Johnny Hallyday and the Art of Harmonious Schmaltz

I have long been accustomed, when faced with Americans' skepticism, to taking up the defense of Johnny Hallyday , the French rock musician who passed away on 5 December at 74. It has never been an easy task. The mirror that this unconditional admirer of America and its music held up to them was always too distorted for his extravagant stage persona to be recognized as anything but a kitschy Gallic misreading of rock, confirmation of the old Anglo-American saw that French pop...

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