Heldon 45 re-issues

HELDON 45 re-issues

Also when I was in Portland, OR recently, I found 2 x Heldon 45 re-issues.  I never knew about the original issues!  These would’ve been right up my alley!

Heldon “Soutien a la RAF” 45 Disjuncta 101 (Souffle Continu / FFL Records) red vinyl, insert

‘Soutien a la fraction armee rouge’, originally released 1975

  1. Baader-Meinhof Blues
  2. D.B.

Heldon “Perspectives” 45 Urus Records 102 (Souffle Continu / FFL Records) orange vinyl

Originally released 1976

  1. Perspectives 1 Bis Complement
  2. Perspectives 4 Bis

No time to listen to these, as yet – so I don’t know if they’re Heldon’s usual “Fripp & Eno” sound.  But I will listen to them soon!


Happy birthday Corky Laing (Mountain) (1948).


I first became aware of Pulsar about 1976 or so. I worked at a hippie record store, and that’s how / why I heard them. Their debut LP is called “Pollen”. In 2016, I have a nice Japanese LP re-issue of it in my collection. Odd, the Japan LP looks to be based upon the British pressing of this French band’s LP! My CD of it looks to be a French CD in a Japanese paper sleeve.

Their masterpiece is called “The Strands Of The Future”; I have both a Japanese LP of it (original issue) and a British Decca LP of it, too. The Japanese LP is an original issue and has some lovely Leiji Matsumoto artwork contained therein. Released in 1977, it really has the hallmark sound of decent French progressive rock. You can almost smell it! My CD of it is an SHM-CD, state of the art for Japan.

For their 3rd LP, they changed labels to CBS France, though still dated 1977, the sound of this LP (“Halloween”) was decent, then. And for a long while, I thought that was that, for Pulsar. Nothing came out for over a decade!

Then along came an LP in 1989, “Gorlitz”. Looks to be the same folks. My original LP is on a time honored French re-issue label, Musea Records. It’s either 1988 or 1989 (both dates are on the LP). Despite it’s late 80’s release date, it sounds like the 1970’s! Never seen a CD on this title, either.

No, I didn’t find “Gorlitz” at the end of the 80’s, I only found this LP a few short years ago, languishing in a used LP bin for a good price, in the US (California, actually). I knew it existed, but had never seen a copy of it before!


Happy birthday to Texan guitarist / singer / songwriter Johnny “Guitar” Watson (1935), Dave Davies (of The Kinks, 1947) and singer Melanie (1947). This is also “the day the music died” – Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens all go offshore, permanently.


My first exposure to France’s pop culture was in the 70’s – I got the debut LP by Michel Berger, the on one WEA with the heart on the cover. It was recorded at Chateau D’Herouville, like some really good Elton John LP’s had been. It’s pleasant enough pop music, and he passed away in the early 90’s of a heart attack.


Next blip on the musicology radar was when I got the debut LP by Lard Free, on Vamp. Lard Free = L’Art Frit = Free Art, but a slight perversion of that translation. It was like nothing else I had ever heard, and I had no trouble believing in it. In 1979, when I first went to Paris, I met Gilles Yepremian, Lard Free’s manager – he lived in Pigalle, then. I also met Roland Bocquet, the keyboard player who made a great not-on-CD album called “Paradia” on Cobra Records. Roland had been the keyboard player for a band called Catharsis.


There used to be a company up in Portland, OR called Intergalactic Trading Company. I dealt with a guy called Archie Patterson. He sold me all kinds of oddball French pop (and not-so-pop) musique.


In Paris, I particularly liked Crocodisc, on the rue des Ecoles, left bank. I also frequented FNAC, the large co-op record store. I succeeded in seeing Jacques Higelin; I did not succeed in seeing L’Affaire Louis’ Trio – their show had been cancelled and moved to a much later date (Pre-internet world! N’existe pas maintenant!).


Then there is the post-CD world of French pop musique, with all those wonderful clips on Boulevard Des Clips. Thrill to Les Rita Mitsouko (saw ‘em in L.A.!), Niagara, Charlelie Couture (saw ‘em in Malakoff, in Paris), Etienne Daho, Les Drellas, Jay Alanski (he wrote back to me!). And so many others! Peter & The Electro Kitsch keyboard player Igor Bolender was actually in my car, a few times. His wife Yael moved to Los Angeles, to be closer to the spirits of Jim Morrison and Mark Hollis, the Talk Talk singer. Here’s her store, where I DJ almost monthly: http://www.cuculapraline-frenchic.com/


And the food is really good in France! I love having dinner at La Coupole, in Montparnasse. When I die that’s where you should have my wake. And order something really good! And go downstairs and look at the decorative stuff by the restrooms. I think it used to be a dancehall, in the 30’s. Haven’t been there lately, so my info might be old hat now.


