Jean-Luc is still dead

posted on 5. May 2021 · last edited on 12. Jun 2022
Florent Dufour · München

As I am writing these lines, Jean-Luc le Ténia was taking his own life in his mother town, Le Mans - France, 10 years ago. I can feel my skin getting closer. Why would someone this talented, well surrounded, and such fun commit suicide at the age 35?

“Écoutez mes chansons, en souvenir de moi
Moi j’étais beau garçon, mais j’étais seul chez moi
Mes chansons sont en vous, elles grandissent chaque jour
Mes chansons sont les ténias de l’amour!”
- L’âme du Mans (L’âme du Mans, 2002)

Jean-Luc le Ténia wrote and self produced more than 2’000 songs and hundreds of video clips. They feature everything that make life what it is: happiness, humor, friends, sex, but also pain, sorrow, regrets, love and the lack thereof.

Album cover of Le Meilleur chanteur français du monde
Album cover of “Le meilleur chanteur français du monde”: him during his 25th birthday in front of the wardrobe in his apartment, Le Mans.

Unique figure of French anti-folk, his songs vacillate between humor and anxiety, providing a raw, deep, and fragile glimpse into a mind afflicted by depression. He openly sang about suicide, as in “Tous les matins”, “Je chante la nuit”, or even “La vie sans toi”:

“La vie sans toi, tout est froid
La vie avec toi, tout me plait
Je ne peux plus supporter d’attendre sans savoir
Ne m’aimes-tu plus ou es-tu empêchée ?
Tu ne veux pas ou bien tu ne peux pas ?
Je veux savoir, je ne peux plus attendre
Je ne peux plus attendre, espérer pour rien, enfermé dans un lit qui me guette
Marchant le long du canal qui me lèche
Sur le pont, la tentation
Sur le pont, la tentation
La tentation, la tentation”
- La vie sans toi (L’amour et/ou la poésie, 2005)

In addition to his musical legacy, Jean-Luc left his diary behind. A methodical daily log he started in 1995 available for everyone to dive in1. Later in 2016, the diary was published as a book under (Book is) Conspiration. His last entry, 18 words, 2 days before killing himself:

“Crevé, je suis allé boire trois bières au Lézard en début de soirée, puis suis rentré chez moi.”
- Tenia Diary, entry log May 3rd, 2011.

  1. The online diary, provided by Tony Papin: link 

Categories:  #music