Next on the ‘c’ shelf I have a pair of store bought cds by Cesar et les Romans. Fifty-tracks of amazing, glorious, Quebecois 60’s pop. Garage band at its best with lots of wild French covers of my 60’s favourites plus great originals. I picked these up way back in 1996 when I used to spend a week or two in Montreal several summers in a row. Driving there with friends.
The music was part of my attempt to improve my French but also to expand my music knowledge. I have several hits collections by PQ bands. It’s a huge piece of Canada’s pop history from the 60’s that often gets ignored. My French remains so-so.
The PQ radio play required not only a % of Canadian content but also a requirement for a major % of French language content. The result was local bands would do French covers of English pop so those songs could get radio play.
There was a recording industry built around this. Some bands only did covers & some managed to produce original material. Often the ‘cover’ versions used only the music of the original with new lyrics when the English didn’t translate at all. Whiter Shade of Pale becomes ‘le jour du denier jour.’ The % laws gradually changed to allow more English & these bands faded away. There is still a thriving pop scene in Quebec
Cesar is sweet eclectic fun covering Procol Harum, The Beatles, Jimmy Buffet, The Grass Roots & the like. The band is simple, basic & nicely recorded. They stick to that basic rock style, some bands delved into psychedelic with delightfully odd results. Every time I hear these I am transported to good times in Montreal & also to my own 60’s.
Pie Part 4
‘So who found the body?’ the other officer asked.
‘Margaret did,’ Miss Griffs answered.
‘We sort of found it together. I was doing my rounds. I was at the front of the house when Miss Griffs came out from back here to get me. We broke the door down.’
‘And just why were you here Miss Griffs?’ Carl asked.
‘I had come by to get my pies.` But Cassie didn’t answer the door and I knew she knew I was coming by so I thought to check the back door and it was locked and I was going to leave. When I came out front and there was Margaret.’ She dabbed her eyes again and sat back on the bench.
‘And Willie?’ The other officer stepped out of the house.
‘He jumped out at me when Margaret went to call the police. He was going to murder me too, just like he killed Cassie.’
‘And you Dave? After that complaint Missus Crofts lodged last week I didn’t expect you to …’
‘Just a misunderstanding, Carl. I was watching that comet shower from the back yard and she thought I was spying on her.’
‘As have other women in the neighbourhood. It might be time to join an amateur astronomy club if you want to save your reputation.’ The other officer laughed.
Another pair of officers arrived. Carl stepped into the kitchen with them. The back yard filled up with what I assumed was the murder squad. Carl came back out and had us go to the front yard for more questioning.
A different officer was assigned to each of us. I got permission to finish the rest of my route. People here get used to things at a certain time, and with this delay many of them wouldn’t be pleased.
About an hour later I had just finished when Carl pulled up in a police car.
‘A few more questions and we’ll have this settled.’ He opened the door for me.
‘What’ll people think? Their trusty mailman being picked up by the police.’
‘Then let’s really give them something to talk about.’ He kissed me.
‘You’re a tough questioner. By now you should know I’m not hiding anything.’
Back at the house I saw that Willie was in the back of one of the police cars. Carl took me into the back yard.
‘Chief Inspector?’ Carl tapped a tall man peering though the window on the shoulder.
‘Now Margaret, we have to confirm some details. Corroborate some of Miss Griffs’ facts. Show us as best as you remember how you looked through the window.’
I stood on the bench. Tiptoed to crane my head to see over and around the plants in the window.
‘You see the table?’ the Inspector asked.
‘Yes. The sandwiches are still there.’
‘They’re what is called pinwheels?’
‘I suppose. I really can’t see them that well.’ I stepped down.
‘Good, good. Now show us where Miss Griffs was when she spotted the body.’
I hesitated a moment.
‘Oh don’t worry. The body has been moved,’ he reassured me.
I peered through the far edge of the window and moved my head up and down. There was onÙe break in the geraniums that allowed me a direct view of the kitchen floor.
‘And what do you see?’
‘A bit of the floor, the tile.’ I stepped off the bench.
‘Bring Miss Griffs around,’ He asked Carl. ‘We have to check everything carefully.’
Miss Griffs was more red-eyed than before. Carl carried her basket and handed it with care to the Inspector. The Inspector put on a pair of rubber gloves, lifted the cloth cover and took out one pie and then another.
‘But she didn’t get her pies.’ I was astonished.
Miss Griffs blanched and leapt for the basket. ‘You have no right …’
‘And what do we have here.’ The Inspector took out a bloodied length of pipe.
‘That … that… tramp! He must have put that there when I left my basket on the counter.’ She clutched her hanky to her mouth. ‘I saw her with that Dave next door. I saw him with those roses.’
‘We’d had words about the property line and I said some things I regretted. I came back later to apologize with some roses.’ Dave explained. ‘I already told that to the police.’
‘She was casting her net over you. I know. She’s always been …’
‘Miss Griffs, how well did you know Mrs. Crofts before she moved here?’
‘Not at all Inspector. I didn’t know her at all.’ Miss Griffs blurted out. ‘I didn’t.’
‘According to Willie you did. She told him her maiden name was …’
March 12, Saturday: attending:
March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring The Ragdolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9
June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC
June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6
July 4-8: maybe attending: Chasing your Tale – Loyalist – Belleville
check 2016 Summer arts: loyalistfocus.com
November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet