“When I will be forty, if I am given time, I want my house to be full as always, with noises, unreason, calm and then with love. That there are poivrots, musicians and poets, real people, who have talent and not have a big head. ” When Pierre Vassiliu moved to the Gers in Puylausic, a stone’s throw from Samatan, at the start of the 90s, the artist was in his fifties. But the profession of faith of his song “In my house of love” (1971) still applies. The Gascon farm becomes a place of artistic experiences and conviviality.
“When I bought the property in 2003, I promised Pierre not to radically transform the place. His daughter Léna, who was educated in Samatan, came back several times. She was happy to see the spirit of his childhood home had not changed, “says André Mangin. A former forestry technician, himself an artist, he put the property up for sale in the middle of the summer and has already found a buyer. From Saturday, he is organizing an empty house where some concert posters of the singer will take place in the middle of the furniture, linens and trinkets of the current occupants.
Love at first sight for the Gers
“Placed on a hill, overlooking the valleys, our new house was well insulated. It was not brave when we met, but a few cans of paint and several concrete wheelbarrows later, it had regained its splendor”, says Pierre Vassiliu in an autobiography.
Inside, the artist, with his wife Laura, gives free rein to his imagination and his penchant for Arab-Andalusian architecture. Moorish door, azulejos on the ground and on the walls, wooden panels in a moucharabieh style… The vast rooms of the venerable Gascon revolve around a patio with “fountain, banana trees and climbing roses”.
Happy on his little “island”, overlooking the Gascon valleys, the singer however comes up against hostility or incomprehension, especially when he decides to set up a Cuban restaurant, Le Boléro, in Samatan.
The Samatanese singer Isabelle Gaignier, alias Philomène, remembers “parties and magical moments” with the Vassiliu couple. “I ran into Pierre a bit by chance and he agreed to be the godfather of a charity concert. I befriended him and Laura. They were a generous and affectionate couple, but their atypical side , eccentric, bothered some. ” The Gers artist retains the memory of a “magnificent parenthesis” of these few years. “Strangely, the more we celebrated there, the more disagreeable the indigenous population was,” the artist sums up in his autobiography. “In the end, the hostility of the neighborhood and a thousand quibbles got the better of our enthusiasm.”
The Vassiliu family then hit the road again, towards Mèze, near the Thau lagoon, then Sète, the birthplace of another famous mustache in the French repertoire, Georges Brassens. It is on the shores of the Mediterranean that Pierre Vassiliu went to “Talk to the Angels” in 2014.