The Covid-19 has inspired many music groups to create songs to lift the spirits of those in lockdown. And Les Horribles Cernettes too has recently released a Lockdown Song, which is dedicated to everyone in confinement. The Cernettes said, “However far apart, we’re all in this together and maybe we’ll get through it with a smile and of course… a song!”
A YouTube description added, “It’s hard to lock a good Cernette down but if you have to, this is what you get!”
Les Horribles Cernettes, The Horrible Cern Girls, is probably the world’s most famous local band formed by the employees of CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, based in Switzerland. But apart from their music, it is a group photo featuring the four performers that has been quoted by over 10,000 magazines, papers, TV channels, books and online news sites, because it is believed to be the first photo of an artist to be posted on the Web.
The group comprising Angela Higney, Michele de Gennaro, Colette Marx-Nielsen and Lynn Veronneau (from left) had their latest stage appearance in 2017 for a comeback concert at CERN to celebrate the 25th anniversary of their famous picture.
Incidentally, Michele, the founder of Les Horribles Cernettes, is a close relative of India Se Media’s co-founder Dev Inder Bhalla. The epoch-making picture was taken by her then-boyfriend (and later husband) Silvano de Gennaro, an IT engineer at CERN and a musician himself, on July 18, 1992. He took the photo at the Hardronic Music Festival, a “rock festival at CERN. Wanting a picture for a CD cover, he asked the four women to “lean in and smile” and took the picture on his Canon EOS 650. He later super-imposed the name of the band, Les Horribles Cernettes, in pink letters on the photo, using the very first version of Photoshop.
At that time, Berners Lee was developing software for the web to handle GIF images. He was working on the project in his office when he asked Silvano, sitting nearby, for some scanned photos to upload on the web. Silvano handed him the album cover. And Berners-Lee, a Cernettes fan, uploaded it. That’s how Michele and the Cernettes had the honour of being on the very first photo to appear on the web.
The photo was posted on a web page about the musical acts at CERN. Incidentally, the band, Les Horribles Cernettes, had the same initials, LHC, as the Large Hadron Collider later built at CERN.