GeeJee, from the Netherlands, as known as the guv’nor of the Zoolook.nl jarre fan forum, has accepted to answer my routine questions.
1- Under which circumstances did you discover Jarre?
Well, that’s actually quite a sad story. I didn’t have an easy time at all when I was a kid, and I remember the horrible holidays in the UK, where my parents threw everything at me they could find. So I used to sneak into my tent and lie down in my sleeping bag while listening to this CD called “Synthesizer Greatest“, which would comfort me.
2- When since do you consider yourself as a fan?
I kept being interested in the “Synthesizer Greatest” cds (I had the first two volumes)- and always thought they were the original versions. Someday I found out they were not, and went looking for some CDs by Jarre in the local record store. I encountered “Destination Docklands” or “Revolutions” (I don’t remember) and “Odyssey trough O2” in the record bins, neither of which really appealed to me. I then went to look for some songs on Kazaa, fell in love with Chronologie 4. I don’t remember whether I first bought the Chronologie album, or the complete edition of Oxygène (the black longbox). I was hooked ever since. Must have been over a decade now.
3- What are your three favorite albums?
Hard to say, as I keep re-discovering the beauty of some of his albums. This goes hand-in-hand with moments I start do dislike certain albums. So for example I have rediscovered Zoolook and after a while I don’t like it that much anymore and try something else. This rarely happens to Oxygene 7–13, Chronologie, Métamorphoses, Destination Docklands, Waiting for Cousteau, Magnetic Fields and Geometry of Love. I would pick my favourite 3 out of that list.
4- Do you collect Jarre items and if so, which kind (discs, merchandising,…) ?
I used to do that very fanaticly, but have stopped doing so mainly for financial reasons. I used to covet every single item, every different pressing and so forth, nowadays I have a list of items that I want, a few CD singles, promos etc. I haven’t started collecting vinyl yet, but might do so in the future. As for merchandise, I don’t collect it per se, but I have quite a few posters (some of which are framed and on display in my flat).
5- Did you ever want to make your own music?
I do so on a daily basis, although for a few years this is mainly classical music.
6- Did Jarre ever change your sight on things outside music like architecture, photograph, environment, painting?
Not necessarily, but I did find out we have some preferences in common. His own style of painting for example, but also Michel Granger and other surrealistic artists (although I’m not a fan of Dalí), and also this retro-futuristic style he has mentioned a few times. I don’t think I like for example Granger because I like Jarre.
7- Do you speak about Jarre to your fellow mates of family and what are the most usual reactions?
I used to, in the past, when we talked about music. Nowadays mainly the posters in my flat provoke reactions (there’s 3 of them on display, one of which is huge!)- like “who is this Jean Michel Jarre“, and then when I play them a song, most of them instantly recognize it. I have heard a broad range of reactions, from “totally weird” (girl about Oxygene 12 live in Moscow)
to “quite allright” (same girl about Chronologie 3 live in Paris 1995) to “stunning” (one of my best friends about Live in your living room DVD) and quite anything in between. Most people don’t like the music that much though, although some of them tell they used to listen to this music in past times.
8- What do you search by being on Jarre forums?
Nothing, I know all. No, just kidding. I like to read interviews.
9- Has there been a moment when you wanted to drop it all?
No, but there are periods I don’t listen to JMJ’s music at all without lacking interest, I just listen to something else and come back to it later.
10- If you had to describe Jarre to a person that does not know Jarre at all, what would you tell him first?
That would probably following a question like “who is he”- to which I would reply that he is a french musician making electronic music using synthesizers, in quite some different styles, which is usually relaxing to listen to.
11- If you could meet Jarre one-to-one for five minutes, what would you tell him?
I have met him face to face a few times. I asked and told him several things.
12- What other artists (electronic artists) do please you?
At the moment electronic artists I listen to are Depeche Mode and Air (I’ve not yet joined the new wave of La Roux and Little Boots), otherwise I listen a lot to Pink Floyd and Alan Parsons, but also Manfred Mann’s Earth Band with its neat jazzy synthesizer solos…
13- What is, in your opinion, the greatest concert of Jean Michel? And why?
Well, JMJ did so many different things. Visually, that would be La Défense, no doubt, although I don’t think it was musically his best. Musically I think EIC, CPLT, Moscow and 12DOTS were his best (visually not any less spectacular though, they simply can’t beat PLD) although his latest setup is very charming as well. If I would pick a favourite, that would be Moscow, Paris (’95) or Egypt.
> Thanks to GeeJee for his nice answers.