The door of the Parisian apartment frees three playful Shar-pei dogs.
In the kitchen, we see a parrot.
Sometimes she sings
The Lakes of Connemara
and imitates my voice, ”laughs Michel Sardou, who welcomes us on Saturday afternoon in casual dress - sneakers, jeans and sweater - and leads us to the living room where two inseparable singing.
“I don't have a mask,” he apologizes.
But I am vaccinated.
A month and a half ago, he made us laugh on the phone by nicknamed himself “Commander Covid” after being made Commander of the Legion of Honor by a sick Minister of Culture.
We find it more relaxed.
His autobiography, “I am not dead… I am sleeping!
”, Released Thursday, is really serious business.
At 74, the former singer (re) turned actor promises to tell the whole truth, and confides in it as rarely.
We were supposed to see each other before but you had an emergency ...
I was asked to listen to the duets and trios of
, the musical around my songs, because they are going to be released on record.
And I was very happy.
Young actors sing very well, while the tones are very high.
Pierre Billon's arrangements give me energy, I am very proud of my boyfriend.
I would have opposed a biopic.
But this story has nothing to do with mine.
And what I heard more than reassured me.
I'm not saying this out of pretension, but my songs have rarely been covered because they are not easy to sing.
In your autobiography, you say that you are “more French than a Roquefort”.
That is to say ?
I tried to live abroad, but always came back.
In Florida, where I had moved to have my son Davy speak English, I didn't like the wit.
how you are
how much are you
Even on vacation in a heavenly place, I get bored after two weeks.
I have to go home.
And since I don't need to stash my money abroad, I stay there.
I have a typically French character, a bit grumpy when France helps people like nowhere else.
The only thing that weighs on me is its bureaucratic, nitpicking side.
Politically, where are you at?
They have all been saying the same thing for forty years.
I don't vote in every election.
For the presidential election, I will hear them, laugh, and I will make up my mind.
But I am not an extremist.
You come back in your book on your quarrel with Johnny Hallyday.
Does she weigh you down?
It's a regret, because it wasn't worth such a brutal breakup.
The last time we saw each other, it was at Nicolas' birthday (
Editor's note: Sarkozy
On stage, I messed around by making a joke that was not funny (
Editor's note: he had called Johnny's daughters the Viet-congs
) and I wanted to apologize.
He refused, he was right.
But he left and I did not deserve such a heavy sentence, after we lived thirty years as two brothers.
Why did you choose this song title for your book?
I am not sending any message, I just liked this title.
He reminded me of François Mitterrand who appreciated my songs and had confessed to me regretting not hearing this one in my concerts.
So I put it back.
You also release a box set, "The concert of his life", in which the version of "I am not dead" is almost metal!
But I'm a metal freak!
No one knows, but I love this universe.
I went to Hellfest for a year (
Editor's note: the biggest French metal festival, in Clisson
), it's crazy the shows they do.
The fans, the guitars, I like everything.
From the moment you invent a world, that interests me.
Whether Ferrat, Reggiani, Bécaud, Renaud ...
To read also "I never liked my face"
Or Mylène Farmer, one of your three favorite singers?
She has her universe and that's what I like.
She's not an opera singer, but she knows how to use her voice.
His clips are striking, his impressive shows.
We're friends, we text each other, she tells me about her dogs, she's funny, charming ...
Your book is dedicated to your wife, your "only certainty".
I pay tribute to him all the time.
She can't take it anymore (he laughs).
All the women of artists will tell you that we are not easy to live with, because we are anxious.
Does this role suit me?
Am I still old enough to perform?
Anne-Marie is the daughter of a great actor, François Périer, who had worse anxieties than mine, because he only lived for and through the theater.
Do you write that she takes care of everything?
She has even already found my last home!
She accommodated me in the cemetery of Passy with her father, Réjane (
Editor's note: actress from the end of the 19th and beginning of the century and great-grandmother of Anne-Marie
) and Marc Porel (
Editor's note: her half-brother
), a real cinema distribution.
Are you afraid of death?
Not at all.
I don't believe in anything, I wait to see.
My father (
Editor's note: actor Fernand Sardou
) died young and I had planned neither cemetery nor vault.
The funeral directors had put him in Nanterre.
But the view of the towers was not for him.
Fortunately, my parents loved Cannes and a friend found a place in the old cemetery facing the sea. It was more suitable.
And more fun to place flowers there.
Do you miss your parents?
No, because they are still there.
I never spoke so much with my father as after his death.
Your live box set is seventh in album sales.
Your shows have excellent audiences.
You quit singing three years ago, but your popularity is intact.
It always surprises me, those old songs that are still being listened to as we went from LP to streaming.
But you remain divisive ...
I do not know.
I have no image, I wear a mask.
I sometimes have a big mouth but, deep down, I'm not sure of myself, I'm shy, like all artists… At the beginning, it bothered me to show myself, it scared me.
So I hid behind my songs.
I have always been an actor, even when I was a singer.
As a lyricist, I told stories.
There have been some misunderstandings, but that's okay.
Do you think of "I am for", where you were accused of being for the death penalty, while you were against?
There, it's my fault.
I went about it like a stick.
I let myself be taken on by the first four lines (
Editor's note: where he puts himself in the shoes of a father who wants to avenge his child
Anyway, I was attacked and stuck a label on almost all of my songs, except maybe “Love disease”.
Don't you miss singing?
I quit at the right time.
I was less involved, I started to rewrite on the same themes and I wanted to avoid too many gig.
My voice is not the same anymore.
I am unable to sing the little tones I heard yesterday.
And then I stay on stage.
Can't wait to go back?
Oh yes ! My book kept me busy a bit, but now I'm sick of it. I look forward to meeting my comrades again in September and
N'écoutez pas mesdames
, a piece by Guitry that I adore. We should meet the public in October. I am happy that he follows me to the theater. Even if it still comes with my records.