Johnny Hallyday still rocking France at 68

July 16, 2011 at 12:44 PM
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PARIS, July 16 (UPI) -- Veteran French rocker Johnny Hallyday says at 68 he is still too young retire.

Hallyday told The New York Times he wouldn't know what to do with himself if he decided to give in to his age and myriad health problems.

"I realized that if it had been my last tour, it would be finished today, and then what would I do?" said Hallyday, who is getting ready for a yearlong tour on top of his first stage acting role in a French version of Tennessee Williams' "Kingdom of Earth."

The Times said Hallyday is still on his feet after a series of health woes including colon cancer and a harrowing surgical procedure on his back in 2009 that led to a lawsuit against the surgeon. To top it off, Hallyday is trying to quit smoking.

Hallyday could easily rest on his laurels. He has been performing since he was 14 and can boast that up-and-coming rocker Jimi Hendrix opened for him in 1966. He has cut more than 70 albums and counts President Nicolas Sarkozy among his many Gallic fans.

"French people moan a lot, 'I hate this, I don't like this.' But they are very loyal to what they like," Hallyday observed.

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