Johnny hallyday - hits & rarities volume 2
So it comes down to this: even for those French people who, like me, aren't crazy about his oeuvre, Hallyday will never die. He just can't. Having been a fixture of French pop culture for so long – his multiple marriages , political tantrums and health scares are a national saga not unlike the most gripping of South American telenovelas – his death would be devastating, marking the end of an era. What would we do without Johnny? Well, listen to better music, for one. Perhaps the French would finally hail Bruce Springsteen as the prince of rock, turning to him in droves for some honest working-class music drenched in nostalgia (I can picture myself driving a Chevrolet Impala along Route 66, with Born to Run blaring through the speakers. Imagine it with Johnny's Ma Gueule , and it's not quite the same.)
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American newspaper USA Today once dubbed Hallyday “the greatest rock star you never heard of,” but in France he was a monument known simply as “Johnny.”
Over the decades, Hallyday reportedly sold more than 100 million records and performed before more than 15 million people in concert. In 1966, he selected Jimi Hendrix as an opening act and used eventual Led Zeppelin founder Jimmy Page in the recording studio as a session guitarist.
He became the musical equivalent of the French independent nuclear deterrent: proof that France is a grown-up country that does not have to rely on US missiles or US pop stars. He was a warm, genuine, big-hearted, uncomplicated man and a surprisingly good actor. He became a personal friend of two presidents who declared themselves spiritual successors to De Gaulle, Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy. He became a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, the order reserved for the “living elite of the nation”.
Johnny is an English language personal name. It is usually an affectionate diminutive of the masculine given name John, but since the 16th century, it has sometimes ...