Evariste appearances and recordings

In December 2012 I was delighted to go to Paris to meet my French pop hero Evariste (aka Joël Sternheimer) and interview him for Hero Culte, the interview will follow shortly.  In the meantime I thought I would share with other Evariste fans some of the information I have gleaned on his career.

This listing is by no means definitive but it provides a much fuller picture of Evariste’s recordings and appearances on TV, film and radio to date.  If anyone has any information to fill in the gaps, please let me know.  I am also trying to track down some of the TV shows and as and when I do I shall include more information and pictures.  Again, if anyone has any of the TV shows or films, please get in touch!

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Evariste Connais tu l'animal A

1967 — 7” EP Connais-tu l’animal qui inventa le calcul intégral? / Si j’ai les cheveux longs c’est pour pas m’enrhumer Atchoum / Dans la lune / Evariste aux fans (DiscAZ 1088)

Evariste Connais tu l'animal BEP-Evariste-Wo-i-Nee-A

1967 — 7” EP Wo i nee / La chasse au boson intermédiaire / Ma mie / Les pommes de lune (DiscAZ 1133)

EP-Evariste-Wo-i-Nee-Bevariste-la revolution-front cover

1968 — 7” single La révolution / La faute à Nanterre (CRAC 01)

evariste-la revolution-back coverJe ne veux pas mourir idiot

1969 – LP Je ne veux pas mourir idiot (EMI Pathé, 054-10031)

Je ne pense qu'a ca LP

1969 – LP Je ne pense qu’à çà (EMI Pathé, 054-10.564)


1970 — 7” EP Si les étoiles pouvaient parler / Je ne suis pas si simple / Je chante pour vous faire parler / Je ne pense qu’à ça (Pathé C016 10554)

1974 – Evariste wrote Je voudrais que tu me fasses un enfant, a lovely song – you can find it on YouTube performed by Line et Willy here

SP-Evariste-Reviens Dany Reviens

1975 – 7” single Reviens Dany, reviens / L’Amour et la revolution (CRAC02)

Evariste Do You Know The Beast LP

2011 – Do You Know The Beast? LP (unofficial, bootleg compilation album) (NoSmoke Records, Portugal, NS0010LP)

(Links to tracks are from the excellent website http://mixagesobsoletes.free.fr/)


05/03/71 (release date) – Jupiter (dir Jean-Pierre Prévost), starring Martial Raysse, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Pierre Clémenti, Evariste song Le p’tit Patrick

??/??/72 – Short film, Je ne suis pas simple (dir Claude Confortès) exact release date unknown.  Produced by Simon Damiani who executive produced La planète sauvage; script by Jean Confortès et Georges Wolinski; music by Evariste


22/02/67 – Tilt-Magazine (dir Jean-Pierre Spiero, produced by Michèle Arnaud), report filmed at Princeton, Evariste interviewed by Michel Drucker, song Connais-tu l’animal qui inventa le calcul intégral

Evariste Tilt Feb 67 1Evariste Tilt Feb 67 17Evariste Tilt Feb 67 22

February / March 1967 – Title of show unknown, Belgian TV, report, songs Dans la lune, Si j’ai les cheveux longs… and Evariste aux fans

05/03/67 – Nuit des élections (dir Raoul Sangla), 1ère chaîne, Evariste interviewed by Georges de Caunes, song Dans la lune

Evariste Sylvie Vartan Varietes Elections 1967Evariste Varietes Elections 1967Evariste Varietes Elections 1967 2Evariste Varietes Elections 1967 6

09/03/67 – Vient de paraître (dir Georges Barrier), 2ème chaîne, song Connais-tu l’animal qui inventa le calcul intégral

Evariste Integral Calculus 7Evariste Integral Calculus 3Evariste Integral Calculus 2

15/03/67 – Deux Minutes Avec Evariste (dir ?), from Actualités Pathé Gaumont, song “Connais-tu l’animal qui inventa le calcul intégral”.

Evariste told me that the video was supposed to represent “an argument between a scientist and a singer, viewed as if these were two incompatible worlds, wherefrom the electrodes…”   (I found this on the Gaumont Pathé Archives site and although it provides screen shots and a description of the clip you can’t actually watch the clip – what a shame as it looks and sounds amazing from the photos and description!)

Evariste Deux Minutes 150367Evariste Deux Minutes 1Deux Minutes Avec Evariste 2July 1967 – Title of show unknown, Monte-Carlo TV, song La chasse au boson intermédiaire

12/11/67 – Dim Dam Dom (dir Peter Knapp?), 2ème chaîne, song Wo I Nee

Evariste Wo I Nee 3Evariste Wo I Nee 8Evariste Wo I Nee 6

08/02/68 – 21h45, 2ème chaîne, song Les pommes de lune

??/??/70 – Bienvenue au monde de demain, Guy Béart TV show, filmed but never screened, songs Je ne veux pas mourir idiot, Reviens Dany reviens,  Le pauvre petit chercheur, SU(3), and Ma mie

??/??/70 – Title of show unknown, Italian TV, TV show on Leftism by Jean-Pierre Prévost, songs L’amour et la révolution and Reviens Dany reviens

