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I was lucky to meet Joe in France

Autor: Paul


13.04.2008 21:51:56

I had moved fron Dudley, MA to Montpellier France in Ocyober of 1969. My Father, Gilbert, was a French citizen, born in Blida Algeria, who was selected by the French Gov'tto attend college in the US in 1944, during WWII. My Father lived in the States for 24 years, with a Green Card. In 1969, he decided to move back to France to live with his parents. He took me and my 3 siblings with him and this was the start of a wonderful new life. I was 14 yrs old at the time and music was very important to me. As soon as I arrived, I became a BIG fan of French popular culture and music. I was a drummer for many years and got to play drums with various bands there. Joe Dassin was a verypopular singer at the time and I loved his music. I especially loved his depiction of America in his songs, especially in "L'Ete Indien", which is Indian Summer, a beautiful time of the year in my native New England.

When I met Joe, shortly after I arrived in France, I did not know who he was. I was sitting in a cafe accross the street from the Train Station, when Joe walked in and sat at a table with two of his friends. The girl I was with at the time, cried out, "it's Joe Dassin!", and I asked "who's that?"

She proceeded to explain who he was and that got me quite excited to be in the same room with a celebrity. Since I never head of him, she told me about some of his songs. She told me he was "American", and that his Father, Jules, was a very famous American Film Director, on exile in France. So I ran to a payphone and called my Father, a movie buff, if he ever heard of Jules or Joe Dassin. He said he did and asked why, so I explained to him that Joe was sitting a couple tables over from me. So my Dad said that he was on his way down. When my father arrived, he came over to my table, asked me to point out Joe and he walked over to Joe's table. I was a little shocked to see this, so I got ready for something to happen. Joe immediately got excited to meet my Father, and immediately engaged in very interesting conversation with my father on various subjects concerning his father Jules. My girl friend and I were eventually invited over to Joe's table and I admitted that I was a BIG fan of Joe's singing. As my girl friend got his autograph, I was very excited to see her "star-struck"gaze.

We hung out with Joe for about 45 minutes and I will never forget this day for as long as I lived. I told Joe that I was a drummer, and he told me to stick with it, that music is a great way to work, live and make a contribution to people's lives.

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From Ana Maria     26.05.2009 21:45:54

I was born and raised in Portugal. My father, uncles, aunts and oldest brother were emigrants. They lived in France (today a big part of my family are French) and when they went on vacation they always had that sweet French music playing. It was probably 1971-72; I was about 14-15 years old when I heard Joe Dassin singing for the first time. I fell in love with his voice and learned all his songs. He was my favorite singer of all times…There was one in special called “Le Portugais” (The Portuguese) and that was a big honor for all of us. I had all his LP’s and “Siffler sur la Coline) was my favorite. One day my aunt promised me she would take me to Puteaux (where she lived) on vacation and I would meet him; she was supposed to take me to Paris. I was dreaming and had tears in my eyes…

Unfortunately life takes some turns that we cannot understand. When I knew about Joe Dassin’s death in Tahiti at the age of 41, so young, I was living in South America, in Venezuela and I cried my heart out. I cried for him and for his 2 young boys he loved and left behind. Later, the boys’ mom also died in 1995.

Well, I could never meet my idol. I could never see him. Today I live in the United States and have not been in Europe in 16 years but when I see his sons’ videos ( Jonathan Dassin and Julien Dassin) who look a lot like him, I feel happy for them. I know, in heaven, Joe is proud of his boys and is watching out for them. One day I’m sure I’ll see him in heaven singing with the angels and, at that time, I will tell him how much I loved and admired him, how much I miss him and his songs. My God bless his soul …



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