Sheldon Sazant, favourite son of Montreal's music scene, has died
MONTREAL -- Montreal's music scene has lost a favourite son.
Sheldon Sazant was the general manager at Steve's music store, but he was also recognized as the driving force behind local artists.
He died Thursday after a short battle with cancer.
Through Steve's Music store's fabled history, Sazant stood near the door, greeting customers for four decades.
"I've been here for 40 years – very happily," Sazant told CTV News once.
For musicians in the city, he was the heart and soul of the store.
"I don't think any local musicians or the local music scene that doesn't know who he is, and hasn't taken care of," said store manager Jason Hart.
Unlike his customers, Sazant was not an accomplished musician – but it didn't matter, said Jim Beis, the mayor of Pierrefonds-Roxboro and a guitar fanatic himself.
Beis said Sazant's magic happened the second you walked into the store.
"He made you, from that moment on, feel like a rock star and special and took the time, regardless of your knowledge of equipment, to take you through and pick the right instrument for you," he said.
Store employee Mario Gervais quickly figured out that his former boss triggered a certain passion among ambitious musicians.
"He would always say, 'We're here to sell dreams, we're not just selling instruments, we're selling an experience,'" he said.
One of those dreamers was Albert Chambers, a Juno-nominated musician, producer and songwriter, who started out working with Sazant.
"I think what Sheldon understood the most was the relationships between all of the musicians in town and what their needs were," he said, adding that for that, Sazant didn't need to be a virtuoso himself.
"I don't think you need to know what an A minor was to be able to understand that they were desperately in need of something and they were going on tour," he said.
The service for Sazant will be held at the Paperman Funeral home on Sunday, Jan. 26.
Montreal's music community is preparing a tribute concert next week.