For the twenty years of the vintage channel Melody TV, a hundred artists including Sheila, Dave, Alain Chamfort and Michel Drucker let loose like never before.
An evening at the Olympia with a hundred legends of French song who have nothing left to prove and are there just to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the vintage Melody channel, it’s the guarantee of having a good time.
Immersed in a joyful hubbub, the floor is a journey through time. “As Dalida said, I have a voice that carries and brings back”, jokes the master of ceremonies Jean-Pierre Pasqualini and program director of Melody TV, stepping over the rows to kiss the guests. Like Guy Lux, he has his little cards. Wider than usual steps provide access to the stage from the hall. “It’s so you don’t tumble down the stairs like you,” says Pasqualini to his accomplice Dave who is recovering from a serious fall. Which retorts tit for tat: “You pushed me.”
Behind them, a well-known voice rang out:I’m still alive» points out Michel Drucker with a certain sense of self-mockery. Antoine with his red flowered shirt has just arrived from Australia where his catamaran is moored Banana Split : “It’s great fun to see everyone again before joining my farm facing the volcanoes of the Puy de Dôme”. And to tell: “My first time at the Olympia on stage was in 1966 when I opened for James Brown and the Animals“. Marie Myriam, the last French winner of Eurovision, is slowly settling near Bibi.
Julie Pietri gets up in the front row. There are many whose songs are more famous than their faces. Richard Sanderson Dreams are my reality you film La Boum is a neighbor of Richard Dewitte who sings I dreamed of her again.
The Gibson Brothers of Cuba the sauce Jean-Pierre Savelli of the duo Peter and Sloane (Need anything want you). Further on, we notice Stone of Made in Normandie and the singer of the duo Chagrin d’amour, Valli, who sang Everyone does what they please. The little gentleman in a leather jacket with mid-length white hair is Monty, star of the 60s who was all the rage with his 45 rpm Let’s go Green. White scarf around his neck, the dean of French song, Charles Dumont born in 1929 is there too. “My most beautiful memory here is Edith Piaf’s return on December 29, 1960, he tells us. All Paris and All New York were there. She sang twenty songs including a good ten of mine, like No, I do not regret anything.…“. Outside under the red neon lights of 28 boulevard des Capucines, the crowd is stamping impatiently. Tonight, the Olympia is packed.
At the corner of rue Caumartin at the artists’ entrance, the pianist of Jeane Manson and Didier Barbelivien is received with open arms. It starts well: the welcoming committee took him for the maitre d’. It doesn’t make him laugh at all. A shot of the elevator and we go out to the backstage level. At the Maryline bar under the photo of Bruno Coquatrix, who has seen others, the atmosphere is downright funny. In front of a cheese platter, formidable fans of schoolboy jokes and little murderous phrases such as Dave and Didier Barbelivien are unleashed. Barbelivien leaves to greet his favorite singer Sheila (he pronounces Sheï-laa very loudly) then returns to foment dark plots to destabilize the master of ceremonies on stage. “Jean-Pierre Pasqualini is unbeatable, he even teaches Drucker things about his career, they are not going to achieve anything», laughs Bruno Lecluse, CEO of the Secom group, owner of Melody TV. He continues on a joke where God and Satan mix. “I will be excommunicated», laughed this deacon heartily. As the majority of Melody TV’s shareholders are large Catholic families from the North of France, anything is indeed possible. Further on, the director Vincent Fernandel, grandson of…has rehearsed a Pagnolesque interlude with his troupe in which we recognize the animator of Mélody, Guillaume Péreira. At the start of the school year, they will play Riverside Drive, a play by Woody Allen. At the piano, Marie-Paule Belle launches into a frenzied version of The Parisian.
It’s 8 p.m. In the room, the light goes out. Chimene Badi sings a cappella No, nothing at all, I don’t regret anything under the moved gaze of Charles Dumont. Soon, she will hit the road with a show in homage to Edith Piaf. After a very nice tribute to Gilbert Bécaud on guitar, Dave launches into a long opera aria in Italian under the dumbfounded eye of Jean-Pierre Pasqualini. “We are going to go back in time from the freshest vintage to the oldest”, announces the master of ceremonies to regain his senses. “Another decade, he says to Michel Drucker. Anyway, you knew them all well.
Each decade is illustrated by a short film directed by Christophe Daniel, host of the vintage channel and author of clips for Sylvie Vartan. The best place to go dancing is in Beverly Hills. She will return to Europe for the birth of her first great-grandchild. Ilona Smet, her granddaughter to whom she is very attached, is due to give birth towards the beginning of the summer. Jean-Pierre Pasqualini has cold sweats: in the room, Michèle Torr accompanied by Dominique Besnehard will realize that she has been forgotten on the screen. “She’ll gouge out your eyes”, he slips aside to the director. He makes the public sing, take me dancing tonight. The blonde from Aix purrs with pleasure. The incident is closed. The evening ended with a standing ovation. Don’t miss it when it airs on Melody.