This is the biography of Patrick Watson (based on things he told me.)
Once there was a boy named Patrick Watson who was born on a military base in the Mojave Desert. His father rode around in planes carrying bombs, waiting for a command to drop them that never came. He was the baby in a family of five, which would include a future figure skater, an engineer and an air force pilot, but he was seven years younger than his next older sibling. The trouble with being born this late into a family is that they have all already gone mad, and are engaged in domestic dramas, chasing each other around with knives. He was left to make too many assumptions about love and life on his own, and he still has the philosophy of a wise beyond their years wide-eyed child.
The family moved to Hudson, Quebec when Patrick was four. He was asked by an old gentleman by the name of Frank Cobatt to sing in the church choir, perhaps they met in the cough drop section of the local grocery store. Patrick sang in the church and his little boy’s pretty, melancholic voice broke everyone’s heart. The choir director then had him sing at the foot of a grave at a funeral. Because there is something in his voice that captures all the lovely things in life we can only hold onto temporarily and how their transience is what makes them wonderful.
Patrick started playing piano as a child. The piano used to belong to a boy named Gordon, and he would appear as a ghost and teach Patrick how to play in the middle of the night. Even if Patrick played at three in the morning, his mother never interrupted these vital lessons. He showed me the photo of Gordon who looked, more or less, like a terrifying psychopath with tuberculosis who probably slit his whole family’s throats while they were sleeping. But I did not say so.
Patrick says he became a singer by accident. He thought he would compose scores for others to play, which seems like an odd thing to say because he is so clearly sprinkled with that special something that causes a person to be transfixing on stage. And it’s now hard to imagine Montreal without the soundtrack of his songs.