Monday, November 9, 2015

Philippe Bilger – “My meeting with Johnny Hallyday” – Le Point

When I heard the news, a very great impatience and both a huge fright. You have to understand me. I had a shock when Le Point asked me to go and interview Johnny Hallyday, even for an interview only ten minutes, on the occasion of the release of his fiftieth studio album – a record! – And the publication of a book, The Promised Land , desired by the singer and written by Philippe Manoeuvre. It was not nothing, indeed, to know that I would meet much more than an artist. A man in nearly two months, with the same age as me and having chanted my story, my life since its emergence, very young, and his first media appearance with Aimée Mortimer to the undisputed brilliance, with a voice that time has enhanced, the star of today.

During the journey, his songs, his “tubes”, his presence, his happiness, his misfortunes have made not only unsurpassable personality in terms of talent and engineering stage but also a part of my existence. As if, for me who have little memory to remind me of my childhood and my youth, there were fortunately Johnny Hallyday to offer me benchmarks and anchors saving me of forgetting myself and mingling emotions my emotional. When I found myself at the Peninsula where a press conference, devoted only to the live album was to be held, hosted by Philippe Manoeuvre, and where I could, in time, with him, spend a few minutes with Johnny for questioning, I observed what was going on with curiosity sharpened by the fact that this situation was a “first” for me absolute

Johnny:. a force, a gift and a Alchemy

agitation but orderly, controlled. The excitement, but lovable. Rhythm, waiting, but hoped that would let his chance. The professionalism, competence, but without arrogance or contempt for the profane. All that mattered had shared: Johnny Hallyday, service and the admiration he aroused. Before the press conference, an exciting movie on the preparation of a new album with Johnny at the top of his vocal power. Then the exercise of confrontation with fifty journalists.

When Johnny Hallyday has arisen in the room appeared, one is immediately in the heart of the subject. It is a force, a gift and alchemy. A presence, density, assertiveness that did not need words. He was there and all was said. Occupying the space that submits willingly, he moved in the middle of the one who was the architect of the album, Yodelice, and some of lyricists. He listens, waits, patient and answers, when he is required, the basic or convoluted questions from journalists. Clearly, this is not the kind of exercise they prefer. It forces him to talk about anything but music and he hates that. It is not granted, as he states in the book, these French “who take off his head.” We still learn that, according to him, rock died in the 60s with the death of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, he loves rockabilly rock from which he came out and the project , always with Yodelice, preparing an album exclusively on the musical register.

Then he goes away and then soon it will be my time and his. Philippe Manoeuvre, friendly and omniscient vibrio, gives interviews and is never far from me. Sébastien Farran, the manager, Eve, rigorous and effective, that nothing will go wrong. I also want to review the notes I took from reading this singular book, lively, rhythmic, which chronicles the tour that Johnny was completed in twenty US cities. Most of the time with excellence and professionalism that have filled. Philippe Maneuver wrote beautiful pages on the irreplaceable atmosphere, overworked, exciting, tense this life where we do not stop where we have no right to fail, when all energy is put to the service a great artist both clearly sympathetic but does not tolerate mediocrity technical, professional. Johnny Hallyday had asked Philippe Manoeuvre: “Give me a good trick rock and roll. Tells what we experienced here in the United States. “Pari filled held. Interviews with musicians, the faithful, the manager Johnny come happily demonstrates this unique world of movement and adhesion. We want to be there, we would have loved to be.

A block, a mass, a monster in the best sense

In a few seconds, it will be my . I do not have stage fright. Pure happiness. I have so many questions to make, but so little time. I am before him who sits in a chair. Philippe Manoeuvre is next to him. I express my admiration and thanks me. Not being a literary critic, I read the book carefully. And after 10, 11 minutes, I was warned. This will be my last question. I formula, I welcome it and I go out. Philippe Manoeuvre comes to me, promised me the verbatim – he will keep his word – and was kind enough to tell me that he never heard Johnny meet like this, that the questions were good, singular. Johnny Hallyday is a block, a mass, a monster in the proper sense, a star, but with infinite delicacy and fragility reassuring. When I mix what I have seen, read, heard at the press conference and then by myself alone, the force lines emerge and I think I can allow me to summarize this human and artistic complexity, mystery dazzling fifty years – and any success that lasts is a matter – in some meaningful insights

