Renaud Confessions | Montreal Newspaper

Erwan L’Éléouet had presented to us a few months ago a serrated portrait of the singer and songwriter of Mistral winner, this great nostalgic for the lost paradise of childhood. Renaud of a Thousand Trades became an actor and then a singer, thanks to Coluche, who discovered it by accident.

This time, it is Renaud himself who tells his story and his stories are quite disturbing. There we probably learn a few “crunching” things, so much so that the life of this singer who defines himself as an anarchist has been like a big open book. But no trace of L’Éléouet, no mention of the biography he wrote, but charming and of real proportions.

Just as the Obelix fell into the magic potion from birth, Renaud fell into a political bath from an early age (a little later, it will be in a bowl with Ricard!). With her communist grandparents, a writer father who supports Algeria’s independence, a left-wing mother who does not hesitate to take to the streets to demonstrate, her fate was devised. If he adheres to the leftist ideas, first with mimicry, then with sincere conviction, he will not neglect the hunting of girls, obviously both go hand in hand.

In this work where every word is weighed and weighed, Renaud delays in describing his family, on the part of the mother and on the part of the father, as both played an important role in his political and social formation. He will always have a strong sense of guilt towards his father. Because he did not follow the pattern he had traced for her. Because he did not go to school for a long time, unlike his siblings. Because he succeeded, he became very rich, despite failures in school. Because his father always refused to recognize his son’s success and to accept the gifts that this rebellious son wanted to give him. But from his short time in high school, he recalled “the need to engage against indifference, against hunger, against war, against bombing, against dictatorships around the world, to save what may still be.” . He will celebrate his 16th birthday, “May 11, 1968, at a barricade on Gay-Lussac Road.” It was during this great revolt that he composed, words and music, his first song, Crève, whore !, taken from all angry high school students.

The story of sudden success

Renaud tells us about all his successes, backed by the figure, which becomes a bit boring in the long run. Of course, remember that he sold millions of records and sang in front of just as many people. We have the right to have excerpts from about sixty of his most popular songs, including Mistral winnerconsecrated “the greatest song of Francophonie.”

Renaud will always be ashamed of his success and the big bank account that came with it, the “failed boy”. “I refuse to approve the dazzling ornaments of the famous artist, the ‘star’, as the media say.” To forgive that he was so rich, he multiplied his donations to social organizations, making it his duty to pay his taxes, even declaring more than enough “for fear of being associated with a fraudster.” .

He was only 54 years old and the French Post had already issued a stamp bearing his resemblance, he entered Petit Larousse, received the “Nuits de la presse” trophy for all his work, a publishing house published all his manuscripts ( songs, personal letters, first poems, drawings, etc.) And three biographies come out in bookstores.

But the most surprising part of this story is certainly his paranoia developed about Soviet-era communists and Cuban communists. His alcoholic delirium makes him see spies everywhere, who follow him and listen to his conversations, even at the French embassy in Havana, even at his home in Paris. A real obsession, hard to explain, “the communists hurt me, they want me to die, not knowing what I did to deserve this punishment”, but he recovers for Christ, as he has confessed to a psychiatrist.

In short, an autobiography full of surprises and beautiful moments.

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