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Calcium (LP)


Label: Monster Melodies Records

Released: 2017 


Limited edition, 1000 numbered copies only, colour vinyl, 2 inserts enclosed.

A legendary french psychedelic rock album, recorded in 1969, of which only two tracks were released to the public at the time. The band Calcium was comprised of excellent musicians which were known at the time thanks to the situationist movie Les Idoles and the singer actress Zouzou.



Stéphane Vilar trained in classical percussion from the age of eight, at twelve he was a jazz drummer. At seventeen he played with pianist Jeff Gilson. Moreover, he figures on the mythical album Œil Vision in the company of the cream of French jazz musicians: bassists Henri Texier and Gilbert Rovère, saxophonist Jean Louis Chautemps and violinist Jean Luc Ponty.

After studying for his baccalauréat, he studied music writing and composed the music for the play of Beaumont and Fletcher «Le chevalier au pilon flamboyant » ("The knight with the flaming pestle").

The Musician Graeme Allwright then introduces him to Marc'O, who was then the director of the theater school of the American Center Boulevard Raspail. The director who is looking for musicians to play some rock n 'roll in his new project entitled "The Idols" hires Vilar in the company of jazz pianist Patrick Greussay, saxophonist Didier Malherbe (among others future Gong and Clearlight) guitarist Didier Léon who also features on the Barney Wilem’s album Moshi in 1972. Stéphane then recruited, through Jérôme Savary, Jacques Zins, jazz bassist, who began his career in high school before playing on Graeme Allwright’s first album, and to accompany Colette Magny‘s galas in the Paris region, before she met the pianist François Tusques.

The idol, the situationist play, where the musicians who baptized The Rollsticks play, is interpreted by the actors Bulle Ogier, Jean-Pierre Kalfon and Pierre Clementi. It was performed every evening with great success at the Bilboquet for one month in June 1966, in Brussels at the theater 347, then in Bobino in October of the same year. The piece will then be adapted, with the same participants joined by Valérie Lagrange, for a feature film released in 1968.

Following from this experience, Stéphane Vilar decided, together with his brother, the painter Christophe Vilar, to set up his own band, which included some of the Rollsticks: Jacques Zins, Patrick Greussay, Didier Léon and drummer Alain Sirguy (ex-musician of Michel Fugain) and the singer Danièle Ciarlet, called Zouzou.

Stéphane Vilar met Zouzou in May 1967. Muse of the Parisian nights scene, model for Catherine Harlet and Yves Saint Laurent, Zouzou hangs out in all the hip parisian night clubs from Castel to Régine and rubs shoulders with all the celebrities. Jean Paul Goude’s muse she is also close to the Rolling Stones, she dated Brian Jones for a period time. She also acts and plays in the films of Philipe Garrel with Pierre Clémenti and Eric Rohmer's « Afternoon love » made her famous in the United States. She also sang and released two 45th EP orchestrated by Jacques Dutronc and is considered like the french Marianne Faithfull. An emblematic character of the Parisian microcosm, she represents the image of the liberated woman in France in the sixties.

The group, takes the name of Jardin and then changes it to Calcium after the departure of Didier Léon, and plays the middle of the events of May 68, in several private evenings, Castel, Drouot Golf and Aulnay dancing. Thanks to the financial support of Sylvina Boissonnas, a patron of the arts, producer of the film « le lit de la vierge» (« the virgin’s bed »), to whom Stéphane announced his project to record an album, the group buys instruments and practice and refine the compositions for a year. Two recording sessions will be held at the Davout studios, the first in May 1969 and the second in September of the same year.

Christophe, who left Paris for good for Sète, to devote himself solely to painting, is replaced for the October session by guitarist Denys Lable.

After the recordings, Michel Taittinger, the heir of the namesake champagne and television producer, obtains a contract with Pathé for the band. A single with two tracks «Elle Regarde Et elle rit » ("She Looks And She Laughs") and « Il fait Jour » ("It's Day") is put on the market without any promotion which results in poor sales. Dozens of years later, considered to be one of the rarest singles of French psychedelic rock, the value of this single becomes astronomical when it was offered for sale on specialized sites.

As for the album, due to the disinterest of the record company, which only wanted to put Zouzou's character forward to create a new Janis Joplin, the masters remained abandoned on a shelf for forty-eight years.

Calcium, in which the drummer Jean Claude Poligot (future accompanist of Julien Clerc and Johan Asherton) replaced Alain Sirguy who left for the army, will give only two concerts, in the first part of Colette Magny at the theater of Nanterre, before separating completely discouraged. 

Jacques Zins abandons music to study a master's degree in sociology and become an educational leader at the Hoffer Center in Paris.

Zouzou wrote a book on the tales of her adventurous life in a work entitled "Until dawn", published by Flammarion in 2003, before becoming the only living artist to whom the Beaubourg Museum, under the title "Indémodable Zouzou 60 et 70 ", will have devoted a retrospective.

Stephane Vilar composed the music of the circus Bonjour, created by Jean Baptiste Thierrée and Victoria Chaplin (daughter of Charlie Chaplin), (both future parents of the actor director James Thierrée), as well as many film soundtracks. As a studio musician he accompanied many french music stars such as and among others julien Clerc.

Patrick Greussay who is passionate about computing becomes the director of the artificial intelligence laboratory of Saint-Denis, after completing brilliant studies.

Denys Lable, one of the best French guitarist, accompanied a plethora of rock, jazz and variety musicians. He took part in numerous training sessions, including the famous Utopic Sporadic Orchestra project with Christian and Stella Vander de Magma, Didier Lockwood and Jannick Top, and held the guitar in 1972 on Jean Claude Vannier's mythical album « L’enfant assassin des mouches ».

Calcium (LP)

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