the documentary is called The businessman and his blues. But unlike Plamondon’s song, Gilles Talbot, the film’s theme, he never wanted to be an artist.
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This producer and entrepreneur of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, who represented both popular singers and “macramé-granola” artists, and who moved from one to another with the ease of a cat, marked his time. He helped provide strong foundations for an industry that often operated on instinct.
As this subject attracts me at its peak, I plunged into this three-episode series with great pleasure. I was not deceived. The testimonies are rich, the production is impeccable and the story, presented in the form of puzzles, helps us understand how Gilles Talbot and those around him were true builders.
But what makes this documentary even more interesting is that the story of this man, a former bar bouncer turned businessman for a large number of artists, is the subject of a search, that of his son Martín.
Martin Talbot knew little of his father. Like other abandoned children, he invented a father. Forty years after the tragic death of his father, Martin Talbot summoned his courage and tried to go beyond this molded image to discover who this free, visionary, fickle, but also tough and uncompromising was.
Because everything has to be said, Gilles Talbot had a reputation for being “tough”, “rude” and “authoritarian”. But it is also said of him that he was someone who protected the artists from him. “This search allowed me to discover someone with rights,” Martin Talbot told me during an interview.
Those who don’t appreciate the current trend of putting documentary filmmakers at the center of their film will find it hard to follow Martin Talbot’s process. But in this case, it must be recognized that the concept required it. Thus we see the author, screenwriter and director going to meet people who knew his father.
In addition to the many artists that Gilles Talbot has represented (Pierre Perpall, Les Milady’s, Chantal Pary, Ginette Reno, Fabienne Thibeault, Paul Piché, Gilles Vigneault and Jean-Pierre Ferland (with whom he lived the adventure of Yellow), Martin talks with his mother Nicolle, first wife of Gilles Talbot, Guy Latraverse, who was a great accomplice in the creation of ADISQ, Pierre Boivin, one of the first allies, Madeleine Careau, Raphaëlle Germain, Nathalie Petrowski, Mia Dumont and others.
During the meetings, we witness the discovery of the father by the son. He experiences various emotions.
I had not understood how my father had a specific purpose in life. To me, he was a businessman who just wanted to do business. But what motivated him was to build an industry that would allow artists and artisans to make a better living by promoting the French language.
Martin Talbot was afraid of learning unpleasant things about the one who left the family nest when he was 6 years old. One night, Gilles Talbot announced to his wife that he was going to live with Ginette Reno. “Leave it to me,” he told her. I have to leave home I have to succeed and it is with her that I will achieve it. »
The romance between Gilles Talbot and Ginette Reno will be as brief as it is intense. The two lovers had rented an apartment next to Jean-Pierre Ferland’s. It was upon hearing the sound of their pranks that Ferland had the idea to write You are my love, you are my lover. “I didn’t like that father,” says Martin Talbot.
But his encounters, particularly the one with Paul Piché, made him see another man. the creator ofHappy with a spring he often met Gilles Talbot before making a career. He felt that he was wasting the great businessman’s time, but he told him every time how much he liked talking to this young artist. “I left my meeting with Paul saying to myself: ‘Wow, I would have liked, finally, my father.’ »
The documentary also highlights the avant-garde side of Gilles Talbot. Long before it became common practice, he organized showcases with artists who introduced the cabaret owners. It was also he who had the idea of organizing the wedding of Chantal Pary and André Sylvain on a Télé-Métropole set.
The third part is in my opinion the strongest, because it tells the adventure of starmaniaa disproportionate project whose genesis is still being told today.
The way in which Gilles Talbot managed to integrate Quebec talent into this mega-show and negotiate the production of the album with French investors is high-flying.
The last episode of course deals with the death of Gilles Talbot, in 1982, at the age of 43, when he was at the controls of a Cessna in the company of three other people, including his then wife. While attempting to land on a South Carolina airstrip one stormy afternoon, he mistook the beacons in the sea for those on the airstrip. The plane and the four bodies were never found.
After his death, his relatives discovered that Gilles Talbot did not have a penny in the bank. The one who had done big business throughout his career didn’t leave much behind. “I learned that my father wasn’t just cash,” says Martin Talbot. And that made me happy. He didn’t like appearances either. The people who knew him loved him with a deep love. »
Gilles Talbot’s legacy is immense. Deeply nationalistic, he helped his generation and the one that followed him to understand that one should not be afraid to be what one is, to think big, to negotiate with one’s head held high. The episode of the presence of Quebec in the Midem de la chanson de Cannes is eloquent in this regard.
You have to watch this documentary which surprisingly is hosted on the Vrai platform. Through the story of Gilles Talbot, an entire section of Quebec song is told. This story is beautiful, because it is made of audacity, risk and passion. But also survival instinct.
The businessman and his bluesstarting March 29, on True.