This Friday, I decided to link up with Venus Trapped in Mars‘ Fan Friday Link Up! Every Friday, bloggers (mostly girls!) link up and share different sports related posts. I first saw it on Kailagh’s blog, and I loved the idea so much I just had to join in. I think it will be a fun way to switch up posts at the end of the week, and I’ll have something to write about every Friday…I’ve got a LOT of sports stories :)
Anyway, since the Bruins are in the Stanley Cup Finals, I figure I’d finally publish an interview I did last summer with Bruin’s national anthem singer, Rene Rancourt. Rene is a really cool guy. He was at the Spinners singing the anthem one night, and when he had a few minutes before he went out to sing, he was kind enough to answer a few of my questions!
He’s known throughout Boston and the world for his sequined bow ties and fist pumps when he sings. It really is incredible. He’s a legend, having sung the anthem at B’s games for nearly 40 years and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Rene is so awesome that he got the entire Boston Garden to sing along with him after the Marathon attacks:
So, without further ado, here’s my interview with the man himself, Rene Rancourt!
Me: How did you get your start in singing?
Rene: That started way back in high school, I could never get away. Even as a young person in high school, used to sing at hockey games, you know, up in the state of Maine, and so I could never get away from the national anthem, no matter how hard I tried, I always ended up singing the national anthem.
Me: Have you ever messed up the national anthem?
Rene: Oh, a couple of times I have, yeah. And it’s a real shaky feeling when it happens. And the reason it happens is that you know the words so well that you don’t concentrate and when you get out there…boom…nothing, you know, emptiness. So, to this day–I’ve been doing it many many years–I still re-sing it, I always go over the words like I don’t even know them, you know? Cause, you never know.
Me: Have you been a life-long hockey fan?
Rene: Not especially. I mean, I’m an opera singer, so my interest has always been music. Studying at Boston University, studying opera, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get away from hockey and from sports and from singing for the Red Sox and so forth, so you learn to enjoy it after awhile, even if I’m not a mad sports fan like my wife is.
Me: How hard was it to learn the Canadian national anthem in French?
Rene: Oh yeah, well, it was easy. You know why? Because when I was a child, we used to sing the Canadian national anthem only in French, we didn’t even know it in English. French Canadians from the state of Maine, we sang in French. So when I came to Boston, I had to learn “O Canada” in English! It didn’t exist in English for me.
Me: When did you come up with your signature pump move?
Rene: When I saw one of the Boston Bruins players do that. He scored a goal and he did that pump, you know, and I said “boy, I’ve got to start doing that” because that’s the greatest expression of “YEAH MAN!” So, it’s a habit now. They think I invented it, but you know I’m the last guy to have invented that, I stole it from someone.
So, there you have it! Rene was so friendly and really seemed interested in the conversation. I just thought it was fun to interview such an interesting character.
Bonus: Since he scored two goals on Wednesday (but I really don’t want to talk about that game…..), here’s a picture of me and Milan Lucic! I hope he plays like that for the rest of the Cup!
he’s so tall!
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