The Invasion Of The Drop Bears…

A Family Phenomena (from the Mary side)…that Rowan has inherited a trait that his Mother has long exhibited:

The ability to put out street lights when they walk under one…

I first discovered this trait with Mary in Los Angeles, during the first year we were married. Walking home one night from the cinema, we were laughing and talking and I noticed that as we moved along, the street lights would go off when we came up to them, and flash back on when we moved away. It was somewhat unnerving, yet humourous…

For fun over the years, I would invite friends along for a walk, and watch them weird out… Once explained they would enjoy it, but I think it spooked a few.

One of the ‘other’ side effects, or co-travelling phenomena is that Mary melts the interior of watches when she wears them for any length of time; I tried several types over the years, the ones that went quickest were of two varieties;

1. battery powered. Dead in less than a day, the interior a complete melted mess.

2. Antique watches, especially ones from the Art Deco period (20′s & 30′s), these were an expensive lesson.

This phenomena has continued up to the present, as we walked Sophie the wonder dog last night, it happened again. Yikes!

So Rowan has reported that lights are starting to go off at his approach. The mystery deepens I am tempted to have kirlian photos taken to see if their is a plume of energy flying above their heads…

Andrew (my nephew) dropped by for a chat yesterday. He brought good news about his life, and about his young lady, Catherine. Details will follow…

Well, the weekend is here… I hope you have a good time, and take some time for a quiet reflection…

Talk to your friends, strangers, neighbors. Get the ball moving for changing the mess that the planet is in. One light at a time.



What Is On The Menu:

The Links

Drop Bears – The Truth

The Lyrical Poetry of Jacques Brel

Wild Life Photos –


The Links

Killer Kangeroos… Oh My!

Thylacine Search Fund


Drop Bears – The Truth

For those of you who do not know the history of Drop Bears in Australia, I will tell it, so much as I know, as a warning to you and your family.


In the beginning, there were koalas. Cuddly, furry, slow-moving and sleepy, koalas eat gum leaves for 90% of their waking lives, but prefer to spend most of their time asleep. They live in trees, venturing down to the ground only when it is necessary to move from tree to tree. Koalas are no threat to humans, unless you are foolish enough to climb up a tree and attempt to catch one, under which circumstances the koala may give you a bit of a scratch with its ample claws.

You will be aware that Australia is home to many species that simply don’t exist anywhere else in the world. Echidnas, wombats, koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots and potoroos are unique to Australia, just to name a few. Another unique animal is the Drop Bear.


The Drop Bear is described as an arboreal, (tree dwelling) carnivorous mammal of Australia, Phascolarctus Hodgsonii, growing to around 4 feet in height. This description is not far wrong. Believed to have evolved from a similar line to koalas, Drop Bears vary from 3 to 5 feet in hight, but are extremely strong. They are covered in a dense fur, which can range from almost black to the Alpine Drop Bear’s snowy white coat. They have broad shoulders and razor sharp claws on all four limbs. They are able to walk for short distances on two legs, but are much faster on all four, being capable of bursts of speed approaching 60 km/h at full gallop. Their heads are similar to those of koalas, but with enlarged canine teeth, not unlike those of bears or other carnivorous animals. There are no reported photographs of them, and only a select and very lucky few have laid eyes on them and lived to tell the tale.

As you can imagine, admitting their existence would cause some degree of panic, and destroy parts of Australia’s ecotourism industry overnight. It is for this reason that all government departments will, and have denied any knowledge of the existence of the Drop Bear, and are likely to continue to do so in the future. Being an avid outdoor enthusiast, and having contact with people who spend a large proportion of their time outdoors, I have gathered together scraps of information from sources all around the country, linking Drop Bear involvement to such events as the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, the death of Captain James Cook in Hawaii, several war-time incidents in northern Australia, the disappearance of a group of cross-country skiers in the Victorian Alps, and the deaths of a number of hikers, canoeists, 4WDrivers, campers, sunbathers and swimmers throughout the country. These ‘accidents’ are often reported as crocodile attacks, falls from cliffs, exposure, and in the Chamberlain case, dingoes were blamed. I have it on good authority in all of these cases, however, that a government cover-up was at work to dispel rumours of Drop Bear attacks and hide the truth from the public.

