Thursday, June 02, 2011

Maxime Le Forestier in San Francisco

"C'est une maison bleue..."

Start singing those lyrics and a generation or two of French -- and francophiles --will sing along with you:

French singer Maxime Le Forestier perhaps singlehandedly put San Francisco on the French contemporary cultural map in 1973 with the recording of his wildly popular song "La Maison Bleue," known to most as simply "San Francisco," a tale of a summer spent in San Francisco in 1971 in the time of peace, love, and flower children.

Then, last September, an enterprising San Francisco/Parisian journalist who grew up "singing this song in the shower" tracked down the actual location of the Blue House.

And now, dear beloveds, Maxime Le Forestier is returning to San Francisco to sing for us all, on the 40th anniversary of that fateful summer in San Francisco. He will be performing on Friday June 24 at the Herbst Theatre. Ticket information is here.

I think the phrase "once in a lifetime" is not an exaggeration in this case. And needless to say, the SF French and francophile community is quivering in anticipation. Me included.

A few anticipatory participatory sing-alongs are planned. But of course!

First, a guitar rehearsal on June 17 at NPG studios on 18th street.

Then, for a broader sing-along audience, a French pique-nique potluck at Dolores Park, weather permitting, on June 22. Just to get in the spirit of things.

Rumors are swirling that M. Le Forestier might show up at one or both of these events. I can't confirm or deny -- so far they're just hopeful speculation. But, well...

For specifics on either of these, contact Christine at christine [at]

Of course, I'll report back about the actual concert. But you knew that.

UPDATE: concert canceled due to visa difficulties.


Anonymous said...

Oh, I wish I could go! I love him, I grew up with his songs. And San Francisco is the perfect setting to enjoy his music.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

I can't wait! As a French friend said, at first it's a shock to see photos of him now -- with 1970s images of the dark-haired, bearded singer so permanently etched in our brains. But heck, we all age!

I hope I can take photos at the concert to post. Stay tuned!

Allibo said...

So wish I could be at that concert - what a great event! Can't get the song out of my head... Thanks for sharing!

Clare said...

I have all of his CD's and listen all day long. I live in NY and cannot get to SF for this concert. I know he will be wonderful. Maybe they will make a CD of this. I love him. He is my favorite French singer.
Thanks for this information.

Des news de San Francisco said...

The concert has been cancelled!! How sad!
Thanks for your nice blog!

Anonymous said...

Le concert à SF annulé! Terrible! A cause des complications de visa? POurquoi? Nous étions si content d'avoir des billets!! Oh non!


Asphodèle said...

hello ! I hope tou speak French ! Je recherche des photos de la maison repeinte en bleue (ce devait être fait début juin !) et je n'en trouve pas ! Je fais un billet sur mon blog dimanche about this singer I ever loved. Si tu as des informations ou une photo de la maison repeinte, merci de me contacter at : ! Thank's. Amicalement ! Mon blog is :

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Asphodele, according to the article in the Chronicle, the house was at 3841 18th St. in SF. I think the owners have been a bit wary of too many tourists coming to the "shrine," but word has it that Maxime Le Forestier came to SF this week (despite not being able to perform for $$) for the occasion and affixed a plaque on the house.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Such a shame for all the fans not to be able to hear him sing in concert in San Francisco. Getting a visa is one thing, but getting a temporary work permit is another kettle of fish, bureaucratically.

BUT-- I may have a photo of a Maxime-in-SF sighting to post, taken by a friend -- we'll see!

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Maxime le Forestier came to town and there was at least a ceremony unveiling a plaque at the site of "la maison bleue."

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