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Biography of Joe Dassin

He was always in a white, bright suit. His charming smile, soothing and velvety voice drove millions of girls and women crazy. Image of white...

What has oppressed Joe Dassin lately? Could he be saved?

Joe Dassin
Joe Dassin

He was always in a white, bright suit. His charming smile, soothing and velvety voice drove millions of girls and women crazy. The image of a snow-white angel sent from heaven made people cling to the screens with trepidation and, without ceasing, follow his singing and how he moves around the stage. He inspired calmness and some kind of inner confidence, which was inaccessible to mere mortals. He was a guide, and his voice was a guide!

But what kind of person was hiding behind this snow-white facade? Did the image on the stage correspond to his real image? Who was Joe Dassin in real life?

When our Russian film crew went to Paris to shoot the documentary “Joe Dassin. The story of a prophecy”, she had to interview close friends and relatives of the musician. In the process, they discovered for themselves and for those around them a completely different Dassin, which few people knew about before. In fact, the singer was an insecure person, very suspicious and notorious. He was afraid of something and tried to hide it from others. Where does all this come from? Let's try to figure it out.

He was 20 years old, he studied at the University of Michigan in the USA. In a few years he was to become a certified anthropologist, researching the origins, customs and culture of the peoples of the world. But fate decreed otherwise: one fine day, choosing between another expedition to the depths of America and a trip to Europe, he chose the latter and, climbing onto a cargo liner, went across the ocean to another continent.

Joe Dassin, 1960
Joe Dassin, 1960

In Europe, he was immediately overwhelmed from head to toe by social life: he had affairs with girls, played the guitar, wrote and acted in films. After some time, he met a girl named Maryse. She decided to "wrap" the passionate womanizer and formalize their union officially. When the day of registration came, Joe Dassin appeared in a very strange outfit: the suit was old and worn, 3-day-old stubble flaunted on his face, and he himself was drunk as an insole. But Maryse was not embarrassed, she saw the potential in him, and she heard his voice, which, turning into a whisper, could make millions of people listen to him for hours without stopping.

Joe Dassin and Maryse Massiere
Joe Dassin and Maryse Massiere

Of course, all his entourage was delighted with what had happened: at last he became a family man. But even greater joy among all his friends and relatives caused his creative success, which he achieved. However, such a dizzying rise frightened even himself. Joe experienced this with difficulty ... By nature, he was an ordinary non-public person, his popularity oppressed him, and he could not fully enjoy life, as before. His personal life no longer belonged to him, it was in the public domain. His shyness kept him from becoming a star more and more every day. Despite all the circumstances, he nevertheless achieved the recognition of millions and became one of the most popular singers of the 20th century. But what did it cost him?

Joe Dassin
Joe Dassin

From interviews with his friends and relatives, it follows that he had difficulty experiencing a split personality. His nature struggled with itself more and more every day. At the end of his life, he was in a deep depression, the more fame irradiated him, the more he retreated into himself. He just wanted to be alone. He admitted once: "I'm afraid of my own fame."

His personal life was turned upside down when he met a girl on a plane. The girl's name was Christine. In the movie "Joe Dassin. The story of a prophecy ”described in detail their love story. Life has changed, and not for the better! The role of Christine's wife did not work out well. She was very jealous, quick-tempered and uncontrollable.

Joe Dassin with his second wife Christine
Joe Dassin with his second wife Christine

The drugs and alcohol that Kristin dabbled in added fuel to the fire. Of course, Joe did not stand aside and kept her company, this lifestyle changed him too. When the divorce process began, Joe Dassin said in court that it would be better for their children if he himself took care of the upbringing, since he did not see his wife in this role. She could simply harm the children, damage their psyche. The court was able to see into the essence of Christine, and, to the surprise of many, Joe received custody of the children. At that time, it was a bold enough decision for the court to leave custody not to the mother, but to the father.

All this had a terrible effect on the singer. His creative life was going through hard times, family life fell apart, leaving him with children. His health and mental state were failing... As a result, he had a heart attack at the age of 41. It was a crash!

Joe Dassin with Christine and children
Joe Dassin with Christine and children

He was accustomed to a riotous lifestyle, a sharp change in contrasts affected him badly. He was a musician and he couldn't live without it! It's been a month since Joe got out of the hospital. There was no money, and he also could not earn. Luxury and comfort have always been faithful companions for him: expensive hotels, expensive drinks, women, tennis, golf, skiing, holidays in luxury resorts ... This lifestyle required huge investments. Deciding to take a break, he took a family: a mother and two tiny children; invited his close friend Claude Lemel and went to rest in Tahiti. 2 days later, he died. It happened very quickly. In the restaurant at the table…

Joe with father Jules Dassin and mother Beatrice Lohner-Dassin. Paris, 1970
Joe with father Jules Dassin and mother Beatrice Lohner-Dassin. Paris, 1970

If fate had decreed otherwise, and he would have died in a car accident, for example, millions of fans would have unanswered questions to fate and God. But it happened differently, it was his personal tragedy. His internal motor simply could not withstand such stress. Heart stopped…

Joe Dassin at sea
Joe Dassin at sea

And here we should leave a rhetorical question: “Would Joe Dassin be happier if he had not gone to Europe then? What kind of person would he become if he chose the profession of an anthropologist and scientist? What would happen to his work, his songs, his voice? Would the world have noticed the absence of the musical genius of Joe Dassin?”

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