September 22, 2009

Twenty years ago

You may wonder why I have not been posting in the last couple of weeks. Well, I have been putting my feet up, - but strictly for medical reasons. I have had some surgery done on my foot, and was therefore distracted from sitting behind the computer. And after that, I had a lot of catching up to do both family- as well as workwise.

I will try and make this up with a few 'rapid' posts, i.e. with a minimum of textual interference.

And the first of these is a referral to a YouTube posting by friend Aboubacar Siddikh of a recording I can - even after (exactly) twenty years - barely listen to. It is the last live performance of that immortal legend of African music, Franco. The fact that he decided to play in this song ("Chacun pour soi" by Josky Kiambukuta) which he had used on previous occasions as a kind of 'pièce de résistance', made the whole scene even more tragic.
Listening to the frantic attempts of this once all-powerful giant was one of the most painful moments in my personal musical memory.

Please note the superb photos made by Ton Verhees. And read Aboubacar's notes.

In the next few weeks I will dedicating more posts to Franco and his legacy (probably with some of the 15 Years Ago and In Memoriam series, plus some singles).


icastico said...

Glad to hear you're on the mend and will be back...we've missed ya.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the mizik, however, your health and family are more important. Take care.


Timothy said...

Get well soon.

oro said...

I am very happy to hear you again. Très bon rétablissement.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the post, but I am afraid that I think it is in quite bad taste. Can you explain exactly what is the relevance of this apart from showing that the poor man was close to death.Please, its painful....
Let us not remember Luambo this way. I personally think you should reconsider and remove it. I feel sure that his family would probably feel the same. The clip cries nothing but pain...

Anonymous said...

Really happy with your return, have been a very long couple of weeks ¡¡
Now knowing that you're okay there's no hurry with the post.

Goofy said...

Welcome back, you've been missed.

WrldServ said...

Thanks for your warm reactions!

@Anonymous: I agree with you that the clip is very painful. I have stressed this in the text.
However: those who have worked closely with Franco have on several occasions asked me for copies of these recordings (which I of course have given to them). They show two things: the unconditional commitment Franco had towards his public, and the enormous love and respect the public had for this great and sadly missed master of African music.

Anonymous said...

I think where his former musicians have asked for copies - that is understandable - as no doubt the likely probability that his family members would also ask for copies. But to put such items up for public exhibition and consumption (any toms, dicky or harriet) is indeed poor taste. A little like the desire to exhibit the plastic tubing connecting to a once famous musical corpse. "Well at the end, the blood didnt flow well, but this was the actual tubing they used"..."look closely you can see the stains"...

of course, you will do as you wish, but again, for me it is both distasteful and disrespectful to the great man.

You will do as you wish. It is your blog and you have that right. But it makes a nonsense of whatever commitment you say that you have to individual musicians.

Did Franco agree to you airing these tracks? Did his close family? Did his senior musicians?

You blemish the memory of a very great man here with your ghoulish sensationalism. Please reconsider.
I am sorry for my words but I feel very strongly about this.

Apologies to you because i know you mean well but please i urge you to reconsider

Timothy said...


Please give WrldServ a break. He didn't post that clip. He's simply linked to the Youtube post by AboubacarSiddikh. You'll be hard-pressed to find two human beings who respect Franco as much as much as this blog's host and the owner of the YT channel he's linked to.