When three-years-old Ilie Nastase watched a tennis match for the first time from the roof of Romania’s biggest stadium, he was so fascinated by the flying ball that he forgot about his bladder functions: „At first, people below thought it was raining“, he recalls in his autobiography. After quitting the racket circus, the Transsylvanian tennis enfant terrible („Nasty but nice“) didn’t only write two thrillers, but also recorded his only 45 tours, Globe Trotter Lover which reached #2 in the French pop charts in 1987. The b-side, Pour etre un homme, is a soft-spoken, tender slice of cheese – a charmer all the way.
Ilie Nastase – Pour etre un homme
Extra 1: Four years after Ilie, John McEnroe and Pat Cash teamed up with Who frontman Roger Daltrey for a, well, serve-and-volley version of Led Zep’s Rock’n’Roll:
John McEnroe & Pat Cash w/ Roger Daltrey – Rock’n’Roll
Extra 2: The only ex-tennis player to rival Ilie in the French charts was Yannick Noah doing a not too bad soul-popper impersonation. From his eighth longplayer, Charango (2006):
Yannick Noah – C’est toi
Extra 3: Only Delerm can sing about Steffi Graf in a way that breaks your heart. And Dr. House makes you grin again.
Vincent Delerm – Les jambes de Steffi Graf
Hugh Laurie – I’m in Love with Steffi Graf (video)