Rock `n' Roll: `I'm not proud of it... that's the way it is'

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The Independent Online
Johnny Hallyday made his confession earlier this month in a sprawling two-page interview, incorporating something else rare in Le Monde - a photograph.

The singer, 39 years in the business, spoke of his sense of being a rock dinosaur. "There's just me and Mick Jagger left," he said.

Many of his fellow rock originals had become "petits-bourgeois", who had sold out to "sugariness". Others, like "my friend" Jimi Hendrix and "my friend" Brian Jones, were dead. Both died from drugs overdoses.

"Myself, I'm like one of those mortally ill people who keep on fighting just so as not to die."

Johnny (ne Jean-Philippe Smet) then launched into a long description, and defence, of the place of drugs in rock music. "Cocaine, yes, for a long time I used to take it when I fell out of bed in the morning. That's finished now. I take it in order to work, to start up the machine, to stand the pace. I'm not the only one, either. Powder and hash are everywhere amongst musicians. ... I'm not proud of it. But that's the way it is.

"You have to remember that our songs come from somewhere. They don't fall off the Christmas tree."