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The story of the band Vitesse, the band with more line up changes than Spinal tap.

Discussion in 'Bass Humor & Gig Stories [BG]' started by Blazer, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Okay, having line up changes is something every band has to go through, although with the Beatles they always said "it's going to be the original four and nobody else."

    There are bands out there who don't have any of the original members in their current line ups but of all the Rockbands ever founded, I don't think there's one with as many line up changes as the one I'm going to mention.
    But first things first: this is Herman Van Boeyen. Van Boeyen made a name for being a hot-shot drummer for Dutch bands like Tee-set ("Ma belle ami", "She likes weeds" although he didn't play on either of those hits), Living Blues and Red white and Blue which was an offshoot of Cuby and the Blizzards.

    With the latter Van Boeyen met a guy who shared his passion for high octane Rock N Roll as well as sharing his first name.
    Herman Brood. Both Hermans decided that it was in both of their shared best interests that they'd work together and in 1976 they formed a band named after the French word for velocity "Vitesse" and by doing so they created one of the Netherlands most potent bands and at the same time the band who never got round to fully getting that potential realized.

    During the first six months of their existence Van Boeijen and Brood managed to go through SEVEN musicians before having a stable line up with which they recorded their debut album. (I'm sorry if I can't name what they roles in the band were, the site I got the info from doesn't list the roles of all of them.)
    1. Herman van Boeyen - Drums
    2. Herman Brood - Lead vocals, Keyboards
    3. Rob ten Bokum - guitar (1975 - 1976)
    4. Peter Smid - Bass (1975 - ?)
    5. Ferdi Karmelk (1975 - ?)
    6. Paul Bagmeyer (1975 - ?)
    7. Rob van Donselaar (1975 - ?)
    8. Jan-Piet Den Tex - Guitar (1976 - ?)
    9. Gerrit Veen - Bass (1976)

    The band released their self titled first album in 1976, the picture shows Van Boeyen standing in front of the window and Brood sitting on the far right in the white suit.
    But when the album failed to do anything Herman Brood decided that he wanted to go solo and taking Gerrit Veen with him. The funny thing about that first album is that it was considered by Dutch rock purists to a classic Brood album and had nothing in common with the sound that the band later became known for. In fact when Brood got successful in his own right, the Album was re-released as "Herman Brood in Vitesse"

    Unfazed by that setback, Van Boeyen persevered and with
    10. Ross Recardi (1976)
    11. Jaap van Eik (1976 - ?)

    ...Started the band a fresh, with the departure of Brood, the band had lost a very capable frontman and equally capable lead singer. With a mantra of "if you want something done right..." Van Boeyen decided to take up the role of Lead singer himself but wouldn't allow anybody else to do the drumming.

    But the 1977 release "Rendez Vouz" doing little better than the first album. Van Boeyen decided to have a shuffle in the line up once again.
    12. Jan Van Der Mei - Guitar (1977-1980)
    13. Rudy de Queljoe - Guitar formerly of Brainbox, where he replaced none other than Jan Akkerman! (1977-1979)
    14. Wilco Toerroe Leerdam - Bass (1977-1979)

    With that remarkable stabel line up Vitesse released two albums "Out in the country" and "Rock invaders" which actually gave them two hits "A whole lot of traveling to do" and this one.

    But after the 1979 tour both Rudy de Queljoe, Wilco Toerroe Leerdam, were out of the band and they recruited.
    15. Peter Van Straten - Bass (1979-1980)
    And had an unsuccessful stint with Herman Brood back in the fold. Brood went once more and took van Straten with him, but he returned.

    The band released a Live album and Van Der Mei and Van Straten were promptly shown the door by Van Boeyen who wanted to go in a different direction. The two of them forming a band called Powerplay. Van Boeyen recruited two replacements.
    16. Mark Boon - Guitar (1980 - ?)
    17. Freddie Cavalli - Bass, Formerly of Herman Brood and his Wild Romance (1980 - ?)

    And when that didn't work out swiftly replaced them with.
    18. Peter Langerak - Guitar(1981 - 1982)
    19. Andre Versluys - Bass (1981 - 1982)

    But true success still eluded the band.

    But the most persistent shall succeed and with the next line up of:
    20. Carl Carlton - Guitar (1982-1983)
    21. Ruud Englebert - Bass (1982-1983)
    22. Otto Cooymans - Keyboards (1982-1983)

    Van Boeyen finally struck Gold.

    "Rosalyn" was by far their biggest hit ever, I chose this live version to showcase just how good they were live.

    But even a golden line up doesn't guarantee longevity and when the band were recording their album "Vanity Islands" Van Boeyen got into a dispute with Cooymans who along with Engelbert and Carlton quit the band. Making it that the album's B-side were finished by a different line up.

    23. Dany Lademacher - Guitar, Formerly of Herman Brood and his wild romance. (1983-1985)
    24. Michel Legrand - Bass (1983-1985)

    This remarkably long lasting line up proved themselves to be a killer live act and their album "Keeping me alive" was a good solid effort.

    "You turn me on" with Lademacher showing what a killer player he is.

    But then the following year both Lademacher and Legrand were replaced by
    25. Willem van Eijk - guitar (1986)
    26. Persijn Dakota - Bass (1986)

    Then for four years there was nothing before Van Boeyen resurfaced in Germany with again a new line up.
    27. Kai Kalastikow (1990? - ?)
    28. Mario Timme (1990? - ?)

    Who were then replaced by
    29. Guido Ludwig (1990? - ?)
    31. Marcus Wienstroer (1991 - ?)
    32. Edwin van Huick - Bass (1992 - 1994)

    And in 1994 after 19 years of keeping the band going through dogged persistence, Van Boeyen finally called it quits. So what was the deal here? Why were they so many line up changes with this band? Well, to answer that I can quote Golden Earring guitarist George Kooymans who produced the Red, white and blue album on which Van Boeyen played.

    "Herman van Boeyen was a D!ckhe@d, not a pleasant guy to work with."

    Such a shame, throughout their existence, the band had such good songs and were such a killer live band but it was all spoiled by the attitude of their front man.

    "Steady Rollin Man" live together fellow Dutch bands Doe Maar and Golden Earring. They also did a KILLER version of "radar love" but it can't be found online anymore.
    mikewalker likes this.
  2. darkwasthenight


    Oct 17, 2010
    I appreciate the commitment involved in this post, but unfortunately they're still running a long way behind The Fall! Mark E Smith was the only constant and there have been roughly 65+ members through their doors over the last forty years, as documented at somewhat excruciating length on their own wiki page. There is also a rather excellent book called The Fallen by Dave Simpson which attempts to track down as many of the past members as possible and interview them regarding their 'tour of duty' as Smith is generally uninterested in discussing previous lineups.

    Most members lasted less than a year after either getting tired of Smith's constant micromanagement, falling prey to psychological breakdowns induced by his extreme behaviour, or finally storming out after onstage physical altercations with him. Smith may have been a great man at times, but couldn't often be called a pleasant one.

    mikewalker and Obese Chess like this.
  3. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Wow - The Fall! gives BOC and Deep Purple a run for thier money!
  4. Yeah, but did any of their drummers choke on their own vomit or spontaneously combust on stage, leaving nothing but a little green globule on the drum throne?

    I'll bet not....

    Long live Stumpy Joe and Peter "James" Bond!

  5. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    Heh Vitesse is the band where the DRUMMER was the only constant.
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