Dick Rivers, famous French rocker inspired by Elvis, has died.
You may be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Dick Rivers, even less his real name, Hervé Forneri, born in Nice in 1945. Like so many French pop icons of that time, he took an English name to appeal to both French and international audiences. Like Johnny Hallyday, the most famous French rocker of all time, born Jean-Philippe Léo Smet, and Eddy Mitchell, the sole survivor of that generation and my personal favourite, born Claude Moine. The French have always been enamored of English-sounding names.
Dick Rivers began his career in 1960 as the lead singer of a group called Les Chats Sauvages (the Wild Cats). He went solo in 1962 and became a pop sensation inspired by his idol Elvis Presley who he met in 1969.
Check out the ‘hommage’ to Dick Rivers in the above video (in French) featuring a rare cameo of Paul McCartney and John Lennon at 3:15 introducing the famous French crooner to British audiences. Love his accent!