Montreal, from Beau Dommage to big damage

Montréal, from Beau Damage to big damage


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

Pull them out a picture of their 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 strike him as a punch in the face.


That's what's happening to us these days with Montreal.< /p>

Since 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 re-listening to these tunes that we all know by heart for the first time, we have our ears in the Montreal of 1974 and our eyes in the Montreal of 2022.

And the contrast is cruel.

As if you were putting a photo of Brigitte Bardot period And God created woman next to a photo of Brigitte Bardot from the “baby seal” period.

Beau Dommage's first album, released 48 years ago, allowed Quebec to leave the river, the islands and the forests of Vigneault and Félix and arrive in town.

As with Tremblay's first plays, we discovered the balconies, the sheds, the alleys.

We were tired of 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 bored and comes down! »

Montréal, from Beau Dommage to major damage

Montréal, from Beau Damage to big damage


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

Every corner was a garden of wonders.

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

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

Young people standing at the back of the yards! Our first blondes that we met in sheds!

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

And then he 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 at Bois-des-Fillion, Motel Mon-Repos, Dupuis Frères…

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


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 would replace the beautiful flute of Chinatown?

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

But it saddens me.

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

Montréal, from Beau Damage to Big Damage