I was introduced to Jacques Brel by my high school theater director, David Weidman, an incredibly ambitious man who mounted plays like “Equus,” “The Elephant Man,” and “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” at our high scool and treated us all like we were adults and serious actors, which meant he expected a level of discipline and dedication from us that a lot of people might find unreasonable or even a little cruel. He was right and they were all wrong, though, and I learned lessons from him that I use every single day. Which is kind of a good way to start talking about Jacques Brel, since Brel is so damn good at songwriting that he makes all the “rock” songwriters look like high school kids. Even Dylan frequently looks like a pimply teen compared to Brel. When I first heard those songs, they completely remade my image of the message you could articulate, the language you could use, and the attitude you could put across in a popular song. Anyway, this shirt kind of sucks.
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