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.
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)
- 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 Culte, L’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:
She’s pretty like Léonie, but it’s not her. Okay?