Têtes Blanches, Les
Band members Related acts
- Jean Claude Brassard -- bass (1964-65)
- Yvan Côté -- lead guitar (1964-65)
- Claude Dominque -- rhythm guitar (1964-65)
- Claude Laviolette -- drums (1964-65)
- Gilles Rousseau (RIP 1972) -- vocals (1964-65)
- Gilles Rousseau (solo efforts)
Rating: ** (2 stars)
Title: Voici Les Têtes Blanches!!
Country/State: Saint-Hyacinthe, Canada
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
GEMM Catalog ID: 5111
My French is rusty, but I'm pretty sure the name translates as "The White Heads" with the title of their 1964 LP being "Here are the Blondes".
The web has a great deal of information about these guys and the alter-egos Les Hou-Lops. The only problem is that virtually all of it is in French and existing web translation products turn the narratives into little more than verbal garbage. Too bad since outside of their native Quebec these guys are criminally overlooked.
The band's roots actually trace back to 1959 when guitarist Yvan Côté decided to form a Duane Eddy-inspired garage band. Originally known as Les Hou-Lops over the next four years the band underwent a string of personnel changes. By 1963 the line-up had stabilized with Côté, bassist Jean Claude Bernard, former Blue Angels guitarist Jean Claude Domingue, drummer Claude Laviolette and singer Jean Rousseau. In 1964 the group decided to drop the 'Les Hou-Lops' nameplate in favor of becoming Les Têtes Blanches. Signed by the Quebec-based Meteor label, the quintet debuted with a series of little heard surf-inspired instrumentals:
- 1964's 'La Tjoelala' b/w 'Pachilla' (Meteor catalog number 338)
- 1964's 'RPM 6000' b/w 'A La Planche' (Meteor catalog number 347)
- 1964's 'A Quoi Bon' b/w 'Je Suis En Amour' (Meteor catalog number 352)
With the singles doing fairly well, the same year Meteor agreed to finance an LP. Released as "Voici Les Test Blanches" the album showcased a largely instrumental set. Propelled by tracks such as 'Caravan', 'Wabash Blues' and 'Le Soleil Dean Les Yeux' the album reflected the band's obvious debt to early-1960s American surf acts such as The Shadows and The Ventures. The performances certainly aren't bad, but simply wouldn't have much interest to garage or psych fans.
"Voici Les Tetes Blanches"
1.) Caravan (instrumental)
2.) Ebb Tide (instrumental)
3.) T'as 16 Ans Demain (Gilles Rousseau) -
4.) Siboney (instrumental)
5.) Wabash Blues (instrumental)
1.) Jeux de Danses (instrumental)
2.) Le Soleil Dean Les Yeux (instrumental)
3.) Reviens Vite Mon Amour (Gilles Rousseau) -
4.) Ramrod (instrumental)
6.) Escapade (instrumental)
The band released a pair of non-LP follow-on singles before getting tangled up in a nasty lawsuit with The Classels. The details are lost to me, but it apparently had something to do with the two bands fighting over rights to their image (both groups had appropriated an identity that included band members dying their hair white). The outcome was that Les Tetes Blanches agreed to revert to Les Hou-Lops nameplate on subsequently releases.
- 1965's 'Pour Toute La Vie' b/w 'Demande-Moi Pardon' (Apex catalog number 13387)
- 1965's 'Blue Jean Sur La Plage' b/w 'Quand On Est Amoureux' (Apex catalog number 13408)
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