Title: Simple Plan: The Official Story / Simple Plan: L’Histoire Officielle
Previously known as: photo book, picture book, coffeetable book, SP book
Versions: French and English
Date of release (French version): November 8th 2012
Date of release (English version): November 22nd 2012
Text: Kathleen Lavoie
Graphic design: Fred Jerome
Photography: Patrick Langlois, Sim Klugerman, Mark Staubach and Chady Awad
Merchdirect: English ($34.99)
– the book has 304 pages
– 10% of the profits from the sale of the book will go to the Simple Plan Foundation.
The first mentions of a “photobook” emerged probably around 2005 when Simple Plan already had two albums out and thousands of pictures put aside for putting them together one day into a photobook documenting the career of the band.
In fall 2006 on the Man Of The Hour show, Patrick and Sebastien mentioned the band was currently putting the final touches on the “picture book”:
Patrick: “With the years we’ve done some cool stuff and we’ve traveled around the world with Simple Plan quite a bit and I have kept snapping shots all over. And this year we’ve realized that I’ve had a whole lot of pictures.”
Seb: Correct me if I’m wrong but is it something about 20 000?
Patrick: “Yeah, we’ve had 20 000 pictures we went through but we’ve cut it down to all the pictures we thought represented the past six years perfectly and it’s amazing how every picture kind of tells a story. And when they don’t then we kind of write it down, so we’re doing a picture book, that’s kind of a coffee table book and is going to be the Simple Plan history in pictures: from literally six years ago when you guys weren’t signed…”
Seb: “Till about a couple weeks ago when we played some shows.”
Patrick: “Yeah. Seriously, the last picture is from this summer. And soon enough.. We’re finishing the book right now, so we now have deadlines and we have things we need to finish, so that’s what I’ve been doing every day and Sebastien has been helping along.”
Seb: “Yeah, because you work at my neighbour’s house – Fred (Jerome) who we’ve mentioned before.
Patrick: “And Chuck has been coming also, peeking behind our shoulders and helping out with all the texts and the pictures and everything and well.. everyone has been helping out. I’m excited! I feel like I’ve been working on it the whole summer and we can finally talk about it and even though it won’t be out for kind of a little while, we’re putting the finishing touches on it. It’s kind of like a record: you finish it and you still kind of need to manufacture it and get it out in the stores. But early 2007 should be a rad Simple Plan picture book and hopefully you guys will all check it out.”
– Man Of The Hour (s01e09) –
Years went by and every once in a while the fans kept on asking about the promised photobook. Amanda of one of the biggest fansites back in time – SimplePlanOnline.com – asked Chuck about the “picture book” at the end of her Q&A session in August 2007 and according to Chuck it was “almost finished”:
“We’re still working on it. We wanna have it come out when the record comes out. That’s the plan. We’ve been working on it last year. Fred, our graphic designer, and Patrick and myself have been working a lot on it and it looks great – the pictures are amazing and, you know, we’re like in the finishing, sort of, last few weeks, or like last month tweaking it and making sure it’s great. Then it’s gonna go to the printer and then you’ll have it in your hands! When the record comes out.”
– Chuck Comeau –
Another mention can be found in an interview for RockLouder.co.uk back in December 2007, where David is asked about it again:
“Oh yeah, we’ve been working on that for a really long time, and i think sometime next year, it will definitely come to conclusion, and you’ll definitely be able to get your hands on it. I’ve actually seen a rough copy of it the other day and there’s some really, really great shots in there. It’s gonna be quite an interesting book!”
– David Desrosiers –
Yet, February 2008 came around, the self-titled album dropped and there was still no photobook on the horizon. In December 2009, during Chuck’s and Pierre’s live webchat, the fans asked about the “coffe table book” and this is what Chuck had to say about it:
“A long time ago we talked about doing a book and actually, it’s kind of been brought up again! Patrick, although he has moved on to a new career, he’s still gonna help us make the book, cause it’s all his pictures. So I think maybe we’ll try to do some special thing with the new record. That’s kind of the new idea. Maybe when the record comes out, you’ll be able to buy some sort of a deluxe edition with the book.”
– Chuck Comeau –
Yet in June 2011 “Get Your Heart On!” was released and unfortunately there was no deluxe version with the photobook available anywhere. In September 2011 SimplePlan.cz finally had the chance to interview the band again and couldn’t forget to ask about the photobook during its interview with Chuck and Sebastien. Chuck said it’s taking a little longer than he thought it would but he still really wants it to happen.
It then only took a few more months when in March 2012 Simple Plan celebrated the 10th anniversary since the release of their debut album and things were finally starting to take shape. In an interview that Chuck gave to AlterThePress, he talks a bit more about the band’s upcoming ways of celebrating their 10th anniversary – and among them also the photo book:
“We’re working on a photo book, like a history of the band, over 250 pages. We’ve been taking pictures since day one, we have over 30,000 pictures and it’s crazy how much stuff we got from backstage, live to on the bus, and I think we want to put something beautiful together to commemorate the history of the band. It’s a project of mine, which I’ve been thinking about for a long time and now it’s actually in motion.
– Chuck Comeau –
Finally in May 2012, for the first time this project officially stopped being refered to as just a “photobook” and it was decided that it would become a proper book – in English and in French (and still including hundreds of photos). It was announced that the book (of more than 300 pages) would be released in November 2012, by the local publisher La Presse and apart from the pictures, it would also include a complete written history of the band (by Kathleen Lavoie) and also lots of memorabilia, fans’ letters, backstage passes and more other stuff that the band has kept for the past 10 years of their career.
The day after the press release about the release date of the book got published, Chuck, as the main initiator of this project, talked a bit more about it on Twitter:
“I am so excited about this project! Honestly, you won’t believe the stuff we kept in our archives! Handwritten letters and lyrics, plane tickets, backstage passes, demos etc. Our friends Patrick, Sim, Chady and Mark Staubach took over 30 000 pictures on and off the stage. It is so hard to choose!”
– Chuck Comeau –
Chuck and Fred kept on working on the book for the next couple months, day and night – even on days-off on the Simple Plan South American tour. Chuck mentioned once in October 2012:
“Still working extra hard and overtime on the SP book! Hands down the biggest, most ambitious and toughest project I have been involved in. I think you guys will absolutely love it! We poured our hearts and soul in it! It’s gonna be something I will show to my kids one day!”
– Chuck Comeau –
In October 2012, at a live stream from the Simple Plan show in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Pierre for the first time revealed that the title of the book would be “Simple Plan: The Official Story” and soon after that the book finally started appearing on various book retailers’ websites for pre-order, with the French version of it being released on November 8th 2012.