When that afternoon of 2015, in the suite room From a hotel in La Castellana, I touched with my fingers the knee of that 90-year-old man with the appearance of a living legend in a shirt of gaudy flowers to see if it was real, an irrefutable evidence exploded with a thud: according to what people have crossed the threshold of logic to contradict the natural order of things. That was Aznavour, owner of a speech "politically and poetically incorrect", as he self-portrayed in that corny room and in that strange and evening. What a guy, we thought at that moment before the mixture of physical vulnerability and dialectical force. What people, he must have thought before our gestures of easily impressionable guests.
He was the universal singer, a crooner for eternity. The bohème That c'est sad Venise. Il faut savoir Also a film actor and a seducer of the first hour. Also the partenaire Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias and Plácido Domingo, Peggy Lee and Liza Minnelli. Shahnour Varinag Aznavourian, a Frenchman of Armenian origin from head to toe (the one and the other, the francitude non-negotiable and glamorous and the imprint Armenian in the vindicative genes against the genocide against his people) he said sing for a person even if there were 200 or 3,000 in front of him. Yes, you guessed it: that person was you alone. Or me, and only me. Or you and only you. Precisely that, that old dream fulfilled: the one of making you to the idea, naive like a poppy, that the star was acting only for you. "The audience is a person, so each viewer thinks that he is singing for him alone. That is the absolute truth. "
I checked an almost perfect spring night at the Liceo de Barcelona. Almost two and a half hours of recital. Thirty songs Including two that Aznavour did repeat to his band "because this sounds horrible". So the hardworking-and fantastic-musicians, who already knew the calico, composed the gesture of a cut-throated lamb and, amused and helpless, resumed the night. Would it be a montage, would it be a joke? Can. But it was priceless to see Charles Aznavour, tiny in the middle of the giant stage, draw punches in the air and say "these people have paid their entrance, what do you think?" In the direction of their musicians.
Now he's dead, all right, but before that, Aznavour has had time to spend 70 years on the plates and in the studios, to sell more than 150 million records, to take care of his beloved olive trees in the south of France, to persist in the work so that the muses caught him in the pit ("I have no inspiration, I have no imagination, I only have ideas") and, in the lineage of Charles Trenet and Maurice Chevalier and Carlos Gardel ("they were my teachers"), to leave engraved in the fall of eyes of his face of sad mime, the phrase that everything has to justify and to which we will always have to return: "The show must continue".