Thursday, 7 February 2013

Johnny Hallyday: Dans Mes Yeux

Today sees the publication of Johnny Hallyday's autobiography Dans Mes Yeux, a work that has been much-anticipated in France since its publication was announced.

The book was co-authored with novelist Amanda Sthers and extracts are being serialised in L'Express.

Celebrity autobiographies have been big business in recent years, and most of these are fairly safe accounts that gloss over the star's difficult issues and don't say anything controversial for fear of damaging 'the brand'.

Many are little more than modern takes of the old concert programmes of the 70s, others celebrate 'celebrities' whose career involves little more than an appearance on a reality TV show and occasional pictures in the showbiz gossip columns in the tabloids.

Needless to say, an autobiography by a star with a career as long as Johnny's is bound to be a different story altogether. It's caused a huge reaction in France. I suppose it's only to be expected from a figure who's dominated the country's music scene for so long, and as a consequence probably filled more newspaper and magazine pages than any other celebrity.

He talks about other stars, referring to Michel Sardou as a "reactionary old git" ("vieux con réac"), says Claude François was so jealous of Hallyday's success that he chatted up his girlfriends and exes, and criticised his son David Hallyday's singing career.

As a consequence of the book, Johnny's ex-wife Adeline Blondieau has indicated she intends to sue for defamation, according to Nice Matin.

Meanwhile, Sardou told Le Figaro that while he was happy about comments on the Mémoires of La Rochefocauld, he didn't care about comments on Johnny's.

The book's also revealed Johnny's dislike for left-wing politics, insisting that it drives people to mediocrity. Not that Johnny's politics have been any great secret over the years, he was after all a friend of Nicolas Sarkozy during his time at the Élysée Palace.

However, one interesting line is that he says he once almost signed the Beatles as a backing band while they were working in Hamburg. Obviously it wasn't to be, but the possibility gives a lot of food for though.

Johnny meanwhile has been in London earlier this month recording an English language version of his most recent album L'attente.

We might a while longer waiting for an English translation of his autobiography to be published though.

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