Dangers associated with Drop Bears

Drop Bears are not cuddly and friendly, like their cousin the koala. They are vicious, calculating, cold-blooded killers. Their usual method of attack is to select animals which stray from their group, including humans, dropping down onto them from above. They then proceed to wrap themselves around the body of their prey, squeezing them to death, often crushing the rib cage and breaking the neck. Occasionally when hunting, and when threatened, the Bears will drop down in front of, and then challenge their prey, snarling and flashing their sharp claws and teeth, before ripping their prey to shreds with their powerful arms and legs. Of all the ways to die in the bush, this would have to be the most horrible. Arms and Legs are torn from the body, along with huge slabs of flesh, which are greedily consumed while the victim still lives. If seen, Drop Bears should NOT be approached, as they are easily frightened and likely to attack. Vehicles are known to have been attacked, and being in one is no defence. An adult Drop Bear is able to easily break windows and enter vehicles to extrude would-be meals.


The Common Drop Bear is found in wooded areas all over the Australian continent, including Tasmania, and is thought to in fact venture as far north as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia. It lives in trees, dropping down to feed on kangaroos, wombats, and anything else that walks beneath it.

The Burrowing Drop Bear is slightly smaller in stature than the common variety, though just as ferocious. It is known to inhabit the drier arid regions of the country, including the deserts of central Australia. It is also fairly common amongst wooded areas, and burrows have been found everywhere from beaches to desert plains. The burrows vary in size according to the individual animal, but the entry hole may be considerably smaller than the actual living space. Holes 30cm in diameter have been known to house Drop Bears 5 feet tall. The animal’s extraordinary contorting ability means it is able to crawl through extremely small spaces in search of wombats and rabbits.

The Alpine Drop Bear grows a special winter coat of almost pure white for camouflage in snowy areas. They have been spotted at lower elevations when the food supply is short, but unlike Common and Burrowing varieties, are able to hibernate for sustained periods. They live in larger burrows than Burrowing Drop Bears, being less able to contort through small openings. During the summer months, they remain in their mountain environment, shedding their white coats and adopting darker furs for camouflage in the lightly treed and grassy plains of the high country.

The Aquatic Drop Bear, as its name suggests, feeds in and around bodies of water. Lakes, rivers, dams and the Australian coastal waters are home to this variety of Drop Bear. With webbed feet and an water-resistant coat similar to a seal, they are ideally suited to marine life, though still retain the unmistakable Drop Bear physique of four legs, broad shoulders and sharp claws and teeth. Aquatic Drop Bears have attacked canoeists, rafters, fisherman on the bank and in boats, sunbathers and swimmers. Cases such as these are often falsely reported by the media as crocodile or shark attacks, in an effort to avoid the mass hysteria which would almost definitely result from an admission that we have a Drop Bear problem.


I have endeavoured to provide you, the reader, with as much information as I can at this time. I have been hounded and ridiculed for sharing such information as this with the public, but I am reconciled to do my best to warn as many people as I can of this potential danger in the Australian Bush.

You have been warned.

Further Info:

