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“As a Last Big Tour”, Fans of Johnny Await in Paris

Jackets and t-shirts bearing the image of their idol, thousands of fans came to greet one last time Johnny Hallyday, and waiting in the freezing cold in Paris.

“It’s as if it were a last big tour” jackets and t-shirts bearing the image of their idol, thousands of fans came to greet one last time Johnny Hallyday , and waiting in the freezing cold in Paris, Etoile at the Madeleine, in an atmosphere worthy of a concert.

“I always said that I will come on the day he died,” says Christmas Path, 50, in a hoodie signed  “Johnny”, near the Madeleine.

He left at 4.30am  from Caen with his wife and son. “The biker is the spirit Johnny. It is as if it were the last great tour. It is the French Elvis, the King, “he said.

“As in the Johnny Hallyday concert, here everyone speaks”

In front of the church, decorated with a black and white portrait of the singer, wearing a large cross he often wore in concert, fans have filled the space reserved for them, forming a dense crowd overflowing on adjacent streets.

The crowd waved a placard "Thanks Johnny Hallyday," December 9, 2017 at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris
The crowd waved a placard “Thanks Johnny Hallyday,” December 9, 2017 at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris (© AFP / BERTRAND GUAY)

Some are highly equipped and even brought folding chairs, because the wait will be long before the procession will go down “the most beautiful avenue in the world” at midday.

In the Rue Royale, which leads to the Place de la Madeleine, Lucien Schouver, wearing a cap signed Johnny and a leather jacket customized with badges bearing the image of its star, camped for the night with his wife Nadine, wrapped in a blanket.

Residents near Alençon in Normandy, they arrived from 11pm on Friday to “try to have the right place.”

“I’ll have 53 years and I listen since the age of 14, is to see the concert that will be missed,” said Lucien.

“We all thought invincible. I have not eaten for two days, that’s a ball, it does not pass”

Not far away, Marie-Paule Keler, 46, came from Valenciennes car at 2:30, accompanied by her sister Vanessa Wallemacq and their brother Cyril.

Red rose

They have everything: a thermos of coffee, a hot chocolate, sandwiches and biscuits, bottled water. “But the big problem is the toilets,” they point out, a concern that may arise to many fans after several hours of waiting.

Their mother, huge fan of the singer, passed away 11 years ago. “We came to celebrate our mom and Johnny,” said Marie-Paule.

“It makes us feel good. When we learned of the death of Johnny we were very wrong. See the world, it shows all the love that Johnny had for his fans. I think that an idol is gone but remained an icon”

Here and there, the crowd sings songs, including  “Allumer le feu”, “Que je t’aime”, Maria” and “Laura”.  Others play the loop on their phone.

Civil Security distributed survival blankets with metallic reflections to help attendees overcome the cold.

On the Place de la Concorde, the great wheel is also adorned with a portrait of rocker disappeared and displays the slogan “Johnny goodbye.”



Marie-Christine Bracigliano, 50, holding a red rose in hand it intends to launch it at the convoy as it passes. She came at 6 o’clock with her husband, Mario, from Mitry-Mory, near Roissy.

“I need to go through, to say a final farewell. We need to gather one last time, “says Marie-Christine. They named their daughter Laura in honor of the singer, and reminisce now “its simplicity, the way he performed on stage.”

It also crosses impersonators Johnny, as Jean-François Wanesse, 44, aka “Jeff”. “For me he is not dead. I can not say goodbye. I’m here to see it. The word death is banished from my vocabulary. “

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