Ever since Roger Doucet has passed, the Montreal Canadiens have been searching for their next National Anthem singer. Some sang too fast, some too slow. I’ve seen some putting the crowd to sleep instead of pumping the crowd. Others reminded me of nails scratching on a blackboard. Some were okay, some were pretty bad. Fans took on to Ginette Reno… personally, she left me somewhat indifferent. In these playoffs however, I think that one singer rose to the occasion to take the job on regularly.
You see, there are a few criteria to be a good anthem signer. In the good ol’ days, Doucet set the bar and he set it high. He could pump the crowd like no others. He became an icon at the old Montreal Forum. Hearing him today still gives me goosebumps… as does the voice of René Lecavalier. Yes, I’m old school and I won’t apologize for it. I do want to get with the times, but the Canadiens have yet to give me the standard we should expect. I mean, there has to be some talent in Quebec, right?
I have discovered Marc Hervieux. Having lived out west for the past 30 years or so, there are a lot of singers in Quebec I don’t know. But when I finally heard Mr. Hervieux sing, I immediately stopped what I was doing and focussed on the TV. “That’s it!, I thought. Finally! They found him!”
Hervieux is a mix between the legend Roger Doucet and Boston Bruins’ former anthem singer René Rancourt. He has a vibe to him. He has personality, he has the voice, he has the pace and he does pump up the (imaginary) crowd.
Yeah, I understand, he’s a professional singer. Maybe he can’t be there at every game when touring. That’s unfortunate. But when available, when in Montreal, use him. A Twitter follower told me that he’s “too expensive”. What’s too expensive for the Montreal Canadiens, a multi-billion dollar company who pays $81.5 million US in player salary, plus management, coaches and everything else?
So Mr. Molson, if you’re reading this… your search is over. Mr. Doucet passed in 1981. your 40-year search is finally over. Get Mr. Hervieux under contract for the sake of your franchise, of your fans. Re-establish a tradition to start your home games… as your father did. Go Habs Go!
PS: Please bring back “Les Oreilles” as your permanent goals’ song when you’re at it? Fans have been asking for years. Thank you.