Monday, October 24, 2005

Stamp Your Feet Hoard Yé

Poring through the RSS this morning we managed to separate at least one bit of wheat from the Judith-Miller-Is-Such-A-Cow chaff. "Nom de Guerre: How my faux French band wound up in federal court." cropped up, courtesy of Slate. Full disclosure, we've had several drinks with the monstrous lead singer mentioned in the article, and he's always struck us as fairly charming. And we think that referring to the lead singer by his stage name - Clermont Ferrand - alone was a pretty classy move, especially if the author went through as much as he claims.

The account, by embittered bandmember Jean-Luc Retard, documents the fallling out between the two men, with the other bandmembers largely coming down on the side of the disgruntled Retard. It must be said that Ferrand does come across like the Phil Spector of P. Heights, all threats of violence and dubious personal hygiene. The reaality is, we must attest, a tad more nuanced, although Mr. C does like an ale now and then. Still, if the friction between the two was down to an article in Slate, then the lead singer must have guessed he would be pretty outgunned in the court of public opinion.

The two ended up, in true Pink Floyd style, suing each other over the right to the band's name. And because Ferrand is a lawyer, he ended up winning, despite the fact that lead singers tend not to win if the rest of the band is still united. On current drinking form, we'll have to wait a while for his side of the story, but we are impressed by the idea that pastiche French yé yé is so lucrative that a day in court is a small price to pay for brand ownership.

Certainly, the Make Up never sold much of their brand, despite being slightly more disciplined than Nation Of Ulysses, and slightly less silly than Weird War.

The Make Up - "The Joy Of Sound" (Vinyl, AAC, but great drum fills)
Buy "In Mass Mind" at Dischord. Prove that yé yé gets real paid


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