Category: Personal history

On heresy and heredity

My father is a funny guy. I used to think he was a classic left-wing conservative; believing in the power of regulation, against free, uncontrolled capitalism and most of all, always longing for the ‘old days’, when things were better. Like music. He got stuck in the 60’s, introduced me to The Beatles, and believed…


Play for today (and yesterday too)

The other day I suddenly stopped in my tracks and did nothing for almost 4 minutes. The occasion…my Ipod decided to play an early Cure song, ‘Play for Today’. What’s with this song, why does it make me stop, do nothing and go back in time? The answer essentially is that ‘Play for Today’ defined…


Teenage Wildlife

Friends are like clothes, they are either in or out of fashion, they make you look good or not. As a teenager I defined style as the point where politics and music intersected.The Clash were the only band that mattered and after reading Orwell’s ‘Homage to Catalonia’ I ruled out communism in favour of anarchism…


The loss of my youth

In 1985 I composed my first poem under the friendly light of a lamppost after crashing with my bicycle in the middle of the night. I crashed because I was drunk, the result of spending yet another night at ‘De Boemerang’. It was a bit of a strange place. Mopeds parked outside, routine fights between…


Punk and Puberty in three episodes

Scene 1 – Iggy Pop playbacking ‘Lust for Life’ on Toppop. I was 8 years old. Toppop was our primary channel of (new) music in the 1970’s. I didn’t see at the time how drugged up Iggy was, nor did I notice how paper-thin he was or the sloppy make up on his body. I…


Ghost in the machine

When I was 17 I read Arthur Koestler’s ‘Ghost in the machine’ (1967). I didn’t understand half of the book, but it still left a big impression.Taking the relationship between mind and body as a starting point, Koestler tries to explain why people have a tendency towards (self-)destruction. According to him it all boils down…


Rearview mirror

  My son plays electric guitar. I wish my parents would have given me something similar when I was young. All I got was a flute. Maybe I could have gotten more. Not a piano, our house was too small for a piano, but even a saxophone or a drum kit would have been fine….


I’m sorry, Paul!

My kids call me a know-it-all. I always deny, of course, like all professional know-it-all’s would. Before you start drawing conclusions, I’m not a mansplainer, I usually stay far away from topics I know nothing about. One of my favourite know-it-all topics is music. In a way I’m happy I hardly see my old friends…


My dear librarian the rainmaker

30 years later I still remember what he looked like: in his late thirties, although he looked much older from my teenage perspective, already bald with only a tiny bit of hair left around his ears, quite tall and serious but friendly brown eyes. Bambi eyes. He had a bit of a hunchback posture, but…


Poptones

One of the funniest music related websites is ‘kiss this guy’. The name of the website refers to a line in Jimi Hendrix’s song ‘Purple Haze’, the part where he sings: ‘scuse me, while I kiss the sky’. Many people apparently hear: ‘excuse me while I kiss this guy…’ Personally, I very much love one…


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