Montréal, April 2023 — The great Paul Piché will be inducted to the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on May 7 during the SOCAN Gala held, once again, at Montréal’s La Tohu. Paul Piché has become one of the most influential songwriters of Québec’s music scene. A free thinker, poet and standard-bearer of protest folk, Piché sings as much about love as he does about social issues that are close to his heart.
The induction will be presented by Julie Snyder while Pierre Kwenders, Ingrid St-Pierre and Stéphanie St-Jean will perform during the evening.
Paul Piché leaves in our Canadian musical heritage an impressive collection of songs, including several classics—Heureux d’un printemps, Mon Joe, Y’a pas grand-chose dans l’ciel à soir, L’escalier, J’aurai jamais 18 ans, J’appelle, Car je t’aime, Ne fais pas ça…, all songs that are as much campfire classics as cover material for young artists.
Released in 1977, his debut album À qui appartient le beau temps? sold over 100,000 copies and is now considered one of the key albums of the ’70s. Music heavyweights like Serge Fiori, Alain Lamontagne, Pauline Lapointe as well as several members of Beau Dommage were involved in its creation. His next two albums, L’escalier and Nouvelles d’Europe, were huge popular successes and Piché followed them up with a live double album titled Intégral recorded at Montréal’s Spectrum on which he revisits his whole repertoire.
In November of 1988, he released Sur le chemin des incendies, an album that gave us some of his most memorable hits such as J’appelle, Un château de sable and Car je t’aime. The following spring, he embarked on his so-called Tour of Montréal that saw him play a show in the five most important venues of the city, namely Club Soda, Spectrum, Théâtre Saint-Denis, Théâtre Outremont and the Wilfrid-Pelletier Hall of Place des Arts. Two years later, in addition to concluding his tour with a recording broadcast on Radio-Canada’s Beaux dimanches, Piché participated in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities on the Plains of Abraham and on Île Sainte-Hélène, in front of over 200,000 people. In the fall of 1993, he released L’Instant, an intimate and mature album where love is front and centre but where the people of his motherland are not to be outdone. Then, in August 1994, he was invited to participate in the special event La Symphonie du Québec, presented during the FrancoFolies de Montréal, where he performed a few songs accompanied by a symphony orchestra.
In June 1996, Piché released the double “Best Of” album L’un et l’autre, which went Platinum; then, on the ninth day of the ninth month of 1999, he released his ninth album, Le Voyage, containing nine songs.
The spring of 2000 saw Paul Piché’s return to the stage: accompanied by guitarist Rick Haworth, bassist Mario Légaré, Jean-Sébastien Fournier on keyboards and Pierre Hébert on drums, he toured a dozen cities in Québec before taking over the Spectrum in Montréal and the Capitole in Québec City.
In the summer of 2002, he cycled 550 km to deliver a letter to Québec’s Premier, Bernard Landry, whom he successfully convinced not to build mini hydroelectric power plants on Québec’s rivers. Paul Piché is also one of the spokespersons for the Adopt-a-River and he celebrated the International Year of Water with J’ai trouvé l’eau si belle, a politically charged show presented in April 2003 at the Métropolis in Montréal, alongside with Luck Mervil, Richard Desjardins and Daniel Boucher.
The fall of 2004 saw the release of Paluche 3.14, a bold project that saw some of the biggest names on Montréal’s electro-urban scene remix some of Paul Piché’s great classics.
Paul Piché published his first book in November 2007, Déjà vu. Starting from an observation about the cyclical nature of fashion trends, he draws a parallel with the recurrence of political impulses whether they are left- or right-leaning. The book’s intent is to clear the ground of the collective unconscious through the passage of time.
In 2009, Piché completed a series of intimate concerts during which he performed some of the new songs he was considering recording. Love, friendship, death and social commitment are at the heart of these songs that appeared on his tenth album, Sur ce côté de la Terre, released on December 1st of that year. Following the release of what has so far turned out to be his last album of original songs, Piché embarked on herculean six-year tour that concluded in 2015.
Two years later, he undertook what he called the Célébration des 40 printemps to mark the 40th anniversary of the release of his first album, À qui appartient le beau temps? He played great shows at the Bell Centre in Montréal and at the Centre Vidéotron in Québec City alongside artists such as 2 Frères, Safia Nolin, Éric Lapointe, Vincent Vallières, Koriass and Les Trois Accords. The response from the public was such that he was asked to tour throughout Québec. Piché will tour this show for three years, inviting different artists to play and sing with him on stage at each show. The very last performance of this tour was scheduled at Place Bell in Laval on May 20, 2020, but the pandemic forced its postponement. The final show is scheduled for May 20, 2022.
ABOUT THE CANADIAN SONGWRITERS HALL OF FAME
2023 will mark the 25th anniversary of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF), a national, non-profit organization dedicated to honouring and celebrating Canadian songwriters and those who have dedicated their lives to the legacy of music. The CSHF also works to raise public awareness of these achievements and to encourage the next generation of writers and composers through initiatives and events throughout the year. In December 2011, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN) acquired the CSHF, but it continues to be run as a separate organization and is governed by its own Board of Directors made up of English and French music creators and publishers, as well as representatives of the recording industry. The Hall of Fame’s mandate aligns with SOCAN’s objectives as a membership-based songwriter and publisher organization. www.cshf.ca
Media contact and interviews: SIX media marketing Inc. (for the CSHF)
Source: Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame
Info : Simon Fauteux
Text: François Couture