I was living in Houston, working as a R&D engineer for Schlumberger (an oil service company), when Jean-Michel Jarre did his huge concert, "Rendez-vous Houston",
over the skyscrapers of Houston downtown on the night of Saturday April 5, 1986.
Most of my photos of Rendez-vous Houston were damaged in storage, but here is a selection of those I managed to retrieve and digitize:
Jean-Michel Jarre's concert Rendez-vous Houston was organised for several celebrations: Texas' 150th birthday, Houston 150th birthday and NASA's 25th birthday.
During this concert, astronaut and musician Ron McNair was to play the saxophone from space during the "Last Rendez-Vous" tune. His performance was to be projected live on the giant screen covering the Heritage building. Unfortunately, the Space Shuttle Challenger which he embarked exploded on 28 January 1986, 73 seconds after take-off, killing Ron McNair and the whole Challenger crew. Ron McNair was replaced on stage by Houston native Kirk Whalum.
Rendez-vous Houston held a place in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest "rock concert" in history, with 1 to 1.5 million people attending, taking over from Jarre's concert in Paris La Concorde (1979). It later lost its place for Jarre's Paris La Défense Concert in 1990 (2.5 million people).
The concert was to be best seen from the west side of downtown. Together with my photographer friend George O Jackson Jr, we organized all the logistics to go and shoot it. We determined an excellent viewpoint on a bridge (on Montrose Boulevard?) in Sabine Park, a long and narrow patch of trees and grass stretching west of downtown from Sam Houston's Park.
We packed "El Mañifico", the old Cadillac of George O, with cameras, cold drinks, smokes and food, and parked it in the morning on that bridge. That was a smart move: end of the afternoon, when we went to the location with our friends, the whole place was packed: we had to park miles away and walk to our spot, where our cold drinks were awaiting us!
Following the Rendez-vous Houston concert, a photo contest was organized by Jarre. George O Jackson's photos won the first prize and one of his photos made the official commemorative poster of the concert. Thanks to that, I go to meet Jean-Michel Jarre and his beautiful wife Charlotte Rampling in George O's magnificent apartment located the Parklane building's 24th floor overlooking Houston's skyline.
Jean-Michel Jarre also saw my photos as well and liked them too. From there on, Jarre invited George O and I to shoot his following mega-concerts, starting six month later with "Rendez-vous Lyon".
During the "Rendez-vous Houston", Jean-Michel Jarre played the following tracks:
- Ethnicolor part 1
- Oxygène Part 1
- Oxygène Part 2
- Oxygène Part 4
- Equinoxe Part 7
- Souvenir of China
- Equinoxe Part 4
- Equinoxe Part 2
- Equinoxe Part 5
- Rendez-Vous 2
- Oxygène Part 5
- Last Rendez-Vous (Ron's Piece)
- Rendez-Vous 4
- Rendez-Vous 4 (encore)