??/??/71 – Title of show unknown, Belgian TV, filmed in Jerusalem, songs Roch Hachana, La faute à Nanterre and Herzl rent a car

??/??/71 – Title of show unknown, Italian TV, TV show about Evariste Galois, songs Si j’ai les cheveux longs…,  Je ne veux pas mourir idiot, and Reviens Dany, reviens

??/??/71 – Title of show unknown, Swiss TV, TV show on Leftism, censored, song Reviens Dany, reviens

??/??/71 – Eurêka, 1ère chaîne, episode entitled Evariste et les sept dimensions (dir Michel Treguer) filmed in 1971 but apparently deprogrammed at the request of ORTF’s Scientific Committee, song Les boutons de manchette, Où sont passés les révolutionnaires, Pour un baiser de toi, and L’amour et la revolution (There’s a short article about this in a socialist magazine called l’Unité, 28/02/72, which can be found here)

??/??/71 – Journal de la recherche, censored, songs Ma mie and Le pauvre petit chercheur

23/03/71 – Post- Scriptum de Michel Polac, show about anti-psychiatry, live debate

30/03/71 – Post-Scriptum de Michel Polac, show about futurology, live debate

02/10/71 – Samedi soir, Philippe Bouvard, with Jean Rouch, song La ballade des grenades and an alternate version of Ça  pince by Boris Vian and Henri Salvador

16/11/71 – Midi-Magazine, live, song J’f’rais mieux de r’tourner à l’école

09/03/74 – Samedi soir, Philippe Bouvard, songs Finjan (on guitar, with Enrico Macias) and Belev Haleyl (in Hebrew)

You can watch the clip of Belev Haleyl on YouTube here.  Here’s what Evariste looked like in 1974!

Evariste Samedi Soir 1 Evariste Samedi Soir 2 Evariste Samedi Soir 3 Evariste Samedi Soir 4

Evariste kindly alerted me to this video clip and told me: ” Another song had been on rehearsal and was expected to be performed, but since Enrico Macias and I were asked impromptu by Philippe Bouvard if we could play something together on the guitar, and found ourselves to agree and play a well-known Hebrew song, which came out quite nice, I went on to sing one I had composed (Belev Haleyl)”

??/01/75 – Le petit rapporteur (Jacques Martin), not broadcast, La Révolution

21/02/75 – Bouvard en liberté, Antenne 2, song a plus b puissance n égale C n et p mais non y’a plus d’CNEP maintenant, y’a plus qu’la BNP

??/??/76 – Episode of the TV series Bon baisers de Mandrake (dir Pierre Desfons) with Gérard Jourd’hui, broadcast summer 1976, song Les pommes de lune

10/06/86 – Journal de 13 heures d’Antenne 2 (presented by Noël Mamère), with a report directed by Monique Atlan about the mico-intervals guitar


??/??/71 – Le jardin des fleurs vivantes, François Bayle radio show for France-Culture, with Ma mie,  Ma puce, Les pommes de lune, and Les chaussettes de l’archiduchesse (Un chercheur sachant chercher doit savoir chercher sans CNRS)

Video / DVD

Evariste Je ne veux pas mourir idiot poster

1988 – Je ne veux pas mourir idiot filmed theatrical performance (dir Claude Confortès / Nicolas Errera) DVD

1999 – Inventions pour demain,Sciences frontières production VHS, Joël Sternheimer participates in debates during the 16th Science frontières festival and sings a bit of a Michel Polnareff song!

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Regarding the bootleg LP Do You Know The Beast?, I asked Evariste about this.  There was not a hint of resentment on his part, but the album was apparently released without his knowledge or permission; he didn’t even have a copy of it!  I bought him a copy myself when he told me that because it’s just not right that an artist should have to buy their own records.  When he received it he had the following to say: “Funny that the compilers translated Evariste Galois’ name as “Evariste Welsh” on the back cover. Also, May ’68 happened in 1968 (not 1969) – so the single La révolution came out in summer 1968, as press articles of the time may testify. I also saw the mention “All rights reserved” on the back cover… and wondered to whom should I ask?”   It’s a very good question.  I have tried to find NoSmoke Records myself to tell them, if they didn’t already know it, that Evariste is easily contactable but they are very elusive indeed.  If NoSmoke would like to make contact I can make sure any messages get passed on.

I hope readers have found this information useful.  Further articles on Evariste follow, so remember to visit Hero Culte again soon for more.

Evariste Wo I Nee 13

Many thanks to Evariste for answering so many questions and providing a lot of information.

My Favourite Stuff: Press photo of Evariste

Thanks to the wonderful French TV show Dim Dam Dom shown on the equally wonderful Melody TV http://www.melody.tv/, I recently discovered a new French pop hero: Évariste.  His appearance on the 12 November 1967 episode, performing a song called Wo i nee, is something that has to be seen to be believed; crazy dancing, crazy hair (long on one side and short on the other – apparently in an attempt to combine both the mod and the rocker look in one haircut: the Mocker hairdo), and a crazy song that just cannot be categorised – I can’t describe it other than as “experimental”.  Absolutely amazing and a totally unexpected find.  How can something so fabulous exist and so few people know about it?

