Friday, March 23, 2018

The Names Behind Your Boinas Elósegui Berets

Some great pictures from inside the Boinas Elósegui factory, putting some names behind the berets (boinas):
Ander Astigarraga, commercial director of the company
 Nekane, at the old weaving machines
The operators Maria Pilar Larrauri and Ana Maria Cuadrado at the machines for overlapping
José Prado Kotte, in charge of the fulling and dyeing of the berets
Agustin Perez, in the process of shaping the berets
Ana Pradin, in charge of sizing and revision
Ana Pradini, in charge of review and quality control of all models

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Lady, Be Good!

Lady, Be Good! is a musical written by Guy Bolton and Fred Thompson with music by George and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. 
It was first presented on Broadway in 1924; the West End production followed in 1926. The story of the musical is about a brother and sister who are out of money; both are eager to sacrifice themselves to help the other. This was the first Broadway collaboration of the Gershwin brothers, and the Astaire siblings play a brother-sister dance team.
It starred brother and sister performers Fred and Adele Astaire.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Yep, while many followers of this blog are happily stepping into spring today, for us here in the southern hemisphere we're anticipating the dark, short, wet days of fall again.
Changing cotton berets for merino wool, and vice versa. 
Enjoy the weather, whatever it may be, from under your beret!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Alan Silva

Alan Silva (born Alan Lee da Silva, Bermuda, January 22, 1939) is an American free jazz double bassist and keyboard player.
Silva was born a British subject to an Azorean/Portuguese mother, Irene da Silva, and a black Bermudian father known only as "Ruby". He emigrated to the United States at the age of five with his mother, eventually acquiring U.S. citizenship by the age of 18 or 19. He adopted the stage name of Alan Silva in his twenties.
Silva was quoted in a Bermudan newspaper in 1988 as saying that although he left the island at a young age, he always considered himself Bermudian. He was raised in Harlem, New York City, where he first began studying the trumpet, and moved on to study the upright bass.
Silva is known as one of the most inventive bass players in jazz and has performed with many in the world of avant-garde jazz, including Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, and Archie Shepp.
In the 1980s Silva opened a music school in Central Paris, introducing the concept of a Jazz Conservatory patterned after France's traditional conservatories devoted to European classical music epochs.
Since around 2000 he has performed more frequently as a bassist and bandleader, notably at New York City's annual Vision Festivals.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Heads Up on the Genuine Chasseurs Alpins!

Happy to inform you that South Pacific Berets now stocks the genuine "tartes" of the Chasseurs Alpins. 
Heavy duty 200+ grams black berets made of 100% Australian merino wool, sized without headband, cotton lined and fitted with the traditional Cambo label.
Available in sizes 56-62, exclusively at South Pacific Berets and to be found on the new dedicated Chasseurs Alpins page.

Manufacture de Bérets - C. Georget

In my continuing search for vanished beret manufacturers, I came across the business card of a Parisian beret factory.
Manufacture de Bérets - C. Georget was located at Nr. 3  Rue des Arquebusiers in the Marais neighborhood (3rd arrondissement). 
Further searches on the web and Google Maps didn't amount to any more information; all what remains is (what looks like) a boarded up house covered in graffiti... 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chasseurs Alpins - Magazine Covers

Different times, where everyone was familiar with the Chasseurs Alpins and their pictures were commonly found on the covers of magazines (berets included...).

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Chasseurs Alpins go Green

The battalion of the 13th Alpine Chasseurs in Savoy reduced its energy consumption by 50%. 
"What is done here obviously serves as a laboratory", says Colonel Jacques Massot, chief of the defense infrastructure service of Lyon. The Roc-Noir-de-Barby (Savoie) district, home to some 1,100 alpine hunters at the foot of the Bauges massif, has undergone a profound but almost invisible change in the past two years. The two-story buildings of the 1970s have kept their facade greyish and unattractive, but "solar carpets" installed on the roofs now make it possible to produce hot water. Insulation has been thoroughly overhauled, and electric heaters, installed in the golden age of nuclear energy, have been replaced by a wood-fired boiler plant, fueled by the region's forests.
In total, 30 buildings (for a heated area of ​​more than 41,500 m²) have been renovated. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations

Few musical pieces as beautiful as Glenn Gould’s interpretation of Bach’s Golberg variations.
“Columbia Masterworks’ recording director and his engineering colleagues are sympathetic veterans who accept as perfectly natural all artists’ studio rituals, foibles, or fancies. But even these hardy souls were surprised by the arrival of young Canadian pianist Glenn Gould and his ‘recording equipment’ for his first Columbia sessions. … It was a balmy June day, but Gould arrived in a coat, beret, muffler and gloves.”
The rest of the bulletin detailed the other peculiarities that Gould had brought along with him when recording J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for the label.
These were many. Instead of nobly holding his head high with a proper recitalist’s posture, Gould’s modified piano bench allowed him to get his face right near the keys, where he would proceed to hum audibly while playing. He soaked his arms in hot water for up to 20 minutes before takes and brought a wide variety of pills. He also brought his own bottles of water, which, for 1955, was still something that seemed like only Howard Hughes would do. It was these initial, broadly trumpeted peculiarities that helped shape the Gould myth throughout his too-short life, the audacious genius who slightly unsettled everyone around him. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bill Deraime

