Is French rock’s bad boy double trouble?

Johnny Hallyday impersonator Johnny Rock performing on stage - and pictured below right with the man himself

Despite persistent announcements that he will retire, Johnny Hallyday is still touring. Good news for the man who impersonates him. Nick Rowswell meets JOHNNY ROCK

For readers who aren’t familiar with Johnny Hallyday, who is he and what is his appeal?

Johnny is very much the French Elvis. He inspires the same devotion as the King. He is part of our heritage. He’s a monument, as iconic as the Eiffel Tower itself. There’s also maybe a physical attraction. Johnny is tall and handsome; he’s the man that many women want and the man that many men want to be.

 

How did you get Johnny in your life, and how did you get a life as Johnny?

I suppose it all started back in 1966. I was watching TV one night when up popped Johnny and I guess it was love at first sight. I remember watching him and thinking, ‘That’s the man I want to be when I grow up’. I was 11 at the time. Anyway, I started doing Johnny impersonations for friends and family, which earned me the nickname le petit Johnny. Even the teachers at school called me Johnny.

At 16, I went to work as a carpenter in the shipyards in my home town of Cherbourg, but I carried on my Johnny routine.

In 1984, I was spotted by the owner of a ...

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