Adieu à un rockeur français

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!

Adieu Dick!


  1. phildange · April 27, 2019

    Hmmm . I always prefered by far Eddy Mitchell, for his intelligence, his love and work for cinema, the fact he was a rocker as I like them, and above all his decontraction and his humour . When this consensual Dick Rivers called his band “The wild cats”, Eddy named his “The Black Socks”😛 .It was the time of the famous “blousons noirs” (black jackets), bad young men proliferating in France following Dean and Brando’s “The Wild One” . In this period with no second degree humour about this subject yet, the name Eddy chose showed what guy he was . Sorry, I won’t miss Dickhead .🙄

    • MELewis · April 27, 2019

      Good old Eddy, eh? As you say he doesn’t take himself too seriously, has a truly nice voice and writes his own texts. I love ‘La dernière séance.’

  2. Becky Ross Michael · April 27, 2019

    Interesting peek at music that I knew nothing about!

    • MELewis · April 27, 2019

      Thanks! I think it’s rare that anyone outside of France would be familiar with these rockers.

  3. Sartenada · May 22, 2019

    Je ne le connaissais pas, mais beaucoup d’autres, comme Johnny Hallyday.

    • MELewis · May 23, 2019

      Dick Rivers était très connue en France mais personnellement j’en n’avais jamais entendu parler de lui avant mon arrivée ici. Johnny, c’était la vraie star!

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