12 Reasons to Love Christophe (Daniel Bevilacqua)

As if you need to be given reasons to love Christophe, but for those who have not yet been won over by his many charms here’s a few reasons why I love him:

  • TROUSERS – This is a twofer reason.  It’s 1966 and there’s handsome Christophe having his photo taken for the cover of his J’ai entendu la mer EP, get this, with writing all over his trousers. So punk *before punk*!  He’s got the names of his favourite musicians scribbled in thick black pen all over his legs – Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Charles Mingus, etc  But if you think he’s too “dangerous” with his little leather jacket and his anarchistic legwear, he’s petting a tiny puppy dog to show his gentle side.  What’s not to love?  The two-for-one bit, I’ve not forgotten – the second part of this is that he used to sell Levi’s jeans from the back of his car (when he was allowed to drive, he’s had his licence withdrawn – probably speeding, he likes to drive fast), even though he wasn’t short of a bob or two at all, but lately he has started selling his old jeans (the ones that don’t fit him anymore) at flea markets in the south of France. Who’s ever heard of their favourite pop star selling their jeans on the market?!! I really want some, so long as he writes all over them!

Christophe j'ai entendu la mer

  • DA-DA SONG / GELSOMINA – This track is mental, it’s 1969 and it’s not long ago that Christophe was singing popular songs on TV for the masses, but he’s doing his own thing now.  It’s psychedelic, it’s soundtracky, it’s crazy – I love it! La la la la!

Christophe Gelsomina

  • LA PETITE FILLE DU 3E – 1970, the year I was born, and Christophe releases this little gem.  This is a song about a custodian, who minds his own business when looking after the building, he sees and hears everything but he never says anything.  There’s the little girl from the 3rd floor who’s always got problems; the old lady from the 5th floor who reads the tarot cards and told the man from the 8th floor that he’s going to die tomorrow. A veritable drama in “pop”

Christophe Petite fille 3e

  • ROCK MONSIEUR – Jump forward a bit to 1973 and Christophe is sounding all Suicide-like before he even knows who Suicide are.  A bit of wordplay – Rock Monsieur, Rock c’est mieux – Rock, it’s better.  Lots of repetition musically – that’s not a bad thing, I could listen to this track on a loop; sometimes I do.  Sounds like an average evening in Christophe’s life – some poker, get in the car, some hedgehopping, drinking too much, having a hard time etc  He’s not kidding either, even with the facial hair he is a “joli garçon“, look!

Christophe Belle

  • ALAN VEGA – Yes, talking of Suicide, as I was, this leads me on to the next reason.  Christophe, yes, the same Christophe who sang songs about puppets and girls called Aline (nothing wrong with any of this) is, believe it or not, a massive fan of Suicide and Alan Vega.  He got into Suicide in 1979 and he’s not turned back since.  So, is it any surprise he actually got together with Alan Vega, no, but to see him meeting Alan Vega and asking for a photo together as a souvenir and asking him if he would like to listen to some of his songs, “Because I know you but you don’t know me.  I know you very well”, it makes your heart swell – you can watch the video here.  Then he turns up at an Alan Vega gig in 2011 and joins him for a rendition of Saturn Drive Duplex  – god knows what Christophe is singing but it doesn’t matter, look out at the end as he kneels in front of Alan Vega in deference and Vega kisses him on the head. Brings a tear to your eye!

Alan VegaChristophe Alan VegaChristophe Alan Vega 3Christophe Alan Vega 2Christophe Alan Vega 4Christophe Alan Vega 5Christophe Alan Vega 6

  • EXCUSEZ-MOI MONSIEUR LE PROFESSEUR – Jumping back a bit, my favourite track from the Salut Les Copains years is this one from 1966.  It tells you a lot of what you need to know about Christophe – at school he’s always in trouble because his mind is elsewhere, his pages are all blank in his notebook as he prefers climbing trees instead of doing his work, because he has been told he’s not allowed to climb trees; if he’s absent when they take the register it’s because he got lost on the way to school and he’s been looking everywhere for it through a thousand fields, he’ll try and find it again tomorrow.  You’ve got to love him for that, he’s supposed to be a positive role model to the SLC kids and he’s saying lessons aren’t the most important thing in life.  He’s a rebel in a little checked shirt, sigh!

