Thursday, April 28, 2016

Montreal showdown: Iconic barmaid boots terrifying sadist in the head

     In an epic showdown of Montreal characters, barmaid, artist and punk-era scenester Ave Rave - then still a teenager - once kicked sadistic thug Mike French in the head in a vicious late night fight at Moe's Corner Snack Bar.
   Ava Rave, the feisty but lovable and universally-recognized barmaid at Foufounes Electriques, was known for hosting wild parties full of drag queens and garage sales before moving to the UK to marry drummer Jet Black of the Stranglers.
   Mike French was a Satan's Choice biker as well as rapist, thief and thug (seems like biased reporting here - Chimples)  who terrified people wherever he went before being murdered in 1982, supposedly as punishment for raping and killing a young girl in Point St. Charles. French was killed, according to one account, after meeting West End Gang assassin Jackie McLaughlin at what's now Motel Chabrol on St. James. French was then chained to the back of a truck and dragged through the back roads of Kahnawake,
    Rave said that she has been musing about writing her memoirs but agreed to share this tale.

   One day as a teenager in 1978 or 1979 I was out with a boyfriend who was way too drunk. We were probably at the Mustache or the Forum and ended up at Moe's.
   We were with another couple who were just about to order when Mike French and his ilk came in and looked at our table,
   I had to go to the toilet so I had to climb over the boyfriend and French was just coming in, so when I got up and I had to go past him.
  It was small in there and I said "excuse me" while trying to pass him and he was trying to kiss me or something and was laughing with his friend like dirty pigs.
French says to my boyfriend something about me, "hey how does that chick do so many guys?"
   My boyfriend was drunk and very jealous guy says: "What did you say you fuck?"
Nobody talks to Mike French like that.
   You could feel the entire restaurant getting up at the same time to take cover.
   The waitress Hannah, a motherly, lovely lady says in her tender but firm voice "Now, Michael please don't start."

   But it was too late. He was kicking the shit out of my boyfriend. Everybody scattered, the couple that we were with left. The boyfriend was trapped in the corner booth with no way out.
   He slid down the seat to the floor under the table. Mike French went under the table,
kicking and punching him, I was standing on a bench screaming 'Stop it! Stop it!'
  Mike French stood up and I grabbed a ketchup bottle and whacked him over the head. He went berzerk. I was cornered too though, so as he lunged at me, I kicked him square in the forehead with my platform boot.
  Bang! My boot heel hit the dead centre of his forehead. It was enough to stun him for half a second as I saw my chance to run.  
Norm Silver
   I had been yelling, 'Someone call 911!
   People kept saying, "Oh no! Mike French!" Nobody would call the police, so I jumped over the divider and grabbed the pay phone.
   He was kicking the shit out of the boyfriend, then he sees me on the phone and yells, "Hey she's calling the cops! Let's get her!"
   So I ran out the door and over to the Mustache, which was closed but the last few people were staggering out, so I slipped in and the bouncer chased me saying, "Hey we're closed, you can't come in here."
   Norm Silver, the owner, was standing barring my access and I said "Mike French is after me!"
   Norm Silver says "come with me quick!" and he hid me behind the bar.
   Mike French and two other guys comes in and Norm Silver said "We didn't let her in, she ran towards Ste Catherine Street."
   So Norm Silver basically saved my life.
   I went back to Moe's and by this point the police had arrived. The police took statements from people and kept saying they couldn't get him on anything because nobody would testify against him.
   We said, ''no thanks, we don't want to be killed."
   They phoned us for weeks after that asking us begging us to give any kind of testimony.
   I was so proud that I 'd kicked him square in the forehead.
  And it didn't stop me from going to Moe's again. 

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