Dear Brelian friends

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In the past few years we had contact  in the context of my Brel biography 'in the making'… This newsletter serves to inform you that the book is… finished! As I am writing this, the press is rotating and spitting out page after page of this gorgeously designed, de luxe 511 page book Jacques Brel | De defintieve  (JB | The final word on)

New facts

Since Brel's life did not change post mortum, the biographical part of the book is not very far from the one published in Life & Love (2003). However, substantial corrections and new subjects have been added. Meet the real 'Marieke', form your own opinion on the self-acclaimed son of Brel in Canada, and follow Brel's sea journey to the Marquises Islands as if you were sailing with him on that boat. All with brand new photos, printed in full color!

The Askoy II

For the reconstruction of Brel's journey to the Pacific and the voyage of the Askoy II before and after Brel owned it, I worked closely together with Maddly Bamy and the Save Askoy II Foundation of the brothers Piet & Staf Wittevrongel. This resulted in some stunning, adventurous chapters on the boat, its decline, its destruction in a storm and its ultimate coverage by the Witevrongels, who are now restoring it in Belgium!

Photo-discography

Brel | The definitieve will have the most complete discography of Brel's songs ever published. To make it the decisive discography, I have reprinted each and every original cover design in the discography, something which hitherto has never even been attempted. And yes, even the last rarity is there – thanks to all of you!

Under cover…

Few people are aware of it, but Jacques Brel is the most covered artist in the world. We made a Top 10 of the best individual covers ever, while we will soon present the complete top 200 online. The book also features the complete discography of the more than 250 Integral Brel Cover Albums, including all the artwork in full color!

Tributes

Last but not least, the book has a Top-10 of Brel Tributes. Brel Tributes?... Well, yes: there have been over 100 songs dedicated to Brel by other artists.

I would like to add more details here, but will reserve them for the next update, which will bring news on the September release date, the official presentation and… the brand new website that accompanies the book!

Press and promotion

This newsletter is privately being released to you. We have not yet started active promotion, but will start doing so halfway August. By then, you can expect more details on the website and the ins and outs of the Jacques Brel | De definitieve.

I do wish to thank each and every one of you for help, advice, scans, recordings, photographs, information, interviews, transaltions, corrections, inspiration and or shoulder massages • René Seghers, 2012-07-25

The brand new webiste 401brel.nl is currently being built. Soon it will feature a brief biography of Jacques Brel, as well as additional info with respect to subjects that are being discussed in the book. We will bring the Jacques Brel Cover Top 200, with full reviews and a voting system; you decide the ranking! The same goes for the Brel tribute section. Last but not least there will be reviews of each and every complete Brel cover recital ever recorded (more than 250). We try to do this bilingual, but it will take time to translate everything from dutch to English. More will follow soon!

René Seghers, 2012.