Christophe Excusez moi M le Professeur

  • DENNIS HOPPER – You probably don’t agree but I still reckon that young Christophe looks like a young Dennis Hopper, which makes him seem even more edgy as far as I’m concerned.  Anyway, I can’t find a picture where he looks anything like Dennis Hopper right now… This is a rubbish reason, right?  Well, here’s a nice picture anyway…

Christophe 1

  • FILMS – Talking of Dennis Hopper, Christophe is film crazy.  So film crazy that he doesn’t just collect DVDs of films, he collects original 35mm film prints and projects them himself.  He has good taste too.  On his 2013 album of previously unreleased tracks, Paradis retrouvé, he included a song called Silence on meurt, which had a sample from a film – I understand it’s from Billy Wilder’s Sunset Boulevard (the French language version).  It’s a brilliant electronic track but nobody seems to have uploaded it anywhere, so you’ll just have to buy the album to listen to it instead.  Christophe’s own music has also been used in films…
  • ROAD TO SALINA – Check out this film from 1970 just for Christophe’s soundtrack, especially the beautiful Girl from Salina – don’t forget the song, never try to!  Don’t worry, you won’t be able to forget it anyway, one listen and it will be in your heart forever

Christophe Girl from Salina

  • COLLECTIONS – Christophe is a fan of “stuff” and he collects loads of things.  He loves jukeboxes and even had his own exhibition of jukeboxes once; he’s a specialist and a connoisseur.  He used to import jukeboxes for his friends from the music industry.  He’s an all-round “hawker”.  He also collects 78 records, which he trades with other collectors, and he used to collect expensive cars too.  I believe he has a fabulous robot, which I want to see.  I want an invite over to his apartment to check out his stuff.  Ideally he would screen a film too and make me some food, but maybe I’m pushing it for a first visit, ha ha!

Christophe Jukebox 2 Christophe Jukebox

  • DANDY – In the early 70s Christophe grew his moustache and changed his image a bit, turning himself in a bit of a dandy.  I really admire him for this, when Michel Polnareff was singing Je suis un homme because he was upset when people said he looked gay in a lady’s blouse or sequinned trousers, Christophe was just getting on with it and not giving a damn.  What would Christophe care if you pointed out he had eyeliner on and his hair’s long like a girls?  What would Christophe care if you laughed at his soft velvet suit and his purple neck scarf and flower in his lapel?  What would Christophe care if you said he was channelling Peter Wyngarde/Jason King with his new look?  He wouldn’t care one little bit because Christophe rocks and you can go suck a big fat one!  A dandy, a bit accursed, a bit aged, talking of crumbling luxury, singing sophisticated rock, it’s a vision – a vision Christophe created around himself

Christophe Les Mots BleusChristophe Paradis perdus

  • SAD EYES – Just look at these sad eyes, so sad that he even has a permanent line between them from scrunching up his brow.  These are the sad eyes of a man who has seen too much and he’s hurting inside.  Hear him singing Les mots bleus and look into those eyes, how could you not want to at least give him a pat on the back and say, “Everything’s going to be alright, Christophe, it’s okay, it’s okay…”

Christophe Sad Eyes 2Christophe Sad Eyes

Christophe, you have to love him – you just have to…

If you want to know anything more about Christophe, I recommend that you read the fabulous biography by Christian Eudeline – Portrait du dernier dandy.  It’s one of the best biographies I have ever read.

 

Who Are You, Leonie Lousseau? Pt 4 – the new Christophe Bevilacqua biography

I bought Christian Eudeline’s new biography of Christophe (Daniel Bevilacqua) this week – I can’t wait to read it all in detail but in the meantime I’ve been flicking through it and have found there is an interview with Léonie Lousseau and some more information about her.

Christophe Book

You need to buy the book and read it for yourself really – I’ve read Christian Eudeline’s book about Michel Polnareff and that was really well done, so I am sure this is going to be great.

But in the meantime, courtesy of Christophe Portrait du dernier dandy (with a bit of extra research from me) here are a few snippets about Léonie for you:

