During the summer 1962, in the deep heart of Switzerland, four young teenager, 15 years old, sharing a common fascination for R & R, the Shadows and Elvis Presley decided to set up a band, with in mind the shadows’ reference. Daniel Nicollin could already play some chords, André Pochon was starting to play bass, Alain Joilat played accordion and changed to rhythm guitar, meanwhile Jean François Griesinger left his metal boxes to sit down behind a drum kit.

In September when they went back to the grammar school, they are still more motivated to rehearse assiduously. At the end of the autumn, they could play some tracks like apache. They took the opportunity given by the ideal home exhibition in Geneva to make their first live appearance. They got warm welcome from the audience. From then on they were looking for each opportunity to play on stage. They played in charity sales, in sales promotions in the big shopping centres, as well as gigs.

In May 1963 they felt ready to take part to the big Swiss rock contest: Coupe sympad in Montreux. They won the contest and went some weeks later to the Swiss Rock and twist cup. They faced a lot of competitors, not less than 20 band were taking part to this contest. On top of the show as guests were les aiglons who had just signed a record contract with the Barclay label. In final Les Four shakers were playing versus Les Sorciers. Les Sorciers thanks to their lead guitar Michel Saugy, playing a fast cover of Orange blossom Special won the contest. Les Four shakers made a very good show with a sound very shadows like, and a very professional stage act.

As first price for the contest Les sorciers had got a recording contract with Barclay records under the supervision of Ken Lean. But Les four shakers made such a good show, that Philipps signed them. In June they went into the Radio Suisse Romande, the big French speaking broadcasting radio station in Switzerland. Their studio was located not far from the Geneva airport. This where they cut their first EP. They Played Natacha penned by G.Mathey, (who played with Les Relax); this song was also covered by their competitors Les Sorciers. The three other tracks were penned by D.Nicollin and A.Pochon: spleen, Ecclesia and Canon. It was in the western style for the first two tracks, the other one were slower and melodious. They went back to the same studios in September and cut four tracks penned by D.Nicolin and A.Pochon:convoi/fiesta/Vallée des adieux, and O’Casey ranch.

The inspiration came from the Far West, with a lot of sound effects, storm, wind and a guitar cavalcade. They came back another time in the early 1964 to cut their third record with four tracks penned by the duet Nicollin/Pochon. Unfortunately this recordings never became a record and stayed in the Philips vaults just for the memory they were: Caprice, nightclub, pour toujours and tu m’as trahi. Les four shakers were stopped by the Merseybeat wave.

Those four young musicians of the Geneva high society were to keep playing till 1968. Then they went back to more casual activities, some went to the university, the army drafted other and the other ones started to work. They good memories of stage act where they shared their pleasure of playing with the audience. They were part of some big shows like in 1965 in Annecy when Jacques Brel topped the bill or in 1966 when they played the first part of the Johnny Hallyday show. The summit was reached in October 1967 when they played the first part of the Gene Vincent Gig in Geneva.


  1. 4 Suisses dans le vent (Magic Records 3930399)
    Natacha / Spleen / Ecclesia / Canon / Convoi / Fiesta / O’ Casey Ranch / La Vall‚e des Adieux / Caprice / Night-Club / Pour toujours / Tu m’as trahi.

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