..started his musical life in true musician style touring his way into
people's affections, and having been turned away from Denmark Street in 1965,
found his fame following an appearance outside the "Sacré Coeur", France in
1966, back in his home country.
Since then he has moved in many circles, and currently resides in USA. One
fan from France is long awaiting some new releases after discovering him in
1995, aged 11. We do have some great pictures courtesy again of this long
standing fan (Thibaut aka TheNobody from France).
An eccentric natured man, French pop songwriter Michel Polnareff created his own
buzz in the early to mid-60's when his debut single, "La Poupée Qui Fait Non,"
swooped to the top of the French charts. However his early 70's release,
Polnareff's, placed him firmly in legend status with French pop. Polnareff was
raised in Paris. His mother, Simone Lane was a dancer; his father Leib Polnareff
was a musician who played alongside many including Edith Piaf under the name Léo
Poll. Surrounded with music Polnareff shaped his ambitions, so it is no surprise
he played piano by five, and was composing by eleven.
As a teenager, he discovered Rock n' Roll. He was obliged to hide from his
violent father in order to listen to it. Following a short time in the French
Army and then a few small jobs, Polnareff refusing to follow his classical
education took up his passion, busking the streets with his guitar, bought at
"Paul Beuscher" in Paris. In 1966, he refused the offer of a recording contract
with Barclay, a prize he won from a singing contest (one of his earliest
displays of non-conformity). He eventually signed to "AZ" directed by his
manager Lucien Morisse a Radio 1 musical director. "La Poupée Qui Fait Non",
recorded in London like most of Polnareff's first materials, was released in the
spring of 1966 with non other than a young Jimmy Page on Guitar! It topped the
charts in France, Germany, Britain, and Spain. The song was the first of many
hits, but the French press were as much interested in his attitude and stage
persona. The conservative press couldn't stop the hits, and Polnareff received
much praise, but the constant attacks began to weigh him down.
stage costumes had become more flamboyant by the 70's. The French press began
questioning his sexuality, and it all came to a head when he was assaulted while
performing. Polnareff cancelled the rest of his tour, then soon after entered
hospital, depressed on learning of the suicide of his afore mentioned manager.
Polnareff bounced back a few months later and resumed his recording and touring
schedule, but scandal soon returned and he ended up in court over his 1972 tour
publicity posters showing Polnareff's naked backside! Polnareff was fined 60,000
francs for gross indecency.
Touring in Polynesia and North America into 1973 then returning to France to
find his bank account emptied by his financial manager! He went to the United
States with unpaid tax debts to the French government estimated at over a
million francs. He was for 5 years in the United States recording for Atlantic,
composing movie scores and even entered in the Billboard. Then he was declared
innocent in France for his financial affair in 1978, and finally cleared his
debts with the government.
Polnareff's later music continued charting through the 80's, until he secluded
himself from the public eye, working secretly in France on a new album - Kama
Sutra. The album appeared in the summer of 1990 and produced no less than four
French hits. A period of depression ensued when he realised he was losing his
eyesight. After many months of anxious hesitation, Polnareff decided to undergo
a cataract operation in 1994. One year later, returned to the U.S., he performed
at the Roxy in Los Angeles.
He still sells hundreds of thousands of "best of" albums, and hadn't returned to
France since his operation.
Michel Polnareff was again pictured in French magazines recently, with his new
love, Daniella. Finally publishing an autobiography (in French naturally)
on November 23rd 2004. He now prepares for a triumphant come-back in his native
...and yes, a new album...
His fans have never been so impatient... a rare living legend!
See Michael on You Tube:
You can visit his own website here:
His music can of course be found at
The first album "Sous quelle Etoile suis je ne" (Under what star was I born?)
is contemporary to the Hasgtröm playing period.
Thanks go to Thibaut (aka TheNobody) for
editing the original text on this page - and for the photo's!
Visit Polnafred - A Japanese
Michel Polnareff Tribute running since 1997
This is an 'inline link' from Japan - you are watching and
downloading an external site by clicking Enter etc...