  • Léonie was in a short film called Goutte-d’Or Story, directed by Jacques Poitrenaud in 1968 – it was 16 minutes long and features Léonie (credited as Martine Léonie) and Francis Coz. From what I can find out (I can’t find the film, sadly), it’s about a girl and a boy who are in love but don’t want to admit it, and then the girl threatens to leave.  I believe Jean-Claude Vannier provided the soundtrack and it might even be a musical but if anyone knows anything more about it, I’d love to know/see it
  • That same year Jacques Poitrenaud’s son Sebastien Poitrenaud had co-written all of the tracks on the Léonie Lousseau EP Candie – Léonie thought the songs made her seem a bit like an irritating little girl
  • Sebastien Poitrenaud, Jean-Claude Vannier and Boris Viard (one of Léonie’s friends), who all collaborated on the Candie EP, also worked together on the Les Fleurs de Pavot LP
  • After the Candie EP wasn’t quite the success hoped for, Léonie worked as a graphic designer (I think this is correct but the French word is maquettiste) at Filipacchi and then eventually asked Sebastien Poitrenaud if she could pick her own songs to record.  She found En Alabama amongst his tapes and thought it was made for her
  • She designed some record sleeves for Gilbert Montagné (The Morning Comes) and Dynastie Crisis (Litanie pour la fin d’un jour)

Dynastie Crisis Gilbert Montagne

  • Léonie wrote some lyrics for Christophe’s Good bye, je reviendrai when she saw him in the record label offices playing his guitar and struggling with the lyrics
  • Afterwards they wrote Christophe’s track Main dans la main together and then Léonie’s track Lennon
  • The musicians peforming on the En Alabama 7″ were Dominique Perrier and Didier Batard
  • Dominique Perrier said that everyone was in love with Léonie
  • Léonie wasn’t involved during the recording of the music and just came in to record her vocals – she found it frustrating and with all the people involved in the process, with a variety of interests in the project, she found it too complicated and thought the recording studio environment was too masculine/macho
  • The b-side of So Long, John (1975) called L’Autre Petit Prince was inspired by Christophe as was an unreleased track called Les Lumières de la ville
  • According to Christian Eudeline, Léonie has made brief appearances in a few films (regular readers of Hero Culte will have read about some others on here), including Le Mouton enragé (dir Michel Deville, 1974) which I have already written about here on Hero CulteL’Italien des roses (dir Charles Matton, 1972), which I can’t find a copy of, and La Philosophie dans le boudoir (dir Jacques Scandelari, 1971), which you can find on You Tube if you want to see it

Now, moving away from the bullet points, I should say I have watched La Philosophie dans le boudoir in its entirety and I’m not 100% sure if I have identified Léonie correctly so you will need to look out for her yourself.  Warning, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea as it is based on the Marquis de Sade’s play, there’s a lot of nudity and titillation.  It’s incredibly stylised with some attractive make-up, wardrobe and artistic direction but the nub and the gist of the whole thing is that a naive young man with a monobrow is in love with a stony-faced woman who has a very receding hairline.  Despite this, the monobrow man pursues her to a mansion to win her away from the older, hairy man she intends to marry.  It involves lots of orgy scenes, a hedgehog running across the body of a wasted party-goer, a woman pleasuring herself with an octopus and various other seafood (some of them still just about alive) and a man smothering himself in cream and caviar, and all this despite the fact that not one person in the room is paying him any attention whatsoever. For shame!

I thought I’d spotted Léonie a couple of times but it’s hard to say as there are so many people involved and the camera doesn’t stay still for very long.  So instead of having some photos of Léonie for you, I have just picked the prettiest lady I could find with a little beauty spot, like Léonie’s:

Leonie Beyond Love and Evil 2Leonie Beyond Love and Evil 1

She’s pretty like Léonie, but it’s not her.  Okay?

My Favourite Stuff: my Polnabook collection

Earlier this month ipanema éditions published a new book about Michel Polnareff – Le Polnabook – which is currently the pride and joy of my Polnareff collection.  It’s a large hardback book, presented in a box, and full to overflowing with beautiful photographs of Michel Polnareff from childhood through to the current day.  The book is well-designed with little pouches containing numerous inserts – reproductions of original concert tickets, programmes, sheet music, postcards, posters.  It’s visually stunning but the problem is I just want to get all the bits and pieces out to look at them properly but I’m terrified I’ll damage the book if I play with it too much.  Here’s me trying not to ruin it too much:

Polnabook

I got my copy via Fnac but I’m sure it’s available elsewhere – the recommended retail price is €44 but I wouldn’t even think about the price; it’s worth every penny and must have cost a fortune to make.

polnabook08polnabook09polnabook11polnabook12polnabook13

I have various other books about Polnareff, some of which are well-read and used and others not to much.  Here they are in no particular order:

Polnaculte by Benoît Cachin (Tournon, Paris, 2007) was a book I found when I went to Nice to see Polnareff in concert.  It’s well-researched and informative, including interviews with various musicians and songwriters who worked with Polnareff from 1966 through to the 2000s, taking each song, recording and TV appearance in turn.  It’s one of my favourite Polnareff books and one I always use when I’m looking for information for my little Polnareff articles – it comes highly recommended by me!

polnabook06

Polnareff Mania by Christophe Lauga (Scali, Paris, 2007) is a book I totally understand – a book by a fan and a massive collector of all things Polnareff.  It’s a book I only bought earlier this year when I went to Paris to interview the French singer Evariste, but it’s one that should be taken very seriously by any Polnareff fan and I’m sure I’ll be referring to it in future articles.

polnabook07

Polnareff Le Roi des Fourmis by Christian Eudeline (Eclipse, Besançon, 1997) is well-used by me and unfortunately it shows it.  For years it was my only real reference book and it’s been a great source of information for me since I bought it in 1997.  It contains lengthy interviews with fellow musicians and friends and lots of invaluable information.  If you can find it, buy it.

polnabook02

Polnaréflexion by Michel Polnareff in collaboration with Jean-Michel Desjeunes (Dire/Stock 2, France, 1974).  This is the first Polnareff book I ever found and it’s fairly rare now.  Highly amusing but doesn’t really tell the story of Polnareff, just selected highlights.  A must for any Polnareff collector even if there are no photographs or illustrations.

polnabook03

Polnaréférences by Philippe Margotin (Lagune, Enghien-les-bains, 2007) feels, to me, a little bit like a cash-in book to coincide with the success of Polnareff’s comeback tour.  It just seems like a summary of everything else that you can find in the other better books about Polnareff; it doesn’t seem to have any new information unavailable elsewhere but maybe I am wrong.  In any case, don’t take my word for it – it’s cheap enough to buy a copy and try it anyway.

polnabook04

Les Photos Collectors by Fabien Lecoeuvre (Ramsay/Vade Retro, Paris, 2004) is a beautiful collection of photographs of Michel Polnareff in a large hardback format.  It’s not a biographical or a reference book, it’s more of a photography book with informative captions but for any Polna-lover it’s a must – there are lots of photographs in the book I hadn’t seen before.

polnabook05

Polnareff par Polnareff by Michel Polnareff in collaboration with Philippe Manoeuvre (Grasset, Paris, 2004) – this is absolutely hilarious.  I bought this when I went to see Polnareff in concert in Nice and I remember sitting on the beach reading this and laughing out loud.  It is outrageous and unlike its predecessor Polnaréflexion it seems to be more of a traditional autobiography.  It’s great fun but I can’t pretend that I believe everything Michel Polnareff has to say about himself!  Buy it now!

polnabook01

There are, no doubt, many other books about Polnareff and I will inevitably get them at some point or other to join the rest of the Polnabook collection.  I’ll have to do little items on my Gainsbourg, Birkin and Hardy book collections some time soon, when I can dig them out.

Polnapop – Love Me, Please Love Me, Je suis folle de Polnareff

Well, the Polnapop La poupée qui fait non article proved to be a great success; not only did my French pop hero Michel Polnareff post a link to the article on Twitter (thank you, Monsieur Polnareff!) but I’ve also had a lot of Polnareff fans contacting me to pass on their encouragement, which has been lovely.  Evidently Polnareff’s fans are very ardent and committed; one of the French fans who couldn’t speak English and therefore couldn’t understand the article very well asked Michel Polnareff if he would translate it for her as she was concerned that I might have been saying something mean about him.  All I can say is, do you really think I would have 6 different copies of La poupée qui fait non and all the Polnareff biographies if I just wanted to be mean about him?  I might point out the irregularities in his anecdotes, but it’s only something that any other fan might notice if they read the books as well as I have.  Anyway, I’m sure he only does it for his own amusement, after all it must be boring being asked the same questions over and over again:

(Extract from Polnaréflexion, pp154-155, translated by me):

  • In interviews, I imagine you’re often asked the same questions…
  • Yes, it’s true
  • Is it very annoying?
  • No, not at all. Because I always reply with the same answer…
  • That must be wearisome…
  • No, no… I’m used to it. They are, it seems, the same things that are always of interest to people…
  • So, the same questions…
  • Yes, it’s very annoying…
  • But you can always reply with the same answer…
  • I know, but it’s very wearisome…
  • A question of getting used to it, I suppose?
  • Obviously.  Add to that, sometimes, like everyone else, I change my mind…

