Over the years I had the privilege to work with a number of talented people, and some became dear friends. One of them was the French composer and singer, Gilbert Bécaud. We met at his farm in the country or on this houseboat in Paris and spent a lot of time together, writing songs, drinking Bordeaux Cru Bourgeois and discussing everything and anything. I learned something very important from Gilbert: Trust your talent, but improve what it gives to you by hard work. It was easy for him to come up with marvelous melodies, but that was only the starting point of his composing. He always tried to simplify his first idea, to make the melodic flow more natural. To write a three-minute-song took him six days or more of continuous work. He was often dissatisfied with himself, never gave up before he was really happy with the result and sometimes had fits of anger, especially when he wasn't glad with his performance in the recording studio. I loved to work with him. He was honest, loyal and smart. My Jewish friends would have called him "a mensch". Gilbert died 11 years ago. I miss him very much.