OUTSIDERS were stars from the moment they outshone The Rolling Stones,
when they appeared as their supporting act in the 'Brabanthallen' in
March 1966. With all that stardom entailed: hits, delirious fans and
exaggerated newspaper headlines about their long hair and wild
performances. But the bubble burst before singer Wally Tax's 21st
birthday and THE OUTSIDERS split up. What remained is the memory of one
of the best beat bands that The Netherlands has ever known.
Legends tells the story of THE OUTSIDERS in words and pictures, with
wonderful photographic material, legendary record sleeves and
tantalising newspaper cuttings. Plus a free CD of unique live recordings
of THE OUTSIDERS at the pinnacle of their fame, the first two singles
for the illustrious Muziek Expres label and a radio session for the
progressive broadcasting company the VPRO, recorded in the then newly
opened rock club Fantasia.
Thinkin' about yesterday What
was it about The Outsiders? The rural Zaanstreek was buzzing. The
Outsiders had just performed. In the hall at 'Ben and Ans' bar in the
provincial town of Wormer. It must have been legendary, last Sunday
afternoon. The Outsiders from Amsterdam. In Wormer. All kinds of stories
circulated. Rumours. It had been really wild. The place was smashed up.
I heard the word rough. Rough. I tried to imagine what that word meant.
I saw vague outlines of thrashing teenage heads. Long hair. Denim
jackets. Screams emanating from wide open mouths. There was no-one I
could ask. I was thirteen. Living out in Krommenie. Even there people
were talking about it. The Outsiders at Ben and Ans. That was quite
something. They said the police were there too. And the mayor! But I
didn't know anyone who was actually there. No-one could tell me what
really happened that afternoon.
Soon after that our junior
football team had to play in Wormer and we cycled past Ben and Ans. I
was surprised to see that it was a typical local bar, the exterior
tastefully painted in traditional green. No sign of destruction. No
boarded-up windows or smoking ruins. Freshly cleaned window panes. A
poster advertised the band for the following Sunday. Not a provocative
name. What was it about The Outsiders? I didn't manage to find out much
at all. We didn't have a TV at home and the radio was always tuned to a
staid adult station.
The newspaper was full of politics. Beat
music didn't exist as far as the TV guide was concerned. Then I
discovered an Outsiders' record in Krommenie's one and only record shop.
A compilation disc: Outsiders Songbook. A promotional record produced
by the magazine Teenbeat. 7 guilders and 50 cents. On the front cover
the four boys from the band. wearing black hats and capes. Fourteen
songs. And a note on the back: an extra, The Outsiders talking
exclusively with their manager John B. van Setten. That decided it for
me. It was time to be initiated. Into music. But most of all into the
band's secret. I had to get to know the band members. Exclusively. I was
going to find out what it was about The Outsiders. The songs were
wonderful. An earthy base. Solid, jaggedly rattling, but sturdy
nonetheless. Ricocheting, supple guitar music. Lyrical texts, dreamily
melancholy. As far as I could tell with my rudimentary school English
the songs were all about not being understood. I could understand that.
Being misunderstood. Or being understood fleetingly, too briefly, and
then no more. I understood that. In love, in longing, in life. That will
happen one day.
I thought, I can already feel the poignancy.
Beautiful songs. But it was the short inte views between the numbers
which really unsettled me. They only deepened the mystery of The
Outsiders. Every word that John B. coaxed from the boys increased the
mystery. Like pronouncements from the oracle. Sentences of such apt
simplicity that they stunned me. I've many years to go, I thought as I
listened to the record player in my attic room, before I can truly
understand the deeper meaning of these nonchalantly revealed truths. If I
ever do. Question from John B.: 'Do you enjoy sport?' A derisive
snigger in the background. Leen? Appie? Wally answers as usual: 'I enjoy
watching boxing, and sports like that, which let you express your
aggression!' Dazed, I flicked through my school diary, which I'd
decorated with Ban the Bomb symbols...
Article properties: The Outsiders: The Outsiders - Beat Legends - Photo Sound Book & CD