Year Inducted: 2010
Era Inducted To: Modern
Written In: 1967
Lyricist & Composer: Robert Charlebois
Portrait of a Quebecois in California, Les ailes d’un ange was written upon Charlebois’ return from his mythical trip to the US state in 1967, during the Peace and Love movement and the Woodstock craze. The song reflects his desire to come back to his home province after three months in California.
Although the song refers to Charlebois’ love of Quebec, Les ailes d’un ange conjures a symbolic imagery of both Quebec and California of the times, such as the need for escapism on North-American highways, the Hell’s Angels mythology and their Quebec version “Satan’s Choice”, hippies, eating guedilles, the anonymity of Montreal’s Main, etc.
In 1969, the movie Easy Rider was number one at the box-office and Canadian group Steppenwolf sang its classic theme song Born to be Wild. Charlebois was the opening act for Steppenwolf at the Montreal Forum that same year and upon hearing Charlebois’ lyrics to Les ailes d’un ange (I’m a Hell’s Angels on foot/I drive like ink on paper/I eat Hot-Dogs and drink tea/ I’m a failed Satan’s Choice), the crowd went wild and Charlebois stole the show.
Cover artists include: Mara Tremblay and Jacques Labrecque.