Michel FUGAIN is a French singer-songwriter and performer, born May 12, 1942 in Grenoble. He is the son of the former resistance fighter and diabetologist Pierre FUGAIN. Michel FUGAIN soon gives up his medical studies and becomes second assistant to the director Yves ROBERT.
Michel FUGAIN recorded his first album in 1967. It was a successful record as it included the hits "Je n'aurai pas le temps" and "Les fleurs de mandarine". Three years later, he wrote the musical "Un enfant dans la ville".
Gérard Bertrand : Hello everybody, it's 7pm on Friday, we are faithful to the live Wine Food Music meeting with Chef Laurent Chabert. Welcome Chef
Chef Laurent Chabert : Hello everyone!
Gérard Bertrand: And tonight we have the privilege of welcoming our friend Michel Fugain.
Michel Fugain : And Hop There
Gérard Bertrand: Good evening Michel.
Michel Fugain: Hi friends, how are you doing?
Gérard Bertrand: How are you doing?
Michel Fugain: Magnificently well! With you it can only go Gérard.
Gérard Bertrand: I'm jealous because I know that you're even closer to the sea than I am. We're not far away but you're right next door, I think you're in Corsica.
Michel Fugain: I've been living here for quite a few years now. I'm in Corsica, I've been confined in Corsica, I spent two months, already two and a half months even on this island which is itself a kind of confinement so all that went well I'm not risking much here because I have a bit of land so everything is fine.
Gérard Bertrand: You look good! Our friend Chef Laurent Chabert. Where have you been Laurent?
Chief Laurent Chabert: I've been to Cap Corse.
Michel Fugain: Yes, it's the beginning of the Cap Corse, just after Bastia.
Chef Laurent Chabert : And then I also did 9 months in Porto Vecchio, in the bay of Santa Julia.
Michel Fugain: It's beautiful this corner, it's very beautiful the bay of Porto Vecchio.
Chef Laurent Chabert: Tonight we're going to revisit Corsican products, lobster and dentistry.
Gérard Bertrand: What are you going to cook for us tonight?
Chef Laurent Chabert: For the first course, for the first wine, it will be the lobster, I've already cooked it just before, to make it easier during the live and of course the denti.
Gérard Bertrand: It's a Corsican fish, I didn't know that.
Michel Fugain: It's called like that because it has two teeth in front of it so it's very recognizable, Laurent doesn't blame me but the best tooth I've ever eaten in my life I ate it because the fishermen of Ile Rousse invited us on the rocks on which there is a red lighthouse and it's very recognizable that's why it's called Ile Rousse, and they just boiled a tooth in a fishmonger's pan in sea water and it was a pure wonder, there was nothing but fish and sea water.
Gérard Bertrand: It's fabulous and at the same time it's 7 p.m. there and everyone who's watching us is starting to salivate. And then what are we going to have?
Chef Laurent Chabert : And after a can, I worked it all together just now. It comes from a producer here near Carcassonne, the thigh is going to be candied in addition and then fried and served with a small pesto salad with garlic flower.
Gérard Bertrand: So Michel, he's working me, I'm like you, I'm going to drink a little bit, so what I'm proposing Michel is to drink Clos du Temple a little bit of wine in peace, we'll drink a rosé. I have great news to tell you that the new vintage has just been elected best wine in the world by Drinks Business, which is the largest magazine that makes roses in the world and is based in London, there is a jury of experts who ranked it number 1 in the world so we are very happy because it is really a great rosé, in a bottle shaped like a temple, we're lucky because we'll be able to toast even if it's virtual Michel, we're both going to taste it, and for all those who are watching us, cheers if you drink a shot we're glad you're here to deconfirm.
Michel Fugain: It's a wine for men.
