PATRICE CAILLET - PARIS FRANCE

From a Parisian suburb, Patrice will take any defaced album cover you have.

Patrice Caillet – Paris, France

On a recent trip to Paris I stopped by to meet a pretty unique collector. Patrice Caillet collects records, some Jazz some Rock, Garage and other oddities, but this is not the reason we met. Actually, he refused to show me any of his real records. Real records?? are there any fake records involved?? not exactly, but sort of.

Patrice’s other collection concentrates on a bizarre and totally unacknowledged side of art and music. It’s all about re-imagined and reconstructed music album sleeves.
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I took the Metro to our meeting point just outside of the “Montreuil” Metro station, and even though I didn’t know how he looks like, he said I’ll have no problem to spot him down. And indeed It wasn’t. He was standing on the stairs of the town hall holding up a vinyl record with shiny red marks pasted on it. just in case it wasn’t clear enough. Thorough guy.

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We walked for about 10 minutes to reach his humble apartment. 4th floor walk up. We listened to some experimental Jazz as background music while drinking coffee and talking about his collection. I wanted to take a photo of his house, but he was persistent in his objection to be presented as a vinyl collector. “Let’s go to my office in the basement” he said. “That’s where the real interesting stuff is..”

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Down again, 4 stories, no elevator, we reach the stuffy basement “office” or study, to be more precise.

Patrice starts to pull out some albums from his collection. They are weird and freaky sometimes. I get a weird feeling while taking photos. I can’t really explain. I guess it is the extreme change of scene. From documenting serious vinyl collectors with real heavy collections, I find myself in this basement, taking serious photos of amateur, infantile record covers. But wait, this collection is serious! Patrice’s observations and comments and his endless passion and admiration to this art form slowly gets to me, persuading me that this is nothing to look down at. He mentions “Art Brut”, Outsider Art.

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The Ramones

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Modified grease as a punk detournement

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A red Lee Scratch Perry

As he keeps pulling more sleeves, I start getting used to the idea and actually  enjoy it. Some make me laugh, most of them open a window to the previous owner’s private life. Love stories, personal jokes, obsessive thoughts, emotions and cynical critique, all come together in this rare and beautiful collection.
The more I enjoy it, I start to realize the amount of sleeve covers that are piled on the shelves. There is no way I could show all these pieces in an appealing way.
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4 versions of the Hit single “Eloise” by Barry Ryan from different unknown people.
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2 versions of the Kim wild record sleeve. One contains a Stevie wonder SP, probably the original cover was lost
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Michael Jac ? son ??
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One of the first remade sleeve in this collection . From a close friend
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A complete found copy book of Beatles remade covers and illustrations
Patrice comes up with a great idea. “Let’s make a spontaneous art exhibition outside in the public yard. C’mon, let’s go, before lunch time”. We are now 3 of us, Patrice, myself and Phil, Patrice’s friend who also collect records, real records.
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We go outside and they immediately start installing their improvised art exhibition, using found object to support the hanging lines. They are serious about it, calculating the distance between each sleeve, the total height and color schemes. I feel I should leave them alone and I head back to the study to take some more photos.
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A bloody Lionel Hampton
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Phil Collins , surely better in this way?
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Blue Eyed Sheila
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Lucid “nicedream” in French Face painted
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Great Disco tune ! hand made graphic with coll instead of cool
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Fats Waller remade , nice drawing. This one is not very interesting. In fact I prefer the modified ones.
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Le Knack
Roughly 30 minutes later, Patrice rushes me to come out of the basement and see the show. “Quick quick, before it rains…. and we also need to get lunch!!”.
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The Stones are now wearing full beards; Sheila, a famous French singer, looks like she just came out of a movie by Almodóvar; the famous PIL record has now become just P; the guys in Kraftwerk have just had an aura photo taken; and the likely-Catholic owner of that Blondie 45 has saved Debbie Harry from her tendency towards brazen self-exposure by chastely extending the hem of her garment from mid-thigh to ankle.
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Stones modified french single with mustaches. One of my favorites !
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Sheila , a popular french female singer with a paper mask
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Those eyes ! modified Us Lp
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A modified Kraftwerk in a pretty nice “Hindu” style.
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The Pil LP , with the P colored in red.
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Holes in the cover.
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NEU with doodles.
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Sacha Distel a popular french singer with eyes.
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We are finally ready for lunch. Patrice takes down the exhibition and we head to his favorite bistro for the highly anticipated lunch. When we depart, I have this nice warm feeling (supported by the bottle of red wine) of satisfaction. Yes, I did something completely different today.
Check out Patrice’s Website and book here:

14 Responses

  1. this is also pretty great – somewhat similar to the White Album exhibit – although as a collector I am always looking for the most pristine copies, I love how others see the beauty in these defaced, worn out copies – it helps reinforce the reason why most of us collect: because vinyl will out live us all.

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  3. Far from the “near mint obsession”, Patrice Calliet prove, in a very funny and original way, that every record tells a story.
    Nice job again Eilon. Your website is definitively one of my favorites.

  4. // SUPERPIOTR

    I met Patrice at the Utrecht fair a few years back and bought his book, “Discographisme Récréatif.” Nice guy with an interesting obsession. The book is nice to have as a weird outsider art book. Kind of fascinating. I like some of the more idiosyncratic collections you profile.

    If you’re ever in Poland, look me up, I’ve got a few thousand crazy LPs shoehorned into a little Polish apartment! :)

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