My cousins' father, Amir, was very fond of Joe Dassin in 1978. He probably purchased the cassette in the South of France when he visited there. Iranians of the Old Regime loved Cannes!
I remember listening to Joe Dassin in 1978, sitting in the back of his car, driving towards the Caspian Sea (Shomal), with my cousins. I hadn't been to France yet, but I was already a fluent French speaker by the age of 7, and memorized the lyrics. We sang, with serenity, oblivious of the grander events that were surrounding us. Those were the last carefree holidays in Pahlavi Iran.
When I hear Joe Dassin today, I return to those childhood days. I think of the jovial but always nostalgic songs like "Salut" or "Champs Elysees". I especially remember the graver melancholic words of L'Ete Indien. "Toute la vie sera pareille a ce matin!" (Our entire life will be similar to this morning). That was wishful thinking for my Iranian family. Unfortunately for them and all of us, my maternal family's life was shaken by the following summer.
Today my kids can recite the lyrics of Joe Dassin. They sing them with innocence and gaiety. They laugh at the words and enjoy the charming tunes. Once, while sitting at an overheated fondue restaurant in a ski resort in Switzerland, "Champs Elysees" came on, and my eldest son, then 5 years old, sang along, louder than any of the other customers there, one arm around me, the other around my sister. He had removed his t-shirt it was so hot, and was quite the sight at the restaurant!
Most recently, and after making the "Champs Elysees" song his class theme, my son (and his siblings), walked down the famous avenue in Paris, like Joe Dassin "le coeur ouvert a l'inconnu", their hearts open to the unknown. And, similar to my car ride in 1978, my son introduced his younger cousin to this joyful song, with their grandparents in the front seats, as they drove through the winding and beautiful vistas of the Grande Corniche.
Here is a link to his nicest songs: