Photo : Ronald Labelle
Claude Gauthier was born in Lac-Saguay in the Upper Laurentians on January 31, 1939. Singer, poet and actor, he is one of the most important songwriters to engage politically and socially in his work. One of his songs, Le grand six pieds (1965) was immortalized by the sculptor Roger Langevin and is part of the public art in Claude Gauthier’s native village.
In an interview for La Butte à Mathieu exhibition in 2021, he recounts some memories:
“I saw Félix at La Butte. We knew each other a little. He had written a short text on the back of my first LP. I went to his house to thank him for doing that and we exchanged guitars. For me, it was a miracle. I couldn’t believe it. He kept my guitar and I came back with his. Of course, I hid it under my bed so it wouldn’t get stolen. I didn’t play his guitar on stage. I bought another one. As I was opening for him in those days, I would see him in the passageway pacing up and down, hugging my guitar.”
Then, addressing Gilles Mathieu:
“Gilles, you saved my life a little, you allowed me to blossom, to be born in this world of music thanks to your Butte à Mathieu, which I frequented a lot in my early career. You invited me to come and stay for one winter and we brought in some other artists. I have always thought that you created a monument in Quebec, a special place, a set of comrades that unfortunately many artists in Quebec have not always recognized. I tell you that I have always recognized this fact and I say it again today. Give me a big hug.