Gérard Bertrand: In fact it is multidimensional, because in fact it is powerful and at the same time it is vibrant, i.e. it has a horizontal, vertical and deep character which is not easy for a rosé and because it is a rosé vinified in barrels, and therefore is vinified under the same conditions as a great white, it is a great terroir that of the small yields at Cabrières, it is a magnificent terroir of both schist and limestone it is a collusion which gives this unique taste that we salivate in the mouth. It's fascinating because we have put the rosés in the world of great wines and it was a challenge for us.
Michel Fugain: It tastes splendid!
Gérard Bertrand: I saw that there was still a bit of news for you because you did, we'll look at it soon there but, you did something special called "Les Chevaux Sauvages", can you tell us a few words about it?
Michel Fugain: Listen, it's something we did as soon as we were confined with all my team and my buddies who I miss in a way you can't even imagine we said good so fuck it we're going to do something we're going to do something and then we saw all our friends and all our brothers and sisters who said thank you bravo to the caregivers and I say good we're going to ...
Michel Fugain: We're doing and we realise that there are songs that talk about life from beginning to end and for me that's great.
Gérard Bertrand: So Michel, we're going to watch it, then for all those who are watching us, take advantage of these few minutes that you're going to see in preview, we're watching!
Gérard Bertrand: So did you get carried away like Michel because there were confined but with the energy you sent it sends it's really wild horses!
Michel Fugain: I have this image it's necessarily an artist's vision but for me the wild horses had become a bunch of young people with long hair like that running around with their hair floating in the back and I tell myself that this is the next generation, that's what's happening and that will change the world.
Gérard Bertrand: You know that an idea can change the world and you in the creative world you can take people away and it's true that, with the emotions you deliver it's quite special because there's not a lot of job like that we do it but we do it by interaction that is to say we can make a wine and we can move people at a distance but we are not necessarily always connected you too but the fact of being on stage like that in front of several thousands of people, you transmit an energy that is quite incredible. I guess who's keeping you from going back on stage?
Michel Fugain: It's terrible, I miss it in an incredible way, but we don't have very different jobs Gérard, they're human jobs, we work for human beings. We used to say off the air, I'm not a guy who goes from gastro restaurant to gastro restaurant, certainly not especially since I live with a vegan, so I might as well say it's not in my pocket. But what I like is the finality of the food, a good table, a good meal, there's a staging, we do very related work.
Gérard Bertrand: And you know, I remember because when you came to play at the Château L'Hospitalet, so I often ask artists the question, have you ever sung in the middle of the vines? There are very few artists who have played in the middle of the vineyards I didn't know how good the music gives good vibes because in fact it's really good for the grapes those positive vibes that you transmit the wine becomes better from year to year, I think at the time of the jazz festival at the end of July when the grapes start to change colour, it's very inspiring because you know we often put music on during the winemaking process and often there are a lot of winemakers who put on classical music and it's true that it's still good because the fact that this music and jazz festival is in the middle of the vineyard. It gives an impetus and people are in harmony, so I was also saying earlier that in the next world we will have to respect nature a little more because we've been hitting it a little bit and so we have to ask ourselves questions to know how we're going to be kind to nature.
Michel Fugain: It seems obvious to me and the fight will be just as difficult with I would say global money, that is to say the financiers who always want to do the things that will cost them the least, but we realize, and I am devastated by this, that there is also a job to be done with citizens who lack a little civic-mindedness, as we have seen with the number of masks on the ground that are lying around and making a mess on top of that. I think there's a job to be done there, an awareness that depends on education, maybe a few slaps in the face, by the way, who's that?
Gérard Bertrand: The Chef is ready!
Chef Laurent Chabert: Here's the lobster.
Michel Fugain: So, Laurent, this lobster, what should I drink it with, more likeClos du Temple ?
Chief Laurent Chabert: Clos du Temple It's the perfect match.
Michel Fugain: With Clos du Templeit, it's the same thing that's obvious to me.
