The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011


The Eiffel Tower as painted by Robert DelaunayThe CLUAS gaffer, in his infinite wisdom, picked the Eiffel Tower as the signature image for this blog. And with good reason - it's by far the most identifiable symbol of Paris and France. (He also did well in picking a photo that makes it seem as if the tower is located by a lake in the middle of lush green fields.)

If you've been to Paris you've surely visited it. The best way to find it is to get out of the metro at Trocadero, where the giant Palais de Chaillot hides the tower from view. Suddenly, you round the corner and there it is, across the river, immense and beautiful. After years of living here, it still takes our breath away. It's the most visited pay-to-enter site in the world.

In its early years it wasn't so loved. Guy de Maupassant hated the tower so much that every day he ate lunch in its first floor restaurant; he said that it was the only place in Paris where you couldn't see the tower. A temporary structure for the 1889 World Exhibition, the tower was almost pulled down after its original 20-year lease expired. It was saved because Radio France needed its height for the huge antenna which still tops the tower today.

Many visitors to the Eiffel Tower try to recreate the famous sequence from 'A View To A Kill' where Roger Moore chases Grace Jones up the steps. (Tourists are generally dissuaded from copying the parachute jump at the end).

Duran Duran at the Eiffel Tower for their A View To A Kill videoThe film's theme song was performed by Duran Duran (left), and they made the video on the tower, playing at being spies.

At the time, the band members were not on great terms, so it's appropriate that the video features them trying to kill each other. The promo photo (left) was apparently taken after much persuasion to make the five bandmates stand together in the same spot.

Inevitably, it ends with the band's singer smarmily introducing himself as "Bon, Simon Le Bon". He shouldn't have been so smug. Performing the song at Live Aid, with a TV audience of half the world or so, Le Bon hit the most notorious bum note in pop history.

Here's the Parisian video, then, for Duran Duran's 'A View To A Kill':


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Nuggets from our archive

2003 - Witnness 2003, a comprehensive review by Brian Kelly of the 2 days of what transpired to be the last ever Witnness festival (in 2004 it was rebranded as Oxegen when Heineken stepped into the sponsor shoes).