It was in 1978 when I started to listen to Quebec Rock bands. I always had some kind of interest/fascination for the
Quebec culture, still do today. I was influenced by band like: Offenbach , Aut' Chose , Plume Latraverse & Stephen
Faulkner. My band at the time, "Thalassa", would often play a song called “Chu un Rocker” from a band call
"Offenbach". We also played “The Frog Song” by Robert Charlebois. Even though we played the English Bar circuit,
"Thalassa" turned into “Klock” who toured across western Canada in 1980.
Soon after, I was back in Sturgeon forming a band called “Franc” who played 2 of my
original songs as well as a bunch of covers in both French and English. However, I
got bored and wanted to go back to Montreal.
He liked the idea, but we needed a drummer. I asked Andre, which I knew very well,
and he also wanted to do it. We started rehearsing immediately.
We also played at the Laurentian University twice that year and in Mattawa. Before
long, Gerry Spooner joined us on lights and sound which helped us tremendously.
We had fun everywhere we played, and had a lot of wine parties. We sure drank a lot
of beer and cheap wine in those days!
Monique, Art's sister who was living in Montreal, came to see us play at the Field Hotel.
She must of thought the material was pretty rough, which it was, but we where
determined to make the best of it..
. So I called the organizer, and we were booked on the next show. We went to the
club in the afternoon for our sound check and all went well.
That night in attendance was Art's sister, Monique, and at her side John Mcgale
(Offenbach) Cheering us on. Although we placed 2nd, we had given our best show
ever. We were very proud of that.
Denis took us out to dinner a few days later. I remember it well. He had brought
along a then-unknown producer, Pierre “Baz” Bazinet, and in the back of his car was
a lot of single records from popular Quebec artists. We where really impressed. He
took us to a Greek restaurant. (A bring-your-own-beer type of place.) We talked about
old bands, the music business, and “Les Gants Blanc” who he produced back in the
late sixties. (later to become “Offenbach”.)
A few days later we where in a rehearsal space playing our songs to Baz in order for him to select a few songs to
record. A week later, we where in Pantis Studio recording the basic tracks for 4 songs. We were in the studio
almost everyday, doing overdubs and trying different things with Pierre. I must admit I was pretty green at that time
and Baz showed me a lot of things. Some of the stuff I still use today. In a nutshell, we were singed to a
three-album deal. For three young men coming from Sturgeon falls that was incredible to us, and we were ecstatic!
During that time we managed to do a few shows in and around Montreal which was great. But Andre was married
and being in a band was putting strain on his relationship with his wife. As a result, he soon quit.
Without a band I was a bit lost, although I wrote one or two songs a day during that time, penning more than 100
songs. I recorded demos and had a few offers, but for some reason I refused them all. two publishing deals for my
songwriting, and another agent offered to put me with an established band. However, I turned them down. What an
idiot I was.
After the single was released in 1985 and nothing was happening, I started a new
band called “The Harry Straight Band”.
In the summer of 1986 I moved to Toronto and was happy for many years playing the nightclub scene there. That
was the end of my French career.
|Part of a Newspaper article about Klock in Yellowknife March of 1980
After “Becuz” broke up in autumn of 1981 I went to Montreal for the first time and really
enjoyed myself. During that first trip I wrote my first French song called “J'Men Criss”.
This time, I would be ready. I quit the band and concentrated on writing new songs
on my own. Within a few months I had about 30 new songs, and it was time to put a
band together. It was Autumn of 82' when I asked Arthur Paiement if he would be
interested in joining my band, and gave him some of my demos to listen to.
In 1981 we toured western Canada again with a band called "Becuz". At that time I
had my “Au't Chose” cassettes, with other French artists, and would play these
tapes constantly on the road. I'm sure the guys remember this very well!(Ha ha ha!)
We where the three musketeers...all for one and one for all. We were very serious
and would rehearse one to two hours each day.
It was on a cold January day in 1983 that three young musicians with big dreams (“Yvon Serre Groupe” Yvon 22,
Andre 21 and the youngest Art 20) departed from our little town of Sturgeon Falls to the big city of Montreal. We
played a string of gigs in local bars, schools and universities in and around Sturgeon for three months (Sudbury,
Wahnapitae, Verner, Field, Lavigne, Sturgeon Falls and Mattawa.) Now we where Ready...
We had so much equipment and baggage in packing for the trip that we had to tie
some of it on the roof of our old 1964 van that was on the verge of breaking down. As
soon as we arrived we were off to the Old Montreal to check out a few bar bands. At
one of the bars we met Mark Forest, a graphic artist, singer, songwriter and more. We
made friends with him, and he told us about an event called "L'Empire des futur star"
happening at the Club Soda.
We met the other bands, and we where ready to kick ass. I recall that during the night a
band called “Cimetiere”, who was on the same bill as us, got kicked out of the club.
The bouncers had to drag them out through the crowd. (Ha ha ha...)
One week after we had started, I was called by my old friend John Bradley to do a TV
show in Sudbury. At the same time, Marcel Serre had us booked in every little bar in
and around Sturgeon Falls.
In my mind I thought I would go to back to Montreal and Denis would take care of
finding musicians for me. That was my first mistake. He had signed a band not the
individual. He soon lost interest, but still released a 45 RPM (single).
Art and I then returned to Sturgeon to put another band together. We spent the winter playing different clubs around
the area. then a year later in August we opened the show for "CANO" in 1983 with a new band. In September we
recorded 4 songs at Tamarack Studios in North Bay.
I had my first live radio interview that summer, and was ready to go back to Montreal
again. But this time Art decided to Stay home. I had lost my partner in crime,
but I had to move on.
I thought I would go back on the road, but we only played a few gigs. It seemed that
nobody wanted to hear Classic Rock music in Montreal, so I made plans to move to
Our next surprise was being called a few days later by renown producer, Denis
Pantis, who had produced many of Quebec's biggest stars. He was looking to sign
some bands for his new label “Rock Bec”. Our lucky break.