'SAN FRANCISCO' IS NUMBER ONE - UGH!
F R I D A Y, 2 2 S E P T
French Conversation was super, our student is terribly sweet. She’s a bit Polnareffy actually. She’s got his chin, his mouth and his eyes, which is really rather a lot. We talked mostly about what things we like about France and what we don't - we all agreed the French drive too fast! I didn’t think for one moment I’d bring Polnareff in anywhere but at the last moment we started talking about the beatniks of Montmartre and I realised this was my chance. Linda N said she felt sorry for them more than anything else, so I said (in French) “why? They only do it for one or two years while they’re young.” Then… turning to the student (I don't know her name) I said, “do you know Michel Polnareff?”” “Oui, oui” she said! “Well,” I began, “he was a beatnik for two years and he said he learnt more in those two years than he did in all the 18 years before.”
Honestly, we’ve now got Jacqui in our group and she’s absolute murder. She’s the most affected and egoistic person I have ever met - nobody gets a chance to get a word in edgeways.
After lunch Anya and me walked down to the station to phone up Lansdowne Studios about Polnareff but John was out at lunch. Later, Anya rang me up from home to say she'd got through! He's coming on October 2nd and 3rd! John will “give us a tinkle” when it’ll be ok for us to come up. It’s absolutely marvellous.
I listened to the Top 20 on French Radio with Hubert - people ring up to vote for their favourite song. Scott McKenzie's 'San Francisco’ is No. 1 (ugh) - but ‘Ame Caline’ is No. 11. That's still high - it was was No. 1 weeks ago!
Rather a pity: it's David not Mark who's coming on the boat with us. Still, I'll see Mark at the Master Builder's.
In August 1967 a song sung by Scott McKenzie and dedicated to the veterans of Vietnam shot to the top of the UK charts. It was written by John Phillips of the Mamas & Papas. ‘San Francisco' became the unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement, as the flower children of San Francisco epitomised the hippy dream.