Thursday, July 30, 2015
FERRE GRIGNARD - RING, RING, I GOT TO SING / WE WANT WAR
Ferre Grignard (13 March 1939 – 8 August 1982) was a Belgian skiffle-singer from Antwerp who surprised the world in 1965 with his international hits "Ring Ring, I've Got To Sing" and "My Crucified Jesus".
Ferre Grignard renounced his middle-class origins and at the end of the 1950s he went to the Antwerp art academy. He was unsuccessful as a painter, but he could play the guitar and sing the blues and his performances in "De Muze", a famous Antwerp jazz café, made him well known in the Antwerp artists' world.
The young generation accepted him as the first Belgian protest singer, because of his hippie-like appearance and the content of his songs. In 1965 he performed at the first "Jazz-festival" at Bilzen. He was discovered by Hans Kusters (the same man who owned the record company HKM that is now producing the music of the Belgian band Clouseau). His "Ring Ring, I've Got To Sing" and "My Crucified Jesus" conquered the world with their mixture of skiffle, folk music and blues. At the height of his career he even performed at the Paris Olympia. The Belgian artist George Smits was a member of Ferre Grignard's band around that time.
After the ensuing international success, things started to go wrong. He went to live in a mansion, where he made music, painted and partied with the 20 friends who lived with him. He also refused to fill in his tax-forms, so after a while all royalties went directly to taxes. He neglected his career and was soon forgotten by his fans. A comeback in the seventies failed.
He died in Antwerp of throat cancer in 1982. At that time he was living in an attic without heating, surrounded by empty bottles. Ferre Grignard lies buried at the Schoonselhof cemetery, among many of Antwerp's most important citizens.
It alsosays on the cover that he was thrown out of the army after a year of being conscripted and he then lived "among the negroes" in the US for a few years and then was expelled due to his anarchist and anti-war attitude....
Great music, think Bob Dylan....
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