Beware of Dropbears

Some Disinfo on the Drop Bears…


Jacques Brel

Jacques Brel Sings – Amsterdam


Dans le port d’Amsterdam

Y a des marins qui chantent

Les rêves qui les hantent

Au large d’Amsterdam

Dans le port d’Amsterdam

Y a des marins qui dorment

Comme des oriflammes

Le long des berges mornes

Dans le port d’Amsterdam

Y a des marins qui meurent

Pleins de bière et de drames

Aux premières lueurs

Mais dans le port d’Amsterdam

Y a des marins qui naissent

Dans la chaleur épaisse

Des langueurs océanes

Dans le port d’Amsterdam

Y a des marins qui mangent

Sur des nappes trop blanches

Des poissons ruisselants

Ils vous montrent des dents

A croquer la fortune

A décroisser la lune

A bouffer des haubans

Et ça sent la morue

Jusque dans le coeur des frites

Que leurs grosses mains invitent

A revenir en plus

Puis se lèvent en riant

Dans un bruit de tempête

Referment leur braguette

Et sortent en rotant

Dans le port d’Amsterdam

Y a des marins qui dansent

En se frottant la panse

Sur la panse des femmes

Et ils tournent et ils dansent

Comme des soleils crachés

Dans le son déchiré

D’un accordéon rance

Ils se tordent le cou

Pour mieux s’entendre rire

Jusqu’à ce que tout à coup

L’accordéon expire

Alors le geste grave

Alors le regard fier

Ils ramènent leur batave

Jusqu’en pleine lumière

Dans le port d’Amsterdam

Y a des marins qui boivent

Et qui boivent et reboivent

Et qui reboivent encore

Ils boivent à la santé

Des putains d’Amsterdarn

De Hambourg ou d’ailleurs

Enfin ils boivent aux dames

Qui leur donnent leur joli corps

Qui leur donnent leur vertu

Pour une pièce en or

Et quand ils ont bien bu

Se plantent le nez au ciel

Se mouchent dans les étoiles

Et ils pissent comme je pleure

Sur les femmes infidèles

Dans le port d’Amsterdam

Dans le port d’Amsterdam.

In English:



In the harbor of Amsterdam

there are sailors who sing

about the dreams that haunt them

away from Amsterdam.

In the harbor of Amsterdam

there are sailors who sleep

stretched out like pennants

along the dead waters.

In the harbor of Amsterdam

there are sailors who die

full of beer and tragedy

at the first light of dawn

In the harbor of Amsterdam

there are sailors being born

in the thick heat

of oceanic languors.

In the harbor of Amsterdam

there are sailors who eat

on bright white table cloths

shimmering fish,

and they show you their teeth

made to bite into fate,

to unhook the moon,

to eat up the mast-ropes.

And there is a smell of cod

even to the heart of the French fries

which their thick hands invite

to come back for more;

then they get up laughing

they holler like a storm,

they close up their fly

and get out belching.

In the harbor of Amsterdam

there are sailors who dance

rubbing their bellies

against the bellies of women,

and they turn and they dance,

like spit suns

in the torn-up sound

of a rancid accordion.

They twist up their necks

to hear themselves laugh

until all of a sudden

the accordion gives out…

Then with a grave gesture,

then with a proud glance,

they bring out their Dutchman

into the bright light…

In the harbor of Amsterdam

there are sailors who drink

and drink and drink again

and again drink.

They drink to the health

of the whores of Amsterdam

of Hamburg and others places,

in short, they drink to the ladies

Who give them their pretty bodies

who give them their virtue

for a piece of gold,

and when they have drunk enough,

they stand firmly, their noses to the sky

they blow their noses in the stars

and they piss hot tears

over unfaithful women..

In the harbor of Amsterdam,

In the harbor of Amsterdam…



Jacques Brel Sings – Quand On A Que L’amour

Quand on n’a que l’amour

A s’offrir en partage

Au jour du grand voyage

Qu’est notre grand amour

Quand on n’a que l’amour

Mon amour toi et moi

Pour qu’éclatent de joie

Chaque heure et chaque jour

Quand on n’a que l’amour

Pour vivre nos promesses

Sans nulle autre richesse

Que d’y croire toujours

Quand on n’a que l’amour

Pour meubler de merveilles

Et couvrir de soleil

La laideur des faubourgs

Quand on n’a que l’amour

Pour unique raison

Pour unique chanson

Et unique secours

Quand on n’a que l’amour

Pour habiller matin

Pauvres et malandrins

De manteaux de velours

Quand on n’a que l’amour

A offrir en prière

Pour les maux de la terre

En simple troubadour

Quand on n’a que l’amour

A offrir à ceux-là

Dont l’unique combat

Est de chercher le jour

Quand on n’a que l’amour

Pour tracer un chemin

Et forcer le destin

A chaque carrefour

Quand on n’a que l’amour

Pour parler aux canons

Et rien qu’une chanson

Pour convaincre un tambour

Alors sans avoir rien

Que la force d’aimer

Nous aurons dans nos mains

Amis le monde entier.

In English:

When one only has love – Quand on n’a que l’amour

When one only has love

as a give and take

at the dawn of the great journey

of this our great love;

when one only has love,

my love, you and I,

to make burst with joy

every hour of every day;

when one only has love

to live up to our promises

without any other riches

then to believe in it always;

when one only has love

to furnish with wonder

and cover with light

the blight of the suburbs;

when one only has love

as a sole purpose,

as a sole song

and sole recourse;

when one only has love

to clothe at dawn

the poor and the criminal

in mantles of velvet;

when one only has love

to offer in prayer

for the suffering world

as a modest minstrel;

when one only has love

to give to those

whose only fight

is to search for daylight;

when one only has love

to trace a path

and force fate

at every crossroads;

when one only has love

to speak to cannons

and only a song

to change the mind of a drum,

then without having nothing

but the strength to love

we shall hold in our hands

my friend, the entire world!



