Dick Rivers succeeded where no Frenchman had yet surpassed himself. By making rock songs from across the Atlantic accessible. Died of cancer on his 74th birthday, April 24, 2019, Hervé Forneri, whose real name was, was the idol of young people with slicked back hair and impeccable cowboy boots. A look back at the incredible journey of this son of a butcher who became a yéyé icon, the women in his life, his children...
It's almost a fairy tale. How does a simple butcher's son from Nice become a rock'n'roll star in France? For Hervé Forneri, everything happens almost by chance. He grew up on the sounds of blues and rock thanks to an American garrison posted near his home, who rocks, without knowing it, this kid from Nice. From meeting to meeting, he learns about Rock and Jazz and soon forms the group Wild Cats with his gang of pals, who all take on U.S.-sounding names. Hervé Forneri chooses the name of Dick Rivers , character played by his idol Elvis Presley in the film Loving You .
In 1961, the machine was launched. Balls, concerts in restaurants... wild cats , which cover classics by Ray Charles or the Beatles, are quickly noticed. Their finder? Jean-Claude Camus, which tells, in the pages of Figaro : 'I discovered it completely by accident. They were playing on the terrace for an aperitif concert and one day I'm going to visit them. As a bluff, I asked them if they had a record company? No. If they had a manager? No. I became their manager and signed them to Pathé-Marconi. I made them do 'Age Tendre, la tour des idoles' and then the notoriety of the group exploded.' For Dick Rivers, who is not yet 20, the adventure has only just begun!
Faced with the budding success that welcomes his young group of neophytes, Dick Rivers makes the crazy bet to embark on the adventure of music alone. The flair of the young crooner is insane: concert with the Beach Boys, 1st place in the charts, duets with Françoise Hardy... The interpreter of 'Nice, Bay of Angels' attracts crowds in France and Canada. In 1967, he won the Gold Record there for Come make me forget and even met his idol, Elvis in person, after a concert in Las Vegas in 1969. Who would have bet on the meteoric rise of this young man, unknown nine years ago?
Rockers are heartbreakers and Dick Rivers is proof of that. Wiser than Johnny, Hervé Forneri knew three women who had a lot of place in his life. In 1965, he married Micheline, with whom he will have a son, Pascal, music video director who will work with his artist father. A year later, he met Monique, nicknamed Mouche: they married and the singer even adopted his daughter, Natala. Then the crooner falls under the spell of Babette, a barely legal young girl, in 1979 .
After dividing his time for a long time between his wife Mouche and his young mistress, the banana man decides to grow old with his young lover. Moreover, the two women , far from being jealous, have decided to meet! ' At the beginning, it was necessarily a little difficult, but one day, we contacted each other and we decided to see each other. We made an appointment. It was funny, because we were both like, 'Am I going to like her?' The circumstances were mind-boggling and Dick didn't know about it... We hit it off, discovered, appreciated.' confided Babette in 2011 to Cine TV Review .
Was Le Taulier afraid that this young Niçois would overshadow him? According to the confidences of his former manager, Jean-Claude Camus, Dick Rivers was not in the odor of holiness with Johnny Hallyday et Eddy Mitchell. 'They didn't like Dick Rivers very much and always shunned him. Dick suffered a lot from it. All his life'. And for good reason, Dick Rivers has never hidden his disenchantment with his colleagues. While promoting his album Mister D , in 2011, he said of them: ' People always talk to me about these two! I've had it up to here. Hallyday isn't even a singer anymore, it's a circus on its own. If there is no accident people, it no longer exists!'. Before adding: ' I would prefer to be compared to Bashung. But not always the other two! We're in such different worlds, It's the earthen pot against the iron pot. It's been a long time since I even know what they're singing. And they don't concern me either.'
But at the announcement of Taulier's illness, Dick Rivers calmed down somewhat. The singer was able to put their resentment aside to wish the Youth Idol a speedy recovery: ' I have confidence because Johnny is a superman who has already gotten himself out of so many difficulties, let him rest quietly at home', he declared to The Dispatch.
On his side, Laeticia Hallyday wished good luck to the crooner who went to join her late husband in rocker heaven . ' Sad news… thoughts for his family and for his children. He was so nice, I had the chance to meet him and change the world without taking himself seriously, for one evening. He was talking about his taste for country music that my man loved to share with him. They were both living their dream of America and the same passion for Elvis. Bon voyage Dick Rivers, we will not forget you here. Now there's someone waiting for you and you'll have a great time together “, she posted on Instagram .Source journaldesfemmes.fr