1-29-13          Indochine


On 1/29/66 the Bob Dylan 45 “Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window?” charts at No. 17 in England.  On 1/29/72 George Harrison / V.A. “Concert For Bangla Desh” 3LP boxed set was No. 1 in England.  Happy birthday, David Byron (singer of Uriah Heep), born 1947.  Happy birthday Derek Bailey (British improvisational guitarist), born 1930.

Sometimes thought of as the “French Duran Duran”, I always found this wonderful French band to be a bit more than that.

CD                3                                                                                   ARIOLA FR     610.477

1985 9 TRKS

7″                 3e SEXE / TROIS NUITS PAR SEMAINE (PS)     ARIOLA FR     107.54

1985 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

CD                7000 DANSES                                                          ARIOLA FR     258.459

1987 9 TRKS

LP                7000 DANSES                                                          ARIOLA FR     208.459

1987 9 TRKS

CD                BIRTHDAY ALBUM, THE (1981 – 1991)               ARIOLA CAN  BMGQCD-819

1991 19 TRK Collection

CD                DANS LA LUNE…                                                     MCA CAN        TFD-8961

1992 11 TRKS Nicola Sirkis (singer) solo album

CD5              DES FLEURS POUR SALINGER                          ARIOLA FR     663.339

1990 3 TRK CD Single CD5

CD                INDOCHINE AU ZENITH                                         ARIOLA FR     257.863

1986 13 TRKS Live  (2 x bonus tracks)

LP                INDOCHINE AU ZENITH                                         ARIOLA IT       207.715

1986 11 TRKS Live

CD                L’AVENTURIER                                                         ARIOLA FR     251.959

1982 7 TRK CD EP

CD                LE BAISER                                                                 ARIOLA FR     260.358

1990 11 TRKS

CD                LE PERIL JAUNE                                                     ARIOLA FR     610.218

1983 11 TRKS

LP                LE PERIL JAUNE                                                     ARIOLA FR     201.963

1983 11 TRKS

As my friends will attest, I went wild for French popular music in the 1980’s.  I brought LP’s back from visits to France, I trudged up to West Los Angeles to buy expensive CD’s from “La Cite”, the French bookstore that used to exist in Los Angeles.  When we got the satellite about 1985, I busily air-checked Much Music and Musique Plus up in Canada, for French pop music videos.

We struck gold about 1987, with their amazing album “7000 Danses”.  “Les Tzars” was a great single, and it had an amusing video clip, too!

So, for the last 25 years, I’ve bought everything that I could find with the name Indochine on it.  Yes, I bought a SECAM format VHS longform music video; I don’t think anything I own at present will play a SECAM tape, drat!  Yes, I probably passed on uber-expensive Indochine titles I saw in Tokyo.  They have an SA-CD that I’d sure like to find, for “The Birthday Album”, their greatest hits (I wonder if it’s multi-channel?).

Fall, 1979


Fall, 1979

I flew to England by myself in the fall of 1979.  I was going to meet up with Cameron Hand in Paris, at a pre-determined date – in a couple of days.  The hotel that I had the name / address of didn’t have any rooms available – no, I didn’t have a reservation!  They took pity on me, however – and found me a place to stay (that was even cheaper than the hotel) in Lime Grove, Shepherd’s Bush.  I was so 21-years-old!

I remember lying in that bed & breakfast listening to a cassette that Don Bolles had given me, an aircheck of an imaginary radio station, “KDIL”.  Older record collector friends had given me the names / addresses of record stores to try to go to.  I had been in touch with Steve Stapleton of Nurse With Wound.  Our band was on his list of favorite bands / records (currently on Wikipedia as “NWW List”).

I walked up and down Oxford St.  I took the Tube.  I shopped in the Virgin Megastore, near Tottenham Court Road.  The HMV @ Bond St.  58 Dean St.  Cheapo Cheapo.  Rock On…and then I discovered “The Record & Tape Exchange” in Notting Hill Gate.  I ate a Wimpy Burger, walked Carnaby St. (nothing happening here, mate).  I remember finding all the bookstores – Foyle’s, Compendium!  I saw films:  “The Kids Are Alright”, “The Life of Brian” – both on Oxford St.

