1947-2018: the three lives of France Gall

Photo: Francois Guillot Agence France-Presse
France Gall has lost her battle against breast cancer Sunday morning at the hospital in Neuilly.

It is calculated by three. The death of three-time career three times, love three times. The death of France Gall 70 years, Sunday morning at the hospital of Neuilly, was the third step of her fight against breast cancer : there is the one that she overcomes in the early 1990s, and then the two recent recurrences, one in 2015 and one that just take.


She has led three careers as we live three lives. She was the most stubborn idol yéyé of the 1960s, the “doll of wax, doll of sound”, the opportunistic (but awesome) Gainsbourg, tossed about in the trade up to be disgusted. And then she and Michel Berger found themselves, and their relationship will be mixed up in creation, the author-composer giving melodies and words made to express what she really wanted to express, If mom if Ella, she the a. And following the abrupt death, struck down 44 years ago by a heart attack, it will become the full-time custodian of his memory and his songs, until the musical Resists, she co-authored with his companion Bruck Dawit, to be presented in 2015 and 2016 in Paris and throughout the French-speaking Europe. Note : Berger died in 1992, and the cancer is diagnosed the year after.


Before Michel Berger does write in 1974 The declaration of love, without a doubt, the most touching personal message written by an author-composer in love with the interpreter of his heart — “When I’m alone and I can dream/I dream that I’m in your arms/I have a dream that I let you all down/A statement…” —, France Gall has had two notable links, which gave also rise to songs : Claude François (As usual) and Julien Clerc (Suffer for you is not to suffer). She will speak little or no of these loves before the great love, the same way that it will avoid the most often to evoke his years Salut les copains, and will sing almost never on stage the success very mythifiés this period, where it did nothing. Shepherd, him again, will tell all that she feels in the song, “All for the music :” And they repeat these words/Without result and without logic/As we say the magic words/All for the music… “


Who had this crazy idea ?


This is Robert Gall, father of Isabelle (not her real name), who wrote to him Sacré Charlemagne in 1964. Jingle unstoppable : “Who had this crazy idea/A day to invent the school ? “


She has 17 years old, you play it with a girl, she poses with figurines of wood on the Super 45 tours, where there are also Teddy bears and the light of the moon. The contrast will be all the more striking when she won the Eurovision contest the year after that, where she defends this song where Serge Gainsbourg satirized the manufacture of the ancient times of the yéyé while investing in the market, more than profit : Doll of wax, doll of sound. Later, this will give The lollipops, the summit of perversity, where Gainsbourg made him sing ” When she was on his tongue as the little stick/She takes her legs to his body/And returns to the drugstore… “


It is necessary to see the Serge triumphant, whispering lollipops, in a duo with France, for the issuance of year-end 1966 milk Teeth, wolf teeth. In an interview for The task, she had vowed not to have understood the second degree as well after, and that she felt ” betrayed, almost raped “. We can understand his silence, and his refusal to write an autobiography. All this period, it will not have affection for his forays jazzy (The heart that jazze, Jazz galore). It doesn’t prevent his records from then are become cultissimes, and that the France Gall to drop the girls, Baby pop, Teenie weenie boppie, We are not angels, Song for you love me a little, as well as the code of the program Dim Dam Dom, made today the joy of the fans of the Swinging 60’s French Ye-Ye Girls, everywhere in the world.


Never again as before


At the end of the 1960s, there was even more Gainsbourg for him to lay the pipe, on the label of The Company, it saves up to mischief : The storm, The torpedo-blue. It retains Human toddler, she is singing in a show in Quebec in 1969, living not very happy. It will take its participation to the first version of Starmania, a pop opera by Luc Plamondon and Michel Berger, in order for the contact to be revived. The couple Gall-Shepherd will even have his foot on the ground in Outremont, not far from the home of Plamondon. It is the lyricist who answered the phone and passed him a call when I interviewai in the mid-1980s to CIBL : it was my first interview, I bégayais.


It never happened ever on stage with us after 1969. I live in Paris, salle Pleyel, thanks to Hélène Morin of in Warner. His show looked like, songs from Michel Berger were his own, and it inspired a whole generation of young women : Diego free in his head, He played the piano standing up, Ella, she, Cézanne painted, Music, stands up, Unplugs, to Give (her duet with Elton John), Let go the dreams, the poignant Obviously written in memory of Daniel Balavoine, as other titles of his “real” directory. The song will only increase in relevance in 1997, when her daughter Pauline, one of her two children, will be swept away by a genetic disease. “There was like a bitter taste in us Like a taste of dust in everything And anger that follows us everywhere/of Course/Obviously/dancing again/On the chords/That you loved so much/But not like before… “


“France Gall has crossed time thanks to his sincerity and his generosity “

— The French president, Emmanuel Macron

“France, we had 20 years, of joys, of sorrows. A part of my life goes with you. “

— The singer Julien Clerc

“France Gall was one of the icons of French song. She went, joining Michel Berger. She rests in peace. “

— The actor Gérard Depardieu

“Icon of the French song, timeless, France Gall did not belong to a generation : she has been able to address all of them. She has faced the fighting is personal in giving everything to the music. “

— The minister of Culture, Françoise Nyssen