Living legend Michel Pagliaro joined me for a beer, a bite to eat and a chat at Montreal's Hard Rock Café recently. We discussed his roots and also his ambitious upcoming nine show run at The Cabaret du Casino de Montreal. Pagliaro has been performing music since the sixties, he learned how to play guitar at the age of eleven and performed in several bands throughout his youth. Pag received his big break in 1971 when he recorded several hits including Give Us one More Chance, Lovin' You Ain't Easy, Some Sing, Some Dance, J'entends Frapper. Following the recordís release, radio picked up the singles and the airwaves were inundated with the Pagís catchy rock ní roll tunes. In 1975 Pag recorded the hit "What The Hell I Got". Due to several unforeseen incidences Pag's music has never found its niche outside of Quebec. Hopefully the rest of the world will embrace Pag's next CD release, expected for release later this year. Now for the interview:
What spawned your interest in music?
When I was young, a bunch of friends my age were playing guitars and at one point my father got me one too. I was always interested in music. I listened to a lot of Cuban bands and instrumentals. I like Chuck Barry a lot but I particularly enjoy Little Richard's voice. Later on I began singing at school dances and took it from there.
Tell us about you musical influences?
I was into The Beach Boys and a lot of early 60's doo-wop stuff. Then the British Invasion came with The Beatles & The Stones but that lasted until I got more into R&B stuff. I don't listen to music much. I prefer to play.
What new music has caught your attention?
I like that Macy Gray tune. It was different. Lauryn Hill's album (The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill) was also really good.
When you wake up in the morning and you think of your upcoming day, do you look at it as play, work or a combination of both?
My attention goes to the elements that will create the right environment whether it's for a live show or the studio. Whatever moments have to be created in order to obtain the right result. At that point, I consider it work because it's application to details. If you love what you do then work is a fun thing.
What keep you in Montreal?
It's an easygoing place and very friendly. It's my birthplace so it is close to me. I also have a lot of friends and family here.
How do you find your musicians?
Sometimes I go out at night and look around. once in a while I go see a show or I see someone and introduce myself. I ask them if they would like to come jam sometime. When looking for a musician, that person has to generate some kind of connection with the others.
Have you ever performed solo?
Yes I have. I like beat, dynamics and playing with people. Playing alone is okay if you like to hide in your room but I find it drawn but it does work for some people. I enjoy listening to someone playing and adding life to a piece.
When can we expect a new album from you and can you tell us a bit about it?
I am sure my new album will be out before the end of the year. I didn't really have any ideas so I did some free jamming and we just chopped it up. It's going to be some really interesting stuff.
Catch Michel Pagliaro @ Cabaret du Casino de Montreal, May 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11, 12
Dinner and concert from $49 to $69