He was born in 1934 in Montreal, Quebec and was very active in school clubs as a teenager. He was even Student Council president one year.
He taught himself guitar and could be found in the delis and bars of old Montreal, soaking in the culture.
After graduating from McGill University he became a reclusive poet, and for a number of years in the late 50s and early 60s he lived in semi-reclusion on a Greek island.
By the mid 1960s he’d had enough of the life of a poverty-striken writer, proclaiming “I decided I’m going to be a songwriter. I want to write songs.”
In 1984 he released the album “Various Positions” which included the song “Hallelujah”.
His own rendition of “Hallelujah” got a lacklustre reception, but when it was reinterpreted by John Cale and, later, Jeff Buckley it gained wide recognition. Since then it has been recorded more than 200 times.