The Blonde Demon, a key figure in popular culture

Viagra, poems and record disc… From advertising to music, the Blonde Demon leaves behind a questionable… but endearing “pop” work.

Posted at 5:00 am

Jean Christophe Laurence

Jean Christophe Laurence
Press

About the hockey player, there is no doubt. Guy Lafleur was a great, one of the best of his time.

His forays into the world of “pop” culture, on the other hand, are more questionable. Especially since he did not deprive himself of her.

Whether on TV or on record, the Blonde Demon’s “misdeeds” have been numerous, rarely for good, often for worse. We say it with affection, because they also allowed us to meet the superstar from another angle, let’s say, more “human”. Although.

His many television commercials remain particularly memorable. It is enough to browse YouTube to have the painful proof of it.

Zeller? Molson? Hunt? Weston bread? Lafleur sausages? Whatever product is offered, Ti-Guy maintains a formidable constancy in the absence of expression, charging his text with a fixed smile, his monotonous voice rolling his “r”.

It’s even worse when the advertised product lends itself to humor.

Of course, we are thinking of your Viagra ads. Or to his Revitive “ads”, while the former player, barefoot in the living room of his house, extols the virtues of a machine to “strengthen” blood circulation.

But in this registry, the palm undoubtedly goes to the hair product Hairfax, where Lafleur makes the apology for a new revolutionary treatment against baldness. “Does hair loss prevent you from achieving your dreams? he asks, crowned by a terrifying “brushing”.

Some of these commercials were filmed during his heyday. Others after his retirement. But each time, this same little discomfort, unidentifiable.

It’s no wonder that the Total Crap duo have often turned to “Laflorian” oeuvre to fuel their video compilations. Classic. We are here in full psychotronism, raw material of the tandem specialized in culture trash.

Hockey players are not actors, we agree. But Guy Lafleur did a lot of things like that. He has charisma when he is himself. But when he reads a text and is in front of a camera, he comes out flat…

Simon Lacroix, member of Total Crap

Mr. Lacroix wonders why Guy Lafleur sticks his feet in the plate so often. Bad selection ? Lack of money ? Does he need to stay in the media “longer”?

For Benoît Melançon, professor of literature at the University of Montreal and author of the book Maurice Richard’s eyes, the answer probably has more to do with the fact that Lafleur was a nice guy who couldn’t say no. “It’s so anything and everything that has to be related to personal generosity,” he suggests.

Be that as it may, Lafleur’s contribution to culture is not limited to advertising. He was also seen as an extra in the 1970s television series. Such for which.


PHOTO BY ICI.RADIO-CANADA.CA

Guy Lafleur and Roger Lebel in such for which in 1978

And he would also have been a poet in his spare time. At least that is what Victor-Lévy Beaulieu tells us in an issue of the magazine panorama published in 1972, quoting this excerpt, apparently signed by the Laflorian pen: “Forgive the indiscreet house / That during your absence / Came to leaf through this notebook…”

It is also a poem by Lafleur, titled shadow and light, that would have inspired the title of the biography that George-Hébert Germain dedicated to him in 1990.

Same Press had published one of his poems in its pages in November 1971!

If I am not mistaken, these texts have never been published in the form of a collection and today they are among the great untraceable pieces of Quebec literature.

dance with boy

With all that, we were almost going to forget the record recorded in 1979, by a Guy Lafleur at the height of his career.

No, the Blonde Demon does not sing. But you can hear him lavishing his professional hockey advice on the youngsters, to the beat of the trendy disco. Sometimes a singer replaces the star, who catches her breath.

This hilarious bug, appearing at the time in both English and French, had apparently cost $100,000 to produce. At least that’s what we learn from the CBC report, which covered the album’s launch at Régine, a trendy nightclub.

vinyl now it sells for about twenty dollars on specialized sites, or even a little more if the copy includes the original poster, where Lafleur can be seen, shirtless, in the locker room. But if you are only interested in the content, know that the album is also on YouTube.

identify with him

Guy Lafleur in popular culture is also a brand image. These are hockey cards. Stamps with his image. This is the name of an energy drink named after him (Flower Power). It’s a “hockey-oriented” restaurant in Rosemère (Bleu Blanc Rouge… which he ended up selling), as well as a “Guy Lafleur” gin and “Guy Lafleur” wine, the bottle of which could sell for up to $300. .


PHOTO DAVID BOILY, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Guy Lafleur wine in its luxury case

It is, finally, the representation that other artists will make of it, based on the comic strip (We stole the Stanley Cup) to painting (Serge Lemoyne) to song (Bob Bissonnette), aspects also addressed by our colleague André Duchesne (see other text).

Like Maurice Richard and Jean Béliveau before him, Lafleur will thus have left his mark on our media environment, and perhaps even more so due to the growing importance of television in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

He may not have always been very happy, but he will have allowed Lafleur-la-superstar to enter our homes with the aura of the “every guy”, automatically making him more accessible to us.

“Guy Lafleur has a dimension of proximity in which we play a lot,” underlines Benoît Melançon. He was close. There was no distance. He was someone who had such good interpersonal skills that everyone appreciated. All the media said: “he is the smartest guy in the world”. And besides, he went through family dramas. He played with the perception we had of him. It became easier to identify with him. »

“And then it was in the news for 50 years nonstop, for all kinds of reasons, good or bad.

“Help to be remembered…”

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