Sex, drugs and rock and roll: it was the cocktail of several star radio hosts from Montreal in the 1970s and 1980s. In his new book, With closed microphone, Sébastien Trudel asked the Mario Lirette, Lucien Francoeur and Ricky Dee of this world to tell their most delicious anecdotes. Sensitive souls refrain.
Having grown up in the communications industry himself – his father is radio man Pierre Trudel – Sébastien Trudel has often heard “green and unripe” stories about this universe where everything seemed allowed at one time.
“I heard all kinds of stories and wanted to tell the urban legends from the truth. When they unpacked their bag for me, it was worse than I had heard! »Said to Newspaper the one who co-hosts the show It goes to the station, with Maxim Martin and Marie-Claude Savard, on the waves of Energy.
In the book, we read that the star entertainers were making a lot of money some 40 years ago. And they did not hesitate to spend it excessively. “In the past, I earned $ 3,000 to $ 4,000 in cash per week in bars, in addition to the $ 150,000 on the radio,” recounts Michel W Duguay.
“It was crazy: at the time, we were dressed by the stores, we ate for free in the restaurants, the tanks were supplied by dealers,” recalls Lucien Francoeur. There are no other words to say it: it was a good time! You had bonuses of $ 20,000 if you had a good survey in the fall or spring. “
Invited to host parties in bars, the FM hosts were treated like royalty.
“It came with the powder bag, the limousine, the girls, and worst of all,” says Mario Lirette in the book. It was solid. I remember going to animate in Laval in a bar. To get out of the limo and get on the traineeship from the bar, it had taken 20 minutes. There were four bodyguards. The stars today are the DJs. At the time, they were the hosts of CKMF. “
Drugs were used in large quantities at this time. And the hosts questioned by Sébastien Trudel talk about it without any censorship. “We took coke from it. Lots of coke. We snorted the line between Montreal and Quebec, ”says Mario Lirette.
“At the time, it was inevitable, everyone was consuming,” says Guy Aubry. The parties in the radio world had nothing to envy to those at Studio 54 in New York! It was everywhere. It was free. There was even a code on the air. The host would open his microphone and say, “This is the doctor’s time.” Ten minutes later, the pusher arrived at the station. For us, the powder was free! “
♦ With closed microphone by Sébastien Trudel is published by Éditions de l’Homme.
The tragic end of ’80s animator Alain Montpetit
In the book With closed microphone, radio hosts return for one of the first times to the tragic story of star host Alain Montpetit. In the 1980s he was involved in a murder story and mysteriously died himself five years later in the United States.
Mario Lirette was a good friend of Alain Montpetit, with whom he had made rain and shine in the bars of Montreal. When he learned of her death in 1987, he wondered whether it was suicide or a drug overdose.
“Nobody knows,” he says in the book. It’s hard to understand what happened. I find it hard to believe that he killed himself. I think he overdosed and it was an accident. “
Fifteen years after his death in Washington, US authorities said Montpetit was now formally accused of killing his former girlfriend, Marie-Josée Saint-Antoine, in New York. The alibi he gave them in 1987 no longer held.
“When Alain died in 1987, I had to mourn a friend. Then, when the New York police announced their findings in 2002, I had to mourn a (alleged) murderer, ”said Guy Aubry.
Memories galore …
“It was brewing. Much more than today. We couldn’t party like we used to, because of rights, because of drink driving … But back then, host! if you got arrested with a beer between your legs, they would ask you for a sip! “
– Mario Lirette
“ We were making cash, but there is a gang that was paid in coke. I always preferred the money. The cops in Laval hated us. All the groups of bandits were with us, everyone wanted to have control of the place and it was becoming difficult to manage. “
– Ricky Dee
“ Coke was everywhere and as soon as you walked into an office the lines were laid out in front of you. There were joints, but we don’t talk about that, they were baby drugs. There was not a radio station, in Montreal or Quebec, where there was none. “
– Lucien Francoeur