Bristol a couple of years ago.  They played a great set, ranging from 1964 to the current day with their latest album Still Got That Hunger – of the tracks they played from this album Edge of the Rainbow sounds particularly good live.

Here’s the set list – it was in two parts (we got part two and managed to nab a photograph of the other half):


And here’s a few photos of the band courtesy of Dave Tinkham at Datapanik Design:


The Komedia is a really nice venue with excellent sound quality and we managed to bag ourselves seats on the front row.  Everyone in the audience was enthusiastic; there were some people in the row behind us who were singing along doing harmonies and they had really great voices, which makes a change and was nice to hear.  There were standing ovations for The Zombies and everybody sang along with the encore God Gave Rock and Roll To You.  What a wonderful night it was!

If you go and see The Zombies – and I recommend that you do – be sure to go to their merchandise stall; Colin and Rod sign pretty much everything and there’s no extra charge for that.  I bought myself a signed Zombies Christmas decoration this year!

Anyway, here’s the thing:  during the concert Rod Argent said that The Zombies have been nominated for a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  They definitely deserve a place (if they want one!), so I have been voting for them every day since the concert.  You can vote once a day until 5 December 2017.  It would be really nice if they got voted in, so please vote for The Zombies if you are willing / able.  You can do it here:  VOTE FOR THE ZOMBIES!


My Favourite Stuff: Jane Birkin’s Blouse

Well, I am one happy bunny.  I am now the proud owner of Jane Birkin’s blouse as worn and seen in her latest film (a short) called La femme et le TGV (dir Timo von Gunten, 2016).

Jane Birkin Blouse We-ll_be_all_forgotten_sometimesJane wearing her blouse – now MY blouse!

I’ve not tried it on but I must admit I did sniff it to see if there was essence of Jane on the blouse – nothing doing, folks!  I shall treasure it and keep it very carefully with my other Jane Birkin memorabilia.

The film, which I have not seen yet aside from a trailer, will be available shortly.  I have pre-ordered a copy of the DVD, which will be sub-titled in several languages.  You can pre-order a copy yourself or even buy Jane’s cardigan or skirt, or other props from the film at very affordable prices here:  http://www.tgv-movie.com/tickets.html


La femme et le TGV will premiere at the Locarno Film Festival next week on 5 August 2016.  You can get tickets for the screening or you can buy a download or a DVD – or even just support the project with a donation (see the link above).  The film sounds lovely and I can’t wait to see it.

Many thanks to the TGV Movie Team for letting me buy the blouse and good luck with the premiere next week!


Pierre Koralnik film Anna to be honoured with a plaque

I have recently been in touch with the film director Pierre Koralnik, who made one of my very favourite films: Anna (1967).


If you’ve not seen Anna, well, you should.  It’s a musical, and whilst I don’t usually like musicals too much myself, this is a great musical thanks to Serge Gainsbourg’s superb soundtrack.  It stars the lovely Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy, Serge Gainsbourg, Eddy Mitchell, and Marianne Faithfull amongst others.  It is so incredibly stylish and pop-art – it’s a “must see” as far as I’m concerned.

Pierre Koralnik has told me that on Saturday 20 August 2016 the Mayor of Deauville will be unveiling a plaque in honour of this wonderful film, which was partly filmed on the beach at Deauville.  This is great news and very well-deserved.  If you’re lucky enough to be in the area on that date you can go along and listen to Anna Karina and Pierre Koralnik (and others) discussing the film before the plaque is formally unveiled at 7pm.  More details are available here: http://www.deauville.fr/fetes-et-manifestations/sous-le-soleil-exactement

Anna-karina-photo-bleueUnfortunately I won’t be there myself, so instead I might just re-watch the film and look at these lovely press photos of Anna Karina that I bought a little while back:

Anna Karina001 Anna Karina002Anna Cowgirl

Anna is available on DVD complete with the CD soundtrack.

Evariste: Jupiter film 1971

I’ve still not managed to find a copy of Jupiter (dir Jean-Pierre Prévost, 1971), which I’d love to see because aside from the fact that Évariste has a role in it, it also features the great actors Jean-Pierre Kalfon and Pierre Clémenti and the artist Martial Raysse.  Anyone got a copy?  Let me know if you have.

In the meantime I managed to find an article about it in Continental Film Review (October 1970):



Raye Du Val Triple Winner of the World’s Non Stop Drumming Marathon Contest

Earlier this year I bought myself a book about Joey Dee and the Twist for £1.  The photos and diagrams in it are great, but I was even more excited when I realised that the book had previously belonged to Raymonde Du-Val, the drumming marathon champion and drummer for everyone from Gene Vincent to Johnny Kidd and the Pirates.  As a kid I remember me and my brother were obsessed with What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For?, which Raye Du-Val drummed on.  Who’d have thought that all these years later I would have a book that belonged to the drummer of Emile Ford and the Checkmates?!

