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Boule Noire

Boule Noire - Aimes-tu la vie comme moi? / Kiki d'Hollywood - 7

Aimes-tu la vie comme moi? / Kiki d'Hollywood - 7"
Magique - 1976

Michael Panontin
Before succumbing to colon cancer in 2007, Georges Thurston had enjoyed a storied career in Quebec's oft-ignored disco\r'n'b scene, first as leader of bands like les Zinconnus and the 25th Regiment, later as the hugely successful Boule Noire and finally as an oldies radio host on Montreal's Rythme FM. Thurston's biography reads like a made-for-TV drama. Abandoned at birth, the black child was raised in the tiny all-white enclave of St. Jerome, only to be bounced around various foster homes after his adoptive mother became ill when he was just nine. His life began to change when, as a troubled youth who already knew too well the inside of reform schools and jail, he was serendipitously given an old guitar as a gift from a complete stranger.

It was not long before Thurston began working as a pianist, guitarist, drummer and arranger with Quebec's francophone musical royalty, including Robert Charlebois, Tony Roman, Michel Pagliaro and Nanette Workman. While doing session work down in Alabama with the famed Muscle Shoals horn section, Thurston burst out singing a song in French, which led to the recording of 'Aimes-tu la vie comme moi?', released first under his own name and then later under the pseudonym Boule Noire. Sunny, upbeat and irrepressibly infectious, the song became an instant hit on radio and in the burgeoning Quebec disco scene.

Though unbeknownst to much of the anglo rock world (who were probably busy blowing up disco LPs at baseball stadiums at the time), Montreal held its own with New York as the disco capital of North America. Boule Noire was thus kept busy for a good five years, releasing a string of successful records including 1978's floor-filler, 'Aimer d'amour', which shifted a respectable 150,000 copies that year only to be reissued as a remixed single in Europe in the early nineties, selling an unfathomable 800,000 more!

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