In 35 years, the greatest have taken to the stage of Rockstore, in Montpellier (Hérault). In particular Radiohead, Lenny Kravitz, who were still only nascent talents. Or Supreme NTM and IAM. The doors of this former Protestant temple, which has become a printing press, a car garage, a cinema, then a major disco venue, have also seen generations of anonymous pass by, for a concert or to party.
While the room, closed for 18 months due to Covid-19, reopens this Thursday, 20 minutes evokes the memories of those who frequented it, public and artists.
“The Rockstore allowed me to meet the woman with whom I share my life”
Laurent remembers, in particular, a concert by the Green Negresses, a nugget of festive rock from the end of the 1980s. “With my Perfecto, it was 50 ° C, but what memories! I took myself, the time of the evening, for a real rock star! », He says. Another will not forget a Jean-Louis Aubert “to block, for his first post-Telephone tour, in 1987”. François attended, “there is a time that the under 20s cannot know”, at “a memorable concert” by Zazie.
For others, the Rockstore has a very special place in their life. Especially for Pierre. “The Rockstore quite simply allowed me to meet the woman with whom I share my life now,” he testifies. It was at the end of September 2019, just before the current “shit” began. For Yann Zitouni, fate was also written at the Rockstore. He was one of the hosts of Radio Alligator, the station that broadcast from the rock room. “I started my job as a radio host there,” says the Montpellier resident, who pushed open the door of the building with a cassette of his beginnings at Radio Clapas. I learned the basics there that still serve me today when I open my microphone. It was in 1988. This place changed my life, for the better. “
“There is something special here”
For artists, the Rockstore is not, either, a hall really like the others. “I have a memory in every corner of the Rockstore, confided in 2016, to 20 minutes, Roland Ramade, the leader of Regg’Lyss, who flooded France with Put some oil, in 1993. There is something special here, a special flavor. It is especially not a room like the others. “Dimoné, he praises the talent that this room has to” make sacred our outings, and our evenings. To end, or to begin, at the Rockstore is always noble. I have so many memories there! Some more glorious, others less. “
Julien Doré, too, had his habits, rue de Verdun. “When I was a student in Nîmes, I went to see concerts at the Rockstore, he testifies in the book 25 years Rockstore, published ten years ago. I saw Brian Jonestown there and I dreamed of being on stage. Three years later, when I started my first tour, I asked to play at the Rockstore, as a sign of freedom. It’s the symbol of who I am, it’s where I feel good. “
“A strong proximity between artists and the public”
Antoine Winling has “always known the Rockstore”. Co-director and programmer of the room, he is the son of Philippe Winling, one of its founders. “The first concert I saw there was Nada Surf, in the mid-1990s. And they’re back for 35 years. I also remember that I used to come to see my father host shows on Radio Alligator, in his studio. Kid, in such a period, very alternative rock, punk, with particular looks, piercings, tattoos… It marks. “
If the Rockstore marks the minds of both the public and artists, it is, according to Antoine Winling, because it is in the heart of the city. And it is rare. For its longevity, too. And because this room has a story. “It’s not just a cube built to do concerts! », Says the programmer. And above all because “it allows a strong proximity between the artists and the publisher,” he notes. It’s a room on a human scale ”.
The first concert after closing takes place this Thursday (7 p.m.) with the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, an astonishing hip-hop marching band made up of eight brothers, originally from Chicago. Rates and season programming,