Twist Raye Du Val001 Twist Raye Du Val002 Twist Raye Du Val003

The book’s not in very good condition, and it looks like it has changed hands a fair bit (all those different prices in the front page!), but I love the fact that Raye had his own stamp and bothered to put his full address in the front cover of his books!

A 25th anniversary special: Bodily Functions with Serge Gainsbourg

Yes, sad to say, on Wednesday it was 25 years since Serge died – I would say the world’s not the same without him, but he left us so much to remember him for that it’s almost as if he’s still here.  On Wednesday I rewatched the film Charlotte For Ever (if you’ve ever seen it, you will understand how much I have to love Serge to sit through it again – it’s really not his best effort, is it?).   So, courtesy of Charlotte For Ever, here is my Serge Gainsbourg 25th anniversary special:

Serge loved talking about farting, pee-pee, poo-poo, &c so what could be more apt than sharing some of his bodily functions with you for a bad taste tribute?  If nothing else it will shock the shockable and give people even more reason to think he’s a reprobate.  Perfect!

(One word of caution, when watching the film I was fine with the chuck-up scene, but when I had to watch it repeatedly to get the screen grabs, I nearly chucked-up myself.  Twice.)

Over to Serge:

Qui est “in”, qui est “out”

CFE Chuck Up 1CFE Chuck Up 2CFE Chuck Up 3CFE Chuck Up 4

I hope he washed that glove afterwards…

Initials Pee-Pee

CFE Peepee 1CFE Peepee 2CFE Peepee 3CFE Peepee 4

Hard to capture a good shot of Serge’s pee-stream, but you can see his pee-pee in shot number 2 (if you really want to! Note, he’s not a good aim…) and I have circled in shot number 3 where he peed on his lovely Repetto shoe.  You get a flash of his pubes but you don’t get to see his petit boudin, ha ha!  And, no, he didn’t wash his hand / glove afterwards…

Morveuses Nouvelles des Étoiles*

CFE Snot Bubble 1CFE Snot Bubble 2

Save the best for last, eh?  Serge Gainsbourg the Snot Gobbler – he didn’t use a hankie, he just sucked it back up.  Lovely stuff!

* I know, I know, not the best pun but I try…

Well, I hope you enjoyed that little tribute to Serge in all its gory detail but try and remember him for all the good stuff he has given us – what a legend!

French pop advertising from the 1960s

As some of you may have noticed I have had a little break from blogging recently.  I can’t say I’m back with a vengeance but here’s a little post with some of the French pop advertisements I have come across in a few of my Mademoiselle Age Tendre and Salut Les Copains magazines:

French pop ad001

This looks like Guy Peellaert Sylvie Vartan artwork for Simon cleansing milk

French pop ad008

France Gall is rehearsing, apparently, with two cute dogs (Problème and Nougat) whilst wearing a “Guitare” dress – a lovely photo but not a fantastic advert in that, at a glance, I’m not sure what it’s selling!

French pop ad005

Stone is wearing her favourite skirt by Gérard Pasquier “Vingt-Ans”, very nice it is too

French pop ad009

Did Sheila really have her own shop?  Looks like she did or at least she had her own clothing range anyway

French pop ad004

Rika Zaraï chose Odilène “the label of the stars” and why not?

French pop ad002

Is this really Sheila?  Well, it looks like Sheila advertising something else – some natural care cream and some make-up remover but can I see an image of the product in the advert? No.  It looks like Sheila is selling a bathrobe or something!

French pop ad006

This looks like more Guy Peellaert style artwork again – this time Christine Delaroche is wearing a Fric Frac outfit that could be purchased at  Gérard Pasquier “Vingt-Ans”

French pop ad007

No one famous this time (I don’t think!) but I like the artwork – very like Peellaert again – this is for Heyraud “Hipnic” shoes.  If you want to be “in” you need to get some Hipnic American-Style shoes – I’ll take a pair of Bingo!

Hero Culte and the Disappointment of Hero Worship

It’s a sad day for Hero Culte.  I need to explain something.  The reason I started this particular blog was two-fold – one, because I felt I had to close down my Klaus Kinski fan website Du dumme Sau! after his daughter’s revelations of abuse but I still wanted to write about something; two, because it felt safer to write about stuff I like in general rather than one particular subject matter – it also gave me a much wider scope, which was nice.  Also, add to this, I have a lot of “stuff” I have accumulated over the years and I wanted to share that with others.