Jacques Brel Sings – Ne Me Quitte Pas

Ne me quitte pas

Il faut oublier

Tout peut s’oublier

Qui s’enfuit déjà

Oublier le temps

Des malentendus

Et le temps perdu

A savoir comment

Oublier ces heures

Qui tuaient parfois

A coups de pourquoi

Le coeur du bonheur

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Moi je t’offrirai

Des perles de pluie

Venues de pays

Où il ne pleut pas

Je creuserai la terre

Jusqu’après ma mort

Pour couvrir ton corps

D’or et de lumière

Je ferai un domaine

Où l’amour sera roi

Où l’amour sera loi

Où tu seras reine

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Je t’inventerai

Des mots insensés

Que tu comprendras

Je te parlerai

De ces amants là

Qui ont vu deux fois

Leurs coeurs s’embraser

Je te raconterai

L’histoire de ce roi

Mort de n’avoir pas

Pu te rencontrer

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

On a vu souvent

Rejaillir le feu

D’un ancien volcan

Qu’on croyait trop vieux

Il est paraît-il

Des terres brûlées

Donnant plus de blé

Qu’un meilleur avril

Et quand vient le soir

Pour qu’un ciel flamboie

Le rouge et le noir

Ne s’épousent-ils pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Je ne vais plus pleurer

Je ne vais plus parler

Je me cacherai là

A te regarder

Danser et sourire

Et à t’écouter

Chanter et puis rire

Laisse-moi devenir

L’ombre de ton ombre

L’ombre de ta main

L’ombre de ton chien

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

Ne me quitte pas

In English:

Don’t leave me! -Ne me quitte pas!

Don’t leave me!

Let’s forget –

for all can be forgotten

which is gone by already!

Forget the time

of misunderstandings and

the time


finding out how

to forget those hours

which sometimes killed

by blows of “why?”

the heart

of happiness.

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

I will give you

pearls of rain

come from countries

where it never rains.

I will dig up the earth

even in death

to cover your body

with gold and with light.

I will make a kingdom

where love shall be king

where love shall be law

where you shall be queen.

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

I shall invent

senseless words

which you will understand.

I shall tell you about

those lovers who

saw twice

their hearts

go up in flames.

I shall tell you

the story of this king


for not having succeeded

in finding you.

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

One has often seen

burst anew the fire

of an old volcano

believed to be spent.

There are, it is said,

scorched lands

yielding more wheat

than the best of April.

And when evening comes,

to make the sky flare up,

don’t the black and the red


Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

I’ll weep no more,

I’ll speak no more,

I’ll hide right here,

to look at you

dance and smile, to

listen to you


and then laugh…

Let me become

the shadow

of your shadow,

the shadow of your hand,

the shadow of your dog, but

don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!

Don’t leave me!



Jacques Brel sings – au Suivant

Au suivant au suivant

Tout nu dans ma serviette qui me servait de pagne

J’avais le rouge au front et le savon à la main

Au suivant au suivant

J’avais juste vingt ans et nous étions cent vingt

A être le suivant de celui qu’on suivait

Au suivant au suivant

J’avais juste vingt ans et je me déniaisais

Au bordel ambulant d’une armée en campagne

Au suivant au suivant

Moi j’aurais bien aimé un peu plus de tendresse

Ou alors un sourire ou bien avoir le temps

Mais au suivant au suivant

Ce ne fut pas Waterloo non non mais ce ne fut pas Arcole

Ce fut l’heure où l’on regrette d’avoir manqué l’école

Au suivant au suivant

Mais je jure que d’entendre cet adjudant de mes fesses

C’est des coups à vous faire des armées d’impuissants

Au suivant et au suivant

Je jure sur la tête de ma première vérole

Que cette voix depuis je l’entends tout le temps

Au suivant au suivant

Cette voix qui sentait l’ail et le mauvais alcool

C’est la voix des nations et c’est la voix du sang

Au suivant au suivant

Et depuis chaque femme à l’heure de succomber

Entre mes bras trop maigres semble me murmurer

Au suivant au suivant

Tous les suivants du monde devraient se donner la main

Voilà ce que la nuit je crie dans mon délire

Au suivant au suivant

Et quand je ne délire pas j’en arrive à me dire

Qu’il est plus humiliant d’être suivi que suivant

Au suivant au suivant

Un jour je me ferai cul-de-jatte ou bonne soeur ou pendu

Enfin un de ces machins où je ne serai jamais plus

Le suivant le suivant.


