A Led Zeppelin show changed her forever, so much so that she became one of Quebec’s first rock journalists. Marie-France Rémillard still facilitates the arrival of great rock stars in Montreal, especially on the set of Everyone talks about it. Portrait of a music lover who makes a living from rock shows.
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“Springsteen has already sold one million tickets in Europe. A million ! »
As soon as we sit in the restaurant, Marie-France Rémillard informs us about news from the music industry, as she does several times a day with relevance on social networks such as Twitter.
The day before our interview, in early June, this great rock thirst had driven back from Boston’s Fenway Park Stadium one night after seeing a Paul McCartney show.
“It’s nothing, the road,” says the night driver.
Marie-France Rémillard returned from London on Monday. On Sunday she saw the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park for her 64th birthdaye Anniversary. On Wednesday evening she sits in the front row of the Gesù for the show by Polish pianist Hania Rani. On Thursday she flies back to Rome for a performance by Maneskin. Then she will return to London ABBA trips and Duran Duran. A whole program!
“We had to go”
Marie-France Rémillard got rock fever in 1975 when she saw Led Zeppelin in Montreal. “It was a shock and a passion with a desire to share,” she says.
The young Montrealer then began writing for the newspaper pop rock, where another woman, Lise Ravary, worked. She was hired by the man who would become her boyfriend, Mario Lefebvre – who went on to oversee the careers of Garou and Roch Voisine. Marie-France had mailed a review of a performance by the Nazareth group at the Place des Nations. She was then… 17 years old!
Later she wanted to see Led Zeppelin again, but the group had excluded Montreal from their tour, so she made a first trip to the United States to see the band of Robert Plant and Jimmy Page in Detroit, then two nights in the mythical Madison Square Garden in New York. “I stayed at the same hotel as her in Detroit and met Robert Plant in New York,” she says. Robert Plant is the artist I’ve met the most. »
During our meeting, Marie-France Rémillard shares many anecdotes of this nature. Facts learned that will make you dream but seem impossible today.
How did she do it?
“It was easier back then. I called the record company. All you had to do was go and ask. »
As simple as that…
Build long-lasting relationships
Marie-France Rémillard worked at pop rock from 1975 to 1980. She covered Quebec music while her male counterparts only covered Genesis and progressive rock.
I’ve seen Harmonium, Aut’Chose, Diane Dufresne… there were record releases all the time. It really was a good time. There was a lot of money for the promotion.
Marie France Remillard
At the same time, Marie-France Rémillard began contacting the teams of international “rock” groups such as Aerosmith, Rush, Van Halen and Kiss. In 1980 she retired pop rock to start the magazine Live! and she became the first journalist to write about metal in Quebec.
Contacts and connections, she made them, and it served her. For example, she became close to Gene Simmons from Kiss, one of the artists she hooked up with Everyone talks about it.
Marie-France later worked in the management teams of Garou and Angélique Kidjo, with whom she remains very close.
His good friend Paul Lévesque, Bruno Pelletier’s impresario, died two years ago. “A big hit,” she says. When she worked with him for the band Mahogany Rush, he introduced her to people who rose in the ranks and became close to bands like Metallica and Def Leppard.
In December 1989, Marie-France closed Live! because they had an abundance of metal music. She loves to travel and holds a Masters in International Relations from Université Laval. She then worked in Benin before returning to Montreal and being employed in Air Canada customer service at the airport.
Thanks to employee discounts, she was able to do Montreal-London for $19. Above all, she was able to meet many public figures and musicians, whom she accompanied in the airport’s private lounges.
On social networks, Marie-France Rémillard shares and comments on many news from the music world: catalog sales, awards, health of old rockers, etc.
“I’m very interested in business,” she says. Harry Styles is doing 15 Nights at Madison Square Garden and 15 Nights at The Forum in Los Angeles. It’s huge! People are not aware of their success. »
You will have understood that Marie-France Rémillard is a woman of her time. “I’m not nostalgic,” concludes the one who doesn’t want to miss the flight of a new artist.