Your 'Fanette' in the 70's Chicago Brel Review


A voice from the (Chicago) past indeed. It seems hardly possible that its been 4+ decades (yup decades!!!) since the Earl, the last gasp of the Mitchell Trio and Denver, Boyce and Johnson, pushing your VW out of snowdrifts (I think with Liz Danzig) in front of your place (at 438 W. Webster I seem to recall, -if so where has this memory been for all these years?), hanging out with David Boyce at my apartment during performing visits from New York etc., etc. ... if indeed you remember me at all after all these years. If not, it's been a very, very long time.

Recently a friend of mine was talking to me about the New York cast of Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris and the fine job Shawn Elliot did on Fanette. I told him that, for my money, your version of Fanette in the Chicago cast (though then as a bearded M. J. Johnson)was the best ever (and I still remember seeing your left hand, down at your side, very slightly and certainly unconsciously chording as you sang it ... a real musician indeed).

Maybe because of the demands of live musical theater, I do not think that your performance, your voice, or your dramatic interpretation were ever better. It is a side of you that, in retrospect, I wish people could hear. As hard as songs like Fanette are, you were simply extraordinary.

So, my question is this: Do any audiotapes --or films-- of the Chicago performances exist? I seem to remember some recording equipment being present at a couple of them, but the memory is a bit foggy and I could be mistaken. I also think that I recall Jack Cicchini (sp?)saying someting about it, but this is a bit foggy as well. If they do, please do let me know. I would like nothing better in this life than hearing your Fanette once again.

Thanks for a lifetime of great music. There is really nothing else like it.


Bruce Scott (McKellar)

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Your 'Fanette' in the 70's Chicago Brel Review
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