When I was a teenager, I went through a pretty intense rebellious...I'd like to call it a phase, but deep down I'm still punk. I just mellowed out a bit.
There weren't a lot of mohawk haircuts in 1985 Trois-Rivières, Quebec. Just me and this one guy. We even started nodding to each other, because of the hair, but it wasn't enough to spark a friendship.
So there I was with my mohawk haircut, listening to Suicidal Tendencies and Einstürzende Neubauten. I hated my life and especially, this one song that kept coming on the radio in the foster home where I lived. That song represented everything I hated about the world. Hearing it hurt my heart: I couldn't have despised it more. In those days, my world was one of suffering and dark outcomes. I hated everything but my music and my dreams. I felt deeply sad and restless, bored and misunderstood.
Fast-forward to 30 years later. My biggest dream of becoming a singer finally come true, here I am doing a benefit show, sharing the stage with a slew of other artists including...Patrick Normand, the very artist who wrote that song.
Ah, the irony. Turns out he's the sweetest guy ever. Seventy years old, newly in love, a super spiffy dresser, I mean the guy's got great energy. You can sense he's got so much love, it just emanates out of him. I confided that it would've been absolutely unbelievable to hear if someone had told me then that I'd live to see this day.
Meeting him gave me the chance to measure how far I've come from those days when my life was absolute hell, all the way to now. I've understood so much, evolving through countless layers of challenges and difficulties.
I felt grateful to be there. Grateful for the moment. Grateful for what Life was showing me: just hang on, keep walking, do your best, keep your chin up, things will get better.
I've always been a survivor. An incredibly tenacious and resilient warrior of the Light. It's not been an easy road, but this meeting was a true gift.
At the end of the night, we artists gathered onstage to sing that very song as a goodbye to the audience. I went right to the front, right in the middle. I even harmonized. I was so happy!
This is how I felt at the time...so full of pain and anguish...Phil Collins recorded a soft version of it. If I played you the real punk stuff you'd be shocked!
...and this is that song, which contrasted so highly with my teenage mood that I just couldn't stand it...too much love, too much softness, too much hope...and you know what? It still plays on the radio. One full generation later, it's become a classic. ''Quand on est en Amour,'' written and performed by Patrick Normand. A simple song, still reaching hearts today...including mine.