|The man on the train
||[Dec. 6th, 2017|12:45 pm]
The Guardian reports the death of Johnny Hallyday. They seem a bit bemused by his standing in France, and evidently feel that there is something faintly absurd about being 'the French Elvis'. And no doubt there is, but then, when you think about the later life of the American Elvis, Johnny Hallyday never became that absurd. The news story quotes Emmanuel Macron's tweet that "On a tous en nous quelque chose de Johnny," but for some reason the French president has chosen to link to a song other than the one he is alluding to. I'm not a fan of stadium rock, but can't resist Quelque chose de Tennessee. YouTube offers a choice of versions, and I am tempted by this duet with songwriter Michel Berger, but opted in the end for this one:
It's immensely sentimental, and I don't suppose the America it depicts has ever existed outside the cinema, but it feels sincere. There's an echo of the same persona in Patrice Leconte's casting of Johnny Hallyday opposite Jean Rochefort in L'homme du train, in which he more than held his own.
Not so much the French Elvis, in fact, as the French Johnny Cash.
This entry cross-posted from Dreamwidth: comments always welcome, at either location.