Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Polnareff Republish -- Comments Enabled!

(Note: After receiving a great comment from an American who made the trip ALL THE WAY TO PARIS to see Polnareff play Bercy, I have decided to republish this post to enable comments directly.)

This is the story of a family uniting around an album, almost to the point of obsession. This is the story of doing something that seemed a little crazy, especially on a school night. This is the story of how snow can wreak havoc in Aveyron, even in late March.

This is the story of my family's trip to see Michel Polnareff at the Zénith concert hall in Clermont-Ferrand. Mind you, this was not just any geezer rock show. This was Polnareff's first concert in his home country since 1973, the year he left France (on the luxury liner of the same name) for the USA. He has lived in my home country since, and the announcement last year of his return to the French stage caused great excitement, with over 100,000 tickets to his ten Paris concerts selling in just a few days.

Our love affair with Polnareff started, at least for the girls and me, with getting to know the album "Live at the Roxy," recorded under rather mysterious conditions in 1995. My husband, who remembered the "Polnarevolution" of the 60s and used to listen to the singer's hits on the radio, bought a copy of the CD about ten years ago. And we listened, listened, and listened some more.

The updated versions of Polnareff's hits presented on that album are emotional and intriguing. Although the Polnashow of 2007 lacks the intimacy of the Roxy performance, it is a splendid spectacle. The singer-songwriter still has his amazing voice, as the French press has gleefully reported, and has brought an outstanding bunch of American musicians with him.

My daughters were a little surprised that much of the crowd was even older than their parents, but they had no cause for disappointment. Polnareff's show is decidedly a rock concert, even if my favorite moments were when he was alone with his piano.

It was worth the money, it was worth the drive, it was worth the creepy feeling of crossing the Aubrac mountains in the snow at one o'clock in the morning...and it was especially worth it to share this special moment with my entire family.

See our Flickr slideshow of the concert.

And/or check out my (and just about everybody else's) favorite Polnareff song. It was his "Lettre à France" but for me, it's a song for expats everywhere:


Betty Carlson said...

This post seems to be doomed. There was a photo at the top this morning -- it is now gone. Very strange. I'm not planning on republishing AGAIN!

angela said...

Very good post Betty. i enjoyed the song but sadly it didn't inspire me to buy any cd's.
Re your comment about the age of the audience...some friends went to see The Stranglers in Nice last week and said they didn't see anyone under 45 in the audience.
This blog's good too but I didn't know it existed..

Betty Carlson said...

Thanks for stopping by, Angela.

I created this blog a few months back for some "spill-over" ideas. I want to keep CQ and FP fairly close to their original themes, and wanted to blogroll some blogs that didn't seem to fit in with the other two. It's gotten me in touch with some interesting bloggers who write about subjects other than France and food!

There is more to life, isn't there?

Anonymous said...

Hi Betty
I enjoyed this post, even though you wrote it three years ago. Polnareff is unlikely to ever play a concert here in Australia, (I can but dream!) but its good to hear that he made such a strong comeback. I loved the flickr pics too. I got into MP during a stay in Japan nearly 10 years ago when I was looking for good CDs to rent(!) and thought I'd take a punt when a cover caught my eye - I've been a Polna-nut ever since!