Renaud was the first to arrive at the “fucking exhibition” dedicated to him. Almost the same “chetron” and the same look as on the poster, just grayer hair and hunched gait. In a black leather jacket and pants, sailor top, cowboy boots and pink glasses, he played the guides for his friends this Wednesday evening at the Philharmonie de Paris (19th century), which is extending his exhibition launched a year ago until November 7.
To his emergency doctor friend Patrick Pelloux, one of the first to arrive, he announces with a smile: “I have been vaccinated”. “I didn’t want too much at the start, I’m still against… vaccines, he tells us. But I need the health pass to go to my bistros, restaurants, taxis, to visit this exhibition… So I did it. “
Alone a few minutes with the 69-year-old singer, we ask him what he is doing at the moment. ” I sing. I’ve been in the studio for ten days, I’m preparing an album of covers, thirteen old French songs that have marked me, Yves Montand, Jean Ferrat, Moustaki, Reggiani, Françoise Hardy… There are still the voices and the violins to do. I wanted to do this album for years. We work between Paris and L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (Vaucluse), where I have lived almost year round for two years. It will be released in February, when there is no more competition. And it will hurt! “
“I eliminated the cigarette, I went from 60 a day to 15”
How is her voice, which was damaged on his last album, “Kids and kids first”, released at the end of 2019? “It’s okay, it’s holding up. I eliminated the cigarettes, I went from sixty a day to fifteen. I am addicted to vaping. And I quit alcohol for good six months. I am a new man. I just have a muscle problem in my back, which forces me to sit regularly. »Is he thinking of a return to the stage? “No, I am retired. I’ll do a minimum of promotion, that’s all. “
His daughter Lolita is sitting next to him. “She’s coming back to see the exhibition,” Renaud tells us. We have already visited it ten days ago with my two ex-wives, Dominique and Romane, my son Malone, 15 years old, my granddaughter Héloïse, 9 years old, my wonders. They loved it. It was a lot of joy and emotion. I was not very warm at the start for this exhibition. I’m not dead… But my brother did well to hold on. “Between two selfies, everyone gives him a superlative,“ formidable ”,“ magnificent ”.
“She is beautiful and moving,” says Lolita. It is obviously surprising to see notebooks with which I grew up under glass, all the more moving. My daughter knows him very well, but she discovered that he had been in films. “” But there is no trace of the film Wanted that I shot with Johnny and Depardieu, regrets Renaud. Nor the street sign that I put on the Brassens house. My brother only took a tenth of the things from me, it could have been bigger. “
“I see my childhood again, May 68, the friends of Charlie Hebdo …”
His friends arrive, Christophe Alévêque, Jean-Paul Rouve, Raphaël Mezrahi, Pia Moustaki, Gauvain Sers, his ex-son-in-law Renan Luce… They discover many nuggets and rarities among the 400 documents, objects and films presented on 3400 m2 in a superb scenography by its decorator Gérard Lo Monaco. Hugues Aufray joins him in the middle of the exhibition. They discuss at length under a tree in the exhibition. “I am happy,” admits the latter. He covers one of my songs in his album. “
The visit ends with a standing ovation from the guests to their host. “So are you happy?” »Asks his 40-year-old friend Gilbert Rozon. “Yes, great,” Renaud smiles. I’m in awe of everything I’ve been able to do, but I’m not going to say it’s great, because it would be pretentious. I see my childhood, my adolescence, May 68, the friends of Charlie Hebdo, the personal letter written to François Mitterrand, the one for the release of Nelson Mandela. It moves me. “
Renaud exhibition extended until November 7 at the Philharmonie de Paris, porte de Pantin (19th century); Tuesday to Friday 11 am to 6 pm, Saturday 10 am to 8 pm, Sunday 10 am to 6 pm; 10 euros entry, free up to 16 years old (health pass compulsory).