I took the boat from Dover to Calais, got the train to Paris and met up with Cameron at Gare du Nord – how, I will never know.  Cameron & I had first class Eurail passes, which got us as far north as Helsinki, and as far south as…Irun, Spain!  I don’t know where else I went on that first trip that would’ve been any further south!

We wandered around “The Latin Quarter” – Crocodisc, on Rue des Ecoles!  FNAC Montparnasse!  We called Gilles Yepremian, the manager of Urban sax / Lard Free – he spoke English.  Silly us, we both forgot about the 1 hour difference between England and France – so we were continually either an hour early or late to out ‘events’ – we saw Polanski’s “Repulsion” in a theatre, but walked in on it , much to the consternation of the avid cinema viewers.  When we were to meet Gilles, we went to his place, but nobody was home – we waited for an hour, and just about as we were going to shuffle off into the Pelforth afternoon – Gilles appeared, reminding us of the time difference.  We met Roland Bocquet.  Gilles knew The Doors.  Gilbert Artman had never seen any American fans before, so that was cool.

I also got to meet Aldo Tagliapietra (of Le Orme) in Venice, Italy – Aldo spoke very good English.  Also met Holger Czukay in Koln, Germany – he was in the phone book.  It was all about music and music people, on that trip.

I remember buying a canvas LP / 45 bag at Virgin Records in England – I filled it with mostly 45’s – it got quite heavy.  Amsterdam!  Febo!  Concerto!  With or without?  Huh?  Chocomel!  Hey, everyone here speaks English fairly well!  Rock In Waterland, Trekweg 8, The Hague!  Stockholm!  Clock Burger!  Helsinki!  Tunnelenlevy!  I met someone from New Zealand in Helsinki…which gets us up to Wellington, NZ 1980.

Lard Free


Lard Free = L’Art Frit

I last wrote about Lard Free in 2002.

Who didn’t buy the first Lard Free album because of the cover?  In 1973/4, you certainly couldn’t read anything about French rock music anywhere that I knew of.  I just knew that this record didn’t look like anything else – and, after hearing it, I knew it didn’t sound like anything else either.  I missed the second Lard Free album, “I’m Around About Midnight” – but I was near the front of the line for the 3rd Lard Free album, also known as “Spirale Malax”.  I am sure they never thought about it, but – but I presume it was a mistake that they put their manager’s phone number and address on the cover of the 3rd LF album.  When I got to Paris in 1979, I called them.  Soon I was waiting in the hallway outside of Gilles’ apartment in Pigalle.  Crap, I forgot about the one hour time difference between France and England…

It’s 2011, and I am still friendly with Gilles Yepremian, Lard Free’s manager.  Of course by the time I got there, LF were all done, and it was “Urban Sax” time.  So, I never got to see Lard Free play live – but I did get to go to an Urban Sax gig in Caen – with the band.

Variously described as “nightmare headache music” and goodness-knows-what-else, the electronic nihilism of Lard Free’s 3rd album still astounds.  I stayed at Gilbert Artman’s house in ’79 and ’80 and got to listen to him play the drums quite a bit.  Believe me, there wasn’t a punk rock vibe going on them.   My own juvenile band used to say ‘hello’ to Lard Free on our records – we even got Gilbert to say (onto a cassette), “Pourquoi vous toujour dites Lard Free sur vos disques?” ( = Why do you always say Lard Free on your records? ), thereby involving ourselves with that most mysterious of bands.  Gilbert told us that the other guys in the band (at the time of the third album) came from a band called Cool Ghoul – no, I don’t think they ever made any records.  But I was their intended audience.

Gilles and I talk about the same stuff we always did – Frank Zappa, Michel Polnareff, Jacques Higelin…I look for Doors stuff for Gilles, he sent me all of the coffee table books when Serge Gainsbourg died – in short, Gilles was / is my “Paris friend”.  I love to insist that if Gilbert ever wants to reform Lard Free, I should be allowed to join in on the fun – at least for the Japanese tour.  I CAN SEE IT NOW: Lard Free ’11 would be myself on bass or keyboards, Gilbert on drums and Jean-Francois Pauvros on guitar.  Of course, I would rather it be all of Cool Ghoul, and be a member of the audience.

So, this little tale tells you where my age difference is between the advent of new wave, and me being a tad too old for that scene.  I was already hardcore Lard Free, long before the Sex Pistols ever played a note.  I had no need for the commercial nihilism of punk rock – been there, done that!  Those melting milk bottles in that refrigerator told me all I needed to know. L’art frit!!!