TURN ON THE TRIBUTE
Johnny Hallyday, 1943-2017
Jean-Philippe Smet, 74, loved motorcycles (and cars). Anonymous and personalities from the motorcycle world tell us what the death of Johnny, who disappeared last night, reminds them of.
To be completely honest, the death of Johnny Hallyday last night from lung cancer affected part of the Motorcycle Journal of the Net without moving the other…
- MNC Live :
Question of age, no doubt. The youngest of our journalists, born in 1980, understands that during Johnny’s concert at the Olympia (1966? 1968?), It was Jimi Hendrix who played his first part and not the other way around! The second youngest, born a few months earlier, dedicates "total respect" to the work of the man, his 40 albums and his 110 million records. But if he admits having often been tempted to go to attend one of his concerts, he always backed down by "fear of being drowned in the beautiful attitude".
As for the third, born ten years before these two whippersnappers, his most moving memory of Johnny is linked to his 6th grade class, in the years 1979/80, when a "big" 3rd grade – who was not yet called a hottie – wore the singer’s effigy on the back of his denim jacket … For others, Johnny’s death evokes in bulk the fact that he was "ten years younger than my father while Jean d’Ormesson was ten more ", or that" on recent images he sported a large Catholic cross "…
Some still like Sophie, inspector of youth and sports, remember "that in September 1998, I had bled in all four veins to offer my parents two places for the first concert at the Stade de France, but I prefer Brad Pitt 😉 ". For Arthur, 17, Jojo evokes "an ad for glasses and the song", while Caroline, director of programs, remembers "the premature announcement of his death last week by a so-called very close, Puppets of course, and this morning my guy ignoring me to text Johnny’s death "…
- Back to an era :
Suzanne, 10, wonders what he was singing about this Johnny who is "dead like Michael Jackson and Jean-Claude François" while Elsa, 21, finds that "it is not easy as a question, it is not really my generation … I know a few songs, of course, but from there to find memories related to Johnny "…
Julien, lighting designer, makes a real effort of memory to remember "an accident (cardiac or due to the ax?) In an old Paris Match around 1980 during his concerts (Palais des Sports?) In black leather, where he I was also a little jealous of my friends Raphaël and Christophe, when Raphaël’s father took them to see Johnny in Angoulême in 1987 … And two weeks ago, without ulterior motives, I bought a 33rpm record of "Que je t’aime" in public and I played it to Renaud just yesterday! "
- Married :
Stéphane, trainer, remembers only "his coming to the Virgin of the Champs-Elysées in 1998 for a dedication". Chantal, cashmere sweaters saleswoman, admits to having "tears in her eyes" while listening to "Que je t’aime". Florent, pastry chef, believes that a "legend has died out" and remembers a "magnificent duet with his son David on Sang pour sang". Attika, director of human resources, immediately associates Johnny with the "victory of France in 1998", then with the "significant number of look-alikes that I have encountered in all the districts where I have lived" and finally with "", " a song that moved me a lot "… Since Spain where she grew up, Ariane, a student, has" no memory of Johnny who was known there anyway, but we have always seen him as someone very eccentric, diva and very charismatic ".
And many others … But not enough to make a eulogy to the height of this monument of French popular culture which has now disappeared. That’s why we turned to various personalities in the motorcycle world, to find out what Johnny’s death meant to them on a personal level … And of course, use the comments below to share. !
Jean Basselin, writer and man of Johnny’s trust
"Of course it’s not a surprise, we don’t have many examples of people who got away with it, but when it comes down it hurts. A big man left, whom I was very lucky. to rub shoulders during his tours and on several motorcycle trips. We crossed the United States together on Harley several times, from east to west and from west to east. He called me his little brother, I felt like part of his family. My daughter was raised alongside Laura, he called them both his princesses. I had a slice of life with him that I never imagined ".
"A fully chrome and gold T120!"
