...Continued from page 1

Johnny's 'free' concert cost 41 million francs to stage. The Ville de Paris chipped in 15 million, his recording company added 16 million and the private TV-channel kicked in 10 million, for the rights to the live broadcast on TF1.

The show blasted off - 500,000 watts' worth - at 21:30, with 12 musicians, four beautiful 'ye-ye' girls and a chorus of 80. Standing by were 1300 cops.

Two hours later it closed with 'Non, je ne regrette rien,' which is not in your average rock repertoire, butphoto: rue commandeur the words are known to a lot of fans in France. The TV coverage was excellent, and with open windows echoed the live show all over Paris.

Many of Johnny's fans are older than he is - his 57th birthday is this coming week - but many are also half or a quarter of his age. Johnny's first single was released in March of 1960 and his first TV appearance was a month later on the show 'L'Ecole des Vedettes.'

A building-curved canyon in the Rue du Commandeur.

In September of the same year - he was 17 - he appeared on stage at the Alhambra in Paris. After two decades of 'firsts,' he appeared in his first starring role in the film 'Détective' directed by Jean-Luc Godard, in 1984.

Johnny has given free concerts before; the first was in 1963 for the magazine 'Salut les Copains.' His 30th show-biz anniversary was held at the Bercy sports palace in 1990; then he celebrated his own 50th birthday in 1993 for three days at the Parc des Princes football stadium.

After the semi-flop of an appearance in Las Vegas in 1996, Le Parisien's Sunday headline of 'C'était Méga Johnny!' seems well-deserved even if it is on page 39.

The server-lady Linda Thalman's reaction at 23:49 on Saturday was unreserved: "What a show! What fireworks! What an incredible concert!!! 1000% out of 1000% for Johnny!" This was remarkable because she is a hard-core tennis fan.

Johnny's Anti-Fans

Back in April, the bourgeois who live in the neighborhood palaces adjoining Paris' 'field of exceptional extravaganzas' were trying to get the show stopped. They objected to the damage that would be caused to the grass by broken bottles and holes.

They have been trying to get the big shows banned for years and would even like to see a high, iron-grill fence around the whole field. The city has quietly refused, saying that such a fence could cost as much as an after-show cleanup.

Neighbors also object to other park nuisances such as people being in it after dark, and the abundant results of people walking their dogs in it.

Strange as it may seem, there are few known cases of residents of the 13th or 19th arrondissements riding across town to the 7th arrondissement to offer their dogs an evening stroll on the Champ de Mars.

Sports News Roundup

Mary Pierce won the tennis tournament at Roland Garros by playing better than all of her opponents. The spectators were enthusiastically with her all the way, and didn't bother paying much attention to continual media hints that she is not entirely 'French.'

When she had the tournament in the bag and kissed the prize pot, she suddenly became the first Frenchwoman to win the Roland Garros tournament since Françoise Durr did it in 1967.

France's slightly re-constituted 1998 World Cup champion soccer team blew away Denmark 3-0 in their first match of the 'Euro 2000' football tournament.

This victory has caused all sorts of anguished soul-searching, which has filled much air-time and many pages of newspaper columns.

I don't follow football closely and don't even know what this 'Euro 2000' thing is, but 3-0 seems like a good enough score. It's a lot better than the 'wins' Paris' PSG posts with scores like 0-0.

Next Friday, the French squad meets the Czechs, who have already been hammered in their first game. French football fans are worried sick about it.

Only 16 Days Until...

The summer sales begin in Paris on Tuesday, 27. June according to what Printemps told Metropole reader Brigitte. I forget how long they continue, but in the past it was for four of five weeks.

To get the best choices for bargains, the first days are the best. 'Bargains' means this year's summer fashions that haven't already been snapped up. Discounts will range from 20 to 50 percent off regular prices. By law, sale prices have to be shown together with the original retail prices.

Also by law, only items that were in stock at the beginning of the 'sales' are allowed to be sold. This doesn't prevent shops from stocking up in anticipation, but is to ensure that more and lesser-quality goods are not put on the shelves while the sales are on.

Web Life In France:

It seems as if all new Web sites are 'Dot.Coms' these days. Some of these may be interesting, but there is a fierce battle going on for market share. This is also having a sad effect on the Paris poster scene, which now featuresphoto: bouquinistes, pont des arts many poorly executed and incomprehensible ads for who-knows-what.

It is just as difficult to see through the blizzard of promotional hype as it is to figure out what all the so-called 'free access' offers really mean.

No other 'beach' in the world has so many booksellers.

While this phase lasts, actual 'content' comes in a poor last. My guess is that it'll take months if not years for the dust to settle enough to see if there's anything worthwhile on these commercial sites - the few that survive the battle.

Meanwhile, I can't do much about it. I need to find new sources for leads to original content. I expect to make some effort in this direction during the summer. If you have any tips, send them in to share them with other readers.

Paris' Peace Wall, Forever

This leaves the URL for Paris' Peace Wall which I imagine is still on the Champ de Mars, if it survived Johnny's big show. If so, this 'Mur Pour la Paix' is worthwhile because 'Peace' lives on! You can also learn how to read the word 'peace' in 31 languages, including Spanish.

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