Purple Diary

[May 30 2023]




Jean-Louis Murat is a singer, a musician, a composer and an author, Jean-Louis Bergheaud was the same person, a loving, beloved human being and a father.


It was more than necessary to be at least two to have created “Murat” in 1981, “Passions privées” in 1984, “Cheyenne Autumn” in 1989, “Le Manteau de pluie” in 1991, “Vénus” in 1993, “Dolorès” in 1996, “Mustango” in 1999, “Madame Deshoulières” in 2001, “Le Moujik et sa femme” in 2002, “Lilith” in 2003, “A Bird on a Poire” in 2004, “Москва” and “1829” in 2005, “Taormina” in 2006, “Charles & Léo” in 2007, “Tristan” in 2008, “Le Cours ordinaire des choses” in 2009, “Grand Lièvre” in 2011, “Toboggan” in 2013, “Babel” in 2014, “Morituri” in 2016, “Travaux sur la N89” in 2017, “Il Francese” in 2018, “Baby Love” and “Baby Love DC” in 2020, and “La Vraie Vie de Buck John” in 2021; and all the while having also built a family with children, a circle of friends and a fantastic house in the middle of nowhere on top of a mountain almost in the middle of France in the Auvergne. 


If Jean-Louis is gone, Murat remains. Murat is 40 years old and has more than 365 songs. All Murat means is at least one song a day for a year, a necessary dose that is swallowed in small gulps to access a world, a universe, a landscape, “a cloud in the sky”. Murat’s 365 days will go by again and again, an ephemeris bursting with love for all time.


When my mother died, Jean-Louis, who didn’t speak much, called me and said the right words.


In the cold, I saw Jean-Louis this winter in Montreuil, I spent a little time with him, he told me stories of hunters and guns that he challenged with his eyes increasingly clear, increasingly blue. I was happy to see him, I saw him happy. Then Jean-Louis drove off in his white van, thanking me for agreeing to work on the cover of his “Best Of”, which Murat didn’t want, out of friendship. I confirmed my friendship by giving him a Bergamote, a sweet speciality from Nancy.


So I’ve just finished the cover of a “Best Of” that Murat didn’t want. In one of the artwork images Jean-Louis is digging hard into the ground. I took all the photos for the cover in 2009, one summer when Jean-Louis and I spent a few days together. In the heat of the afternoon, Jean-Louis offered to dig up a gentian root to distil a bottle of alcohol for me to collect and drink the following winter.


To the last message I wrote him, even though he read it on Wednesday, Jean-Louis will never reply. 


“Bonjour le “Best” chanteur de France et de Navarre, personnellement je suis très fier de t’avoir fait un disque beau et beau sur un disque beau. La boîte son et mot en valise de JLM. A big kiss to you, M. ” 


Jean-Louis Murat was so handsome that drawing him was a waste of time. But I tried. I still have a drawing of Jean-Louis that Murat didn’t like, a portrait dating from 2011, in which he is like a mountain at the base of which are all the letters of his first name and surname, as if carved out of the rock of his immense and eternal poetic figure. J, E, A, N, L, O, U, I, S , je t’aime, M, U, R, A, T, je suis fan de toi.


Mathias, M/M (Paris)@mmparisdotcom  

Saturday 27 May 2023


M/M (Paris) designed the covers of “Taormina” (2006), “Charles & Léo” (2007), “Tristan” (2008), “Le Cours ordinaire des choses” (2009), “Best Of” (2023); as well as the “Caillou” video (in 2006).

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