"I met Johnny in the early 1970s. His secretary and bodyguard at the time, Sacha, was a friend of mine. One day he called me because Johnny’s motorcycle had broken down. I got around, I repair it and we start to sympathize. I made a first tour with him, it was the start of the Honda 750 Four in France and he wanted to be the first to have one! I was driving a Triumph and he was was had one made by Serge Limane, a Bonneville T120 completely chrome and gold, without a drop of paint! Anyone could have looked stupid on a motorcycle like that, but Johnny it suited him perfectly! It was a incredible guy. In 1986/87 I found him when I was in charge of a motorcycle shop in Boulogne, he bought me three motorcycles in 15 days! Johnny, what ".
"And then one day he said to me ‘you’re not fed up with motorcycles, I’m looking for someone to take care of my business and set up a crossing of the United States on a motorcycle" … 1998- 1992 was a bit of a Harley revival, so I contacted François Tarrou at Harley France who prepared the availability of the motorcycles with the seat in the USA We had a good time for 15 days, we were five motorcycles on the Santa Fe – Los Angeles trip. Then I started working with Johnny and we never left each other for six years. I went to see him when he lived in Los Angeles. Last year he rebuilt a road trip there on an Indian, but he was already less in shape ".
"Generous, alien and magician"
"For me, Johnny’s most iconic motorcycle is Harley, and in particular his Stinger he adored, the one he auctioned off at Rétromobile last year for 280,000 euros. He had had it for 30 years. , which is rare for Johnny because he loved having things as soon as they came out (Kawasaki 6-cylinder, Honda 750 Four, Hummer …) but then when everyone had them it was less fun. In three words for the define, I would say generous, extraterrestrial and magician. He could change your life "…
- Johnny Hallyday – My exceptional motorcycles and cars – 60 years of collection (Hugo Image, Nov 2017)
- Rock’n’roule – Motorcycles of Legends, Dream Cars of Johnny Hallyday (Arthéléna, oct. 2007)
Alain Brochery, organizer of the Great National Motorcycle Day
"We are at the Guidon d’Or 1990, we organized an evening with Wayne Rainey, active world champion in the trendy box of the Champs-Elysées. I do not remember the name, it was the showbiz meeting Parisian on the right going up the Champs (the Queen, Editor’s note?). We were sure that we would find stars and journalists there and that we would take the opportunity to promote alongside Wayne, who lent himself very easily to this exercise and wanted to discover a little Paris on this occasion. On our arrival, the host announces Wayne at the microphone. Pierre Billon and Johnny were there and Pierre comes to see me to tell me "Johnny is there, you can give me some VIP seats , maybe we’ll go to Carole ". I give him what he needs. Wayne has fun, dances, takes pictures … and suddenly he comes to see me and says" Alain, there to Johnny who is there … Let me take a picture with him! "I was stunned to learn that he knew and admired Johnny"…
"I had the impression that my youth was hugging me"
"Johnny showed up (Pierre had spoken to him after my intervention), with his kindness and his devastating smile … He was a little tired 😉 and bending down to take him in his arms, he fell on Wayne and both fell to the ground … Wayne was like a kid and Johnny kept telling him his admiration for his title and kept saying "Alain and Philippe are the best organizers that I know , you can be confident "… That’s it Johnny, he always arranged all the shots, understanding the underside very well and knowing very well that with a simple word he could make your day beautiful".
"The second memory that comes to mind is for the film, whose two main roles were Johnny and Luchini. I have to dub Johnny for what is called a ‘safety stunt’, it is not a pure stunt. but more than a "security" action, very often for insurance and not to take unnecessary risks for the shooting. It is always the pro stuntmen who perform them. During a concert reconstituted for the needs of the scenario on Villacoublay airbase, a giant stage has been recreated and 3000 bikers from Johnny’s fan clubs play the role of spectators. On the song "Allumer le feu", fireworks surround the star, fire, flares, etc. I must overtake Johnny by interfering in the center of the hearth – nothing sensational in our job, two stuntmen with hand extinguishers are also equipped with penetration suits just in case – I am equipped with the fire protection suit under the double of the suit from Johnny. Laeticia picks me up at mobile h ome dressing / makeup / hairstyle (the HMC) and tells me “Johnny wants to see you!” She takes me to his dressing room, Johnny is immediately brotherly, patting me on the shoulder and snapping his legendary wink that immediately gives you confidence:
- Him: You like it ?