Some time ago I discovered a little-known French singer who went by the name of Léonie or Léonie Lousseau in the 1960s and 1970s.  I thought she was great, I wanted to find all her records and also find out more about her.  She immediately became one of my “heroes” on Hero Culte and I started sharing the information I found out about her on here.  I thought this was something nice to do – I made a lot of effort in my research and I could reveal facts about this mysterious singer as I discovered them; other people on the internet started referencing the information from my site and I could tell it was of interest to Léonie’s small but dedicated fan base.

Out of the blue I received an email from another Léonie fan asking me if she had contacted me demanding that I should remove all articles about her from my site as this is what she had requested he should do; he was concerned that all his hard work on his site was about to come to an end.  At that time I hadn’t heard from Léonie at all and I wondered if this was because I didn’t share her music, which, after all, is not mine to share; otherwise I wasn’t sure why she would contact just this one site with not so much a request as a demand to remove all posts about her from the site.

I lived on in ignorant bliss for a while but, sadly, yesterday Léonie contacted me via YouTube, telling me that my articles about her constituted an invasion of her privacy and that she wanted me to remove them, otherwise she would be obliged to make me remove them.  Imagine how upset I was about being threatened in this way?  She wasn’t just asking me to remove the odd comment that she objected to, it was everything.  As if no one is ever allowed to write about her as someone who once chose to exist in the public eye.  That can’t be right, surely?

One of my friends said to me, “You really do a very good job.  It’s not nice to see that and you don’t deserve it – indeed, this little forgotten artist exists because of people like you.”  Other friends went out of their way to offer support and advice, and even to share similar horror stories of bad experiences with their heroes.  That was the only nice thing to come out of this whole experience, seeing that people support your efforts.

My friends told me not to worry, I hadn’t done anything wrong.  But I find I am still worrying.  I still love Léonie’s music but I don’t think I even like the person behind that music and that is what is so disappointing to me.  Yesterday I considered giving up writing the site, at the moment I am going to take a break from it all and see how I feel later; I don’t really feel like writing much at the moment.

But going back to Léonie’s complaint, is there really any truth in the fact that (she feels) my articles are an invasion of her privacy?  Let’s consider the situation:

  • Léonie has her own YouTube channel  where she occasionally uploads her own music, including alternative versions of tracks and unreleased tracks with images previously unseen – she obviously has some desire to create an interest in her work and her uploads, even if she only does this surreptitiously and intermittently.  She clearly does not want to be forgotten and even throws in the odd reply to people who post comments on her uploads – her comments are always oblique, but it is clear the comments and uploads are coming from Léonie herself.
  • All of the articles (and I mean ALL of the articles) I have written about Léonie and published here on Hero Culte have been based on information that is in the public domain – I have not included any hearsay about her, every item uploaded here can be verified against its source material.
  • Most of the information I have used comes from interviews with Léonie herself.  Surely she cannot object to this?  Original copies of these interviews have been scanned and shared on this site along with my poor attempt at translating that information into English for the non-French speakers out there.
  • Even if Léonie is no longer a recording artiste (and she may well be for all we know), she once was and as such she appeared on TV shows and carried out interviews, revealing information about herself as she saw fit – that information is still out there and is still available to those who care to search for it.  All I have done is found some of that information and pulled together elements of the puzzle.  And, to be clear, in doing so I have promoted her music in the most positive of ways.
  • Léonie also worked as an actress in several films, several of those films are referenced on IMDB under her various pseudonyms – these films are, on the whole, easily available on DVD or in some cases are even on YouTube.  If I choose to buy those films and write about them, I should imagine that I am free to do so, particularly because I do so with an interest in the subject and with, on the whole, the most positive of intentions.
  • Finally, I posted a comment on one of Léonie’s videos five months ago, asking her for an interview and including a link to the articles I had written about her on this site.  She did not respond to my request for an interview, but at that time she posted a bizarre response claiming that unlike Martine Collet (which is Léonie’s real name) who was born in 1947, she (Maarnie47) was actually born in 1847.  She did not raise any objections at all to my articles five months ago.  What has changed since then, I do not know, but what I do know is that I made her aware of my articles five months ago and that should she have wished to raise any objections or take any action against me for these articles, she should have raised it five months ago.  It’s regretful that it should have to come to this.

My message to Léonie is this:  I was a massive fan and I promoted your music, which I loved.  I wrote about you because I thought you were great.  But I won’t be writing about you anymore.  I will not remove the articles about you on your demand, but if you have any serious concerns about anything in particular I am happy to listen to you because I would not wish to make anyone unhappy unnecessarily; I am a good person.  I had only the best of intentions where you were concerned but your email was truly upsetting.  With great sadness I have to say, Léonie, that you are no longer a hero to me and, furthermore, by sending such messages to your fans, all you are doing is alienating the people who are (or were) your greatest supporters.  So long, Léonie!