First, I blame myself for falling into the trap of relative poverty verbal Johnny.. Clearly it is not seeking a second to be misled in this respect, but its dominant concern has never been one. The artist, who has requirements for it, himself is an outstanding interpreter of the words he requested on specific and sensitive issues and he sings with an understanding and emotion none. It is also very aware of that quality when he points out that too many singers’ sing the words without living them then that we must seek the intention … we must live the words, to put the emotions to the people receive “. Empathic approach all the more necessary today could no longer sing Da doo ron ron . “

Rocker and father

Next, Johnny has a clear perception of what it is, what it needs and which irrigates its existence. He built it in such a way that today is the foundation on which a double happiness of life is growing and, obviously fills. “I’m a rocker and a father … there’s the band and there family. “Believing see me doubt, kindly, he reassures me,” You know, we can be rocker and be a family man. “I retorted that if I was not one, I am the other.

To listen, we feel that its purpose is not vain that led him to take the two ends of a chain, a whole fury, intensity and spectacle, the other made of tranquility and discretion, with the firm intention to separate the two worlds and the burning desire for respect this sharing by journalists who often questioning him about his “secret garden”. As much as it is ready to abandon everything required passion and glory of rock rocker, so it is genuinely reluctant to offer more to public curiosity in the media inquisition. The magazines that their intrusion into the private world honey celebrities have no sympathy. At the same time, it is not neutral as the band and family are of course different communities, but indisputable. This is not a man of solitude, but in the music fraternity as in the sphere of love and friendship.

Those people, song that made me cry “

In addition, we guess it’s no coincidence that Johnny Hallyday has committed so young his whole body, his whole soul into rock. When he describes the spirit of this music both incandescent and eruptive and looks at the blues, it evokes the feeling, loneliness, despair and determination to hope. Against the evidence, against the pain of love, against the wounds of life. His personality, since it is offered to the public fascinated by the artist as it reveals the innermost being, has continued to be structured around the shadows of melancholy and deleterious dizziness, but also professional lights gladness of lasting glory that age does not affect even a condition that makes the artist a man for life nestled in the heart of the French. Johnny Hallyday without these contrasting ways, from top to bottom of the soul, from the bottom to the top of the rock, would be inconceivable as it is itself such hope and such distress drifts impulses. And it’s always him who wins in the end.

His self-knowledge also makes the very attentive to the tone of the blues. It considers that Jacques Brel, with, for example, “ These people , which song (s)” made him cry, “had the blues in the blood and thus expresses that although au Beyond music, the blues is a homeland Finally, Johnny, if he is infinitely small, and it’s not an attitude affected the private registry. – “I am so Jean-Philippe Smet and I never talk about my job as Jean Gabin “- self-consciousness in its capacity as artist and he knows what he is is not vanity, but well-placed pride There it is.. shall we to him and that the public must

In the book, his only real anger directed to a “show” in Boston where nothing was. neither micro nor light nor too small dining preventing it from moving. He felt that this show was unworthy of him and therefore the spectators who had to listen. uttering “I do not sing in the subway,” he expressed not contempt, but the obligation of his burden, and thus on his team, to offer every time a concert held high. I also noticed as those around him had had the happy contagion excellence advocated by the “boss”. Rigor, exemplary without arrogance in simplicity

“J loves the stage and I love people … “

Above all, Johnny Hallyday does not look like Claude François, who had a low opinion of his audience. Instead, he says: “I love the stage and I love people … I have respect for these people, that audience is waiting …” The desire to give the best of itself to the multitude has meant that Johnny Hallyday has a voice that becomes more and more exceptional power and flexibility “because it improves the work on the stage, not the singing lessons that teach what the teacher wants.” When I allowed myself a sincere admiration and confidence on “Johnny was a part of our national heritage and presence in the history of many,” I put modesty to the test. Trivially, he replied: “I am a man with his faults and qualities. “It’s him. Everything for the artist, singer and actor

He frankly laughed when I asked about this amusing definition of Philippe Manoeuvre. “Johnny is the natural son of Jean Gabin and Elvis. “Having become a” patriarch “like the first, with unparalleled density to be, and dazzling as the second, with the rhythm and rock in the skin. Holding the candle to the passage of time. Johnny is more. Because all the French have in them some Johnny Hallyday.

Promised Land Johnny Hallyday and Philippe Manoeuvre (Fayard ed) out November 16.


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