- Me: Hi Johnny, it’s an honor and it breaks me down a lot, it will be a great moment for me !
- Him: You know the words to Light the Fire ?
- Me: By heart !
- Him: OK, you just have to start a little before the explosions and finish a little after, Laeticia is going to tell my musicians to continue the music a little, have fun but don’t burn yourself, who cares it…
And here I am on stage with his usual musicians who accompanied me to sing "Allumer le feu" in front of 3000 fans who were ordered to applaud during the sequence … Once the director’s "cut", Johnny enters on stage, does signs to the musicians and spectators to continue, comes to my side and claps his hands … I still tremble with emotion! At the end he took me in his arms, I was sobbing, I had the impression that my youth was hugging me … He said to me "stay a kid" … I doubled all the stars until to De Niro, but my most powerful memory is this. Johnny is kind to everyone. We could never leave him when we had the privilege of spending a moment by his side … Johnny is the embodiment of kindness. It would not be possible to list all those that he pulled out of the shit … Voila boss, I am deeply sad, like many "…
"Johnny had almost been the godfather of the MT-01"
Alexandre Kowalski, Yamaha Motor France Sales Director
"My first memory is with Jean-Claude Olivier during the auctions for Unicef, where JCO had raised the prices with Johnny. Then when Johnny had almost been the godfather of the MT-01, finally. It is a monument that leaves us, with very beautiful songs. He will remain a legend "…
Marc Fontan, former motorcycle rider
"I knew him a little, he invited me backstage during his big Mad Max tour at the Palais des Sports and I lent him a motorbike when I was at Pons. We spent the afternoon at his house in Marnes. -la-Coquette with Régis Laconi and we had a photo taken on a Yamaha Custom. He was "THE" French singer who makes people vibrate today, he was a guy, wowww, a voice, a charisma "…
Sam Thomas, director of Option Sport Evénement
"A song: The concerts: huge and intimate at the same time! And finally, Johnny was an eternal fan of motorcycles … RIP"…
- Envy :
Patrick Jacquot, CEO of the Mutuelle des Motards
"I’ve never been a fan in the groupie sense, but like many I guess (it’s generation) I have always listened to Johnny. Besides, my first memory is the very first single I bought, when I was a teenager: The second is the shock at the release of All the music I love for the unconditional fan of blues that I am, with lyrics in French and his voice so blues! listened to in a loop at the time and I still listen to it regularly to give me the excitement. It is pure energy! Finally, it reminds me of my "motorcycle brother" from my native Touraine, big fan of him and his wife of Johnny, whom I hosted in Paris (including the sidecar!) because they came to a Johnny concert. Memory of a long discussion about bikes / Johnny, which went well together: – ) ".
- Oh my pretty Sarah :
- All the music that I love :
Antoine Glaser, journalist and writer
"I’m a little guy from Créteil, like his friend Eddy, but I wasn’t a fan of Johnny. At the time I was too much in the world of rock and mods in the south of England, and when I returned to Paris I was furious to hear translated by … In our band, Johnny‘s fan was a guy from Chennevières with whom I wandered like old Behemians. He looked like him. Tall, silent, and he took care of super sideburns! "
- House of the Rising Sun :
- The penitentiary :
Maurice de Rochefort, former spokesperson for Kawasaki France
"Unfortunately I did not directly know the time of Johnny Green Boy, I then followed a HEC preparatory course which I never caught up with 😉 But I had a lot of echoes of those years" people "among the Greens of Sidemm with Johnny, Sardou, Carlos, Guy Marchand, Barclay and the Z1 in Saint-Trop ‘! (read below the testimony of Marie-Martine Bacquart, Kawasaki press attaché from 1971 to 1981, Editor’s note There is also a nice compilation of pictures from those times of freedom here: ".
- Pictures :
Sébastien Lorentz, motorcycle trainer at Lucky Cat Garage
"Detective, The Train Man and Vengeance, that’s what Johnny reminds me of, mostly movie roles".
