Saturday, 18 May 2013

Charles Trenet Centenary


Charles Trenet would have been 100 today.
He was an incredibly gifted singer and composer, but one of the most decidedly unpleasant people I have ever encountered.
I had the displeasure of interviewing him by telephone in 1990, and his first question was, 'Would you and your good lady like to see my show next week in Paris?'
I thanked him very much, and then he suddenly launched into the third person. 'Of course, you'll have  to dip your hand in your pocket. I'm not a f****** charity!' Politely I put the phone down, and the following week he called me--in Paris. He apologised, I accepted, along with the little gift he sent to the hotel, and I carried on admiring him. His excuse was that he was an old man, and that old men sometimes get grumpy when tired!
And Trenet was an angel compared with Sacha Distel, who insulted Jeanne--on national television--in such a way that he found himself very quickly surrounded by a group of angry people interested in rewarding him with a knuckle sandwich.
But that's another story!

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