Sorry, no English Translation…

But here is one of my favourites..

If We Only Have Love

If we only have love

Then tomorrow will dawn

And the days of our years

Will rise on that morn

If we only have love

To embrace without fears

We will kiss with our eyes

We will sleep without tears

If we only have love

With our arms open wide

Then the young and the old

Will stand at our side

If we only have love

Love that’s falling like rain

Then the parched desert earth

Will grow green again

If we only have love

For the hymn that we shout

For the song that we sing

Then we’ll have a way out

If we only have love

We can reach those in pain

We can heal all our wounds

We can use our own names

If we only have love

We can melt all the guns

And then give the new world

To our daughters and sons

If we only have love

Then Jerusalem stands

And then death has no shadow

There are no foreign lands

If we only have love

We will never bow down

We’ll be tall as the pines

Neither heroes nor clowns

If we only have love

Then we’ll only be men

And we’ll drink from the Grail

To be born once again

Then with nothing at all

But the little we are

We’ll have conquered all time

All space, the sun, and the stars.


Brel Bio

Although it is often thought that Brel is French, his roots are in Belgium. Or, as Arno (who definitely has inherited a lot out of the legacy of Brel) once said in Humo “One thing we mustn’t forget : Brel is the biggest singer-songwriter of all times. A wonderful human being : a loner, a brilliant storyteller, an excellent singer, a very good actor. And the energy on stage, and the things he was telling there … that’s pure rock’n’roll. And he was from Belgium, you know. The brightest songwriter of the whole world. We tend to forget that.”

Born in the year 1929 in a well-off family in Schaarbeek, Brussels. In between his studies (Saint-Louis), his military service (in Limburg), a marriage, kids and work in a cardboard factory he confines his poetry to paper. Brel feels locked in.

In 1953 he finally takes the gamble : he records a 78-tour with two songs (“La foire” and “Il y a”). The record is discovered in Paris by Jacques Cannetti (the writer and future winner of the Nobel Prize). After a session at the studios of BRT-radio Limburg, he decides to take another gamble : he goes to Paris by train. He performs in cabarets and music-halls, records some music, but stays mostly unnoticed (his aspirations were not so much to become a performer himself, but to write songs for others to perform) until 1957 when the song “Quand on a que l’amour” is discovered.

The themes in his work include friendship (Jef), goes from idolized love to hatred for women (Les Biches), from the belief in God to anticlericalism (� mon dernier repas) and from a certain sweetness to a manifest anti-conformism and a horror of hypocrisy (Les Bourgeouis, Le Moribond).

For Brel, the words to the music were more important than the music itself : “He wanted to get a message across. Not paying attention to the lyrics, you lose Brel. His heroes and anti-heroes come from life itself. Above all, he uses his personal experience, he projects his dreams. He is haunted by the effect of time on the body, the disgrace and the physical degradation. For the women in his songs, the breasts are often portrayed as lowering. For the men and for himself, Brel fears aging more than death itself.”

Let the French intellectuals speak about him : “Son oeuvre, qui ne se distingue pas particuli�rement par la recherche m�lodique, brille surtout par une science du texte et du jeu de mots qui fonctionne essentiellement sur le principe des oppositions binaires (le noir et le blanc, les paires minimales approximatives) et sur une certaine pr�dilection pour le n�ologisme. Mais c’est sur sc�ne que Brel frappe surtout, apportant � ses chansons une nouvelle dimension, gestuelle, gr�ce � un travail d’expression tr�s minutieusement pr�par�”. A poor translation would be : “His works excel, not so much because of the study of the melody, but because of a science of text and wordplay that functions essentially on the principle of binary opposition (black and white, approximate minimal pairs) and for a certain predestination for neologism. But it is on stage that Brel makes the biggest impression. He gives his songs a new dimension, in gestures, by a very carefully prepared expressionism.” Although a bit bombastic : well said Gaston!