- Movie : (1985)
- Movie : (2002)
- Movie : (2009)
Marc Troussard, rally driver
"His song that I love, like Les Portes du Pénitencier. And a huge memory for having seen him in concert in Bordeaux 3/4 years ago, where I was able to realize how phenomenal this guy was! See how he was taking the stage when he was 70 was mind blowing! "
- Married : (2002)
Stéphane Chambon, motorcycle rider
"I remember going to see him in concert in Grenoble, he was a monument of French song, a showman with a voice apart".
"But that was before !"
Patrick Lucas, BMW France spokesperson
"He did the most beautiful concerts, he was an unforgettable voice. Johnny had an exceptional career and he burned life in his own way. Too bad, he will be missed.".
Luc Forestier, Honda dealer
"Johnny, that’s all a motorcycle represents. Freedom, the desire to live fully, the transgression of codes sometimes, the difference and especially solidarity. But that was before!"
Jean-Charles Geneste, KessTech sales director (ex brand manager Harley-Davidson)
"I liked the singer and the character, but I can’t recall any memory! On the other hand, it’s a piece of history that has just left us, and not just musical. It’s also an attitude that is rare today ".
"Jean d’Ormesson either!"
Jacques Clipet, photographer
"He was a huge showman with an exceptional repertoire. We all have deep in our hearts memories that Johnny knew to accompany with his unforgettable songs. Hi artist, we already miss you"…
Gilles Petit, motorcycle preparer at Urban Moto
"Sorry, it was not my cam! 😉 Jean d’Ormesson either by the way, in case you were wondering :-))"
Nicolas Sonina, motorcycle event organizer
"First All the music that I love, then its links with Jimi Hendrix and finally my meeting with André Boudoux in Sète a very long time ago. We went for a ride of 500 CR Honda on the beach and, back at home, he introduced me to his two children. Including little Laetitia, who became Madame Smet many years later "…
"La Marseillaise at the French GP"
Maxime Mettra, motorcycle rider
"Never seen Johnny in concert but I heard him! Arriving the day before at the Vieilles Charrues festival in 2007, I took a 3-day pass and gave him his concert on Thursday evening. I also sang a cappella as a witness at a secular friend’s wedding ceremony, a great time ;-))! "
- I promise you :
Julien Patalone, photographer
"Apart from a Johnny flag on my Xantia to go on vacation, no special memories"…
Xavier Crépet, director of Harley-Davidson communications
“I didn’t have the opportunity to share moments with him. I saw him in concert for the first and last time at the. He had confirmed his status as a great singer and he had really felt at at ease in the midst of an audience made up mainly of "bikers" and Harley-Davidson ".
- MNC of July 19, 2016 :
Stéphane Clair, CEO of Circuit Paul Ricard
"I remember Johnny’s first laps in a rally raid, his improvised concert and the long adventure with Optic 2000 which was born on the occasion of the Rally of Tunisia 2001. I have fond thoughts for David, who drives often on the circuit. Finally, we dreamed of having Johnny as an "American star" to sing La Marseillaise for the next French F1 GP … Sad news! "
"In a restaurant in Saint-Germain with a bar in the basement"…
Philippe Vassard, organizer of motorcycle events
"My first memory goes back to the end of the 1970s, with the Maisons-Alfort gang, in a restaurant in Saint-Germain with a bar in the basement: we ran into Johnny and two friends of his, including Pierre Billon, his lyricist from He invited us for a drink … He was already quite "ripe" and we stayed until 2 am talking about motorcycles … It was a real passion for him! "
"My second memory is linked to the Supermotard de Belfort organized by my company, Sekoia. The mayor, Jean-Pierre Chevénement, after a very successful first edition (10,000 spectators), decides to bring Johnny to the closing Sunday evening for a mega concert! But Johnny is sick, fever and sore throat … His manager announces at 8 p.m. that his voice is inaudible … and at 9 p.m., Johnny arrives on stage, explains the situation and says: "I’m going to sing you a song to honor your presence, but I could not do better ". At 10pm he was still on stage and his voice had partly returned! The love of his audience did the rest"…
"Finally my third memory is for Laeticia, his wife, and especially his father-in-law eight years younger than his famous son-in-law. In 1984, we set up a team with André for the Dakar 85 with Kawa 750 4-cylinders … and everything else is done by hand! I live a few months with the Boudou family near Montpellier and Laeticia is a very young student … Very smiling and pleasant … She will become Mme Hallyday and will make the longest journey with the rock star … Beautiful memories of this enthusiast of beautiful mechanics who can be found in the books of Jean Basselin, a friend of Maisons-Alfort who was Johnny‘s secretary for a long time "(read the testimony of Jean Basselin at the beginning of article, Editor’s note).
