Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Stealing my thunder (aka French Pop Series 1)

This guy died 30 years ago today, hereby stealing the afterburn of my birthday, due to pilgrimages to his grave and what not. He's sort of a hero of French pop music. I would compare him to Barry Manilow, yet he's more Elvis like in the staggering number of people who try to impersonate him. For some he was a demigod, for most people the butt of a lot of jokes and parodies. I actually was known at on my point in my now distant youth to do a mean impersonation of his nasal voice. He started as a "Ye-Ye" singer, then did covers of soul songs (I was convinced he had written Same Old Song, and Oh What A Night) and then disco, with his backup dancers, Les Claudettes. He did write (at least partly I think) Comme d'Habitude, better known as My Way. Then he tried to change a light-bulb while coming out of his bath. Or something. Cue nationwide mourning among a good part of the women population of France, and maybe Belgium.



His stalker song (he wants a piece of his hair to put around his neck). Would you give it to someone who danced like that?:


Nice Bavarian production:



Possibly lost in translation, but this is not too far off from the reality of the world of Claude François look-a-likes. there was actually a very successful film made about it a few years ago:




les deschiens
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16 comments:

goneforeign said...

Ejay: all those 'uploaded by' confused the issue, I didn't realise it was you, I thought we'd been invaded by berfab, unzip and xtras et al. Glad it was a false alarm.

ejaydee said...

No worries, that's just how it is with clips from Dailymotion.

Frogp, I realised this could be the beginning of that thing you wanted to do with French singers. I guess I could have started with somebody I actually liked, hey, it was time-adequate and I was bored.

steenbeck said...

I watched the first two clips with Isaac sitting in my lap, and Isaac will dance to anything, but he said "What are they doing?" What indeed? I'm glad to see he chose the woman who had the sense to wear a coat while dancing in the snow.

ejaydee said...

What are they doing indeed??
Next time I see snow, I'll try to do the twist while walking and throwing snowballs. Maybe it's like a dance marathon, where you can't stop dancing or else you get eliminated.

goneforeign said...

Blimpy: Thanks for cleaning that up, I think I'm having a 'mouse problem', first off I couldn't paste the code, then when I tried to post a comment here it wouldn't post so I kept clicking and suddenly there were 8+ and then I couldn't get them to delete, again it was the mouse I think.
And Logitech is impossible to contact, especially with a non-functioning mouse.

Frogprincess said...

Nice one Frenchy - be my guest. Clo-Clo was a good place to start seen as it's the 30th anniversary of his death by electrocution in the bath. Or something. There has been lots of stuff about him on the telly this week and I'm actually surprised they're not broadcasting the wonderful film - Podium - which was made about people who make a living as professional Claude François look-alikes. Have you seen it? Fabulous film.
---
Just to give you the non-French lowdown on Claude François... When you come to live in France, he's one of the first musicians who strikes you because: everybody knows his songs and will especially sing "Alexandrie, alexandra" when drunk. With all the actions. Also, his nasal voice kind of hits you. As does his weird, almost too perfect "Thunderbirds" face. Is he carved out of wood, you ask. Then you realise that this guy is a national institution and the subject of mass adulation, even after his death. This leaves you even more mystified until you actually realise you quite like "Alexandrie, Alexandra". And then you discover that he wrote the original version of "My way" with lyrics which are really very touching. and you start to "get" Claude François. I'm not a hayooge fan but can see why some people might be...Voilà.
---
Let's continue the series. I'd rather like to do Les Rita Mitsouko and Jack the Ripper if you don't mind but the rest is up to you. Who shall we do? Etienne Daho? Gainsbourg (whom I will out of respect leave to you)? Polnareff? Balavoine? Daft Punk? Justice. Air? God your country has produced so much great stuff. Vive la France.
---
Ba-Ra-Cu-Da!!!

ejaydee said...

I have seen Podium, but I'm not surprised it's not being shown, it doesn't actually paint a pretty picture of the world of look-alikes, which by extension doesn't reflect well on Cloclo, and would probably offend his many fans. Are you familiar with the Belgian TV documentary show Strip-tease? If so, have you seen by any chance the one when they unveil the statue of him, and you see these old ladies crying as if they were in front of the Messiah himself (here's an excerpt from that episode http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOQ1EPvl-yk )
looking forward to yours on Les Rita Mitsouko, I know I can do one on M, maybe a Dutronc. Daft Punk doesn't need much of an introduction, although I could do a general post-Daft, um, post including Air, Cassius, Sebastien Tellier maybe. Gainsbourg would probably deserve 2.

ejaydee said...

By the way, does anybody know how you link from the comments window?

Blimpy said...

Um, it wasn't me that removed the comments - the ever helpful steenbeck should be thanked for that.

she has "the power" too, and of course if anyone else wants it - it is available.

Of course, with great power comes great responsibility....

Blimpy said...

@ejaydee - that's been puzzling me, as you can't do html in the comments, yet our spammer frineds managed it...

ejaydee said...

But what about those tags they mention below?

Blimpy said...

sorry, should have said can't do many html tags.

not that i can get the ones listed to work either

ejaydee said...

I don't know anything about HTML. I "tried" the ones but don't even know how they work either.

Mnemonic said...

Ejay, you are sooo far ahead of our national press
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/europe/the-mystery-of-cloclo-did-he-write-my-way-and-was-he-killed-while-changing-a-lightbulb-793985.html

ejaydee said...

I'd like a chat with this John Lichfield, he basically took what I wrote and added a bit more research to it. Plagiarism! It's quite interesting and justifies Podium (the film about the Cloclo look-alike, who is also a perfectionist tyrannical egomaniac). That story about the wedding suit is quite baffling. I thought Belles, Belles was the only song he wrote that I quite liked, it's been stuck in my head since Tuesday, and now I find out that was also a cover.

goneforeign said...

Thanks for all the comments here, I knew nothing of this guy and it was interesting to follow the links. Ditto comment on Steen's post.