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David Hallyday

In the Name of the Son


24/03/2000 - 

For a long time, his name was something of a burden. It’s not easy being the offspring of the biggest star in French music. But in the space of just 24 songs, his life has been transformed. “King David”, as his mother Sylvie Vartan sang, can at last look forward to two nights at the Olympia concert hall.




At the age of 33, David Hallyday can do no wrong. This year is his year. Voted male artist of the year at the recent NRJ Awards thanks to his album "Un paradis/un enfer" (Universal), which is now strutting around at the top of the charts with 400,000 copies sold and a million singles. As if this weren’t enough, the album "Sang pour sang" (Universal) Hallyday Junior wrote for his dad earned Johnny Hallyday the “Victoire de la Musique” for the best album of the year. He’s currently working on the next album for Florent Pagny. And last, but far from least, a concert at the Olympia, the ultimate consecration for a child who’s following in his father’s footsteps, was raised in California and who insisted stubbornly on singing hard rock in English.

It’s taken no less than five albums, with this latest one entirely in French, for David Hallyday to be at last acknowledged by his peers. More pop than hard rock means it appeals to a wider audience. David has grown tired of FM rock and its never-ending guitar riffs. This change of style took a few years, especially as Hallyday only saw music through strictly Anglo-Saxon eyes. In any case, he took his time before launching his career in his native France. David Hallyday got into music out of a passion for the drums, or rather adoration of Tommy Brown, his dad’s drummer, who proved to be a real revelation for the four-year-old.

His first major stage appearance was at the tender age of eleven, with cute blond hair, standing behind a huge drum set, at a concert by his dad at the Pavillon de Paris. Yet he made his breakthrough in 1987 with his first single "She's my girl" (produced by Tony Scotti, his stepfather), followed by "High". But he was quickly categorized as a teen idol, too blond and too cute to be true. Three American albums followed, including one live, and another in 1995 with the band Blind Fish and another in 1997 with Novocaïne, who he still tours with today, pursuing two parallel careers.

"I’ve been waiting for this moment for eight years,", admits David Hallyday, clearly delighted to be performing at the venue he’s always dreamed of, Olympia. Up in the circle, his wife Estelle. True to form, he’s clad in leather trousers. And everything he likes best in music is right there on stage, too. Blasting out a set of hard and fast rock — as you’d expect. One after the other, the songs roll off his album: "Pour toi", "Rêver de toi", "Un petit peu de toi" (“for you”, “dreaming of you” and “a little bit of you”), whose words were written by Lionel Florence, Zazie and Kristine Lidon, more or less the same team behind Pascal Obispo. Belonging to the same record label necessarily creates bonds. On stage, David is more forthcoming than his father: "They asked me to write a song or two for a well-known artist, you know who I mean?”


It doesn’t take much guessing. David loves doing the cover of “Sang pour sang" (“blood for blood” — and a pun in French on 100%), the song he wrote for his dad (who joined him on stage to sing the last few verses on the opening night). So many messages disguised as questions. In fact, this is not the first time David has written for Johnny Hallyday, as he put his signature to the 1989 album "Cadillac", as well as to two of the titles on Sylvie Vartan’s latest album, "Sensible" (“sensitive”). And finally, this ballad, in a vague tribute to his Bulgarian grandfather on his mother’s side: "Tu ne m'as pas laissé le temps" (“you didn’t give me enough time”).

David Hallyday in concert:
March 23rd at Rueil Malmaison (Chorus des Hauts-de-Seine), the 24th in Epernay, the 28th in Caen, the 29th in Ploemeur, April 3rd in Toulouse, the 4th in Montpellier, the 5th in Marseille, the 8th in Brussels, the 11th in Grenoble, the 12th in Geneva, the 13th in Annecy, the 14th in Nendaz (Francofolies Suisses), the 16th in Porcieu, the 18th in Mulhouse, the 21st in Plaisir, the 26th in Carcassonne, the 28th in St Loubes, the 29th in Niort, May 1st in Haumont.

Pascale  Hamon