Friday, May 21, 2010


The evil that men do lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.
Mark Antony, Julius Caesar, Act 3- William Shakespeare.
In the early 1980's, my husband, Cliff Carter - Mr. Nostalgia of RCA Records - was pianist at The Abacus Restaurant on Shakespeare Rd. in the West island of Montreal. His employer was Marc Schwartz.
Marc Schwartz had a business partner named Stephen Locke.
After Cliff had worked at The Abacus for quite some time, he was to end his gig there. Stephen Locke was to bring Cliff his last pay cheque.
But that cheque never came. At first, Locke said there was some delay, but don't worry. When we pursued it, Stephen Locke said that his car had been broken into and Cliff's pay cheque had been stolen.
He never explained why Cliff should be deprived of his pay because of this bizarre "crime". He refused to replace the "stolen" cheque.
Very soon afterward, Stephen Locke opened Le Piment Rouge on Metcalf Street at Dominion Square in Montreal. One may wonder if Cliff's missing pay cheque was the only irregularity in this strange business. 
As I recall all these years later, we appealed to the Musicians' Guild, but I can't recall the outcome with certainty. I believe there was some compensation from the union. But money was not the only issue. The real issue was honesty and respect, both of which were sorely lacking in this matter.
Cliff Carter was not only a beautiful pianist and singer, he was a fine, gentle, decent man, admired and respected by his fellow artists and fans. I honour his memory with great love - and truth.
Time does not erase injustice. I don't know or care where Stephen Locke is today, but I do care that injustice be recorded for all the world to see and remember. The evil that men do .....
Lest we forget.

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