Jean-Marie Périer, the photographer of the famous magazine of the Yé-yé period, “Salut les copains”, is the guest of honor at the Figeac Gift Show next weekend. Meet this brilliant “dilettante” photographer.
Jean-Marie Périer is the great witness of the Yé-yé years. At 20, he lived among the stars he has immortalized in thousands of photos. With the magazine “Salut les copains”, he was at the heart of an era, forever great.
Your 1960s were “the time for friends and adventure”. Do you think of it with nostalgia, or thinking to yourself: how lucky I was?
Of course I think of it with nostalgia. First of all, I preferred to be 25 than soon to be 82. I started thanks to the newspaper “Salut les copains” at the same time as the generation of young artists of the 1960s, I knew them all as teenagers, from Françoise Hardy or Sylvie Vartan, to Beatles or Mick Jagger; they were all the same age.
Did you then consider yourself as a journalist in the midst of more or less friendly artists, or as one of them?
I never saw myself as a journalist, any more than a photographer, filmmaker or writer. I am a dilettante, I have always done things for pleasure, tenderness or crazy love, while possibly making my family live well. I was hardly older than all the singers and musicians of this new wave, so I spent more time living with them than photographing them. In addition, my affair with Françoise Hardy gave me a strange situation, I wrote the newspaper but I was also in it.
“It will soon be thirty years since it was a gift for me to live in this region of Aveyron and Lot”
What motivated you to come and present your book “Chroniques d’un dilettante” at the Gift Fair?
Nathalie Capraro first, and then because of the name “Salon du Cadeau”. It will be almost thirty years since it was a gift for me to live in this region of Aveyron and Lot, and Figeac is one of them. And then this association is essentially female, it changes the male hegemony which is flourishing in our beautiful country.
When you look at your famous photo with so many artists, what first feeling do you get?
The simplicity of my relationship with them all. It didn’t take us more than three weeks to bring them together. The shooting lasted five minutes and then we had a drink.
Would such a photo be possible today?
No, today there are too many people around artists. They are all scared, They are obsessed with their image, at the time nobody ever asked me to see a photo before it appeared, nobody would have dared to ask that we do a “retouch” to the images . Paris Match asked me to do the same photo again with the young artists of the 1990s. It took them seven months to bring them together and two or three very important ones are missing; they are not there because of people around them who thought it was not good for them to mix with others. As you can see, the party is over.
When we talk about the time of the Yé-yé, we immediately think of Jean-Marie Périer. Why you think ?
Because you will notice that around us a lot of artists are disappearing and soon I will be one of the few who will remain to have known them all.
Guest of honor at the Figeac Gift Show next weekend
After the cancellation of the 2020 edition due to Covid, the ladies of the Inner Wheel service club are happy to offer their 11th Gift Show, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November at the Espace Mitterrand in Figeac. A much anticipated show for the wide range of products it presents.
Sweet or savory, to eat and drink, to offer or to treat yourself, there is always something to make you happy.
And the icing on the cake, the guest of honor of the show is therefore Jean-Marie Périer. He will be signing his books on Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.