Montreal, from Beau Dommage to big damage

What’s the worst thing you can do to someone who’s aging badly?

Revealed him a photo of his youth.

When he was handsome, smooth, smiling.

When he looked at life with hope.

The contrast between what he was and what he has become will hit him like a punch in the face.

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This is what is happening these days with us with Montreal.

After we received the magnificent vinyl reissue of Beau Dommage’s first album, with the excellent remixing work of Ghyslain Luc Lavigne which gives you the impression of listening again to these tunes that we all know by heart for the first time, on the ears in Montreal, 1974 and the eyes in Montreal, 2022.

And the contrast is cruel.

As if you put a photo of Brigitte Bardot period And God created the woman next to a period photo of Brigitte Bardot’s ‘Baby Seal’.

Beau Dommage’s debut album, released 48 years ago, saw Quebec leave the river, islands and forests of Vigneault and Félix and come to town.

As with Tremblay’s first pieces, we discovered the balconies, the sheds, the alleys.

We were fed up with the sound of the waves and we wanted to hear: “Manon, come for supper, if you don’t come right away, you can do without it! Don’t wait till mom gets tired and comes down! »


With Rivard, Huet, Bertrand, Desrosiers and the gang, we walked through the streets of Montreal with our eyes big as plates, like a child dropped loose in a toy store after closing time.

Every street corner was a garden of wonders.

Chinatown under the snow! Mount Royal held tight by Westmount like a vice!

An accident at the corner by St-Hubert and Jean-Talon!

The young people who stand at the back of the courtyards! To the first blondes we met in sheds!

The first time we made love, at the corner of Beaubien and the ninth!

And then there were the other albums, too…

Marie-Chantal and her big house in Westmount, we are ten thousand on rue Saint-Paul, the year of love the year of the Expo, the incident in Bois-des-Fillion, Motel Mon-Repos , Dupuis Brothers…

We may have come out of the woods, we may have left the islands and our furrows to find ourselves in the city lost in millions, Montreal, with its dirty and side streets, we seemed as magical and as charming as Saint- Dilon or Île d’Orléans.

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Fifty years later, what remains of this Montreal?

What would the guys and the girl from Beau Dommage sing if they started their career today?

The orange cones? Plugs ? The shootings? The homeless ?

What instrument replaces the beautiful Chinatown flute?

I love the new reissue of Beau Dommage’s debut album.

But he is sad.

I look at the cover, and I have the impression of looking at a yellow photo of a city that I no longer recognize.

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