“Qui c’est celui-là?” Many French asked themselves this question (“Who’s that guy?”) when the song bearing this title began to smash the hit parade in 1975. Some others already had parts of the answer: it’s the guy who sang “Amour amitié”! The guy who sang “La femme du sergent”! The guy who sang “Armand” in “Le Petit Conservatoire de Mireille”! To all those French, Vassiliu had always been reduced. Few were the real fans, who had explored all angles and taken the measure of the man.
Vassiliu was – awful word – a poet. Even worse, he was an wandering entertainer. He wandered the world, bringing back words, sounds, instruments and feelings. Maybe his rhymes weren’t that rich, the instrumentation not too lush, the production quite laid-back and the timbre rather little demanding, but you could be sure the song would be pampered. Had anyone else taken care of it, it would have been worse. To make a good Vassiliu song, you had to be Vassiliu. The problem is, all this was nothing but a succession of misunderstandings. Because he continuously tried to remodel his career, from a chansonnier to a cunning singer, from tender to comical, to a beatnik poet, to an ethno-artist, to a venue manager, to a showman, to a barfly.
1961. Pierre Vassiliu, a horserider and a war photographer, embarks with his brother Michel (lyricist) in the music business.