Rick St. Jean
Rick St Jean was born February 5, 1947 and started playing guitar at age 12 at family functions and private parties. At age 16 he joined friends Tagg Hindsgaul (lead guitar), René Boileau (bass) and Eddy Kaye (drums) in a group they called the Rivieras 4. After achieving local success, they decided to change their name to The Munks and wore monk habits on stage, creating considerable curiosity. A photo shoot attracted the attention of legendary Montreal manager Ben Kaye, who soon had the boys recording the original songs they had always written and performed. They were subsequently pressed as 45s and leased to labels such as London, Regency, and Columbia (Long Time Waiting B/W Heartaches over my Head can still be heard on YouTube). Shortly after a one-week engagement at Expo ‘67 in Montreal the group went their separate ways.
In early 1969 Rick decided to reform the band and along with Eddy and René recruited Del Derosier to play bass while René switched to Hammond B3. A short while later Frankie Hart joined the band and later still, when Bill Hill was added, Freedom North was formed. Once signed to a publishing deal with Summerlea Music by Brian Chater, the band started recording their first album that was released on the Aquarius label in 1970, with Bill producing and writing the bulk of the songs together with Rick.
Les Leroux had replaced Del before the band started recording and the group travelled extensively throughout Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes, and achieved modest success with singles “Dr. Tom”, “Losing You”, and “Ordinary Man”. In 1971 however, several members decided to pursue solo endeavours and the group disbanded. Rick, Eddy and bass player Bob Burgess spent a year in Japan backing up popular Japanese singer I George and recorded an album with him while there. Returning home, Rick pursued a solo career as a singer/songwriter and opened across Canada for bands such as Lighthouse, April Wine, and Chilliwack. After moving to Toronto in 1973, Rick played guitar and was lead singer in Toronto bands Synergy, and After Hours. Today he is a member of a group called The Keepers along with Bill, Bob, and drummer Nick Saraceno and also performs solo in his home town of Prescott Ontario.