Or, as France Brel (his daughter) once said : “The French relate to my father intellectually, they analyze him. But the Belgians feel him. Brel is somebody who ate mussels and fries and drank beer. He belongs to them, he’s one of them. It’s a certain look. a way of being.”

Brel has never denied his Belgian roots. A number of songs were recorded both in Dutch and in French (Mijn vlakke land – Le plat pays. De Burgerij – Les bourgeois). Others carry bits in Dutch (e.g. Marieke). He also often sings of the time of his youth and the country of his origin (Bruxelles, Le Plat Pays, Jacky …). The song “Les F…” causes quite a stir in 1977 : Flemish nationalists and the clergy felt attacked.

But, says France Brel: “He also made fun of the clergy, the bourgeoisie, of everything. He loved to provoke, to demystify. In fact, he was very Flemish. He believed in discipline, hard work, he was always punctual. Our family is Flemish in character in many ways, Jacques was proud of his Flemish blood.”

“If I were king,” Brel himself once said, “I would send all the Flemings to Wallonia and all the Walloons to Flanders for six months. Like military service. They would live with a family and that would solve all our ethnic and linguistic problems very fast. Because everybody’s tooth aches in the same way, everybody loves their mother, everybody loves or hates spinach. And those are the things that really count.”

Some simple analogies also could give you an impression of the power of Brel : “as poetic as Bob Dylan, as introspective as John Lennon, as virile as Bruce Springsteen; his intense stage presence, and the killing involvement it reflected, was reminiscent of Edith Piaf.”

In 1967, he says farewell to the stage after the musical “L’homme de La Mancha” and dedicates most of his time to cinema. The reason : “he felt like a trained monkey unpacking his bag of tricks and singing the same songs every night”. In “Vieillir”, he ridicules himself : “thundering old men … spitting out their last tooth singing Amsterdam”. However, he continues to record songs.

In 1973, he had enough of the cinema as well and “retreats” to the Iles Marquises. After four years in that lonely paradise (the islands where Gauguin painted), he comes back to Paris and records another album.

To give an idea of the impact Brel has had during his lifetime this anecdote from “Big in Belgium” by Jan Delvaux : “In 1977, after a number of years of silence, he announces the release of an album. Eddie Barclay of his record company frees up all available means : the record goes into a box with a lock to all the French radio stations. On the official release date he announces them the secret code of the lock. The record sells 650.000 copies on the first day ! The total well surpasses 2 million.” The album “Brel” contains all the themes of his oeuvre : friendship (Jojo), hatred of women (Les remparts de Varsovie, Le Lion), death (Vieillir) and generosity (Jaur�s).

At the end of his life, lung cancer is discovered. In 1974 he has an operation in Brussels. He continues to sing with one lung, one song at a time. The disease gets the upperhand in October 1978. He is buried on the cemetery of Atuone on the island of Hiva-Oa on Tahiti.

The legacy of Brel : some 100 songs, the appearances in his films, the International Brel foundation, films of his live-performances at the Olympia in Paris and the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels that send shivers down your spine.

Brel surely is one of the most covered artists around. Among the interprets of his music are the likes of Scott Walker, Alex Harvey, Neil Diamond, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Petula Clark, Shirley Bassey, David Bowie, Nina Simone, Mark Almond, Arno, Leonard Cohen …

His talent also widely surpasses the areas of the world where French is spoken : In America for example, Terry Jacks scores a n�1 hit with an adaptation of Le Moribond (Seasons in the sun) and even to this day a “libretto-less” musical tours the country : “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris”.

As jazz-performer Mike Zwerin recalls : “my friend … called me and asked if I wanted to go to Carnegie Hall with him that night to hear ‘some Frenchman named Brel’ sing. Neither one of us had ever heard of him or understood one word of French, but free tickets are free tickets. We were surprised to find the hall packed. We were even more astonished when we heard Mr. Brel. Though jazz musicians are known for their hostility to singers in general – considering them a commercial necessity taking away time from more talented instrumentalists – we were overwhelmed. Transfixed. Brel’s language was universal and the intensity of the performance overflowed the boundary of such a limiting definition as ‘singer’.”

Now 20 years after his death, almost nothing of that impact of Jacques Brel has been lost.


(The Red Light District of Hamsterdam…)

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