Chef Laurent Chabert: So, we made a carcass juice, now slightly jellied, which is served cold. The lobster that I cooked this morning and then we added a shiso sorbet that will bring a little peppery taste, and the last little thing is the black garlic, marinated in sea water.
Michel Fugain: You propose things around lobster because lobster is not very tasty?
Chef Laurent Chabert: We have reduced the carcass juice to the maximum to bring a maximum of taste.
Gérard Bertrand: Michel, I'm ready for it!
Michel Fugain: Gérard, are you testing?
Gérard Bertrand: Delicious!
Michel Fugain: You're the one who tests and I'm the one who drinks.
Gérard Bertrand: There you go! So these are the dishes that we're going to find on the menu of the restaurant Château L'Hospitalet since it's going to reopen this evening, we've got Dominique Rieux and his band doing a jazz dinner concert on the spot, Michel I've got good news is that we're going to do the jazz festival from July 22nd to 26th, It's going to be one of the few festivals that will take place in the south of France so we've taken precautions because we've reduced the gauge by 30% and so we're going to do a festival anyway because I think it's important that life starts again and that people can listen to music again in safety.
Michel Fugain: And it's really good that you're doing this because I'm telling you, I'm telling you again, you have to set an example because we can't go back on stage before the start of the new school year in 2021. It was September-October 2021, that's the official date for the producers, so if things go well, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that if things go well, we might be able to start again around January, that would be really good, we're going crazy, our profession is completely devastated. There are a lot of things that change even in people's souls, so we want to catch up with them, we want to be with them to bring first of all the support of this kind of emotional support and then to feel them, to feel what's coming.
Gérard Bertrand: And then to live simply because in the end you can't stop living and above all you can't stop doing what you love the most because in fact what you love the most is to be together because if we're alone on a desert island we get very bored and the music and the food and wine pairings and living together you said it. We have a dinner a little bit before the show and then we have the After Jazz so we start at 7 o'clock in the evening and we finish at 3 o'clock in the morning and we are happy and we like to share.
Gérard Bertrand: I don't know how you do it, I wanted to ask you a question because I'm intrigued, I tell myself that you're swimming in the source of youth because you have an energy that's always renewed and that's always there, what's your secret?
Michel Fugain: There's no secret, Gérard, I've necessarily analysed how you still have the potato so I'll have 80 brooms in two years.
Gérard Bertrand: It's incredible!
Michel Fugain: I think it's our job to do that. That is to say that as long as you have an eye that is full of energy, you are not of age, you are the age of your gaze. As soon as you have a look that is blazer or no longer craving or greedy and has no desire
Gérard Bertrand: So you're saying there are no secrets?
Michel Fugain: No, there's no secret, no, but in fact I lived the life I wanted to live - I live in a gang, I live with a gang, that's why I'm telling you I miss you. We create and we do in a band. The world can fall apart around you, but you know that in a case like yours, that is to say the time of the hotel restaurant etc. if you're not a steamroller, you're dead!
Gérard Bertrand: At the same time, you carry the team but the team carries you!
Michel Fugain: But of course, one energy plus one energy plus one energy makes for an absolutely unstoppable energy.
Gérard Bertrand: So Chef, what energy do we have for the second course?
Chef Laurent Chabert: The dentist!
Gérard Bertrand: The fish that bites, the teeth!
Chef Laurent Chabert: The denti, I cooked it on the barbecue, I like the little taste of barbecue with the fish and especially with the red wine.
Gérard Bertrand: This is the Or & Azur wine, in fact it's made in the Languedoc and it's a wine that is organic and also Bee Friendly, which means that we respect bees, we're more than organic. It's a red wine from the Languedoc which is superb, I'll toast with you Michel and I think it will go well with dentistry. I like to drink light reds with fish.
Michel Fugain: Yes, I agree with that, the fish that absolutely wants white on the side doesn't have to.
