18 January 2010

One Issue Wonder?

I was going to include this artifact from 1980 in the previous post, but does it not deserve one of its own? Amongst contemporary Montreal music mags Mode & Musik stands out in so very many ways, not the least of which is its use of a typesetting machine in place of a typewriter. I bought this thing as a teenager, but otherwise know nothing about it. Looking at the masthead, only Yves Thériault's name is familiar – but I very much doubt that this is the same man who wrote Agaguk. That said, there is an piece by Jacques Lee Pelletier, who was "New Wave's first cosmetician". How do I know this? Because his article is preceded by one on... Jacques Lee Pelletier.

There's a good deal of mode and muzik here, but precious little Montreal. In mode, M Pelletier is the lone Canadian, presented beside designers Betsey Johnson and Thierry Mugler. In music, there are articles on XTC, the Specials and the Boomtown Rats, but aside from a lone, blurry photograph of sixteen-year-old disco diva France Joli and producer Tony Green, there's not a sign of the city's music scene.

Could it be that they sensed the mirror ball was about to drop?

Something is going on here. Publisher les Éditions Alquint has spilled an awful lot of expensive ink on something called "le Salon Disco" and the awkwardly named "Long Night of the disco... New Wave". Running through the magazine is a peculiar, seemingly desperate attempt to somehow link New Wave with disco and, more than anything else, the discotheque:
The New Wave phenomenon is spreading... in one way or another, it touches almost everyone. But it's still in the discotheques that it finds its natural habitat.
Fashion has been refashioned, clothes becoming as it were the elements of disguise. Anything goes... the wilder, the more outlandish the better! But one can still see blue jeans side by side with the latest New Wave craze like gold and red running shoes.
Clothes... make-up... hairdos... whatever turns you on!
The urge for disguises, to go dancing, to let it all hang out, is slowly but surely infecting the masses...

The hapless reader is told that New Wave is bringing great changes: "Some discotheques have pulled out all the stops to satisfy their clients' taste for the bizarre, some even transforming their dance floors into roller skate-dancing tracks!"

Can't say I remember Andy Partridge or Jerry Dammers on roller skates... but then, I don't remember France Joli on wheels either.

She's perched on stilettos here. Enjoy.


  1. That extract sounds EXACTLY like some of the breathless, excitable dialogue in 'The Last Days of Disco'.

  2. ...which reminds me of a French radio show that Douglas Léopold used to have weeknights (6:30 or 7:30) which was all new-wave oriented That's where I first heard Lucky Number by Lene Lovich and Superman by Gruppo Sportivo (if you don't know the latter, check it out, it's amazing!)...and now, this is where I ask you to use your fountain of knowledge to help me find a song I have been looking for for 30 years. Have no idea what it's called or who sings it, but they played it often on this new wave show and the chorus went like this:

    Female: Got into trouble
    Male: On the Trans-Siberian Express.
    Female: I lost more than my ticket
    Male: She lost her ticket and her dress.

    Any assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    JAW fan

  3. Ahhhh-ha-ha-ha! Oh yes, the initial New Wave embrace of roller rinks! Sure. I'm picturing a guy in gold platforms doing "The Camel" to "Tainted Love."

    This is a great find.

    Unfortunately the Trans-Siberian Express song isn't showing up in any lyric searches, which is rare indeed.

  4. Have done every possible search I could think of for this song...to no avail.

    If I wasn't 100% certain it existed, I might start thinking it had all been a wonderfully catchy dream

    Again, all assistance is greatly appreciated.

    JAW fan

  5. I'm pretty sure I've never heard the song. "She lost her ticket and her dress" is most definitely a line that would've stayed with me. Strange that it doesn't turn up on lyric searches or anywhere else. Could it have been by a local band... something handed to Douglas Léopold on a TDK D-C60 cassette? A true mystery.

    JRSM is right - the magazine often reads like dialogue from The Last Days of Disco. Another quote:"Happiness, disco style, is dancing till dawn to sleep another day... is being a don Juan [sic] or a femme fatale. To think... between Friday night and Monday morn? Unthinkable! Suffice the week for such."

    What to wear, what to wear... my roller skates or my gold and red running shoes? Hmm... which are more New Wave?

  6. Wow!...So let me recap. In 1980, I hear a song a few times on the radio...never knew who sang it, so I guess that's why I never bought it as a 14/15 year-old (I mean, I bought "Computer Games" by Mi-Sex and "Weekend Rock" by Puzzle and "I Can't Control Myself" by the Teenbeats because I knew title and singer)...But I digress!

    So mucho years later, out comes the Internet/Napster/etc. and I do various searches to try and find this infamous train song, but to no avail...Oh, well, I give up and forget about it.

    Flash forward to the present, Blog Master BJB sends me an e-mail to check out his posting. It reminds me of Douglas Leopold's new wave radio show, reminding me of the song in question. So, I decide to do another extensive search...and POW!!!...after some deep investigating, I finally have the answer to my age old question. "Trans Siberia Express" by Bardi Blaise (whoever the hell she is!)...I even found a photo of the 45rpm with the lyrics to confirm it. Now, if I can just get my hands on a bloody copy of the song, life can be good again!...like it was after I found "Robot" by the Plastics a few years ago, after only having it heard it once in Phantasmagoria record shop at the age of 17/18, not knowing who sang it, except that the chorus went "I am Robot"

    Ah, sweet mysteries of life!

    JAW fan

  7. So it wasn't all just some wonderful, crazy dream.

    JAW fan has pointed out photographic evidence, which I present here, here and here.

    Note the last image - of the picture disc! - includes the lyrics.

    Got into trouble
    On the Trans Siberian Express
    I lost more than my ticket
    She lost her ticket, then her dress
    On the Trans Siberian Express

    WHOO WHOO, indeed!

  8. Wow,

    I too have been going mad for the last 30 odd years trying to find who recorded 'Trans Siberian Express' - heard it a few times on John Peel's show, but never caught the artist - so thank you so much!!!!!

  9. Wow. Serached "lost her ticket and her dress" trying to remember this song.

    Very rarely do I search and get only one return from google. Ever find a copy?

  10. flame, I can't say I ever tried to find a copy. That said, back in September JAW Fan emailed me to say that the song had been posted on YouTube.

    You'll find it here.

    Imagine, nearly four months later and it has only racked up 160 or so views. I know I account for at least twenty.

  11. This sounds like a remix of the 1978/9 original. Unfortunately I can't remember if blaise was the original artist. Heard it on the Annie Nightingale late show. Lyrics are slightly different - but only because it didn't sound like an early 70's disco mix.
    30-odd years and close but...