Anyway, next up Love Me, Please Love Me and another chance for me to show off my Polnacollection:

Love Me, Please Love Me / L’Amour avec toi / Ne me marchez pas sur les pieds

(Disc’AZ EP 1053, June 1966)

After the great success of La poupée qui fait non Michel Polnareff waited just one month to prove he was no one hit wonder when he released another classic EP Love Me, Please Love Me.  If La poupée qui fait non was a cutesy simple three chord pop song, Love Me, Please Love Me proved that Polnareff was an accomplished musician; maybe Georgia was on Polnareff’s mind a little bit when he wrote Love Me but other than that it can’t be faulted.  In fact, I’d say that you’d have to have a heart of stone not to fall in love with Polnareff after hearing Love Me, Please Love Me.  Sigh!

Difficult to believe that an Artistic Director at Disques Vogue said of Polnareff: “Nose is too long, sings in a shrill voice, will never be attractive to girls…”:

My original 1960s AZ promotional card for the Polnareff album and the La poupée qui fait non and Love Me, Please Love Me singles

Love Me, Please Love Me came out as a three track EP, which apparently was very unusual for the time.  This was undoubtedly because the title track was fairly long, running at 4 minutes 20 seconds, which would not allow for a second track to be included on the A side.

The lyrics for the title track were written by Franck Gérald who had collaborated on La poupée qui fait non.  This time the lyrics were credited to both Gérald and Polnareff because Polnareff had provided the song title in English, which they retained; the rest of the lyrics written by Gérald are in French.  The recording and production for the second EP were once again assigned to Jean Bouchety with work taking place in London, although it seems that the musical direction of the title track Love Me, Please Love Me is credited to Charles Blackwell, who often worked with Françoise Hardy in the 1960s.

Despite having 3 backing singers, 2 drummers and violins for the recording, Polnareff had wanted to make it more spectacular with the track running even longer, including some orchestral sequences, but he had to compromise on this; the longer a track ran, the poorer the sound quality became.  Polnareff didn’t, however, compromise on the piano recording – a studio musician had been lined up to play for the recording but it seemed it just wasn’t as good as Polnareff’s rendition of his own composition, so in the end he recorded it himself.

At this early stage in his professional music career Polnareff had not yet done any live concerts and he was asked to present Love Me, Please Love Me at the Festival de la Rose d’Or d’Antibes-Juan-les-Pins.  Whilst he had made his opinions on competitions clear following his refusal of the prize at the La Locomotive competition, Polnareff was told that it was very important for his career and so he was finally convinced to participate.

Once again, another bizarre Polnareff incident at a competition: amidst stormy weather and an audience that found Polnareff’s look a bit offbeat – shoulder length hair and huge yellow glasses – Polnareff and his song Love Me, Please Love Me were eliminated in the earlier stages of the competition by the judges.  However, whilst the jury made their views clear and the audience was split between those shouting out “Get your hair cut!” and others wildly applauding, the journalists were unanimous in their support of Polnareff and his new song – so much so that they created a new special prize, which they awarded to Polnareff:  the Critics Prize.  In contrast to the jury’s declared Rose d’Or winner (Jacqueline Dulac with Ceux de Varsovie), Polnareff went on to further great success with Love Me, Please Love Me going straight into the charts at number 2 for the period of 15 June to 15 July 1966 and selling about 300,000 copies between June and October 1966.

Love Me, Please Love Me:   In an interview in Mademoiselle age tendre (no 42), Polnareff says that there was a reason why he came up with an English title for the song; the song was composed for an American girl he was in love with at the time.  In terms of the lyrics, in Polnaculte Franck Gérald says that the use of the term ‘vous’ (the polite or very formal version of you) in place of ‘tu’, which is more commonly used between young people, seemed to be in a sense provocative.  Using ‘vous’ might imply that the woman Polnareff was asking to love him was more mature than he was or someone outside his social reach; at the time it was unheard of in popular music.  It wasn’t necessarily the case though because the use of ‘vous’ was predetermined to a certain extent by Polnareff’s vocal phrasing on his demo – he had used the “ou” sound, which would not accommodate the usage of the more familiar ‘tu’, meaning that Polnareff was not able to ‘tutoyer’ with his love object on this occasion.  Gérald says that had he tried to use the ‘tu’ sound in place of the ‘ou’ sound that Polnareff had adopted on his demo, the lyrics would not have been accepted by Polnareff.  It seems he was very particular for such an inexperienced performer; starting out the way he meant to go on!