Gérard Bertrand: There are two grape varieties that work well with fish: Pinot Noir of course, and also when it's made with Grenache, because these are varieties that give fairly light wines, there's no need to have the flesh of the meat for the red wine to be absorbed by the fat of the meat, whereas it works well in this case.
Gérard Bertrand: You have the privilege of eating your teeth often and you told me that it was one of the best fish you've ever eaten.
Michel Fugain: No, the capon here in Corsica is very good, I wonder if I don't prefer the capon to the dentist.
Gérard Bertrand: Do you have time to go fishing or not?
Michel Fugain: No. I would have the time, but that's not my thing, I'm not a fisherman, I'm not a hunter, I'm a dreamer.
Gérard Bertrand: As you said your age, I just want to ask you a question. How do you go about it when you're lucky enough to have had six decades of experience and the seventh that's about to begin? How do you look at the periods that have had the greatest impact on you and where you've been most in tune with the times?
Michel Fugain: I'm going to answer you something that might seem obvious because there was success, it was a huge success, it was the time of the seventies because those were years of freedom, that is to say, the years of freedom that young people today will never be able to experience, when we talk to them about it, they don't know what it means, they can't imagine. What I remember most is how the society in which we lived has evolved, because indeed you're talking about 70 years of 65 years of observing a society of I'm the son of a doctor of a very humanist doctor who is very politically committed I haven't done anything in my life without thinking about my father's judgment ever, even now when my father is no longer around. I have seen this society evolve and it has evolved in the opposite direction of what we dreamed of in the 70's which were years of freedom, so from the 80's and 90's I call them the gift wrapping years because there was nothing in it and everything was in a nice 90's paper not much nothing interesting and from 2000 it becomes a total mess with problems that intersect with terrorism. So what's left for me is this kind of gap from the 70's which were incredible years of creation because musically, what was done at that time, it's unbelievable.
Gérard Bertrand: Today, with the contribution of technique, as I see it in my profession, there have been balances if you like and oenology has contributed a lot, then there was standardisation and now we are going back to the origins. Is it that in music the technique has had a pendulum effect, is what you find today a creative impulse that makes you find a little more purity in what people do, how do you analyse the contribution of all the technique, the computer, the contribution for the music?
Michel Fugain: The technique has apparently brought a lot of things, it has brought, as in your profession, it has brought standardisation, i.e. there's cooking music if you want it's out of the factory.
Gérard Bertrand: It's formatted!
Michel Fugain: What should normally give more value to craftsmanship that is both creative and creative, it doesn't always do so, because the public has also changed - they are consumers, they don't know what they are given, but they take it.
Gérard Bertrand And today if you had to name three artists who inspire you?
Michel Fugain: Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder for the melodic creation, there are incredible ways that I've loved all the time, Michael McDonald people like that are things that are a little bit on the edge, when you listen to Michael McDonald's voice it's not a beautiful voice, it's a voice that takes your heart because there's an energy and a power, so Paul McCartney is a genius, he's the one who opened the doors and the windows for us.
Gérard Bertrand: It's fantastic, when you look at your career you've always been avant-garde, because you compose, play, sing and you were one of the first to do shows, you did musicals, you made your band and so on. So, being avant-garde today, what is it?
Michel Fugain: To be avant-garde today is either you're not heard, or you've bombarded yourself avant-garde, or the beautiful people have bombarded you avant-garde, they put an avant-garde label on you, and then enjoy forgetting you, that's how it is.
Gérard Bertrand: What I mean by Michel when I say that is that you've always been a few seconds ahead of what's going to happen and so you've created movements because you're one of the people who've inspired generations, in fact there are artists, young artists who've covered your songs lately, what do you think about it when the whole young generation covers your songs, what do you think about it when you see it?
Michel Fugain: My first reaction was that they don't set foot in the anthill, I would have liked him to do something really different with something that comes from far away. I don't think it's a question of age or period, because if you're listening to songs right now that are 50 or 60 years old and they're old, and everything I listen to around me I'm waiting for the one that's going to make me say that we're going to stay for a long time.
