Friday, September 21, 2007

Ronnie Bird



I don’t really know much about Ronnie Bird. Unlike Jean Ferrat and Johnny Hallyday, I don’t think he was actually that popular in France. It definitely doesn't seem like he had a sustained career. He was probably even less popular in Quebec, as until last week, I had never even seen one of his records there, and best believe I was looking. When I first got into French music, I had never heard of the guy, but whenever I tried to talk shop with all the 60’s mod fetishists, his name popped up in conversation way more than Jacques Dutronc or Nino Ferrer, sort of like how Nü Fünk fans will casually toss around the Kashmere Stage Band or whatever without owning a single Kool and the Gang record... So, maybe those mod revival guys bought all the Ronnie Bird records, leaving none behind for me, n’est-ce pas?
Regardless, on my last trip to the Gaulic White North, I finally stumbled upon a pair of Ronnie Bird 45’s, both of which are totally fucking exellent. He is indeed a rocker and a raver. Out of the 4 sides I picked up, the best is definitely “N’ecoute Pas Ton Couer” , a stomper in the best Small Faces tradition, but with much hotter guitar (I love Steve Marriot like a brother, but he cannot shred). The arrangement is credited to M. Jones and T.Brown, a/k/a Mick Jones (later of Foreigner fame, and I believe stepfather or something to superstar DJ/producer/hunk about town Mark Ronson) and Tommy Brown, who were the backbone of Johnny Hallyday’s band for years. I actually did not know they worked with anyone in France outside of Johnny, so this makes me wonder who else they played for? If Mick Jones did the guitar solo on this record, my hat goes off to him, because it is a raga rock burner in the best Jeff Beck tradition, far weirder than anything I’ve heard him play on any Hallyday records (and the volume knob work during the last chorus is stellar as well… for 1966 pre-Hendrix guitar, this is cutting edge stuff). Also, dig the way the bass slides up an octave during the guitar solo in true Yardbirds rave-up stylee. I can see why the mod fops go bonkers for this stuff… Enjoy!

Ronnie Bird- N’ecoute Pas Ton Couer

8 Comments:

Blogger Anatole le farfadet said...

Niiice !

September 22, 2007 at 7:03:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Martin said...

You mean,"N'ecoute pas ton coeur" (don't listen to your heart).

Nice one indeed...

September 24, 2007 at 1:57:00 AM PDT  
Blogger petergunn said...

thanks, my mistake!

September 24, 2007 at 12:34:00 PM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ronnie Bird had two smash hits in Quebec : Où va-t-elle & Pour toi.
He was on tour here a couple of times.

October 25, 2007 at 11:04:00 PM PDT  
Blogger petergunn said...

any memories on who he toured with?

Les Lutins opening for Ronnie Bird would have been a mindblower...

November 19, 2007 at 4:53:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey petergunn, nice blog I sent this page to Ronnie Bird himself he loved it!!!!

January 9, 2012 at 4:46:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hello

I email Ronnie Bird your blog and he enjoy it!!! nice comment!!!

January 11, 2012 at 4:37:00 PM PST  
Blogger petergunn said...

wow, the idea of ronnie bird reading my blog is about the coolest thing ever... thx!

January 21, 2012 at 7:22:00 PM PST  

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