Friday, July 18, 2008

Sir Paul

Paul McCartney will be doing his thing in a free show in Quebec city this weekend for the city's 400th anniversary celebrations.

And feelings are hurt.

Many Quebec singers, including Michel Rivard, and actor/politician (yeah, another one of those) Pierre Curzi are really put out at this. Why?

Because it's a Quebec party and they've invited an Englishman (the enemy) to sing at the party, rather than one of their own. Basically they feel cheated because people have the chance of seeing an international star for free rather than one of them - who, let's admit it we can see anytime. These people will be at the Francofolies festival, the Strawberry festival the cute little pig festival, the potato festival... they're all over the place all the freaking time. It's festival time in Quebec and they'll be haunting each and every one.

Including the 400th.

But they're annoyed because the headliner will be McCartney. Someone who has had a major international impact on the music of the 20th century will be there. Michel Rivard and Co. are not the be all and end all of music, they only think they are.
Funny enough, they're not bitching because Pascale Picard* will be opening for him. She hails from Quebec City, but - oh horror!!! - she sings in English. Which isn't her language. The paradox is interesting.

These people, who are closed to everything not francophone quebecer want a country? It's a scary thought.

They really need to get over themselves.
*She's really very good, I love her CD


furiousBall said...

i'd be more offended at paul mccartney playing, but hey

That girl said...

Jazz - I have been having this conversation with my frenchie at home as well. Luckily, he is not one of the fierce 'quebecois" and doesn't let stuff like this bother him.

However, having said that, he still can understand why some people are upset...WHAT?! I just don't get it. HOW can you be mad about something that happened in 1760?!

I don't get it, but I think it's being ingraned into the kids when they're young, and that's how they grow up viewing things.

For example, I suggested we get tattoos "made in canada" as a joke. He quickly corrected me that he was "made in Quebec".

Last time I checked it was still part of Canada, right?

Urban Animal said...

Some people are just loving the drama because it's cool to say fuck it all to the rest of Canada. When you point out the costs to make it happen they shrug it off. It's not important to them. Bunch of idiots.

I understand being proud of being Quebecois and the language and all that but to piss in the face of others because they are different is just offensive. And then they wonder why people do that to them when in fact they do it to others! Talk about hypocrisy. Mind boggling if you ask me.

Quebec will always be part of Canada. I doubt they will ever, ever separate. Because there will be cooler heads who will prevail.

Sorry, didn't mean to rant on your post, I'm blaming it on the bugs :)

Dumdad said...

Small minded folk really. Music is international and should have no boundaries. Do we never learn?

VioletSky said...

So there would be room for me if I dropped by for the freebie since none of those whiners will show up when he is on stage? I'm packing my car!

UA, you go ahead and rant, girl!!
I'm not from Qc so I'll not risk saying anything on that front.

somewhere joe said...

Maybe he'll open with Michelle...

Anonymous said...

What about all the additional tourists Paul McCartney will draw to the festival? What a great opportunity to suck lots of Anglo dollars out of us stinkin’ Anglos!

Rachel said...

I miss you wacky Quebec natives!

and seriously, nationalistic pride often goes too far (Remember the Archduke Franz Fernidad of Austria and the Sarajevian assassin, anyone?); count yourself lucky that it isnt any worse!

great post Jazz!

VioletSky said...

Sir Paul: Quebeckians?????

He even has trouble with English.
Watch out if he tries to sing 'Michelle' for you.

Anonymous said...

A free concert by McCartney. Poor, poor Quebec. (Can I go in someone's place?)

geewits said...

Aren't they just being, well, French?

Guillaume said...

I think the main problem with Mccartney's concert in Quebec City is that he has nothing to do with Quebec City, or the 400th annyversary of the place. It is actually is very first visit in Quebec City. Sure, it will draw a lot of people, because it is McCartney. But he still has nothing to do with the city. Having Leonard Cohen in Montreal for any special celebration would be in order, as he is from Montreal, he grew up there, he still lives there and Montreal contributed to make Cohen the artist he is. But I fail to see any connection between McCartney and QC. last time he came to Québec, it was to protest against seal hunting. Yes, Rivard, Curzi (great actor but so far mediocre politician) and co. were out of order, but it doesn't mean that they are wrong on every account.

