I first heard her sing when I was in college. I had some friends who’d been to Europe and had brought back a few of her records. I didn’t much care for her music and promptly forgot about her, until I came across her name a few days ago on some Wiki site.
Stunning when young (lots of photos at the link), I think Francoise Hardy’s looks are even more extraordinary now that she’s in her late 60s (sixty-nine, to be exact).
The woman is absolutely incapable of taking a bad photo at any age, so it’s hard to choose, young or old. Bone structure, bone structure, bone structure! and being rail-thin helps.
This one will do for Hardy young:
And this one will do for recently (she’s 68 in this photo):
And at around 65:
When she was young, all the greats of rock and roll lusted after her (Malcolm McLaren: “I know for a fact that many of the groups who were notorious and slowly becoming successful, such as the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones and Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and many others were desperately interested in having Françoise Hardy become their girlfriend in some way”).
But her heart was given early on to fellow French singer Jacques Dutronc, with whom she began living in 1967 but didn’t marry until fourteen years later, which was eight years after their son was born. Even then, it seems to have been a vale of tears:
Her intense infatuation was matched by her partner’s coldness. Much of the singer’s 2008 autobiography, Le Désespoir des singes et autres bagatelles, focused on that period. Today it provides the theme for her twenty-seventh album and her first novel, both entitled L’Amour fou.
The novel took thirty years of writing, rehashing and rebuilding. It dissects a love story based on obsession and despair between a woman consumed by passion and a man keen to guard his distance. It doesn’t take much detective work to see that Hardy is telling her own story…
My goodness. So this women, the object of extremely generalized as well as highly specific desire (David Bowie: “I was for a very long time passionately in love with her, as I’m sure she’s guessed. Every male in the world, and a number of females also were, and we all still are”) chose as her lifelong partner a man who held himself at a remove.
Puzzling, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s not, not at all.