The sudden death, on Friday at the age of 65, of Tai-Luc, bookseller and charismatic leader of the French underground rock band La Souris déglinguée, was announced on Sunday morning on the Meta page (ex-Facebook) of rock critic Philippe Manœuvre, confirming "awful news: the death of this punk soldier who joined La Cité des Anges".
Tai-Luc, whose full name is Nguyen Tan Tai-Luc, was born on August 10, 1958, in Suresnes, to a Vietnamese father and a French mother. From 1976, the year of the band's creation at the Lycée Hoche in Versailles, until 2015, with Les Toits du Palace, the last album that revived the rock'n'roll rage of its beginnings, La Souris déglinguée, often abbreviated as LSD, was a veteran of a French rock largely ignored by the media but benefiting from the unfailing support of a hard core of supporters gathered within the Raya Fan Club.
In about twenty albums, the "lysergic" band has contributed to the emergence of an original style, borrowing from rock'n'roll and punk as well as reggae, rap and Far Eastern music. A whole generation will recognize themselves in it. In 2007, he recorded a beautiful solo album, Jukeboxe. Fifteen songs drawn from his family history, alongside gems from the French repertoire by Pierre Mac Orlan and Charles Aznavour, as well as French adaptations of American standards.
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For the band's 35th anniversary, on May 9, 2015, La Souris déglinguée took over the stage of the Olympia for the second time in its career, surrounded by the big names of the French underground scene. The first time, a few years earlier, it was the beginners of the group NTM who had opened the ball in the mythical room.
Teacher at Inalco
Since 1996, in parallel with his artistic career, Tai-Luc had become a teacher in the Southeast Asia and Pacific Department at the Institute of Oriental Languages (Inalco), in charge of the course of tai-kadai diachrony and synchrony and introduction to tham-pali in Laos. In 2000, he defended his doctoral thesis on the Lü language of the Sip Song Panna.
Since 2018, Tai-Luc had put aside his musical career and had set up as a bookseller at 2, quai de Gesvres, a few cables from the Paris City Hall. A profession that allowed him to reconcile his taste for human contact with his passion for Asia and his love of books: "I have always read and bought a lot of them. Today, I sell them. »
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The rocker's boxes featured a selection of graphic fanzines and a few rare vinyl records. A box was dedicated to the Celtic world, a tribute to her maternal heritage. But most of his merchandise was in Asia: magazines, essays, Vietnamese or Cambodian newspapers or comics from before 1975 or books evoking Indochina.
A passionate bookseller
According to one of his relatives, Jean-François "Camboui", drummer of La Souris, he had undertaken a few days ago to bring back to his Parisian apartment a whole stock of books, in view of the move of the booksellers in June 2024, scheduled by the police prefecture, as part of the security of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. It was a painful and dangerous effort that probably proved fatal for Tai-Luc, who had been suffering from severe asthma for several years.
On the icy evening of November 17, with a small crowd of booksellers and their supporters, Tai-Luc was at 11, quai de la Tournelle to show his hostility to an operation to dismantle and reassemble three boxes of second-hand booksellers carried out at great expense by the City of Paris, as a feasibility test.