Fred Chichin of “Les Rita Mitsouko” died yesterday

This is very sad news. When we met, my wife Guylaine and I used to dance around the house listening to their French megahit Marcia Baila from their 1984 album. Ironically that song is about a dancer who herself died of cancer. We have been listening to this song all day yesterday with tears in our eyes.

Goodbye Fred – your music lives on.

From a news report:


fred2.jpgFred Chichin, the guitarist who founded the popular French pop group duo Rita Mitsouko, has died aged 53 of cancer, record label Because and concert organiser Corida said in a joint statement Wednesday.

Chichin, who formed the group in 1979 with his partner, singer Catherine Ringer, died after falling ill only two months ago. The group had had to cancel a string of recent concerts, including one on Wednesday evening at Paris’ famed Olympia concert hall.

Rita Mitsouko’s latest album “Variety” was released in April.

Ringer and Chichin, who in his teens was a fan of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, chose the name of the group on the grounds that “Rita” sounded South American and “Mitsouko” meant mystery in Japanese.

Their first hit, the 1984 tune “Marcia baila”, was a latino-rock piece written to pay homage to Argentine dancer Marcia Moretto, who died of cancer. It sold more than a million copies.

Their 11 albums carried rock, funk, punk, ska and latino sounds, as well as a dose of humour.

3 responses to “Fred Chichin of “Les Rita Mitsouko” died yesterday

  1. Death of almost anybody is a loss. Interestingly I immigrated to US from Geneva in 1984 but never heard before about Rita Mitsuoko. Their 1984 hit sounds still fresh after more than 20 years. In my case it also brings the nostalgia of the time I was in the French speaking (and singing) world. Plus quite younger…

  2. I just recently discovered that Fred has passed. I remember being in the middle of a dance floor at a club in Austin, Texas in ’84 & “Marcia Baila” started playing. Few songs inspire me to get up early the next morning to search the record stores for a 12-inch single, but being from the Midwest, I wasn’t about to return home without a copy of that song. I’ve been a huge fan since then. I had the opportunity to see them during the U.S. leg of the No Comprendo Tour , they were way ahead of the time, trend-setters, they shot for the art of it all.

  3. Marie Narsoomamode

    I’m very shocked with Fred Chichin’s death and been a fervent fan of the group since the 80’s. Can’t wait to see Catherine ringer in concert in London next month

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