Here is an interview Jonathan gave recently to a French rock mag in which he tells about his favourite songs …(translated from French after Nikola Acin’s text).
What would be your favourite song describing a particular place ?
Ah, this is not easy. Maybe Charles Trenet’s “Nationale 7” (starts to sing) “Les oliviers sont bleus, ma p’tite Lisette/ L’amour joyeux est la qui fait risette/ On est heureux, Nationale 7” (laughs). I have a Charles Trenet compilation, I love it.
Song which hurts because she is gone
“The wind” by Nolan Strong & the Diablos. A genuine R’nB marvel which was released in 1954, I think. I discovered it more than twenty years ago on the radio, it is beautiful, a soul classic. When you hear it you will understand.
Song for rainy Sunday mornings
“Heart is a melody of time (Hiroko’s song)” by Pharoah Sanders. I don’t know what I am listening to usually on a rainy Sunday morning, but this one would be perfect for this kind of atmosphere.
“Born to be wild”, Steppenwolf, it fits perfectly.
Cow boy song
When I was three years old, I used to have a Roy Rodgers record. I do not remember exactly the title, maybe “The happy hungry Chuck Wagon song”, but I can be wrong. My parents had bought it for me, as was the case for all the American kids who had a record player then. And I like also “El paso” from Marty Robbins.
(starts to sing again) “For those who come to San Francisco” this one. “San Francisco” by Scott Mc Kenzie. Twenty five years after I had heard it, I have settled there in San Francisco. This song brings tears to my eyes. I heard there is a French cover by Johnny Halliday but I have never heard it.
What would you think of the Stones’ “Under my thumb” ? (laughs). It surely is not a sweet merry melody, but you wanted despise, didn’t you ? (laughs).
Let’s say “This land is your land” by Woody Guthrie. I have hardly been exposed to folk music during my youth, I must have found it much later. There is also “Deportees” also from Woody Guthrie. This one kills me, gives me goose bumps, it is absolutely awesome.
Ah, I think the number one is (sings again) “weeeell… come on everybody” (laughs). Eddie Cochran, it always works. Or maybe “Party lights. I see the party lights” : Claudine Clark, “Party lights”, 1962. Awesome. She gets mad like a rebel teenager, she is angry, “but you won’t let me make the scene, mama dear”.
Oh this one (takes a deep breath) “Jesus, I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me”, I think the title is “Jesus, I’ll never forget” by the Soul Stirrers with Sam Cooke.
Punk rock song
No doubt , “Sheena is a punk rocker” by the Ramones.
My favourite must be “Saturday night fever” by the Bee Gees, I love it. And also “Bad girls” by Donna Summer, a marvel.
Song for having girls dancing
What do you think of “Who’s that lady ?” by the Isley brothers ? That’s what I would put on the stereo at a party.
Song for crying in one’s beer
But, I never cry in my beer (laughs). “Que c’est triste Venise” by Charles Aznavour, in that mood it is the best one. Oh and there is another one, at the same level. “The long and winding road” by the Beatles. When hearing this one, I truly cried in my beer. Though it was not beer but I cried nevertheless. I was nineteen and this song was like a true cheer up. I have not heard yet the violin less version of “Let it be naked” , John Lennon is supposed to be heard playing rather badly the bass.
I don’t know any naïve song. What is a naïve song ? “Louie Louie” ? There are all naïve. I do not know what a naïve song stands for.