VioletSky said...

I don't usually do multiple comments, but stop by and pick up what is yours. and share.

pissed off patricia said...

Sounds sort of like the choice between Senator Obama and Senator McCain.

Jazz said...

Fuball - I laughed out loud at that...

TG - Actually I don't really understand why people would be upset. Music is international as far as I'm concerned.

Animal - It was a mini-rant. You're stressed. S'okay.

Dumdad - Word

Violetsky - They're saying there were between 200,000 and 250,000 people. I wouldn't have wanted to be there.

Somewhere Joe - He sang it. Dunno if he opened with it though. 23 beatles sons. 15 or so Wings and a few more recent things. 2.5+ hour show.

XUP - We don't need your money. So there (she says through a bleeding nose where she tried to bite it off to spite her face).

Rachel - We'd miss you too if you weren't anglo ;-P

Citzen - Plenty of people showed up...

Geewits - Bwah!

Guillaume - I understand he has nothing to do with Quebec city, but so what? Sure they're throwing a big party for their 400th, why not invite people from all over? I have nothing against Michel Rivard and Richard Séguin and all those, but this is a great coup for Quebec City. They put themselves on the map for this one. I don't think 200,000 (or 100,000 or however many it was) would have went to see Séguin. Financially, also, it was great for the city's bars, restaurants and hotels. I fail to see the connection too. Maybe the connection is having a huge show for a huge party... Thanks for stopping by, it's nice to hear the other side.

Violet - You don,t usually do multiple comments, but when you do, you really go all out. I went, I saw, I shall share.

POP - Good one.

Guillaume said...

Well, of course Paul Mccartney in Quebec City (or anywhere, really) would be a huge success. One could expect nothing less of him. But these celebrations are supposed to be made in a certain context, and in this context (which is not a mere music festival) his presence was IMO incongruous. I felt the same thing when, in 1789, the French had Jessie Norman to sing the Marsellaise for the 200th anniversary of the Revolution. Or when many American artists performed for the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. For the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, why not invite Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, Robbie Williams and Led Zeppelin, while we are at it? Anyway, read the papers and blog entries of Patrick Lagacé on, I think he was spot on. Had McCartney written about Quebec City, had he been inspired, even indirectly, by Quebec City, it could have made sense.

Guillaume said...

Oh and I found your blog through Gwen Buchanan's blog, I didn't come here to stir controversy.

Jazz said...

Guillaume - First off, no controversy. I more than welcome opinions which differ from mine. And in this case, i quite like seeing the other side of it, so thanks.

Actually, had it been Led Zep playing, I would have been the first in line.

I did read Lagacé; he's one of my favourites. And I can understand his and others' point of view. I tend to think of the 400th as a summer long party. Others obviously see it as a political thing. I guess the two viewpoints will never actually meet.

One thing is for certain, the show and the whole controversy put Quebec City on the map...

Guillaume said...

Oh, I don't think Quebec's 400th anniversary is a political celebration, but it has (or should have) historical/cultural meaning, and I don't see where McCartney stands in it. Not because he is not Quebecker but because he was never connected to Quebec City until he was invited to sing there. Yes, he gives great shows, but his songs are not connected to Quebec City's specificity. He managed to sing Liverpool (although Scousers sometimes hate the Beatles, as Liverpool is so much more than the history of Fab Four it has often been reduced to) but Quebec City? I see it nowhere in his songs. And yes, it does put Quebec City on the map, and I would say the controversy more than the show itself.

Jazz said...

Well see, that's just my point. I don't think that every show and every person playing there should have to do the "I am connected in this way and that's why I belong at the party thing".

