The Françoise Hardy interview

On 15 December 2006, Johan Ral interviewed the legendary Sixties icon and 'grande dame' of French pop music, Françoise Hardy in Paris.
Hardy talked very freely about her latest album of duets (Parenthèses...), her relationship with husband Jacques Dutronc, stardom, her early musical influences (The Everly Brothers, Marty Wilde, Cliff Richard!) and her encounters with Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan, who had written for françoise hardy - at the seine's edge on the cover of Another Side of Bob Dylan (1964). She also discusses The Beatles and... McCartney.

Listen to some Sixties and Beatles related highlights of this conversation, in French.


01. The Beatles - 00:15
"Actually, I began my career before The Beatles, so they didn't influence me at the start. But I like their songs, because they are timeless."

02. Mick Jagger - 01:47
"The last time the Stones were in Paris, we were invited backstage by Mick Jagger. I went with my friend (the photographer) Jean-Marie Périer. Mick came by, as a falling star, to say a few words to his guests, before the concert. And when he was gone, Jean-Marie said: 'He is still so beautiful...' I have a very strong memory of London in the Sixties. I was walking down one of those small streets where you could find boots. And suddenly, there stood Mick Jagger right in front of me. I was totally flabbergasted, I have rarely met anyone with such charisma, such beauty. He gave me an enchanting smile, which left me petrified, speechless."

03. Bob Dylan - 01:29
"I liked Dylan's work very much in '65-'66. I went to see him perform at the Olympia in Paris, in 1966. I was very disappointed. Dylan was in really bad shape, he performed badly and the audience reacted negatively. During the intermission, he refused to come back for the second part of the show. Somebody asked me to go and see him, because he would only come back on stage if I came to greet him. Which I did. He looked awful, clearly under the influence of hard drugs, I think. To me, he looked as if he was going to die soon; that really hurt me. And indeed, not very much later, he had this really serious accident."

04. Paul McCartney - 00:44
On the live version of Picasso's Last Words (on Wings Over America*), McCartney name checks Françoise Hardy. She was not at all aware of this, and acts happily surprised when Johan tells her.
"That's a great surprise, because McCartney is such a living legend, a 'monstre sacré'. Furthermore, McCartney is a favourite singer of my husband's – and he hasn't got many."
*She will later make a note of the album's title...

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