Pierre Elliott Trudeau came to Le Hibou once. I had booked Michel Choquette many times before as a solo artist. He did a lot of satirical and humorous songs and was quite unique in this genre. When Le Hibou moved to Sussex Drive, he called to say he was back from a tour in the United States He was a duo now and they called themselves “Times Square Two.” They had travelled the States in an old black hearse. When they arrived at their next engagement they would call the press and invite them to the municipal hall. There, they would show up with their hearse, dressed impeccably in tuxedos, perform a bit of their repertoire, and then present the surprised mayor with a card inviting him to their show. Unfortunately, they didn’t do this in Ottawa.
But they did do up a poster with their photo and name Times Square Two with the caption: Two Heads are Better than One. Michel said he knew Trudeau and invited him for the show. All week long Trudeau didn’t show up and given that an election call was in the air, I didn’t think he would. But then on Sunday, after Times Square Two had done their last set, in came Trudeau and his RCMP guard and chauffeur. He excused himself profusely to Michel for missing his show, stated that it was a busy time, and asked Michel if he was still doing judo. (Michel belonged to the same judo club as Pierre in Montreal). Michel asked him to sign a poster, which Trudeau did . And as fast as he came, he waved goodbye to everyone and was off. I often think about that episode being so casual, compared to today where the PM requests the protection of an American president, with sniffer dogs four hours before the meeting, a thorough search of the building and its surroundings, and an army of heavily armed guards blanketing the PM bullet proof vehicle.