Gérard Bertrand: Do you sing polyphonies sometimes?
Michel Fugain: No, that's really cultural, that's really identity. If you analyse it, it's not complicated, but it's a way of using one's voice that only the Corsicans, the Neapolitans and the Sicilians use, that is to say, very timbral voices. You know, polyphonic songs are actually songs that were in churches, it was shepherds who sang them because there was no barley in the churches and they were the ones who did the liturgical singing.
Gérard Bertrand: I really like polyphony and when I look at the way he sings, I was in Corsica recently and when I see my friends singing Gregorian chant it reminds me, it makes a connection because it comes from the bowels, it comes from the belly it opens up the chakras. It's a music that elevates where your hair grows. Do you feel the same?
Michel Fugain: With time, my hair doesn't grow at all!
Gérard Bertrand: So Chef, what do we have now, because we are going to drink Michel le Château L'Hospitalet 2018.
Michel Fugain: I've already eaten with that.
Gérard Bertrand: I'm told you had a good lunch today.
Chef Laurent Chabert: Here's the can fillet that was cooked pink just simply the first green beans from the garden that we just cooked crispy with a sauce apicius, with a few spices.
Michel Fugain: What is a sauce apicius?
Chef Laurent Chabert : With some spices with our honey and a little bit of soy sauce and cumin
Gérard Bertrand: Because at Château L'Hospitalet we make wine, but we also make a bit of honey and olive oil, all using biodynamic methods. And we can't wait to see you again to share all that. We've got something else to share with a little song that's going to be a revolt that'll take us back a few years to the past.
Gérard Bertrand: Life is a good time and it was a good novel? It's a beautiful story and it's true that when we see your enthusiasm because in enthusiasm there is Teos, there is God, and that's important because people don't remember that word, you really embody the enthusiasm and everyone has had a journey and when I see you on stage and when I see you there because it's been a little while since we've spoken I'm bluffed and at the same time it's great to share that with our friends who are here tonight and I hope we'll watch contact for the years to come because you're just at the beginning of your career.
Michel Fugain: I promised myself I wouldn't bring a walker.
Gérard Bertrand: That means you came in 2011 so we're not going to wait another twenty years. Are you still jumping around on stage or not?
Michel Fugain: It can happen to me, but a little less!
Gérard Bertrand: I look at one thing in artists is the support because I'm a former sportsman as you know I'm a former rugby player and so you had sneakers when you were on stage and last year there was Greg David and I looked at his thighs he had thighs like sportsmen from High level you see when you dance you sing there was also the singer Texas who ran all night on stage from one end to the other and it's a great performance so you're athletes anyway because you have to have a lot of energy when you do that every night, are you doing a little sheathing or are you doing nothing?
Michel Fugain: I have a garden, it's true that all that exists, we're in good shape physically, but it doesn't prevent us from escaping the rule that when you get up in the morning at the age of 50 and it doesn't hurt anywhere, you're dead.
Gérard Bertrand: But you know that there was a guy here called Antoine Verda who was a local figure who was a winegrower who defended the cause of winegrowers and who said, "I want to die, but I want to stand up. The most beautiful death is to die standing up, isn't it? I would like to make a small wink to our friends from Sodibo because they delivered the wines to you today and they represent us today in Corsica, we thank them for having delivered you, they are all over Corsica. Michel, if you are around this summer you are welcome! Do you like it? Michel I wish you a very nice weekend and a beautiful summer and then let me know if you're around, and then as soon as you have the new show that are starting, let me know.
Michel Fugain: All right, Gérard! I greet everyone, hello Laurent, hello Pierre !
Gérard Bertrand: And thank you to all those who followed us tonight and then see you next Friday for another great evening, see you soon Michel!
Michel Fugain: Thank you and see you soon!
Gérard Bertrand: Chao!