What’s not to like, eh?  Naturally I started to research this Évariste character and found out that he had only released 2 EPs and 1 single in the late 60s, all of which have now been made available on a compilation album called Do You Know The Beast?

I can’t recommend the album more – every track is as quirky and amazing as Wo i nee.  And to make it even more appealing, Michel Colombier was responsible for the musical arrrangements.  It’s a limited edition release, so if you think it sounds like your cup of tea grab it while you can.  Since buying the album I have also discovered another single, released in Canada, of two other tracks Si les étoiles pouvaient parler / Je Ne Pense Qu’a Cafrom a theatrical show called Je ne veux pas mourir idiot – Si les étoiles pouvaient parler is particularly lovely

And, the reason for this article, I also found a press photo from an article in an American newspaper:

I love the granddad slippers.  On the back of the photograph is a partial press cutting, showing that there was an English language article about Évariste.  I have since sought out the article and whilst I can’t find a copy of the paper to purchase I managed to see a copy online and squinted long enough and hard enough at it to be able to make out the text, here it is below (excuse any errors, it was hard work):

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SINGING PHYSICIST – Evariste a 24 year old graduate student at Princeton University sits atop a statue of former Dean Andrew West and relaxes from his research into the mysteries of the atom by composing what he calls “mock ‘n’ roll” songs.   His records have made him a top singing star in his native France.


Young Physicist Sings Of Einstein Calculus By WILLIAM J CROMIE

PRINCETON N J – The young physicist stroked his guitar and began to sing what he calls “mock ‘n’ roll” songs – ballads of calculus and Einstein quark bombs and the demographic consequences of power failures.

Perched atop the statue of a former Princeton University dean he looked like a prank happy college freshman.  In his own eyes however 24 year old Evariste sees himself as a serious theoretical physicist – while American and French record companies consider him a sensational new singing star.

The young graduate has already become a top recording name in France and four or five companies in this country are preparing to release his records in English next month.

Real Name Is Secret

Evariste keeps his real name a secret lest his singing career complicate his other life as a physicist.  “I chose the stage name Evariste in honor of a French mathematician who died in a duel at the age of 21,” he explains.

A native of Lyon France, Evariste started composing as a pastime at the age of 16.  On a Paris vacation last year some friends in the record business proposed an audition.

“I don’t think anyone was very serious at first,” he says, “but after I sang for an hour they offered me a five year contract.  I was surprised and happy.”

“But I will not let this interfere with my scientific career, I am a physicist above all.”

Tempo Increases

Wearing a Princeton shirt Evariste appeared on French television last February and sang the song most responsible for his success, “Do You Know the Beast Who Invented Integral Calculus?”   It starts off as a soft ballad about an old scientific controversy, whether it was Isaac Newton or Gottfried Leibniz who invented calculus.  The composition then proceeds to a frantic rock and roll tempo as the singer screams and wails at the futility of trying to solve the problem.

Before returning to France at the end of the school year to cut another record, Evariste sang and philosophized for a small audience in his dormitory.  “For me composing a song involves the same kind of excitement as finding a new idea in physics,” he said.  “They are both creations and I am always trying to create.  It is the thing that makes me most happy.”

What was he doing at Princeton?  “Taking some courses, following seminars, but mainly doing theoretical research in particle physics,” he replied.  “I am working to understand the nature of the atom.”

“Dans Les Nuages”

He says his singing does not interfere with this goal.  “When I am resting from one, I do the other,” he says.   “When I’m tired of physics, I compose a song.  It takes no more time than going to the movies.”

Evariste had no formal musical training and composes with the aid of a guitar and tape recorder.  The jacket of his first record bears a famous Einstein equation and shows Evariste peering intently at some test tubes.  Asked what kind of an experiment he was performing, Evariste confessed, “They needed some scientific equipment for the picture and he only thing available was a urinalysis set-up.”

A French magazine describes him as “Dans Les Nuages” (in the clouds), and he impresses strangers as a candid, naive young man who is having a lot of fun out of life.

Does Evariste hope to influence the world’s youth with mock and roll?  “If I wanted to take myself seriously, which I don’t, there would be a message in my songs,” he says.

With that statement, he put down a copy of the scientific paper he had written “On the Masses of Non-Strange Pseudoscalar Mesons and the Generalized Klein-Gordon Equation”, picked up his guitar and began singing:

“Oh Geiger counter where are you tonight?  I see you in my dreams  What am I going to do with all the electron beams?   Oh how I miss my Geiger counter tonight.”

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Yes, just when you think Évariste could not be more unusual, you discover he’s a physicist.   If you’d like to read Évariste’s scientific paper “On the Masses of Non-Strange Pseudoscalar Mesons and the Generalized Klein-Gordon Equation”, you can find it here: http://www.springerlink.com/content/121342546wwv1222/

Évariste’s alter ego, physicist Joël Sternheimer, continues his research today into the vibratory frequency of elementary particles and the “music of the molecules”.  But that’s yet another story and maybe I’ll go into that a bit more later.  In any case I’ll definitely be writing more about this unique recording artist on here very soon.