"The greatest rocker in the history of France"
Christophe Guyot, team manager of GMT94
"We all have personal memories with Johnny. He is in our history, he is our history. He brought together all generations, and especially all French people of all origins, all social classes … Inhabited by rock and roll , through his music, his passion, his pharaonic concerts, his incredible voice, his energy, his love for the public, his peers and his family, have made him the greatest rocker in the history of France "…
Bruno Chemin, Honda France press relations director
"Johnny has made a huge contribution to the positive image of the motorcycle. He is identified above all with a famous American motorcycle brand, but he associated the motorcycle with freedom, pleasure, fun and adventure, not only for the security aspect like today ".
"I was not a fan and I miss him already"…
Didier Renoux, FFMC communications and logistics officer
"When I was little, my older brother already listened to the (yes, I know, that won’t cause the current generations), the first single that I listened to … of my life! Of course I was not not a fan, but we have to admit that Johnny has always been there, from “not too far” to “very near.” Our favorite song, to my brother and I, has long been The Doors of the Penitentiary, then how can we forget the ‘huge standard that introduced the blues "who means I love you" to a whole generation? And a guy capable of arriving on a motorbike on a stage, whether it’s a hit or not, he’s a real one rebel message, and that’s strong! Here, it makes me very weird to say that I was not a fan of Johnny when I already miss him "…
Patrick Plisson, former motorcycle rider and director of the RP Alliage agency
"Today, to evoke Johnny, for us bikers – like him – is to remember Michel Rougerie (1950-1981, Editor’s note) and his guitar as a pendant, that Johnny had given him and that he was so proud to wear . Johnny – Rougerie, same talent, same banter, same charisma, and for all this, There is no school! I saw him for the last time at Bercy 2013 for the concert of his 70 years, " Stay alive ". He had a huge body, he was a beast of the stage. To remember a song, impossible … Yes, that I love you! And Tennessee. Really motorbike, music, speed, love, the legacy of May 68. Hello champion … of the stage! It’s 2am, I’ve been in the office with Johnny on repeat since 10pm. I didn’t think he would die one day "…
Marie-Martine Bacquart, Kawasaki press attaché from 1971 to 1981
"My main memory of Johnny is when I suggested that he come to the Bol d’Or in 1973. I went to pick him up at his hotel to show him the stands but you had to go through the whole audience … Johnny was already a huge star and from the height of my 1.60 m I was a little afraid, so I asked him to put on a full face helmet so that we wouldn’t recognize him … (photo below, Editor’s note) And in the stands, when people recognized him it was madness! "
"I was born on the same day as Sylvie Vartan, August 15, 1944 – yes, a historic date! – so Johnny would say to me" oh you, you must have a bad temper! "… He was a really very nice guy and not stupid at all. He had not studied, but he had a humility that had touched me a lot. When I followed his tour in the South, I lived with friends in Sainte-Maxime and he was at the Negresco in Nice. In the evening he played in the arenas of Nîmes, then he took us to dinner in Saint-Tropez and we went to dance at the Papagayo or the Byblos with Carlos and the whole gang … I also remember that when David was small, I gave him a Kawasaki Monkey to have fun on their property in Loconville. One day, he calls me and tells me that he lost the keys … I tell him it’s not serious, I’ll bring you a double. I arrive in their extraordinary apartment on President Wilson Avenue, the butler opens the door for me and Sylvie Vartan’s mother explains to me that he has no lost his keys: we confiscated him because he had not been good "…
Interview by Eric MICHEL
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