Friday, January 10, 2014

Plastic Bertrand -- "Ça plane pour moi" (1978)

"You are the king of the divan!"
Qu'elle me dit en passant
I am the king of the divan!
Ça plane pour moi

If you believe excess is never wretched, you're going to love Martin Scorsese's new movie, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Scorsese's movies are often quite violent.  But the Wolf of Wall Street has very little violence.  What is does have is three hours' worth of sex, drugs, and money.  (Especially money.)

It also has Australian actress Margot Robbie.

Margot Robbie
Last but not least, it has the f-word -- in fact, it has the f-word 506 times.  That's almost three f-words a minute.

Scorsese is one of the masters of the cinematic f-word, of course.  Both Goodfellas (300 f-words) and Casino (422 f-words) rank in the top 20 all-time f-word movies.  

A scene from Wolf of Wall Street
Speaking of famous movie directors, did you know that Jean-Luc Godard once said, "The history of the cinema is of boys photographing girls"?

There's a snippet of the 1978 Plastic Bertrand hit, "Ça plane pour moi," in the Wolf of Wall Street.  It's one of almost 60 songs on the movie's soundtrack.  I've heard the song somewhere else recently -- don't ask me where.  (And don't ask me why the French don't capitalize song titles like normal people.)

Plastic Betrand (whose real name is Roger Jouret) is a Belgian songwriter, producer, and television presenter.

Roger Jouret, a/k/a Plastic Bertrand
Here's an excerpt from his Wikipedia page -- which uses English words but can't really be said to have been written in English:

[Roger Jouret] was born in Brussels of a French father and Ukranian mother.  At the age of nine, he became a singer and drummer in the Buffalo Scouts Band, a group he formed with the Boy Scouts, who performed covers of Rolling Stones songs.  He later formed a band called The Pelicans who performed at parties, later changing their name to Passing the Time, extending their act in bars, clubs and at festivals along the Dutch and Belgian coast. . . .

In 1973 he entered the [Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels] to study music theory, percussion and music history.  Influenced by the punk movement, he created in 1974 the band Hubble Bubble, sharing his time between study at the Conservatory, rehearsals and concerts with the band, and work as stage manager at the Theatre des Galeries.  

In 1978 Hubble Bubble released their first of two albums, also titled Hubble Bubble.  Jouret is credited as the songwriter, singer and drummer under the name "Roger Junior."  Unfortunately, the group's bass player was killed in an accident returning from a rehearsal, and the group disbanded.

Plastic Bertrand actually isn't the singer of "Ça plane pour moi" -- although the record says he was.

But the song had already been recorded by its composer, Belgian pop star and music producer Lou Deprijck.  (Yes, that is an unfortunate name, isn't it?)  It's not clear why Deprijck didn't want his name on the record.  But for some reason, he chose to pay Jouret a whopping 0.5% royalty to be credited as the singer on "Ça plane pour moi," which was a top-ten hit in most European countries (but not Belgium) and eventually sold almost a million copies worldwide.

How about one more picture of Margot Robbie?

"Ça plane pour moi" is a stick of dynamite -- I love it to death.  It is sung mostly in French, although there are a few lines in English.  (See above.)  The lyrics are completely nonsensical in any language.

"Ça plane pour moi" is an idiomatic expression that can be translated as "Everything's going well," or "Works for me."

Here's a Youtube video of "Ça plane pour moi" that includes the lyrics:

Click below to buy "Ça plane pour moi" from Amazon:

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