It was 1962 when two young guys working for the Air France company, Philippe Doiteau and Jacques Gallisant, who used to listen to r & r, made up their mind and set up a band. Thanks to one of their fellows they got in touch with Jean Pierre Largey a drummer, and Alain Goutman a rhythm guitarist. They found a place in the air France building and started to rehearse.

Philippe has been learning and playing guitar for more than four years in a music school, Jean Pierre had already played with other bands, Jacques has learned bass at the music school, and Alain has got a good rhythm feeling.

The band took the name of the Blue jet guitars, since Air France has painted his first jets in blue. When spring came they took part to the selection for a very popular TV shows Age tender, whose disc jockey was a harmonica jazz player and composer. He penned last space train for the Spotnicks. Among hundreds of bands, they succeeded to reach the final and have the chance to play live on TV.
They made the second place. In fact the winners were already under contract with one of the French label and were given some extra support.

Thereafter they played at Golf Drouot, where they got a warm welcome. Their style is different, they a special sound and look very smart wearing and bow ties. Henry Leproux the well-advised manager was impressed.

At the end of 1962, Claude Carrère an A & R man by Philips, and also composer has just launched a new young star Sheila, a 16 years old singer. He went her to tour in order to establish herself as the new teenage idol. He was looking for a good band to back her. He went to ask Henry Leproux for a good advice. Henry phoned the Blue Jet guitars. Claude came with Jacques Plait another a & r Philips man. He offered the Blue jet guitars a contract to back Sheila.

The four fellows were very disappointed; they wanted to be an instrumental band. Jacques Plaît insisted with the Henry Leproux heavy support. Finally they agreed to be the backing group. Claude Carrère then advised them to hire an organ player. They asked their friend Francis, one of their Air France colleague. He was an experienced pianist, who even got a first price at the music school. Then Claude Carrère named them quite simply Les Guitares.

In the early days of 1963 they were ready to cut an instrumental record: they played Galaxie, penned by Leo Petit alias William Stanray, lead guitar of Les Guitares du diable, les martiens arrivent and Cavalcade sidérale co-signed by Cl.Carrère & Ph.Doiteau and spatial slow penned by Ph.Doiteau. It was a big seller helped by Sheila popularity they sold more than 200 000 copies.

At the end of the year, it’s time for Sheila’s big first tour. On the same package we found Frank Alamo, Les Playboys. The Tour began in October-November and then stopped till February 1964 and finally ended with March. During the break in January they recorded their second EP with Chris craft, Cité sous la mer, Globule le phoque and Neptune all four tracks penned by Ph. Doiteau. The sales were not so good as expected. The new trend was for vocal group like in England.

Anyway Les Guitares were to stay on the road, without their singer who declined to tour again, she was too young and it was a too hard job for her. During the usual summer tour they back a young German girl who was signed by Pathé. In the studio session they kept on backing Sheila and got even with air le grand prix du disque with the huge hit “pendant les vacances “, the song of the summer 164. They were to play till 1968 backing various stars like Sacha Distel, Herve Villard and Graham Bonney.

In 1968 Philippe and Jacques were associates in establishing a record studio in Paris, Jean Pierre went back in his parents cabinet work company, Francis went to Hamm corporation as a salesman, in this musical instrument sales and productions firm, and Alain became a journalist.


Discographie (CD)

  • Instrumental Guitars volume 1 (Magic Records 5301582)
    Galaxie / Cavalcade sidérale / Spatial slow / Les martiens arrivent / Chriscraft / Cité sous la mer / Globule le phoque / Neptune / Aranjuez / Sixties devotion / Distant univers / John Watking.
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