The first photo shoot was made in 1983 long before the release of the 45 rpm. John Frost had met Mylène who was then a model and had photographed her for a possible book. Laurent Boutonnat and Mylène, seduced by these shots, used one of them for the cover of Mylène’s first 45 rpm released in its first version in March 1984. A second photo session with John Frost was organized in 1984 for the release of the second version of the 45 Tours during the summer of 1984 (with a new cover).
Some photos were taken while Mylène was a student at Cours Florent and before she recorded the song. It was Laurent Boutonnat (the composer) and Jérôme Dahan (the lyricist) of Maman a tort ) who proposed to use them for the 45 rpm.
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN FROST Fanzine Instant-mag 2003
“Coming from England, I first worked as a still photographer and soon settled in a studio near Clichy, Paris, where I started to take portraits of people, among others, Mylène Gautier!
We did photos together for her book. From there, was born the first cover of Mylène, for Maman a tort.
I think something happened between us and she indulged in some pretty fascinating photos. It didn’t go smoothly! Mylène was extremely nervous. Little anecdote, I’ve never seen someone be able to tear open a pack of cigarettes in such a short time! Extraordinary ! After the shots, we would have a coffee and she would reduce her pack of cigarettes to powder! Mylène was also extremely shy. We talked about that not long ago with Isabelle Nanty, with whom I stayed in contact… But Mylène ‘broken up’ with all these people, from the start of her career as a singer, it seems.
Maman a tort
So I had taken these photos with Mylène, and then Jérôme Dahan and Laurent Boutonnat came to see me. They wanted to use the photos from this session to make the cover of the first 45 rpm. Why Laurent didn’t take these photos himself remains a great mystery… But I don’t really know the relationship between Laurent and Mylène. In any case, she hadn’t told me, when taking the photos, that she was thinking of a career as a singer. She wanted to be an actress, even if she didn’t feel comfortable at Cours Florent.
Like many, by the way. Les Cours Florent is very special, there are a lot of rich children who go there to pass the time. But there are also, in the heap, many famous people who came out of it… It is certain that Mylène was not very happy at the Florent course. Mylène was modest and at the same time, she wanted to show off. And I think it shows in the photos I took. I enjoyed taking pictures of her. As I recall we did three sessions, which took place in my studio. Mylène brought a certain number of clothes, and I decided what to do. It lasted three to four hours each time. I remember that at one point, she left the studio crying, but I don’t remember exactly why! I caught up with her, and afterwards, it went very well!
I have great memories of Mylène. All I regret is never having been able to take pictures of her again. It hurt me a lot. I saw her recently on TV, at the “NRJ Music Awards”. But what she does is not my thing! I don’t mind it, but I have trouble with French songs, anyway! That does not prevent that at the time, I adored Mylène as a person. I think I still have a vinyl of Maman a tort. somewhere. I am very happy for her that she has come to this. In any case, she carried within her the potential to become a star. She has changed a lot since then. I have many photos where she smiles, spontaneously. Now she is no longer smiling. What a pity !
Dahan and Lepage
I saw Jérôme Dahan again four years ago in a café on rue Lepic. He too was ‘evicted’ from the Farmer-Boutonnat duo. This takes nothing away from what I think of Laurent’s talent. I also photographed Sophie Tellier, when she was doing the choreography for Mylène…
Maman a tort came out, and it worked well, Mylène gave a few interviews and she always talked about me. It’s something that I really appreciated, because she didn’t have to. I also rubbed shoulders with Bertrand Lepage. He was someone very special. He left music for a while after his collaboration with Mylène, and he became an actor’s agent. He called me one day saying that my photos were wonderful, which he had never seen (Laughs). So I did a session with a girl he had sent me and with whom I tested a new film. It was horrible, but the girl thought it was pretty, so I gave her the pictures. Two days later, I received a call from Lepage, who yelled at me!
But I won’t tell you more, not in front of a tape recorder! I don’t have a good memory of it, for ridiculous reasons that I don’t have to mention here. According to a mutual friend, Laurent’s goal had always been to make films. The whole story of Mylène was secondary to his films. The first memory I have of Laurent is that of a big boy, who looked like he was 14, with a pipe! They both came, with Jérôme, and spoke to me about Maman a tort. From that moment on, I never saw Mylène again. I had her phone but it was impossible to reach her. I don’t know why. After Maman a tort, Laurent had everything under control.”
That’s all, my dear friends, you have heard the story from John Frost himself – and it is up to you to draw any conclusions based on that. In addition I can only say that John remains very private and there is not much information about him and his latest work – rumors have it – he now works in NYC and does film productions as a professional photographer.
love to all!