A Led Zeppelin show changed her forever, so much so that she became one of the first female rock journalists in Quebec. Even today, Marie-France Rémillard facilitates the arrival of great rock stars in Montreal, in particular on the set of everybody talks about it. Portrait of a music lover who thrives on rock shows.
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“Springsteen has already sold a million tickets in Europe. One million ! »
We are hardly sitting in the restaurant when Marie-France Rémillard informs us of the news of the music industry, as she does several times a day, with relevance, on social networks such as Twitter.
The day before our interview, at the beginning of June, that great thirst for rock had led her to return at night from Fenway Park in Boston, where she had seen a Paul McCartney show.
“It’s nothing, the road,” says the one who loves to drive at night.
Marie-France Rémillard returned from London on Monday. On Sunday she saw the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park for her 64thme anniversary. On Wednesday night, she will be sitting in the front row of the Gesù for the show of the Polish pianist Hania Rani. On Thursday, she will fly back to Rome for a Maneskin performance. She will then return to London to ABBA Travel and Duran Duran. A whole program!
“We had to go”
Marie-France Rémillard caught the rock bug in 1975 when she saw Led Zeppelin perform in Montreal. “It was a shock and a passion to share,” she says.
The young Montrealer then began to write for the newspaper Pop rock, where another woman, Lise Ravary, worked. She was hired by the man who would become her friend, Mario Lefebvre, who later managed the careers of Garou and Roch Voisine. Marie-France had mailed a review of a show by the Nazareth group at the Place des Nations. She was then… 17 years old!
Later, he wanted to see Led Zeppelin again, but the group had excluded Montreal from their tour, so he made a first trip to the United States to see Robert Plant and Jimmy Page’s band in Detroit, then two evenings in the legendary Madison. Square Garden in New York. “I stayed in the same hotel as them in Detroit and met Robert Plant in New York,” he says. Robert Plant is the artist I have met most often. »
During our meeting, Marie-France Rémillard throws out many such anecdotes. Facts experienced to make you dream, but that today seem like an impossible mission.
How do i do it?
“It was easier back then. I made a cold call to the record company. You just had to go and ask. »
As simple as that…
Build lasting bonds
Marie-France Rémillard worked on Pop rock from 1975 to 1980. He covered Quebec music, while his male colleagues were only interested in Genesis and progressive rock.
I went to see Harmonium, Aut’Chose, Diane Dufresne… There were record releases all the time. It was really a good time. There was a lot of money for promotion.
At the same time, Marie-France Rémillard began to make contact with the teams of “rockier” international groups, such as Aerosmith, Rush, Van Halen and Kiss. In 1980 she left Pop rock found the magazine To live! and became the first female journalist to write about metal in Quebec.
Contacts and links, weaved, and served him. She became close to Gene Simmons of Kiss, for example, one of the artists she facilitated in everybody talks about it.
Marie-France later worked on the management teams of Garou and Angélique Kidjo, with whom she remains very close.
His great friend, Paul Lévesque, businessman of Bruno Pelletier, died two years ago. “A great success,” she says. When she was working with him for the band Mahogany Rush, he introduced her to people who rose through the ranks and became close to bands like Metallica and Def Leppard.
In December 1989, Marie-France closed To live! because she had an overflow of metal music. Passionate about travel, she completed a master’s degree in international relations at Université Laval. She then worked in Benin before returning to Montreal and being hired at Air Canada’s customer service desk at the airport.
Thanks to employee discounts, he was able to travel between Montreal and London for $19. But, above all, she was able to meet many public figures and musicians whom he accompanied in the private lounges of the airport.
On social networks, Marie-France Rémillard shares and comments on many news from the world of music: catalog sales, prizes, health status of old rockers, etc.
“Business interests me a lot,” she says. Harry Styles does 15 nights at Madison Square Garden and 15 nights at the Forum in Los Angeles. It’s huge ! People are not aware of his success. »
You will have understood that Marie-France Rémillard is a woman of her time. “I’m not nostalgic”, she concludes, who would not want to miss the flight of a new artist.
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