In this French TV special from 1965, Francoise Hardy goes to London, sings songs and looks ravishing.
Narrated in French. But for our non-French speaking readers, with Francoise singing 11 songs, who cares about narration?
“Tous les garçons et les filles” (in English)
“Tout ce qu’on dit”
“Il se fait tard”
“Ce petit coeur”
“Le temps des souvenirs”
“Non ce n’est pas un rêve”
“All Over The World”
Painfully shy and only 18 years old, Francoise Hardy makes her first appearance on French television in 1962 singing “La Fille Avec Toi.” A few months later, Hardy would have a million selling hit with “Tous Les Garçons et Les Filles.”
My mother is French and in my early teens I lived in Cannes and Paris. I developed a love for French rock and rollers - Sylvie Vartan, France Gall, Johnny Hallyday and, above all others, Francoise Hardy.
I had a Philips portable battery operated record player upon which I would play Hardy’s 45s non-stop, taking the player with me wherever I went like a prehistoric Walkman. I couldn’t be without her. She was my first teenage crush.
I’d sit on the beach at Cannes, smoking Gauloise cigarettes (which got me high) and listen to Tous les garçons et les filles and Le premier bonheur du jour for hours. It was just me and Francoise on the Riviera watching the thin line separating the blue Mediterranean from the perfect blue sky.
I had yet to discover The Beatles. American rock, with the exception of Chuck Berry, didn’t interest me. Francoise was my pop culture goddess. Nothing else mattered. Nothing. Well, actually, there was one record that I would allow to share the turntable with Francoise: The Lonely Surfer by Jack Nitzsche, a song with an almost Zen melancholy about it, spinning off into the void.
The year of my romance with Francoise and Gauloise and melancholic surfers was 1963. It was September and Hardy was scheduled to play in Cannes. My mother had bought me a ticket. For weeks I could think of nothing else but seeing my goddess perform. On the day of the show, I was dressed to impress in my pegged pants, loafers and turtle neck. I was ready for love. We ascended the steep marble steps of the concert hall and arrived at the ticket booth to be greeted by my worse nightmare…the show had been canceled! I was heartbroken. My mother and I walked back to our apartment building in total silence. I was beyond myself with disappointment. I felt as though I had been stood up on my first date. I felt shunned, abandoned. I suddenly understood the electric yearning in the twang of Nitzche’s lonely guitars. I was the solitary surfer, crashing against waves of youthful despair. Oh, Francoise, why, why?
I carried the torch for my Gallic lover until the following month when the trivialities of young love were washed away on November 22, the day Kennedy was assasinated. Things changed after that. Innocence was gone. I discovered Bob Dylan and soon The Stones, The Beatles and the rest. Eventually I moved back to the States and Francoise Hardy became a fading memory. It wasn’t until a couple of decades later that my crush was revived and I found myself buying every vinyl record I cound find of hers. And to this day, Francoise is my eternal teenybopper flame, the beatnik princess of my dreams.
Here are three clips of Francoise (one she sings in Italian). Two have not been readily available on the internet, the other has been seen my millions. I present them to you in all their pristine glory.
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