The song is again one of Polnareff’s “woe is me” unrequited love songs.  Polnareff is addressing his song to a young woman who is totally disinterested in him, despite him declaring that he is crazy about her.  He wants her to love him, but instead she makes fun, remains silent or simply looks bored.  The situation may seem hopeless and faced with her indifference Polnareff wants to disappear into the night, but by morning he has regained his confidence and is hopeful that everything could change today.  It doesn’t sound hopeful but, o my, what a way to get other girls to feel sorry for him and to love him for showing his vulnerability.  A sure fire winner, I’d say!

For those who don’t speak French at all, Polnareff sings ‘je suis fou de vous’ – fou is the masculine French word for crazy, mad, insane.  The version I used in the title to this article, folle, is the feminine version; hence, je suis folle de Polnareff.

L’Amour avec toi:  If the use of ‘vous’ in Love Me… was slightly controversial, then the b-side (and if ever there was a b-side that deserved to be an a-side in its own right then this is one of them) L’Amour avec toi was downright scandalous.  It seems ridiculous to say it in this day and age but back in 1966, apparently, for Polnareff to say in a song in that he wanted to make love with a girl meant that the Bishop of Paris put in a complaint and the song could not be played before 10pm on radio stations.  Here’s an extract of the lyrics (excuse poor attempt at translation, but at least I try!):

There are some words we can think but not say in company
Me, I don’t give a damn about society and its alleged morality
I just want to make love to you
Of course I could tell you
That I live only for your smile
That your eyes are the bluest of all eyes
La la la, la la la
Some would say you can’t talk to a young girl like that
Those people do it but don’t say it…
I just want to make love to you

Whilst it might seem pretty tame today, as Polnareff puts it, it was “the porno song” of its day!

The “la la la, la la la” bit makes me laugh when I think about it – like he’s winging it and can’t think what else he would have to say if he was to have to go through the motions of being polite rather than just telling her that he would like to go to bed with her.  Maybe I’m just being cynical.  I think I am because, in fact, I have always thought of that song as being fairly innocent and sweet in its intentions, not at all sordid or “porno”; it’s a lovely, pretty song but there is no getting away from the fact that it is railing against “society” a little.

In fact, the lyrics to this one were self-penned, so we can’t even place the blame for this scandal with anyone else.  Naughty Michel!

If the intention was to scandalise with this one, though, it seems it didn’t work too well as the French public took this song to its heart and L’Amour avec toi became as well known (and as well loved) as Love Me, Please Love Me.

Ne me marchez pas sur les pieds:  If I thought L’Amour avec toi was sweet, then maybe I was wrong because here Polnareff begins to show his reluctance to be tied down to just one woman.  The lyrics were written by Frank Thomas, who was again presented with a track of Polnareff singing over his demo in franglais.  Thomas says he thought of Polnareff himself for inspiration for this one, which would be slightly disappointing if I wanted to believe that Polnareff was the romantic type (although it’s fair to say that that thought has long gone out of my head as I’ve learnt more about him).  Here’s an extract to give you a sense of the lyrics:

Listen to me, my sweet
This is how I live
And if you stay
Don’t try to walk all over me…
Nobody is strong enough to tie me down for life…
Others before you have already broken their noses
And our paths have separated
I’m like that
One day or another it won’t work for us two
If you insist
You may lose me…
But I beg and implore you
If you really love me
Don’t step on my feet
This is how I live
Take it or leave it…

Not a romantic song at all, but a good fuzzy, rebellious, garage punk style number.  Sadly this track wasn’t selected for inclusion on the album.

In summary I’d say, Love Me, Please Love Me is a wonderful EP with three cracking tracks and something for everyone.  And talking about something for everyone, do you prefer blonde Polnareff or dark haired Polnareff?  He had obviously bleached his hair since La poupée qui fait non and it suited him but I think I prefer the dark haired Polnareff myself:

 

So, I said I had 6 copies of La poupée qui fait non in my previous article but it seems I have 7 as I have this oddity, which fits both here and in the previous article really:

Love Me, Please Love Me / La poupée qui fait non 7″, HT300022 Hit-Ton, Germany

I say an oddity because of the typo – pouppée instead of poupée.

