Stephen Faulkner |  dazed eternal

Stephen Faulkner | dazed eternal

It’s 4:30 pm Sitting in the P’tit bar, rue Saint-Denis, Stephen Faulkner is finishing his first Bloody Caesar of the day, then heads out to grill one. “I just got up, I’m dizzy,” he complains. A big smirk, which has probably fooled many already, emerges from his white beard. “It’s funny, because when he was in school, the teachers said she was crazy. »

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Faulkner searches his memory, a question of placing his story. “We are probably in 1974.” Returning from a weekend of shows with Plume, a weekend that we assume is lavish in pleasure, a young Cassonade is late for work. The most cowboy of our rockers was then busy in the Empire Crockery, packing dishes.

The foreman comes to see me and starts giving me shit. I took off my apron and said, “My pay, shove it up your ass.” I pissed him off and never had a job again in my life.

Stephen Faulkner


PHOTO ARMAND TROTTIER, LA PRESSE ARCHIVE

Stephen Faulkner in 2004

Nearly 50 years later, good 67-year-old Steve still refuses to submit to any authority, not even that of time. He may be back on tour this summer for a ten-date tour called 45 years on the road – an anniversary that marks the beginning of his solo career – the author of my little merry way it is more of those who celebrate daily, “without worrying about the next day”, than of celebrating such a milestone.

“It was not me who wanted to present such a thing. Forty-five, I never thought of that. It’s him,” she says, pointing to his manager Jean, who cares for the poet with the tenderness of a nanny.

If you’re unmoved by this anniversary, Steve Faulkner is inexhaustible on just about everything else, whether you’re telling the James on cardboard guitars he invented with his brother Brian to the tune of So you want to be a rock and roll star of the Byrds, or that recalls the passion for music of his pharmacist father, who faced Oscar Peterson and Maynard Ferguson in a piano competition in 1948.

In short: the body of the man is worn out, but the engine of the man who has not had a tank since 1981 does not lack gasoline. “Apart from my dizziness, I’m fine. I’m struggling a bit, I’m getting old, I’m taking a hit. When I do two shows in the same weekend, it takes me a week to recover. But otherwise, I’m on fire. Now he also offers private concerts at home. “The last time, in Sainte-Scholastique, there were children sitting on the ground, it seemed magnificent to me. That is the real work. »

a bit of a dictator

“Fragile is the flame / And so easy to sell your soul,” Stephen Faulkner sings in Troubadour (2000). Selling the soul has never seen this uncompromising chronicle. In interview with Press in 2011 on the occasion of the premiere of the documentary I will return by Sarah Fortin, promised the imminent release of a new album, detoxwhich is still awaited.


Photo Philippe Boivin, THE PRESS

Singer-songwriter Stephen Faulkner

Since then, there have been several other projects that would have allowed him to bring out of his guitar case the fifty unreleased songs waiting to be captured alive, including one with Carl Prévost of Mountain Daisies and Éric Goulet. But Faulkner makes an effort to allow himself to be organized by others. “I’m a bit of a dictator when it comes time to go into the studio. »

It is better to do nothing than to do something bad. If I die tomorrow, if there are only seven albums that bear witness to my work, that will be it. Why make it bad?

Stephen Faulkner

In any case, his repertoire has enough unforgettable choirs that no one will argue with his place in the history of Quebec music. Didn’t Faulkner write one of the simplest and most moving songs about fatherhood, the meteor (1992), for his son William, now 36?

Grandpa Brown Sugar

The father, fascinated by his stellar offspring, is today a grandfather who, like all grandparents, lights up when he describes the 2-year-old grandson that his daughter Alicia gave him. “The little one is in the strongest percentile! He is built. And he already has two blondes in kindergarten. »

the ass Do you like this new role? “Yes, because when you are a father, everything goes too fast for you to notice. You yourself will see it one day, you will be a grandfather, and I will no longer be of this world, but you will remember what I tell you. When you have children, you are too busy preparing dinner and changing diapers. You don’t see them grow. When you are a grandfather, you are free from all that. You can take advantage of it. »

One of his first and most beautiful songs, dust gate (1978), speaks very lightly of this death that awaits us all: “People come and people go/do their pirouettes and then come back/somewhere on the horizon”.

The tender inconvenience becomes a philosopher. “Every human being must remember that there is a limited time to live. I often think about death, but it’s not morbid: it’s to remind me to try to get as much pleasure out of this life as possible before I leave, without hurting anyone. Stephen Faulkner orders another drink and continues on his merry way.

Stephen Faulkner will be at the Festival de la chanson de Tadoussac on June 18, at the FestiVoix de Trois-Rivières on July 6, and at the Festival en chanson de Petite-Vallée on July 9.


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