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!

En rouge et noir

Here is my song for a Saturday. Voici ma chanson pour un samedi.

The year was 1986. Haircuts were punk and shoulders were wide when I first landed in Paris. The music on the radio that year included this hit from the lovely Jeanne Mas.

How I admired her elfin look! She had something edgy but very feminine that was probably born of her Spanish and Italian origins.

Jeanne Mas wasn’t exactly a one-hit wonder but her fame faded out in the 90s. Still, this song from 1986 will always be associated with my first year in France.

What’s your favourite 80’s song?