Bill Deraime, (1947, real name Alain Deraime) is a French blues singer and musician from Senlis (Oise).
Deraime started his carreer in the mid -1970s and has since continued to sing and advocate for various causes.
Deraime produced 18 studio albums and 3 live recordings between 1979 and 2018, his latest last February: Nouvel Horizon.
Bill Deraime has continued tirelessly to find his path, in the margins of the commercial system, focusing on meeting fellow humans, openness and the human adventure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Eli "Lucky" Thompson

Eli "Lucky" Thompson (1924 –2005) was an American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist. While John Coltrane usually receives the most credit for bringing the soprano saxophone out of obsolescence in the early 1960s, Thompson (along with Steve Lacy) embraced the instrument earlier than Coltrane.
Thompson was born in Columbia, South Carolina, and moved to Detroit, Michigan, during his childhood. Thompson had to raise his siblings after his mother died, and he practiced saxophone fingerings on a broom handle before acquiring his first instrument. He joined Erskine Hawkins' band in 1942 upon graduating from high school.
After playing with the swing orchestras of Lionel Hampton, Don Redman, Billy Eckstine (alongside Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker) and Count Basie, he worked in rhythm and blues and then established a career in bebop and hard bop, working with Kenny Clarke, Miles Davis, Gillespie and Milt Jackson.
Thompson was strongly critical of the music business, later describing promoters, music producers and record companies as "parasites" or "vultures". This, in part, led him to move to Paris, where he lived and made several recordings between 1957 and 1962. During this time, he began playing soprano saxophone.
In his last years he lived in Seattle, Washington. Acquaintances reported that Thompson was homeless by the early 1990s, and lived as a hermit.
Thompson died from Alzheimer's disease in an assisted living facility on July 30, 2005.
Thanks, Dennis.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Max Aub

Max Aub Mohrenwitz (1903 –1972) was a experimentalist novelist, playwright and literary critic. 
Aub was born in Paris to a Jewish French mother and German father, who was a travelling salesman. At the outbreak of World War I, his father was in Spain on business and could not return to France, as he had become an enemy alien. Max and his mother joined him there and they all took Spanish citizenship. Aub and his family settled in Valencia. In 1921, he became a Spanish citizen. In 1929, Aub joined the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party and remained a lifelong member.
During the Spanish Civil War, the Republican government posted him to Paris as a cultural attaché and in 1937, he was responsible for placing Picasso's "Guernica" on display at the International Exposition, and took part in the organisation of the Second Congress of Anti-Fascists Writers. 
In February 1939 Aub left Spain with André Malraux and the film crew of L'espoir. By 1940, the Franco regime had come to consider him a serious opponent, and in March 1940 he was denounced to the new Vichy government of France as a militant communist and a "German-Jew", and therefore a possible spy or traitor. He was imprisoned for a year in Camp Vernet, then deported to the forced labor camp of Djelfa in Algeria.] In 1942, with the help of a guard, he escaped.
Max Aub in the prison camp of Djelfa, Algeria, ca. 1941-1942
Soon thereafter, he was able to find passage from Casablanca to Mexico, followed shortly by his wife and children. There he joined other Spanish exiles — including Luis Buñuel, with whom he formed a working friendship. In Mexico he worked as screenwriter. He also wrote for the newspapers Nacional and Excélsior and worked as a Professor at the Film Academy in Mexico. He became a Mexican citizen in 1955 and lived in Mexico City until his death. In 1972, he was elected Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres by the French Government.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Tapio Mattlar

Tapio Mattlar is the Co-Founder of the Finish Village Action Network. The Network promotes and develops village action and locally initiated rural development on the national level. 
The Village Action Association of Finland is an umbrella organisation for regional actors in rural development. Residents’ Associations, village coalitions, LAGs and national central organisations are members of the Village Action Association. At the end of 2006 the Association had 131 member organisations.
Mattlar received the Right Livelihood Award in 1992.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Johnny Hallyday

Jean-Philippe Léo Smet (1943 –2017), better known by his stage name Johnny Hallyday, was a French rock and roll and pop singer and actor, considered to be a legend in France and credited for having imported rock and roll there. However, his musical universe continued to be centred on the blues.
During a career spanning 57 years, he released 79 albums and sold 110 million copies worldwide, mainly in the French-speaking world, making him one of the best-selling artists in France and in the world.
Hugely popular in France, he was usually referred to as simply "Johnny" and seen as a "national monument" (the only one since Edith Piaf) and a part of the French cultural legacy. His exceptional longevity in public life made him a familiar figure for four generations and a symbol of the Thirty Glorious Years when he emerged in 1960. More than 2,500 magazine covers and 190 books have been dedicated to him during his lifetime.
He remained largely unknown in the English-speaking world where he was dubbed "the biggest rock star you've never heard of" and introduced as the French version of Elvis Presley.

Saturday, March 10, 2018