It smacks of "You're an outsider so you can't come in". A completly closed mentality. Why not let other people party along? People were thrilled to see Paul McCartney, isn't that more important than how he's connected to Quebec City?

It's a celebration. That added a huge punch to the celebration, brining in a lot of people who otherwise probably wouldn't have bothered to go. I really don't think the friends I have here who went to spend the weekend in Quebec would have bothered for Paul Piché or Charlebois despite how good they are because they can see them any time.

Like it or not, McCartney can draw thousands anywhere on the planet, and he did that for QC. All good as far as I'm concerned.

Would it have been ok if it had been Johnny Halliday?

Guillaume said...

See, this is where we diverge. I think the connection is essential when someone is supposed to celebrate a city, its culture and history. Macca has never been in Quebec City in the past, it did not influence his music, his songs have nothing to do with Quebec City and Liverpool does not have much, if anything, in common with Quebec City. Yes, he brought a lot of people and an impressive amount of momney. But that's not the point. And it's not about being close minded or not either. That's an ad hominem accusation the fans of Sir Paul came up with but it is groundless. I am glad foreigners got there for the 400th, spent money there, got happy there, etc. But I seriously doubt the audiences who came from all around America to see Macca even cared about the 400th. With him coming, Quebec City celebrated its specificity with someone who represents nothing of it (and who actually does not even represents Liverpool's specificity that much either), who attracted people who couldn't care less, who knew nothing of Quebec City prior to his arrival in Saturday and who left straight afterwards. So the main attraction they got in QC for the 400th was an artist totally foreign to it, an artist even the Scousers would sometimes like to get rid of (are they close minded too? Of course not!). I find this supremely ironic.

Jazz said...

Guillaume - what do you want me to say? You think connection is essential. I don't.

You say the people who came from wherever didn't care about the 400th. I grant you that. But SO WHAT! In 10 years no one will even fucking remember that he came to Quebec, or to Kiev for that matter. No one will remember Quebec City's 400th anniversary celebration either. So what?

Yeah, someone is wrong on the internet - according to you. Fine. I won't convince you, you won't convince me. Let's agree to disagree on this one, ok?

I've got nothing against you, I actually quite like your blog and am happy to have discovered it. Mais calvaire, Guillaume, lâche le morceau!

Urban Animal said...

Well, if I can throw in my 2 cents into the debate, you might find it highly ironic but in all honesty, I highly doubt the organizers in charge of the festivities cared much what connection Sir Paul had with the event. They wanted the crowds, the tourist dollars, the revenues. It's all about $$$ in the end. And if the "foreigners" (what an insulting word though... don't you think that "tourists" sound a bit, oh I don't know, approachable) decided to join in the fun, then so much the better.

This "mentality" is one of the reason why I resist coming back to Quebec, 24 yrs after leaving for Ontario. Vous pensez petit.

Guillaume said...

Jazz-Well, I still remember the 150th anniversary of Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean. But I know what you mean. But yes, let's agree to disagree, especially since my own blog has been sort of attacked by trolls (just one I suspect, using different names, or he invited friends). Anyway, let's give it a rest and no hard feelings.
urban animal-Nothing insulting about being called a foreigner, I am one when I am in the UK, which is most of the time. You can have tourists from within Quebec and tourists from outside (foreigners) I don't see how inviting Macca is so much "big thinking", if people will forget about the reason what was being celebrated. Especially since Sir Paul goes everywhere anyway, for the right price (ouch, the bad pun!).

Urban Animal said...

guillaume, at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter why they did it. Yes, it would have been "nice" to have had someone who truly had a connection to the celebration. However, in the real world, that's not how it happens. I'm sure the committee rejected many ho-hum names in order to attract the crowds who did bring much needed $$ to the economy of the city. Not to mention the controversy! Wow, so much ink spent on writing about it. It's been interesting.

Jazz said...

Guillaume - Yes, let's give it a rest. No doubt we'll find something else to argue about soon... ;-)