How many copies do I have of Love Me, Please Love Me?  Well, sad to say, not all of them yet.  I have the one above, plus the French EP pictured at the top of the article and the following copies:

Love Me, Please Love Me (German version) / Ich will dich lieben (L’Amour avec toi German version) 7″

HT300050, Disc’AZ

L’Amour avec toi / Love Me, Please Love Me 7″ , Palette PB 45.242, Belgium

Love Me, Please Love Me / L’Amour avec toi / Ne me marchez pas sur les pieds

Hispavox, HAZ 277 18, Spain

Just the five copies, sob!  I don’t yet have a copy of the Italian language version of Love Me, Please Love Me.  I know you can find the Italian version on YouTube but that’s not the point when you’re a collector; I have to get my hands on a copy of the single with a picture sleeve at some point to make my collection complete.  I also need the UK Disques Vogue 7” with picture cover.  If anyone knows where I can find either of these, please get in touch.

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Aside from a colour scopitone (small video shown on jukeboxes in France) made for Love Me, Please Love Me, Polnareff appeared on TV to perform and promote the song on the following shows (and probably more):

À tous vents, 09.07.66, dir Alexandre Tarta
Palmarès des chansons – Les succès de l’été, 29.09.66, dir Roger Pradines
Tilt Magazine, 05.10.66, dir Pierre Desfons
Douce France, 08.10.66, dir François Chatel
Bienvenue chez Guy Béart, 18.11.66, dir Raoul Sangla
Télé-Dimanche, 16.04.67, dir Roger Pradines
Entre nous, 07.10.67, dir Georges Folgoas
Studio 102, 28.01.68, dir Jean-Pierre Spiero
Télé-Dimanche, 06.07.69, dir Jean-Pierre Spiero
Les étoiles de la chanson, 16.02.71, dir Jean Cohen
Le grand amphi, 17.04.71, dir André Flédérick

Here are some screen grabs from the scopitone, which inexplicably featured 3 women in bikinis jumping around a garden.  I know I’m being a bitch, right, but they could have picked someone who didn’t look like a Barbie doll that had had its eyes burnt out:

Jalouse, moi?! 

Apparently, according to Christian Eudeline’s fabulous Polnareff Le roi des fourmis  the scopitone was shot in the suburbs to the north of Paris.  One of the technicians working on the scopitone thought that Michel’s name was Paul, as in Paul Nareff!

Whilst Polnareff didn’t record an English language version of Love Me, Please Love Me (to my knowledge) he apparently sang it in English on the Guy Béart show, so I’d really like to see/hear that.  I would also love to see the Rose d’Or performance, which was televised on 25 June 1966.

The duet version with Aznavour (on Entre nous) is surprisingly appalling – and this is absolutely down to Aznavour and nothing to do with Michel Polnareff at all; Aznavour seems to be just reciting the lyrics (like an interloper!) whilst Polnareff plays the piano and sings beautifully.  I normally like Aznavour but on this occasion…

And if Aznavour is bad, then Sandie Shaw’s version does not fare much better – she performed the song in English with Polnareff on piano on Studio 102; for me it’s another disappointing version with Sandie ducking out of doing the “ooh, ooh, ooh” ending, which was clearly beyond her vocal range.  Again, I’m normally quite fond of Sandie Shaw but she just proved here that Polnareff makes it look deceptively easy and not everyone can sing Polnareff.

As ever I’m looking for some of these TV appearances if anyone has them and wants to do some trades or something.  I’ll keep asking until I get them!

Postscript August 2013:  I have added some more copies of Love Me, Please Love Me to my collection now, so here they are:

Polna Love002

Love Me, Please Love Me Dutch EP, Palette, EPPB 7271 – the EP cover states it’s the “long version” of Love Me – this is because the Palette 7″ single version was a shorter version of the song (presumably to make it more radio-friendly, or for those with shorter attention spans!)

Polna poupee003

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

Postscript February 2014:  Excellent news for me, I received a Valentines Day present that’s a cut above flowers, chocolates, etc, look at this little beauty:

Polna Ital Love001Polna Ital Love002Finally, I have an Italian language copy of Love Me, Please Love Me  and L’Amour avec toi (in Italian L’Amour con te).  It’s on Disc’AZ, J 35115 X 45.  I’m so happy to have it.  This now means I have 8 different copies of Love Me, Please Love Me!

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) Mademoiselle age tendre, No 42, April 1968, article Michel Polnareff – mes “âme câlines” et moi, p78.

All (bad) translations into English are, as ever, my own.

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.