Cloclomania in Monaco!
Cloclomania refers to France’s popular infatuation with the famous singer Claude François, known for making the French sing and dance throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Claude François’ love affair with Monaco began in 1956. The François family sought refuge in Monaco after leaving Egypt during the Suez crisis. A young chap at the time, Claude was passionate about music and dance, and it was only a matter of time before he joined Louis Frosio’s orchestra, which regularly performed at Sporting d’Eté. He began as a percussionist and then became a drummer. It didn’t take long for the Société des Bains de Mer to recognise his talent, however, and made him a singer in 1958. Many young women admired Claude François, including La Callas, who was so impressed by Claude’s musical genius that she asked Louis Frosio to launch the energetic young man, saying, “Fai cantare il piccolino!” Inevitably, Claude François moved to Paris in 1961, marking the beginning of a great career. However, Claude François often returned to Monaco. In 1972, he was spotted at the Maona with Patrick Tapaloff as well as Isabelle Fôret, with whom he had two sons. In 1975, he arrived in a helicopter to spend the evening at Jimmy’z with his girlfriend. In 1977, he participated in the French show Midi-Première hosted by Danielle Gilbert and recorded during the Television Festival of Monaco. The magnificent terrace of the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo was transformed into an open-air television set for the occasion. Between two recordings, he played a game of backgammon at Monte-Carlo Beach with Kathleen Jones, his last companion. A year later, Claude François lost his life in an accident at the age of 39, making these latest images even more meaningful over time. Nonetheless, the ties the singer shared with the Société des Bains de Mer remain strong. And here’s proof: many scenes from the biopic Cloclo, released in 2012, directed by Florent Siri and starring Jérémie Rénier in the lead role, were shot in the establishments of the Société des Bains de Mer group.