Cult singer on tour in France after 34 year exile

23rd February 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) - An eccentric 1960s rock-star known for his trademark blond frizz and white sunglasses is about to embark on his first French concert tour in 34 years after half a lifetime in exile in the United States.

PARIS, Feb 22, 2007 (AFP) - An eccentric 1960s rock-star known for his trademark blond frizz and white sunglasses is about to embark on his first French concert tour in 34 years after half a lifetime in exile in the United States.

The return of 62 year-old Michel Polnareff for a series of 40 performances starting next week is being hailed as France's showbiz event of 2007, with generations of fans anxious to discover the reclusive musical prodigy in the flesh.

An accomplished instrumentalist whose father wrote songs for Edith Piaf, Polnareff had a string of melodic hits from 1966 such as "La poupee qui fait non" (The doll who shakes her head), but he left France for Los Angeles in 1973 after he was cheated by his manager and unable to pay his tax bill.

He retained the adulation of a large fan base thanks to intermittent albums over the years, but the long-promised return to the stage has never materialised till now.

Polnareff's anti-conformist reputation was established early on when his song "l'Amour avec toi" was banned from broadcast till late at night because it contained the words, "I just want to make love to you". In 1972 he was prosecuted and fined for revealing his buttocks on an advertising poster. 

In recent years Polnareff has been living in Palm Desert, California, dividing his time between body-building and song-writing. He announced his impending come-back a year ago in an appearance on France's main evening news programme.

In one of several picture profiles of the singer this week, VSD magazine said his decision to return to performing in France was prompted by his young girlfriend, who was anxious to see him on stage.

With only a week to go before the first performance at the Bercy concert hall in Paris, mystery continued to surround the singer's whereabouts -- amid rumours that he has arrived in France and is rehearsing somewhere in the countryside.

"Michel is very highly-strung, he is a tormented artist," said lyricist Jean-Loup Dabadie, who worked with Polnareff in the early 1970s. "I am extremely moved by the thought of seeing him again."

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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