The Businessman Who Wasn’t There

The documentary is called Businessman and his blues. But, unlike Plamondon’s song, Gilles Talbot, the hero of the film, never wanted to be an artist.

Posted at 8:15 am.

This producer and impresario of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, representing both popular singers and macrame-muesli performers, moving from one to another with catlike ease, marked his time. He helped lay a solid foundation for an industry that often acted on instinct.

Since this topic appeals to me in the highest degree, I plunged into this three-episode series with great pleasure. I was not deceived. Reviews are plentiful, the production is impeccable, and the story, presented as a puzzle, helps us understand just how real builders Gilles Talbot and his entourage were.


IMAGE FROM BUSINESSMAN AND HIS BLUES

Gilles Talbot and his son Martin

But what makes this documentary even more interesting is that the story of this man, a former bar clerk turned impresario for a host of artists, is the subject of his son Martin’s quest.

Martin Talbot knew little of his father. Like other abandoned sons, he invented a father for himself. Forty years after the tragic death of his father, Martin Talbot gathered courage in both hands and tried to go beyond this formed image to find out who this free, far-sighted, fickle, but at the same time tough and uncompromising.

Therefore, it must be said that Gilles Talbot had a reputation for being “tough”, “rude” and “authoritarian”. But he is also said to have defended his artists. “This quest allowed me to discover someone with a license,” Martin Talbot told me during an interview.

For those who don’t understand the current trend of putting documentaries at the center of their film, it will be difficult to follow Martin Talbot’s process. But in this case, we must admit that this was required by the concept. So, we see how the author, screenwriter and director go to meet people who knew his father.

In addition to the many artists Gilles Talbot represented (Pierre Perpal, Le Milady, Chantal Paris, Ginette Renaud, Fabien Thibaut, Paul Pichet, Gilles Vigneaux and Jean-Pierre Ferland (with whom he had an adventure Yellow), Martin talks with his mother Nicole, Gilles Talbot’s first wife, Guy Latravers, who was a great co-founder of ADISQ, Pierre Boivin, an early ally, Madeleine Caro, Raphael Germain, Natalie Petrovski, Mia Dumont, and others.

During the meetings, we become witnesses of the discovery of the father by the son. He experiences various emotions.

I didn’t understand how my father had a special purpose in life. For me, he was a businessman who only wanted to do business. But he was motivated to create an industry that would allow artists and artisans to make a better living by promoting the French language.

Martin Talbot

Martin Talbot was afraid to find out unpleasant things about someone who left the family nest when he was 6 years old. One evening, Gilles Talbot announced to his wife that he was going to live with Ginette Renaud. “Leave it to me,” he told her. I must leave home. I have to succeed, and it is with her that I will succeed. »


IMAGE FROM BUSINESSMAN AND HIS BLUES

Jeanette Reno had a stormy romance with Gilles Talbot.

The romance between Gilles Talbot and Jeanette Renaud will be as brief as it is intense. The two lovers rented an apartment next to the apartment of Jean-Pierre Ferland. Hearing the sound of their antics, Ferland had the idea to write You are my love, you are my mistress. “I didn’t like this father,” says Martin Talbot.

But his encounters, especially with Paul Pichet, made him see another person. CreatorSatisfied with spring dated Gilles Talbot frequently before pursuing a career. He felt that he was wasting the time of the great impresario, but he told him every time how much he liked to communicate with this young artist. “I left the meeting with Paul, saying to myself: “Ostia, I would finally like him, my father.” »

The documentary also highlights the avant-garde side of Gilles Talbot. Long before it became common practice, he organized shop windows with artists whom he introduced to cabaret owners. He also came up with the idea to organize the wedding of Chantal Paris and André Sylvain on the set of the Télé-Métropole.

The third part, in my opinion, is the strongest, because it tells about adventures. starmaniaa disproportionate project whose origins are still told today.

How Gilles Talbot managed to integrate Quebec talent into this mega-show and negotiate the release of a record with French investors is simply amazing.

The last episode, of course, concerns the death of Gilles Talbot in 1982, at the age of 43, while driving a Cessna with three other people, including his wife at the time. One stormy evening, while trying to land on an airstrip in South Carolina, he confused the beacons that were at sea with the beacons on the runway. The plane and four bodies were never found.


IMAGE FROM BUSINESSMAN AND HIS BLUES

Jean-Pierre Ferland and Martin Talbot

After his death, his relatives discovered that Gilles Talbot did not have a penny in the bank. Someone who has been involved in big business throughout his career has left little behind. “I learned that my father had more than just money,” says Martin Talbot. And that made me happy. He, too, was out of order. The people who knew him loved him with a deep love. »

The legacy of Gilles Talbot is enormous. A deep nationalist, he helped his generation and his followers understand that there is no need to be afraid to be who you are, to think big, to negotiate with your head held high. Eloquent in this regard is the episode with the participation of Quebec at the Midem de la chanson in Cannes.

You should watch this documentary, which, oddly enough, is hosted on the Vrai platform. A whole section of Quebec song is told through the story of Gilles Talbot. This story is beautiful because it is made of audacity, risk and passion. But also survival instinct.

Businessman and his bluesstarting March 29, on True.

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